OPPO has just revealed two new devices in its Reno series, which come in the form of the Reno7 and the Reno7 Pro. The latter comes across as one of the most stylish devices in its category but its pricing leaves a bit to be desired. Now I have the Reno7 with me which also packs in decent specs making it worthy of a detailed look. Priced at Rs 28,999, the device competes with the recently-launched Vivo V23 (review), along with others like the iQOO 7 (review) and Moto Edge 20. Time to find out how the Reno7 fares in daily use.
The OPPO Reno7 is a device with excellent cameras and decent battery life. Its design is great as is its in-hand feel. However, for its price, the performance doesn’t match up to competing devices. The absence of stereo speakers and 120Hz panel further accentuate this problem. Even so, the Reno7’s ability to deliver useful features on its camera app to help social media enthusiasts could make it a popular choice amongst the community.
The Reno7 imbibes a bit of the design language that its Pro sibling shows off, except for the flat edges that are now curved in this case. OPPO has kept the matte-glass finish but there is a glossy look to it which does accumulate some smudges and fingerprints. The phone is grippy with a light in-hand feel, and slides into the pocket with ease. At approximately 7.81mm, the Reno7 is slightly thicker than the 7 Pro but the difference is hardly noticeable. On the bottom, the device has a USB C port along with a speaker grille and a 3.5mm headphone jack which is absent on the device’s elder sibling. The power button is located in a position that allows my thumb to comfortably reach it while the volume rockers on the other side are quite tactile in nature. I have received the Startrails Blue version which has a light blue-ish hue across the back giving a prismatic effect that I like a lot. Finally, there is a slightly raised triple-camera setup at the rear.
On the front, there is a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution and a narrow 20:9 aspect ratio. The bezels surrounding the display are slightly chunkier than most phones in this category, especially on the bottom. However, the viewing experience remains more-or-less flawless with excellent colours and brightness levels. OPPO has provided a 90Hz refresh rate panel on the Reno7 which doesn’t stutter until it encounters an app that has only support for 60Hz. The device doesn’t have an HDR10+ certification but there is WideVine L1 for HD content on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The Reno7 provides a colour calibration profile that suits the eyes of varied users. On the top, there is the punch-hole housing the selfie shooter that’s not distracting at all. Again, like the Pro, the absence of a 120Hz panel is a bit disappointing, but other than that the visual quality offered by the display is quite nice.
The cameras form the cornerstone of the Reno7’s overall smartphone experience. The 64MP primary camera is the headlining act while the 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro shooters complete the triple-camera ensemble. As a daylight photography machine, the Reno7 does little wrong. The photos are extremely crisp and rich in detail with a slight contrasty touch to them. The dynamic range accentuates the sky’s blues and the silver outlines of the clouds. Exposure is handled quite well and details are visible clearly even after zooming in on the photo. Focusing speeds are snappy and the shutter speeds actually seem better than the Reno7 Pro. The ultra-wide lens didn’t obscure details along the edges even though the focus is locked firmly on the centre and colour temperatures did not vary from what the primary shooter offers. There is also the macro sensor, which, for the lack of a better word, is rudimentary in nature, and takes passable shots in only the strongest lighting conditions. Apart from that, the Reno7 can also use sub-pixel interpolation to churn out a 108MP image from its 64MP sensor.
The phone has a few noteworthy camera implementations that heavy social media users and vloggers will find useful. In the portrait mode, you have the ability to change the depth of field and amount of blur with up to 25 adjustable aperture values. These effects are also translated on the video mode with an option of changing the bokeh style. I also tried the AI Highlight feature which gave a rather saturated look to the video that was not to my taste, but would surely look good on your Instagram feed.
As for low-light photography, the Reno7 nails it quite efficiently and without fault. Most of my sample shots have some form of street lighting or billboards illuminating the scene and the Reno7 delivers detailed and colour accurate images quite easily. The dedicated night Mode also works more efficiently for some reason than it did on the Pro version of the device. The exposure levels are kept under control, giving the night shots a realistic touch. Finally, there is the selfie camera with 32MP sensor. Selfies hot using this show exhibit issues with skin tones and oversharpening. The front portrait mode, however, does a good job of separating the subject from the background.
Moving on to the performance part of the device, the number crunching is handled by the Dimensity 900 chipset. While there is nothing wrong with the SoC’s processing capabilities, it doesn’t stand up too well when put up against competing devices in this particular price range. The usual run of synthetic benchmarks yielded results that I have seen on other Dimensity 900-powered phones. On Antutu the device gave an overall score of 432,191 while Geekbench 5’s multi-core result was 2,418. For comparison purposes, the Mi 11X (review), packing in a Snapdragon 870 chipset and costing less than the Reno7, scores 664,538 and 3,301 on these benchmarks. Day-to-day smartphone usage happens in a lag-free fashion and the 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM with 3GB of additional virtual RAM enables a number of apps to remain functioning in the background. Tasks like video editing and heavy-duty mobile gaming put some stress on the Reno7 and the device can only achieve 45fps on BGMI.
There is a single speaker present on the bottom with shallow sound quality, and the lack of stereo output is a bummer. A fingerprint sensor of the optical variety is employed on the Reno7 and its authentication speeds are quick. 5G capabilities on the device exist but there is no telecom infrastructure in place to utilise it. The 4G LTE speeds on Jio’s Noida network worked as well as expected and without a hitch. Speaking of software, ColorOS 12, based on Android 11, is running on the device and it’s a bit disappointing that the phone doesn’t ship with Android 12 out of the box. Worth mentioning that ColorOS has become quite user-friendly, with thematic customisations, spaced-out icons, and not much bloatware.
Battery-wise, the device comes with a 4,500mAh cell that has 65W fast charging capabilities. I had no problems with the battery life on the phone and most days I was ending up with up to 30 percent left. The average screen-on time was somewhere around the 5-6 hour mark which is decent enough on an Android phone with the given battery capacity. On PCMark’s Battery 3.0 test, the phone returned a score of 14 hours and 22 minutes which is quite good. OPPO’s 65W charging tech easily juices up the cell within about 35 minutes.
The OPPO Reno7 5G is competing in a space that has seen some excellent innovation in terms of performance to cost ratio. The Dimensity 900, while being a decent chipset in a mid-range smartphone, doesn’t make the cut at Rs 28,999. For power users with a focus on mobile gaming, there are several other options from iQOO, OnePlus, and Xiaomi in this price range that might serve their needs better. That said, OPPO has packed in a lot of camera-specific modes in the Reno7 5G that are bound to help those who are involved in social media content creation and vlogging in general. With its elegant design, the device is sure to make a few heads turn too.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Excellent photography
- Stylish design
- Decent battery life
- Performance can’t match rivals
- Lacks stereo speakers
- Could use 120Hz display