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Reviewed: Oppo Reno2

It’s that time of the year that smartphone manufacturers are pulling out all the stops when it comes to phone releases. Oppo, a brand that isn’t known to rest on its previous successes, has just come up with the latest device meant to give everyone the tools needed to be a storyteller. The Oppo Reno2 delivers a lot of great new content-creating features, combined with plenty of power, in a great-looking package.

Design: 4.5/5

The Reno2 is striking. It builds on the design cues of the older Reno and gives it a slight tweak for the better. Our review unit came in a fetching shade of pearlescent pink that caught the light beautifully. It’s all smooth lines and soft edges that meld wonderfully in the hand, with a nice heft that lets you know it’s a solid piece of hardware.

The rear of the device has four camera modules together in a column, flanked by the flash on the right side. Below it is the signature Reno dot that keeps the snappers safe then you put the phone down on a surface. There’s a little with the Oppo branding that runs down the phone’s centerline, and wonderfully little else.

The front of the phone is all screen, with the slightest chin, and a solid metal frame that blends nicely with the rest of the device. It’s understated, giving up flashy patterns or additional design elements for a classier, more quiet look.

Hardware: 4/5

The Reno2 is at the very top of the midrange heap. With a Snapdragon 730 Chipset, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and an Adreno 618 GPU, it has some of the best specifications in its class today. The massive 6.5-inch display and 2400 x 1080 resolution mean you get crisp, clear images for a great mobile viewing experience. As for digital imaging, the Reno2 comes with a quad camera on the back. This system consists of a 48 MP main camera, a telephoto 8 MP camera, a 13 MP wide-angle camera, and the 2 MP depth sensor for delivering impressive bokeh effects. The camera system gives you 20x Digital Zoom, AI Noise reduction, OIS, and a thoroughly impressive night mode.

The most interesting about the device however, is the rising front camera. It has a 16 MP sensor that’s meant to deliver both great photos and videos, without sacrificing screen real estate. It pivots diagonally upward for an interesting asymmetrical look.

User Experience: 4.5/5

I’m a fan of the rising front camera not only because it allows manufacturers to have unhindered displays, but they’re actually quite an interesting hardware addition. The Reno2 is of particular note as the front camera module comes up from a pivot on the side, giving it a unique angled look then deployed. This happens each time the front camera is needed, so little things, such as face unlock bring a nice pop-up sound and a quick peek of the camera. It doesn’t get old.

On to performance. The Reno2 does a particularly good job tackling modern smartphone tasks. You can concurrently run literally all the apps you want, and the combination of powerful hardware and Android software optimization make the process entirely unremarkable. Firefox, with a download running in the background, along with music and all the requisite system processes did nothing to slow down suddenly launching Call of Duty Mobile.

Gaming is the most taxing thing you can do on any computing device, and even then the Reno2 can keep up with the competition. Oppo’s dedicated gaming mode, which drops all other processes and more importantly, disables notifications for smooth uninterrupted gaming. While Call of Duty Mobile is optimized properly for mobile devices, turning everything up while there are a number of explosions going on in the middle of a firefight can still cause dropped frames on less capable devices. This wasn’t the case with the Reno2. Despite the worst of the action, it just kept going without the slightest problem.

One of the main reasons someone would get the Reno2 would be for content creation. The combination of excellent main cameras, OIS and a very capable front-facing snapper make for a content-creating monster. We took the Reno2 on an ATV adventure as part of their pre-launch event, and it held up to the rigors of the day. Running around taking videos, with some even streaming the activity live, was seamless and easy. Even with adrenaline making everyone a little shaky, the output was smooth enough for live viewing. Being able to see the output on the massive display, even under bright sunlight opens up possibilities for shooting vlog content right outside. The massive 4000 mAh battery with quick charging also made sure there wouldn’t be any interruptions to the filming, even after more than 4 hours of on-and-off filming and photography. A day’s worth of browsing, emails, streaming, and messaging should be a total non-issue as far as battery life is concerned.

Value: 3.5/5

The Reno2 takes a little hit in the value department. The Reno2’s price was revealed at launch to be PHP 28,990. This is clearly a premium device with the specs to show for it. Still, the price isn’t for everyone, and will make some people think twice. Those who do make the plunge will be pleased with the phone, and have little more to want.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.30 x 2.93 x 0.37 in
  • Weight: 189 g
  • Display: 6.5 inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2400
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730G, Octa-core processor
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • Main Camera: 48 MP, 13 MP, 8 MP, 2 MP
  • Front Camera: 16 MP Pop-up
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 20 W charging

What’s Hot:

  • Great looks
  • Superb camera and camera features
  • I still love the rising front camera

What’s Not:

  • Pricey

Bottomline:

It’s a great-looking content-creating masterpiece that’s great to own if your wallet will let you.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE November 2019 Issue
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara