The company also anounces its brand partnership with Toke Makinwa, a Nigerian author and media personality.
Oppo has always pitched itself as a camera-centric brand. Be it for selfies or for other features found in its smartphones’ camera, it’s been all about the ‘sharp’ shooters. Interestingly, the company makes handset for all the three primary categories: Budget, mid-range and premium. There are also devices that fall in the upper/lower mid-range category. The upper mid-range smartphones are essentially devices that aim to deliver a ‘premium’ device at not-so-premium prices. In most cases, these focus on a couple of features that they claim are the best, along with other features and specs that nearly stay the same. And that’s where the Oppo Reno 2 sits.
Before we start talking about Reno 2, it should be made clear that Oppo Reno 2 is not successor of Oppo Reno 10X Zoom. Especially considering the company’s ’20x zoom’ marketing claim for the Reno 2.
Oppo seems to have found the right formula that brings a ‘win’ for them in the design section of the Reno 2. The handset’s design is a massive departure in terms of looks as compared to Reno 2 and Reno 10X Zoom. While they boasted of a matte finish, which was also good to look at, this has moved to a glossy look that is more premium and a treat for your eyes, which makes it a really good looking smartphone. The glossy finish at the back is curved from both sides. What really gets the premium-ness is the vertical strip stretching from the bottom to the centre with Oppo branding in mirror finish. The vertical strip design has a subtle glow on the outline, which is something we have never seen before. Above the strip are four cameras flushed in the body. There’s no bump at all and for once we are happy to see that.
The flipside of that glossy finish and the curved edges is that the smartphone can be really slippery at times and since its glass back and an all screen front, there’s a big chance of getting massive cracks.
Carrying the unique ‘shark-fin’ pop-up front camera design, the Reno 2 carries forward the design scheme that was made popular by the 10x Zoom. The power and volume buttons are easy to reach but considering the display size and minimal bezels on all the four sides, you will end up exercising your thumb a bit. That said, don’t expect a compact feel from the Reno 2. It is not the lightest smartphone and seems fragile as well. But the looks trump everything else with this piece of hardware.
Oppo Reno 2 gets a 6.5-inch screen space, which is a tad bit more than its predecessor’s 6.4-inch canvas. It doesn’t make any difference and you still can’t reach all the corners of the screen without stretching your thumb a little. Using it single handedly will only give you access to the lower half of the screen. Adjusting the smartphone every time is also something that’s not easy considering the slippery back panel.
Packed inside the 6.5-inch screen is FHD+ (2400×1080 pixels) resolution, which surely is sharp and a delight to look at. A part of credit also goes to the AMOLED screen type, which shows more saturated colours than usual. Streaming videos was fun on this one as the bezels are nearly none and the level of immersiveness is really high. We’ll say that is probably because of the screen with 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, which when seen in a landscape mode, is large enough to make your eyes travel from one corner to another. This also means more content is shown on a single screen.
However, when you use it in the portrait mode for daily operations, suddenly it’s not good anymore. So you win some and lose some.
There’s hardly a change when you look from different angles. The colour tones are spot on but the calibration is not. We found the default colour tone slightly on the cooler side than what we see in other smartphones. You can of course, change it from the display settings. It is also possible to switch between the Vivid and Gentle colour mode. The latter is a more unsaturated version. However, all in all, it is an impressive screen.
Oppo Reno 2 has a major plus point and a caveat to balance the ‘performance’ equation. No doubt the smartphone is an upgrade over the Oppo Reno. However, it looks like the firm is just not ready to understand that the processor they use in the smartphone, although a capable one, and the kind of smartphone market they are in right now, both of these will make Reno 2 a very hard sell.
Powering the Reno 2 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, which as Qualcomm itself says, is made for smartphones that are mainly pitched for gaming. Reno 2 has not once been pitched as a gaming smartphone. But this is not an issue. The real problem is what the rivals are offering in the market. The closest here is the Snapdragon 730-based Xiaomi Redmi K20, which starts at Rs 22,000. And for those who don’t know it yet, the difference between Snapdragon 730 and 730G is that the latter supports QHD+ screen instead of FHD+. That’s it. And since Reno 2 doesn’t have a QHD+ screen, this practically means nothing for end users.
But that pricing is not purely based on what processor the handset uses. There are a lot more factors in tow including the cameras, display and battery.
All that said, you do get a powerful processor with 8GB RAM (still overkill) that is enough to let you watch videos, play games and operate Chrome tabs simultaneously without stressing much. At all times the Reno 2 was great to use with quick firing up of apps and switching between them. You won’t find any glitches in the UI.
Talking about the UI, we were impressed with what Oppo has done with ColorOS 6.1. It’s almost like the company has heard our cry this time and has limited the number of third-party pre-installed apps on Reno 2. We did find a lot less number of apps as compared to what we’ve seen with the ColorOS 6. And some can still be uninstalled. So a huge thumbs-up for that.
What still needs some attention and improvement is the animations, app icons and the UI design in general that makes it look like any other Chinese smartphone in the market. We are talking about ColorOS being recognised as a really unique skin, such as OnePlus’ OxygenOS or Samsung’s OneUI. Also, Oppo doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to Android updates. So buyers, tread the path carefully.
We did mention above how immersive the AMOLED screen is and streaming video on it is a treat to eyes. What stayed as the single most annoying part of the overall experience was the mini speaker placed at the bottom corner. We often found ourselves blocking the speaker grille, which resulted in muffled sounds even if you didn’t do it purposefully. If you are fine with it and are someone who doesn’t use the speaker a lot, this handset works like a charm.
In the last section we mentioned how the price of the smartphone is based on several factors. In Reno 2’s case, cameras are the major factors. You get a 48MP primary rear camera, which is the case with every other smartphone maker in the given price range (and even lower), along with a 13MP telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture, 8MP wide-angle lens with 116-degree FoV with a 2MP mono lens with 1.75um large pixels. All that sounds a mouthful but in reality they work in perfect sync, giving you a rather good experience while editing, shooting, switching between lenses, different modes and more. With a four lens camera that has this much power packed inside, of course one is bound to assume the handset must be delivering some amazing shots. Majority of the time it does.
Daylight shots taken from the primary sensor are needless to say, sharp and look really good. Although they’re often not as real as you see but they’re still good enough for your Instagram account. Do expect an impressive portrait shot as the handset makes good use of the dedicated lens. Like the Reno 10X Zoom, the Reno 2 delivers some well worked-out portrait shots. The edge detection has definitely improved, something that may take you by surprise.
The 13MP telephoto with f/2.4 aperture might not be as good as it sounds though. Although the handset retains the colours in most cases while shooting indoors or outdoors, we found the noise levels pretty prominent with grains visible towards the corner of the image. That’s more than what you usually see in telephoto shots used in cameras. Like we have noticed in other smartphones as well, the colour does fade as you start zooming-in. But while that’s something you can still get used to, what’s interesting here is the 20x digital zoom. Interesting because its not as good as you see in advertisements and official websites but it’s not the worst hybrid zoom as well. You can zoom-in and click an image but don’t expect it to be sharp, clear and smooth. At any point, we found the hybrid zooming full of noise (naturally as it zooms-in digitally) and difficult to get a stable shot. The best grainy shot we could get was by keeping it on the table and clicking it. But at the end of the day, the colours are not as flat as we expected, which is good news and the handset gets the work done.
Moving on to shooting in the night, the Reno 2 does a fairly decent job for the most part. In our daily usage we often found the resulting images a bit grainy but better than what you get in smartphones in the same price range. At times the image processing hides the noise by making the image smoother and it’s noticeable. But that’s just visible when you take a closer look or see it in a laptop screen. Although you don’t get a Pixel-level or Huawei P-level camera result with four lenses at the back, you still get a nice looking image if there is a good light source.
Overall, the interface is easy and most of it is accessible with one hand as well while taking selfies or videos. It’s snappy enough and the autofocus speed is also good. You can pretty much whip out your Oppo Reno 2 and start shooting right away.
We liked the selfie camera performance in Reno 2. The 16MP front camera with f/2 aperture takes clear shots with good looking images. Not natural looking. Of course you can tweak the shot later but by default you get the Beauty mode switched on. Although it depends on your preference but at times it could make you look like a doll. But you do get a lot of features to play with. What gets a thumbs-up here is the portrait mode. Surprisingly, the front camera portrait shots have improved a lot. We took several selfie portrait shots during our tests and hardly found any errors in blurring the background.
Finally, the videos get a special mention here because of the improved stability that you get from it. Shooting a video while walking hardly shows you jerks and is smooth even while shooting full HD videos at 60fps. The device can also shoot 4K videos at 30fps and slow motion in 720p. Footage shot in both daylight and low light situations is good to look at.
Oppo Reno 2 shines in the battery department. The smartphone’s battery performance is impressive and can run for hours at one go. In our daily usage we were able to run the Reno 2 for around 8-9 hours including everything from playing games for a couple of hours, calling for few hours, shooting images, videos and streaming videos as well. The smartphone makes good use of the 4000mAh battery, which is ample and long lasting basically because of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor and FHD+ display.
What adds to the pleasant battery experience is the VOOC fast charging tech, something that Oppo has perfected over the years. The Reno 2 has the latest VOOC 3.0 Fast charge onboard so there’s nothing much to complain about. In our daily use, the smartphone charged around 47-50% on an average in 30 minutes of charge. That’s good enough if you ask us. With half an hour of charge we were able to run the device for 3 hours approximately.
Oppo Reno 2 is a natural and much expected successor to the original Reno. It has all the bells and whistles and makes the right noises. However, there are a few caveats that may concern both Oppo and the buyer. The biggest one is the over-hyped 20x zooming camera feature. The smartphone does shoot images at 20x digital zoom but in most cases we found it not useful enough. The use of Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G doesn’t really add up to the mix as it is a processor specifically made for gaming purposes and the handset is not really marketed as a gaming device. Using a new processor and four cameras at the back not just adds to the overall cost here also struggles to justify the overall experience. It will still leave you wanting for more.
Reno 2 is feature-rich, specially in the camera section. The overall quality and portrait shots are really well-worked and something we are yet to see in most mid-range smartphones. The overall UI is cleaner and more easy to use and the performance is fluid. What’s the most important plus point here is the premium design that you get at the mid-range price segment. And to top it all, there’s a 4000mAh battery that lasts long and is nothing new for Oppo based on the impressive track record. So if you are one of those who want a handset that could do nearly everything with ease while looking premium and backed by a large battery? Reno 2 should be in your pocket. If you want a good overall camera performance and not just a 20x digital zoom, Reno 2 wins the game here as well.
As reviewed by https://www.gadgetsnow.com/