Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G has all the exact right technical ingredients to make a smartphone that is desirable and exciting, and in several cases different from the competition. I have used it for a couple of days and have liked to do it too, but then I could not ignore the ingredient that is not so good for a long time: The high price.
The midrange smartphone market is hypercompetitive this year, and although we applaud devices that offer more value than ever before, it is still very price sensitive. Oppo Reno4 Pro’s 699 British pound price, which is $ 898 converted, means that this otherwise good phone is a resale. Let’s look at it in more detail.
What is most striking is the size and weight of the Reno4 Pro 5G. It is only 7.6 mm thick and 176 grams, which feels positively feather-like in today’s world, with phones that regularly tip the scales at more than 200 grams. It is stylish and thin, slides in the pocket and bag without hassle and is extremely comfortable to hold and use.
Sure, we’ve seen thin and light phones before, but this is remarkable because Reno4 Pro 5G of course has 5G and all the associated antenna hardware, plus a 4000 mAh battery and a fingerprint sensor on the screen. It is an impressive technique to squeeze all this into such a thin and light phone.
The review model seen here is in Space Black, which has a subtle rainbow effect when it captures light properly, but it is nowhere near as noticeable as the other design flourishes – the O and P logo. This unusual effect sits under the Gorilla Glass 5 (used front and rear) and is really eye-catching. I like it, but the more I see the more I see an awkward mix of Chanel and Gucci brand, and it makes me like it less.
Do not worry – if it is not for you, there is also a Galactic Blue color, which has a special diamond-like structure that apparently took six months to develop and benefits from increased scratch resistance and strong resistance to fingerprints. This does not seem to apply to the Space Black version, as the glossy surface still becomes oily.
Ignoring the colors and use of the logo is takeaway here how thin and light a 5G phone can be. For a while, there was concern that every phone with 5G would be a fat brick, but at least with Sub-6 5G devices, this has not proven to be true. The unfortunate thing about the Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G is that we really knew it already, as it comes with 180 grams of LG Velvet and 184 grams of OnePlus Nord.
The triple rear camera has a 48-megapixel lens, a second 12MP 120-degree wide-angle lens and a 13MP telephoto lens. The wide-angle lens is a custom Sony IMX708 that provides 16: 9 video with special low-light video algorithms. In addition to the rear cameras, the 32MP front camera also uses Oppos Ultra Steady technology for smooth video performance.
Taking still pictures for an hour shows that the phone works well in bright and slightly cloudy conditions, although some may not like the high saturation levels, but may struggle with exposure when using 5x hybrid zoom. Portrait mode has good edge detection and a natural look, while HDR works well with the selfie camera as well.
A quick test with low light shows that Reno4 Pro 5G does a good job of adding light and detail to still images taken in the dark, without sacrificing too much realism. While keeping the noise to a minimum, it greatly minimizes the image. The new low light video mode is less successful. It definitely lights up the video, but introduces a lot of noise and artifacts that degrade the finished product. I’m using a preview version of the phone, so there’s a chance the software will be updated and improved performance here.
Screen and performance
Reno4 Pro 5G is small and light, but the screen is a significant 6.5-inch AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate and a standard resolution of 2400 x 1080. By default, the screen automatically selects the best refresh rate for what you do in an attempt to protect battery life. If you do not trust it and always want a silky smooth scrolling from 90Hz screens, it may be forced to deliver the full speed all the time.
It is a beautiful screen that you can expect from the latest AMOLED technology, which gives a lot of color and some lovely deep blacks. Reno4 Pro 5G has stereo speakers – one at the bottom and the main speaker does dual tasks – and while there is a lot of volume, the super-thin body does not give much bass response, which results in an often loud sound.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor delivers the power, and with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, Oppo has not held back to give it room to breathe. At launch, the phone comes with Oppos ColorOS 7.2 version of Android 10, rather than the recently announced ColorOS 11 which is based on Android 11. Thankfully, ColorOS itself is solid and much better than before, with a cleaner Pixel-like look and reliable speed. Reno4 Pro 5G will receive an update to ColorOS 11 next year.
ColorOS 7.2 introduces an interesting battery-saving feature where you can choose six different apps to run without limitation when the battery is almost discharged, including Google Maps and WhatsApp. It may be a battery pig, but Oppo promises 90 minutes of use with only 5% battery left.
The 4,000 mAh battery has lasted all day without any problems so far, but with about 30% left after being used between 8 and 1, it will not take two days. Oppo’s excellent SuperVOOC 2.0 charging system is a very welcome addition, as it charges the battery from full to full in just 36 minutes, which is a surprising performance. The 65W charger needed to do this is also included in the box, along with a clear case to protect the phone.
Price and availability
Oppo does not currently sell its smartphones in the United States. It will release the Reno4 Pro 5G in Western Europe including the UK, where it will cost £ 699, which is currently around $ 898.
The conclusion, so far
Let’s summarize the right ingredients: Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G is thin and light, has a large AMOLED screen, a strong processor and plenty of RAM, plus the fastest battery charging technology out there and a capable camera with some nice additional features. All good stuff, except that Oppo is gone and puts the price at the top of the scale and invited potential buyers to look at the £ 699 / $ 699 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which has a faster processor, a great screen, a great camera, water resistance and Samsung’s good software too.
Pay less and you get the absolutely beautiful $ 599 $ LG Velvet, even less for $ 499 $ Pixel 4a 5G, and even less again for OnePlus Nord. All are pretty much the same in terms of specification and capability, with only Oppo’s SuperVOOC charging technology making the Reno4 Pro 5G stand out. But in such a price-sensitive segment, is it enough for people to spend more than they technically need?
In order for Reno4 Pro 5G to really catch people’s attention, they needed to beat Samsung’s fantastically priced Galaxy S20 FE and at least match the rest of the competition. It’s a very good smartphone, just like the Find X2 Pro, but like Oppo’s capable flagship, the high price can stop driving people into the arms of Samsung and others.