When we were invited to the Oppo Reno launch event back in May, the phone was launched with great grandeur. Touted as an artist’s dream phone, the Reno came in 3 variants, the Oppo Reno, the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom and the Oppo Reno 5G. We finally have the 10X variant in house – yes, it took that long.
- Shark Fin Earpiece
- Unique Design
- Tinny Earpiece
- Zoom functionality over stated
- Beautified Front Facing Camera
The Oppo Reno 10X Zoom which I will probably be referring to as just “Reno” henceforth comes in one of the tallest phone boxes I have ever seen. Inside the box we are greeted with some paperwork, the Reno 10X Zoom, a USB A to USB C cable, a 4A VOOC 3.0 UK power brick, a premium case and a pair of USB C earphones.
The Reno has a stunning design on both the front and the back, with an almost ‘bezel-less’ face. The rear of the device is encased in the stunning Jet-Black colourway which is more of a milky dark blue with the sides being consistent in the same shade. I must admit, it is probably one of the most smudge-prone finishes I have ever seen, especially due to the camera being under a single sheet of glass. The smudges do come off easily with a cloth, but I can’t say the same about the front.
Oppo preinstalls a plastic screen protector but the smudges are more difficult to remove and does take a bit of elbow grease if you intend to use it. I did notice the application of this screen protector was not perfect. There were some bubbles around the edges of the plastic which makes me a little concerned. If one was to purchase a third-party tempered glass or plastic screen protector then would the application of it also be flawed and imperfect like this one?
Having the case included inside the box is a great addition since it highlights exactly what Oppo wanted to showcase on the Reno 10X Zoom. The central strip down the back of the phone with the branding and camera is visible due to a cut-out present on the case. The branding and logo are placed in landscape orientation because this phone is focused so heavily on the photography aspects and I like to think Oppo are hinting to those shooting vertical video.
The lack of a headphone jack doesn’t make too much of a difference to me anymore, I am so used to life without it. I have moved over to wireless earphones and headphones for the most part with the Apple Airpods playing a huge part in this. Oppo does have its own model of wireless earphones called the Oppo O Free however I have not tested them. The included earphones have a solid in-ear fit and I am usually somebody who doesn’t really get on with gummy in-ear style earphones. The fact that they work over USB Type C means they are compatible with a lot of modern devices including a Dell Laptop with a USB Type C port. The sound quality is okay. I am not an audiophile but for standard earphones included inside the box, they are loud and would be fine in a pinch.
I did want to conduct a charging speed test using the included 5V 4A power adapter powering the VOOC 3.0 which was announced earlier this year. However, this has already been superseded by VOOC 4.0 which is impressive considering this technology is only a couple of months old. The claim from Oppo was that this phone can fully charge in just over an hour from 0%. Obviously, factors like room temperature and ventilation will make a slight difference so bear that in mind.
At the start of the test the phone was completely depleted and turned off with 0% charge. The phone stayed turned off during the charging test to avoid any interference from factors like apps, network connection and background applications. The phone charged up to 45% in half an hour which falls short by 5% of their claim, with an 80% charge at the hour mark and finally 100% battery in 01:23. These are fantastic speeds considering my iPhone XS Max takes around 2 hours to fully charge. However, this is due to the proprietary charging technology built into the Oppo plug and you won’t be able to get anywhere near the same speed from a standard 2.4A mains USB plug or shudders a 1A USB plug.
I was pleased with the battery performance of the Oppo Reno. I am a fairly heavy user and I ended up getting pretty much a whole day of usage. This was on a mix between WiFi and mobile data on Vodafone’s UK network in South West London. This included a mix of photography, YouTube, Netflix, phone calls and web browsing. I then tested it out on a lighter day and I got around a day and a bit of usage which was still respectable. The quick charging times mean that even if you do drain the battery and forget to charge it, you can get most of a charge in the morning.
In regard to the audio functionality, the earpiece was good, I was able to hear whoever was on the other end of the phone but it was on the tinny side and the positioning of the earpiece means that the phone would sit much lower on your face with only half the phone actually on my face. The audio performance for media consumption was impressive. The earpiece works alongside the downward facing speaker to create a dual audio setup trying to imitate stereo audio. This works to some extent but the ‘tinnyness’ of the earpiece becomes annoying if you turn the volume up too high. I did test the overall volume of the speaker and it maxed out at 97 decibels which was surprising as I thought it would be over 100.
Oppo went into extensive detail about the performance of the camera during the event and showcased how impressive it was. The 3 Oppo Reno models are identical in terms of Camera performance however the less powerful Snapdragon 710 processor in the standard Reno may have an impact on image processing. I was very impressed with the short hands-on time I had with the phone and the photos I took can be seen in my initial hands-on article published back in May.
Let’s talk about the front-facing camera first. This is encased within the shark fin at the top of the phone so whenever you activate the front facing camera you get a little on-screen animation and then it raises all within just under a second which is impressive. I did notice straight away that the colours seemed a bit on the light side. There is some underlying ‘beautifying’ effects which involve lightening the skin tone and smoothening out any imperfections which I wish I could turn off as it doesn’t really appeal to me. The front facing camera is wider than my XS max too which I feel is better especially when you don’t want to carry around a mobile tripod to take photos in a group.
The rear camera doesn’t mimic this beautifying effect to anywhere near the same extent with skin tones being true to life with no smoothening effects either. The 10X Zoom boasts a trio of cameras which consist of a wide-angle, the standard lens and the telephoto lens which provides the 10X branding. I am the kind of person who just wants to take a shot and then have to do minimal editing afterwards. The camera from the Reno certainly fits my preference as the colours and post-processing result with incredibly accurate colours which is different to the trend of over saturating to make the image look better.
I took some photos of items that naturally popped with colour to see how the camera would process the saturation of the colours and I was impressed. The colours were ever so slightly more vivid but I would say that this benefited the overall picture. I am going to attach a gallery of images I have taken indicating the different zoom levels, so you are able to see the quality of the rear camera for yourself.
This was my first time having any sort of extensive hands-on with Color OS, never having used a phone from Oppo before. It reminds me of iOS in many ways with all the apps being housed on the home screens rather than being housed within any sort of an app drawer. I didn’t see any option to enable one within Oppo’s settings app either. I was not a big fan of the aesthetics of the notification panel even though it was simple and modern. The layout of the settings seemed to favour Oppo services and additional functionality rather than Googles. I feel like I could get used to ColorOS 6, but I feel like I would much prefer installing something like Nova Launcher which has a more traditional Google feel.
The phone was running Android 9.0 Pie throughout the extent of this review with a major update being delivered out of the box. The Reno was included inside the Android 10 beta program however there is currently no specific deadline to which Oppo will achieve this major update by.
Google Pay was a bit hit and miss with this device. I sometimes was able to pay immediately with no issues however sometimes the NFC didn’t pick up the contactless card reader and I would have to manually open the Google Pay app in order to pay. One thing that did confuse me was that Google Pay wasn’t preinstalled and had to be installed manually. This is my first Android device that I tested the functionality and I was quite surprised that I would have to install it seeming as its biggest competitor Apple Pay is fully integrated within iOS and no additional installation steps are required. I appreciate the fact that Oppo has given the ability to pay with Google Pay on this because some brands forego this in order to save costs.
Oppo has included an in-screen fingerprint scanner which I was impressed by since it was another first for me even though a couple of devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 have had this. The accuracy rate was remarkable as it maybe has not recognised my fingerprint maybe once or twice and I rarely ended up having to rely on another authentication method such as the face unlock built into the shark fin on the top or a PIN/password. When the phone detects movement the fingerprint sensor will be highlighted on the display, so you know where to place your finger and after a couple of seconds this will disappear and will reappear when the phone detects motion again. In order to trigger the facial unlock, you have to swipe up from the lock screen. The speed of the fingerprint scanner edges out the speed of the face unlock ever so slightly.
The speed of this phone was remarkable and so fluid. The Snapdragon 855 paired with the 8GB of RAM has resulted in this phone feeling silky smooth and I haven’t noticed any slow down in the roughly month I have had this phone and I hope that this will remain the case throughout the lifetime of the phone.
I did the obligatory benchmarks which started with AnTuTu being the first. The benchmark goes through an intensive process of GPU and CPU testing and does take around 10 minutes or so. The overall score was 356392 which was impressive as it sits in the top 10% however at the same time this is the 2nd most powerful processor in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon lineup sitting second to only the Snapdragon 855 Plus. So it makes you wonder specifications those other 10% boast which beats this flagship set of specs. The recently released iPhone 11 Pro Max boasts a score of 462098 which is over 10,000 points higher shows that the software optimisation makes a huge difference and potentially a lighter skin on top of the operating system could improve that score. This is probabaly why we have seen a huge surge of simplification of skins from brands such as Asus with their Zenfone 6.
Next comes the Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark which gave a since core score of 665 and this sits well in line with what is expected from the Snapdragon 855 even though it’s less than half of the performance achieved by Apple’s newest flagship. The multi-core score sits at 2670 which is higher than even the OnePlus 7 Pro by about 30 points and even the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ by over 100 points which is highly surprising. I then ran the Geekbench 5 Compute test which gave me a OpenCL Score of 2205 which is similar to that of the OnePlus 6 which is pretty paltry as that phone is over a year and a half old.
The display of the phone was one I was really happy with. The colours looked very accurate and the lack of any obstructions such as a camera or notch on the front made an incredibly immersive experience. I did have letter-boxing on standard 16:9 videos such as on YouTube however Oppo has allowed the ability to enter a full-screen mode which fills the screen but will inevitably cut out some of the content. The Reno 10X Zoom’s slightly taller 19.5:9 aspect ratio makes the display feel very immersive especially due to the minimal bezel surrounding the display (part the base). The colour accuracy was great as far as I could see with my main comparison being my iPhone XS Max which are known to have excellent factory calibration.
To sum up my overall experience with the phone. It’s been great, the smooth performance with the party trick in the form of the shark fin that never fails to amaze people and fantastic camera means I haven’t really had any issues. The OS does hold the phone back a little bit in terms of the performance it could achieve and also the lack of intuitiveness in some of the settings. It definitely isn’t a boring phone but with the successor already announced in the form of the Reno 2, the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom might not enjoy an long, prosperous life.