Interface and reliability
Many smartphones from Chinese companies have user interfaces (UIs) that are divisive to say the least, with Xiaomi’s MIUI and Huawei’s EMUI having rather babyish and lurid appearances respectively, but ColorOS in the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is actually one of the better-looking UIs we’ve seen.
ColorOS sits on top of Android 9, and its biggest influence is aesthetic. Icons are quite large, but not too much so, and the swipe-down options menu in particular are bigger and easier to use than in stock Android.
The color palette is a little more restrained too - you’re not getting any wildly colored backgrounds or icons, but none that are too pale either.
As with the UIs on many Chinese smartphones, the app drawer is disabled by default, although you can activate it in the settings menu. There are also gesture controls which you can use to navigate the phone, but we found these a little harder to use than on other phones, as generally the gestures needed to be more exaggerated than we were used to, so often we wouldn’t manage to trigger them.
This was most frequently a problem when we’d try to swipe up for our app drawer, or down to search apps, as it’d take several attempts to actually get it to work, and because of this navigating the UI sometimes felt rather slow.
Another issue with ColorOS is the sheer number of apps that come installed on the phone. Some can be useful, like Game Space (which is your standard gaming optimization app) or Hot Apps (basically a different Play Store), but many were useless – or worse, had functions that we couldn’t even figure out.
B612, for example, is a selfie app, Lazada is a south Asian shopping app, imo is some kind of messaging app, Opera is a browser (that we didn’t use, because the phone comes with Chrome too), the list goes on – each app seemed like a knock-off of another better app that already exists, and that you’d choose to download anyway.
You can remove these apps if you wish, but it takes quite a while to get through them all.
Movies, music and gaming
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom can go loud, which makes it great to use as a portable speaker – you can leave it in one room, and still hear your music playing on it several rooms over.
That doesn’t mean music quality is all that good, though, as the sound lacked much dynamic range. It was hard to make out bass in music played, especially at higher volumes, although we’d never call the music ‘tinny’.
If you’re looking for a smartphone for gaming, you could do a lot worse than the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.
We played intense games like PUBG Mobile, Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on it, and there were never any lags or stutters that threatened to ruin the experience.
On top of that, the phone took a lot longer to get hot during a heavy gaming session than similar smartphones, so it felt like the device took the games in its stride.
One extra bonus is that it’s easy to hold the phone – when you game on many devices, rear camera bumps often get in the way of your fingers, but that wasn’t a problem here.
This also makes the handset great for watching movies and other content, as does the high screen quality and unbroken screen – as viewing media on a smartphone goes, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is up there.
One issue we had, however, is that you can’t really prop your phone up when you’re watching something to make it a tiny TV – the fact that the volume rocker is on one side and the power button on the other means you’ll either end up turning the phone off, or changing the volume, if you try, and this made it a little inconvenient to rest the phone on surfaces.
Performance and benchmarks
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is a processing powerhouse – that’s not much of a surprise given the Snapdragon 855 chipset within, and the 6GB or 8GB RAM, but even for that cutting-edge chipset it’s a snappy device.
When we ran a benchmark test on the handset it returned a multi-core score of 10,823, which is as high as the scores of premium smartphones like the iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10. That explains the fast gaming and camera processing on the phone.