I’ve had the Oppo Reno4 5G Pro for about a month now, and I want to say this straight away: I really like this phone. It represents a lot of smartphone for its NZ$999 price tag, and that’s important to remember.
The Reno4 Pro 5G isn’t meant to be a high-end Android smartphone. And it doesn’t pretend to be the best of the best of what Oppo and Android can offer customers.
Instead, it’s a device that sits in this new sub category of mid-range phones. A category that has the majority of the features customers want and need, but without a few extra specs that force flagship phones to come with massive price tags.
This phone has 5G. An excellent FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. A good Qualcomm chip. Very solid battery performance. That wicked super VOOC 2.0 charger. And a reasonable price tag. These are the specs that make the Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G so attractive.
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About that Snapdragon 765G chip…
OK… forgive me, I’m going to bang on about the Snapdragon 765G chip for a bit now. But it’s important, so stick with me.
As a very loose rule, you want the best Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in your high-end Android smartphone. For 2020, this means the Snapdragon 865 – and this phone does not have it…The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G has the Snapdragon 765G instead.
Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. The 765G is a more modest, and affordable, chip. And that goes some way to explaining why you can buy the Reno4 Pro 5G for 999 NZ dollars, whereas the high-end Oppo Find X2 Pro will cost you 1,699 NZ dollars.
The 765G does limit what devices can can do, though. It can only support a QHD+ display with a 60 Hz refresh rate, or FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, for example.
The Snapdragon 765G chip has a different CPU configuration too. It’s still an octa-core processor, like the 865, but it has six efficiency cores, compared to the 865’s 4 efficiency cores.
Finally, the 756G phone also has a Adreno 620 GPU with is similar in performance to the Adreno 630 GPU found on the flagship Snapdragon chip from two years ago, the 845.
All of this is very speccy and nerdy. What it all means is this phone is able to handle smaller loads fine, but will struggle to keep up when any heavy lifting is required.
Should you care about this? It depends on what sort of phone user you are. If you just use your phone for regular things like web browsing, photography, messaging and social media, I’d suggest you won’t notice much of a difference at all.
However, if you want a smartphone that can play the latest mobile game or is lightning fast at switching between multiple apps, then you will start to notice the more mid-range chip inside this Oppo. But I was able to play CoD Mobile and Golf King without noticing any lag or issues at all.
What I will say, is that this phone, and this chip, felt speedy to me. So unless you need a super-fast phone for something specific, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.
FHD+ AMOLED display
Oppo has opted for a 6.5-inch, 20:9 aspect ratio, with a FHD+ (Full High Definition) 1080×2400 display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
Which in the real world, means it’s a slightly smoother display than most mid-range devices (that usually run at 60Hz). And its 402 pixels per inch count is decent.
It’s AMOLED too. Which is another win.
5G on a mid-range phone
The 5G here is watered down. Slightly. And that’s due to the slightly watered down Snapdragon 765G chip we just spoke about. It boasts theoretical maximum download and upload speeds of 3.7Gbps and 1.6Gbps respectively.
This is dwarfed by the Snapdragon 865’s 7.5Gbps and 3.0Gbps speeds.
The good news, however, is that the 765 chip features an integrated 5G modem, whereas the 865 does not, which means it should be more energy efficient when connected to a 5G network.
And these two features I’ve just spoke about – its screen and 5G performance – sum up the rationale for putting the 765G chip inside this phone nicely. You don’t need a 4K screen on your smartphone. Nor do you need theoretical 5G speeds of 7.5Gbps download.
Give most people the choice between saving $700 or faster 5G speeds and more pixels than the eye can see… and I think most people would rather save their money.
Three decent (rear-facing) cameras
Ok, let’s talk about the camera next.
Cameras are what everyone cares about these days. And this Oppo does a good job at covering the basics and a bit more.
There are three rear-facing cameras. A 48MP main camera that supports Optical Image Stabilization (OIS); a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle secondary camera; and a 13MP f/2.4 telephoto lens that supports 5x hybrid optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. Though, I’d take the 20x digital zoom claim with a pinch of salt. Images taken at this range look minging.
The Reno4 Pro 5G does a great job at capturing still images with the 48MP main shooter. I managed to take some stunning landscape images that are comparable to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. And I can’t think of a better compliment I can give than Reno4 Pro than that.
However, image detail and contrast starts to drop when you change to the ultra-wide camera. And then reappears when you use the telephoto lens camera.
The device performs well in low-light conditions too, producing sharp and colourful images. Although, distortion can be found pretty easily when you start zooming in on these images.
And you’ll need to keep your hand steady for between 5-10 seconds for the camera to capture these shots.
Oh and there’s a 32MP selfie camera with f/2.4 aperture and Oppo’s “AI beautification”. But, whatever, it’s a selfie camera and it’s fine.
4K video @ 30fps
The concept of a mid-range phone shooting 4K video still feels a bit mad to me.
The fact that the NZ$999 Oppo Reno4 Pro can capture 4K video is remarkable on its own. And while it doesn’t offer the same picture quality as Apple’s 4K 60fps iPhone 12s can, the results are still impressive.
My major complaint with the Reno4 Pro’s 4K video is that it’s guilty of overexposing the picture. But, again, it’s important to remember this is a mid-range phone.
Android 10 and ColorOS 7.2
As ever with Android smartphone manufacturers, you don’t get stock Android 10. Oppo has put its own ColorOS 7.2 on top of Android 10. The good news is that it’s not really that noticeable.
And you can change icon designs to match regular Google’s design (if you’re bothered) and it’s a mostly unobtrusive experience.
Oppo is a little bit guilty of focing bloatware onto its devices, though. It’s video editing app Soloop, and other apps such as Oppo Relax, Game Space, Music Party are the main offenders here.
Mercifully, you can uninstall all of these via the App Tray – creating a more vanilla version of Android 10.
A lot of noise has been made about this phone’s “Icon pull down” feature, but it’s not really that special. Other tall phones have had similar features that work just as well, so it’s a bit “meh” really.
Battery life and charging times
Battery performance is solid here. Nothing to worry about. It’ll easily last a day of normal use. But, if you do find you’ve chewed through your battery, there are a couple of features to make your last few % last.
Super Power Saving Mode will only let you use six apps (which you can choose) and will extend your phone’s battery life a lot. My estimated battery remaining time when from 11 hours and 36 mins to 17 hours and 29 with this feature turned on. Perfect for scenarios when you know you’re not going to be near a charger again for a long time.
And Super Night-time Standby will only drain two per cent of your battery over a duration of eight hours – ideal for when you’re sleeping and a charger isn’t available.
I love Oppo’s dedication to charging times. And this Reno4 Pro includes its industry-leading 5W SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging technology.
Meaning it will charge the device’s onboard 4,000mAh battery from 0-50 per cent in under 12 minutes. Or fully charge in half an hour. Which, frankly, is insane.
The only downside is that there’s no wireless charging. But, I’ll say this again, this is a min-range phone. Wireless charging is exactly the sort of superfluous feature that bumps up a device’s price.
6 more things you NEED to know
- The biosecurity is good. You can use the in-screen fingerprint sensor, or face recognition, to unlock the Reno4 Pro. Or, you know, a normal PIN or pattern unlock.
- There’s 256GM of onboard storage. But no expandable memory, which is slightly disappointing.
- It’s dual-SIM
- There’s no headphone jack
- Curved Gorilla Glass 6 display
- I don’t hate the design. Which is just as well because this Galactic Blue finish is the only colour it comes in.
Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G: Verdict
Oppo has joined the likes of OnePlus (with the Nord), Samsung (with the Galaxy S20 FE) and even Apple (with the SE) in created a great mid-range smartphone that covers the essentials really well.
This phone has a great screen, camera, chip and battery performance. It’s a lot of phone for NZ$999 and is definitely worth your consideration if you don’t know the benefits you’re paying for in the latest flagships.