Don’t judge a book by its cover, or in the OPPO Reno2‘s case, its name. While the nomenclature might make you believe this phone is the successor to the flagship-grade OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition (review), it’s actually a premium mid-ranger that follows the same path.
The Reno 10x Zoom Edition, in my opinion, is probably one of the best affordable flagships we’ve seen this year, beating the venerable OnePlus 7 at its own, flagship-killing game. Scoring high on all aspects, the Reno 10x Zoom Edition is a solid all rounder. It looks great, performs smoothly, shoots extremely well, offers great battery life, and is priced attractively too. One of its noteworthy highlights is the shark fin-styled pop-up front camera, which can now be found on the new Reno2 as well.
Overall, the Reno2 rocks the same stylish design, and believe me when I say this – smartphone designs can hardly get better than this. This baby is a looker, and is bound to make heads turn. The glass clad device looks extremely premium, and I’m glad I got the blue variant to review… as it really is gorgeous. The front, of course, looks like any other bezel-less phone, but the back is where things really get interesting.
There are four cameras placed vertically in the middle, all sitting flush with the body. There’s no camera bump at all. The only bump you’ll find is the O-Dot, a small protrusion that helps prevent scratches on the cameras when the phone is lying flat on its back. Then there’s an elongated patch that carries OPPO branding, surrounded by a shiny strip that reflects light in different ways. It looks mesmerising, really.
As far as the placement of ports and controls is concerned, you’ll find the elevating shark fin front camera on top, volume keys on the left, and the power key on the right. At the bottom, you’ll find the Type-C port, 3.5mm headset socket, and speaker.
The 6.55mm AMOLED display is gorgeous, and outputs vibrant colours and deep blacks. On it is placed an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is quite fast and accurate. You can of course, use the face unlock instead, which works pretty well too.
The quad cameras (and the front snapper placed on the shark fin) form the highlights of the Reno2. In terms of configuration, the quad camera setup comprises a 48MP, f/1.7 sensor with OIS, a 13MP f/2.4 telephoto, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide and a 2MP f/2.4 mono sensor. At the front is a 16MP, f/2.0 camera. One-upping the flagship Reno model, the Reno2 offers up to 20x zoom, but it’s unlikely you’ll use it much, given that it requires a very steady hand and more often than not, churns out soft and blurry pictures. That apart, the OPPO Reno2’s cameras are very capable, and very versatile.
You can get great shots in most conditions, especially daylight, where the phone really shines. There’s some over-saturation visible sometimes, but otherwise you should be pleased with the output. The images look good and offer a good amount of detail, even after zooming in. Zooming in at 2x and even 5x levels churns out usable shots, but images tend to look softer and bereft of detail. For portrait shots, the edge detection is very good. Low light shots are good too, but there’s some loss in detail, and even more when you switch to wide-angle mode. The phone has a dedicated night mode too, and it works well, but again, you need to keep your hand really steady to avoid blurry images. As far as selfies are concerned, the output is reasonably good, but the front sensor sometimes over-exposes backgrounds.
Thanks to the Snapdragon 730G chipset, which is mated to 8 gigs of RAM and a generous 256GB storage, the Reno2’s performance is really smooth. It can handle day-day-day tasks with ease, and can handle even intensive gaming like a champ. There are no jitters, and the thermals are kept in check too. The 4,000mAh battery lasts long with medium usage, and should get you through a full day with ease. In the PCMark battery test, it lasted over 9 hours, which is pretty decent. And thanks to the bundled 20W charger, the phone can be juiced up pretty quickly, going from zero to 100 percent levels in around an hour and a half. The phone runs Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6, which comes with a fair share of preloaded apps and bloatware.
The custom platform offers a ton of features, including Game space, app cloner, split screen, etc – all par for the course for ColorOS. There’s a dedicated app drier, support for gesture navigation, and a dedicated panel next to the home screen called Smart assistant that offers a universal search bar, weather, calendar, app shortcuts, step counts, favourite contacts and more. We won’t go into much detail here, but if you’ve tried an OPPO phone before, you know what to expect.
There’s little doubt that the OPPO Reno2 is a very capable smartphone, scoring high on almost all aspects. It’s a smooth performer that offers decent battery life, can shoot well in almost all conditions, and looks great too. However, the one place where it falters is pricing. You see, for its asking price of Rs 36,990, the Reno2 competes with the OnePlus 7T (review), which seems a better proposition owing to its latest Snapdragon 855+ processor, with most other things remaining the same. However, the OnePlus flagship can’t match the Reno2 in terms of styling, but that’s where the latter’s own sibling, the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom comes in. With its SD855 chip, triple cameras, similar design and shark fin camera, the Reno 10x Zoom seems much better value in comparison, with a starting price that’s just Rs 3,000 higher. And that, sums up the OPPO Reno 2 – a good phone that seems to have gotten the pricing wrong.
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Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Stylish looks
- Gorgeous display
- Capable cameras
- Good performance and battery life
- Seems overpriced
- Selfie camera could have been better