The Oppo Reno impresses with a true bezel-less display sans a notch for what Oppo calls a pivot-hinge design. Its curvy and smooth finish makes it a joy to carry around and even though its specifications are arguably mid-range, performance is well up there both for day to day usage and gaming - although software and camera performance is not the best for its price range.
Compact and sleek design
Novel pivot-hinge camera
No ultra-wide or telephoto camera
ColorOS not everyone's cup of tea
Lack of wireless charging
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The Oppo Reno slots itself nicely into the mid to high-end smartphone market with a rather unique design. Its 'shark-fin' mechanical 16MP selfie camera means you truly get a bezel-free 6.4-inch AMOLED display sans HDR10 support.
While immersive, it may not be the ideal multimedia companion given the single bottom firing speaker on board, but at least the 3.5mm headphone jack stays.
Despite the 19.5:9 form factor, the Reno is a phone that fits comfortably in the hand. Its smooth and curvy finish sits nicely with the flushed primary dual-camera setup adding to its design. But the cost is that the phone is slippery so using a case is definitely a good idea.
If you wanted a more refined version - a 20:9 ratio, a slightly (0.1-inch) larger screen, and two more lenses (telephoto and ultrawide) for a four-shooter rear camera suite, the Oppo Reno 2 is already out. But there are plenty of reasons to consider the original.
Under the hood, you find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 octa-core CPU with 6GB of RAM. On paper, the specifications do not convey the phone’s real world performance. The hardware is more than capable of handling intensive applications with a fair few gaming and utility enhancements from Oppo to add. But you might need a bit more time than usual to get used to the rather bloated ColorOS software atop Android 9.0 Pie.
And with the 3,765mAh battery lasting a good day's’ worth of solid use and Oppo’s VOOC 20W recharging, this phone comes across as a strong choice. The downside though is in the camera options. While the Oppo Reno’s 48MP and 13MP dual-setup deliver good quality photos, they do not quite provide things like an ultra-wide angle lens, OIS or optical zoom capabilities.
Combining this with the lack of wireless charging and the feasibility of the phone's mechanical hardware over time, it puts consumers in a tough spot.
For its price, the features bundled are impressive but considering the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 9 which packs much higher-end specifications for the same price, the Oppo Reno does not quite provide the most value for money.
Oppo Reno price and availability
The Oppo Reno price is £449.99 (around $570, AU$820) in the UK, where you can pick it up from Carphone Warehouse in its 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage configuration.
It's also available in the UAE. The Oppo Reno is only available in the 6GB/256GB variant for Dh1,899 in the Jet Black and Ocean Green finish.
It's not currently available in the US or Australia, although those living in the latter can get hold of the pricier Oppo Reno 10x Zoom and Oppo Reno 5G.
- Curved finish makes it comfortable to hold although a tad slippery
- The headphone jack is a welcome stay for a phone in 2019
- In-screen fingerprint scanner is in a comfortable position
The Oppo Reno’s design is almost a surprise package. Its all encompassing seamless design is particularly refreshing in the sea of rectangular, tall smartphones we usually see. And while comfortable to hold in the hand, it is slippery. If you don’t mind the extra bulk though, the out-of-the-box case is a good call.
The front is all screen with a thin black bezel outline just like the OnePlus 7 Pro. You could argue that the bezels are slightly bigger on the Oppo Reno but that is more down to it offering a regular screen as opposed to a curved one.
All around the the device, you are constantly reminded of Oppo. Whether that is the etched Oppo branding on the back or the green accent on the premium feeling power button off to the right. But oddly, the volume rockers on the left have a slight wobble.
Oppo has also done an exceptional job with keeping the optics on the back flush. This means there is no camera bump and the inclusion of the 'O-dot' prevents the cameras from direct contact with a surface. While its name might be questionable, props to Oppo for taking care of the little details.
Aside from this, the phone’s left side also houses a dual-SIM tray. Which means the Oppo Reno has no micro-SD card expansion support so you will be stuck with either 128GB or 256GB of storage out of the box - enough for a majority of consumers.
It is nice to see Oppo still include the 3.5mm headphone jack considering the phone’s price point but a few things that are a miss are wireless charging support and official IP-certification.
To be fair to Oppo, it has included rubber protection around the SIM tray which makes us think the phone should withstand a dunk or two but we wouldn’t necessarily go testing that.
Always on top of the latest advancements and trends, Vaibhav Pradip has over 5 years of experience creating technology video content on social media platforms like YouTube and writing reviews. His niche includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and headphones so if you want a sound judgement (no pun intended) on which device to pick up next, he’ll most certainly have an answer.