The Oppo Reno, Reno 10x Zoom and Reno 2 were some of the most intriguing smartphones of 2019, with the middle of those making it onto our list of the best smartphones, so we were, of course, looking forward to the Oppo Reno 3 launch...
...until it turned out that the Oppo Reno 3 reveal, in late 2019, was a China-only launch, and at the time of writing three months later there's still no sign of the devices being available in Europe, the US or Australia.
We're still crossing our fingers for a European launch at some point though, as the first and second generation of Oppo Reno devices were pretty popular, and it seems that the company is slowly bringing its handsets to more regions.
So if you were a fan of previous Oppo phones and want to know all about the new devices in anticipation of a further roll-out, or if you have never heard of the brand before but want to find a great new affordable smartphone, here's everything you need to know about the Oppo Reno 3 range.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The third generation of Oppo's mid-range Reno series
- When is it out? Sometime in early 2020 – hopefully
- How much will it cost? Around £449 / $575 / AU$850 for the lowest memory option
Oppo Reno 3 price and release date
The Oppo Reno 3 series was launched in China on December 26 2019, and is slated for an India launch on March 2, so it seems the phone is slowly making its way around the world – perhaps, then, we could see a European launch in April or May.
We were initially expecting to see the Reno 3 at MWC 2020 at the end of February, but shortly before that whole event was cancelled, Oppo confirmed it would actually be the Find X2 shown off there.
In terms of price, we're not totally sure, but conversions from Chinese prices suggest the Oppo Reno 3 could cost between the price of the Reno 2Z and Reno 2 at around $485 / £375 / AU$725.
Then, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro could cost slightly more, as conversions from the Chinese price place it at almost exactly the Reno 2's tag of £449 (around $575, AU$850).
Of course, these conversions may not end up being exact when the device is launched in different regions around the world, but they do suggest there's still no 'top-end' device in the series to replace the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.
Oppo Reno 3 design and display
The Oppo Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro lose the distinctive feature of the rest of the Reno handsets, in that they don't have pop-up front-facing cameras.
It's a shame to see them go, especially since they're replaced with the all-too-common alternatives: a notch breaking up the screen instead in the base device, and a punch-hole cut-out in the Pro.
The rear cameras are housed in a bump in the top left of the rear of the phone, and it seems like this bump might stick out quite a bit, so apparently Oppo is also dropping its distinctive camera arrangement from the other Reno devices, in which the lenses were flush with the rear of the phone in a sleek design.
There's a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Oppo Reno 3, but not on the Pro version, so if you want to use wired headphones you should stick with the more affordable option (or use an adapter).
The non-Pro and Pro models have 6.4- and 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 AMOLED screens respectively, so they're not hugely different in terms of size or quality, but the Reno 3 Pro's display curves around the edges, as premium handsets often do.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro also has a 90Hz refresh rate on its screen, a step up from the 60Hz of the base device, and HDR10+ support, so it should give you a better viewing experience.
Oppo Reno 3 camera
Both the Oppo Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro have front-facing cameras with a 32MP resolution, so selfies you take with them should look pretty similar.
Saying that, pictures leaked before the Indian launch event showed two front-facing cameras, at least one of which is 44MP, which Oppo quickly confirmed, so it seems the handsets will have hardware differences between regions.
That leak also throws the rear camera specs into question, because it suggests the Oppo Reno 3 Pro could have a 64MP main camera. In China, the main snapper on this version is 48MP. It doesn't seem like any of the other snappers on this high-end model are in doubt though.
That means the Oppo Reno 3 Pro could have a 13MP telephoto, 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP black and white snapper, which is a fairly decent if not extraordinary camera collection.
The base Oppo Reno 3, meanwhile, is set to have a 64MP main camera, the 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP black and white shooters from the Pro, as well as an extra 2MP depth sensor. These latter two cameras typically try to make standard shots better rather than giving you more options, so the lack of a telephoto camera for zoom shots will be felt here.
It seems that the Oppo Reno 3 Pro has better video-shooting capabilities than its sibling, as it seems to be the only one of the two that can shoot in 4K or at 60fps, so people who like to shoot lots of footage on their smartphone might want to consider the top-end device.
Oppo Reno 3 features, specs and battery life
Both Oppo Reno 3 smartphones come with a 4,025mAh battery, so they should have similar battery lives unless you turn on the 90Hz option on the Pro model, as that can increase power drain.
For charging the phone up, both also support a 30W fast charge using Oppo's VOOC technology. That's quite far behind the 50W charging it has used in some other phones, but still a jot above competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S20.
If you want a top-end chipset in your smartphone, you may want to stay away from the Oppo Reno 3 phones – the 'main' device has a MediaTek Dimensity 1000L and the Pro has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. The latter should return slightly faster processing speeds, but neither is groundbreaking and you wouldn't have to spend much more to get a phone with a better processor.
Saying that, the RAM is quite high in both models, as they both come in 8GB and 12GB variants. Storage space is 128GB in all except the 12GB Oppo Reno 3 Pro, which has 256GB of space.
Finally, it seems there is a 5G version of the Oppo Reno 3 Pro, but not of the basic device, and it's expected this version will cost a bit more, but we don't know by how much just yet.
- We're also looking forward to the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro