Hands on: Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

It has 10x zoom, but is there much else?

What is a hands on review?
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image credit: TechRadar

Early Verdict

We're not sure the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom fits its high asking price, but it's still got some intriguing features and impressive specs.

For

  • Novel 'shark-fin' pop-up
  • Massive battery power
  • Cutting edge chipset

Against

  • Oppo's Android interface is poor
  • High price
  • 10x zoom not great in low light

Update: Oppo has confirmed the Oppo Reno 5G launch date in the UK. The phone, which is the same as the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom but with 5G functionality, will be available exclusively via EE from June 7, a few weeks after EE launches its 5G network on May 30.

The Ocean Green Oppo Reno 5G can be pre-ordered now on EE's website – it comes with a 30GB data plan, but Oppo has told us more plans will be available after launch.

When most smartphone companies launch different variants of the same model, they choose 'Plus' or 'Pro' as a tag for the largest, but Oppo is taking things in a different direction with the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.

The 10x Zoom is one of several ways the handset improves on over the standard Oppo Reno, and it's an intriguing thing for Oppo to focus on for the name.

The main draw to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, as with all the Oppo Reno phones launched, is its unbroken screen and 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, facilitated by the 'shark-fin' pop-up front camera, which emerges from the handset when you want to take a selfie.

There are a few other important selling points to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition, but it's also sitting at a fairly high asking price, so is the device worth its premium tag?

  • Read our hands on review of the standard Oppo Reno

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom release date and price

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

Image credit: TechRadar

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom price is set at €799 (roughly $890, £690, AU$1,270), which makes it the same price as the Huawei P30 (which has a zoom capability of up to 30x), while it's more expensive than the likes of the OnePlus 6T and Honor View 20, although neither have the same impressive zoom features of the Reno.

This Oppo Reno 10x Zoom release date is set for early June, but we don't have a specific date and we don't know which countries it'll arrive in. We'll update this hands on review with more detail once we know.

What about the Oppo Reno 5G?

There was a third smartphone at the Reno series launch, with the Oppo Reno 5G coming in at the top of the range.

While it carries a loftier price tag, there's actually only one difference between it and the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom – as the name suggests, the former will be compatible with 5G networks when they launch around the world.

You may have to wait a little longer to get your hands on the Oppo Reno 5G however, as it'll only arrive in countries after 5G networks have been launched. There's good news for those in Switzerland though, as the Oppo Reno 5G will be available in May.

We also know the Oppo Reno 5G will make it to the UK, with EE confirming it will range the handset later this year.

Design and display

One of the biggest draws of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is the screen – it's a 6.6-inch AMOLED display that's not broken by a notch at the top, and the bezels are pretty thin too. Oppo says the phone has a 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, which makes for an impressive aesthetic.

Oppo says it's designed the screen to be 8% more power efficient than on previous Oppo phones, so using it at higher brightness shouldn't tank the battery too much, which is nice to know. 

The Reno 10x Zoom also gives you a warning that the battery may be draining unnecessarily quickly if it's on high brightness, allowing you to turn it down if required.

Image 1 of 2

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar
Image 2 of 2

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

We don't know the exact dimensions of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition, but it felt surprisingly light to hold for its large body size, and it didn't feel unnecessarily unwieldy to hold.

The back of the handset has a novel design too, and the slightly rippled rear creating attractive light patterns. It's a minimal design too – there's no 3.5mm headphone jack, and there's not even a top speaker (this is hidden in the 'shark-fin', although it still works when the fin is down).

Image Credit: TechRadar

Image Credit: TechRadar

The unique part of the design is the aforementioned 'shark fin' pop-up section at the top of the Reno 10x Zoom, which worked well when we played about with it. 

We popped it up and down in rapid succession without anything going wrong, and although it felt a little slow to close after we turned off the front-facing camera, it seemed durable enough.

Oppo says the fin can open and close 200,000 times without damage, which equals doing it 100 times a day for five years. Samsung said something similar about the Samsung Galaxy Fold before the debacle, so we'll have to test it ourselves to find out if the claim is accurate.

Camera and battery life

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom actually has 20x digital zoom capability, but the name refers to how far you can enhance a picture optically, which retains the image quality. 

We tested the phone in a rather low-light setting, and zoomed-in images did seem a little grainy, with the Huawei P30 Pro producing better shots. However, outside in daylight the Reno 10x Zoom may well fare better, so keep an eye out for our full review where we'll fully test it out.

Round the back you'll find a three-camera rear setup, consisting of a Sony-made 48MP main sensor, 13MP telephoto lens, and 8MP ultra-wide lens. 

The ultra-wide mode seemed impressive, with a 120 degree field-of-view, but as we've just described the telephoto lens for the zoom pictures wasn't the most breathtaking thing in the world.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

Image credit: TechRadar

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom also comes with a Night Sight mode, but we didn't get a chance to test this setting during our hands on time, so look out for it in our full review.

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition has a 4,065mAh battery crammed inside – that's gloriously large - and we'd be surprised if it didn't easily last a full day of use.

Oppo has also brought its new 'VOOC 3.0' fast-charging to the Reno 10x Zoom, although it hasn't stated how fast it actually is. Once again, we're going to need to test this out to pass a final judgement.

Features

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition runs ColorOS 6, a fork of Android 9 Pie, and we weren't hugely impressed by it.

We did find it easier on the eye than Huawei's EMUI on the Huawei P30 and Xiaomi's MIUI in the Xiaomi Mi 9, with its problems instead coming via functionality.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

Image credit: TechRadar

One of the selling points of ColorOS is its animations when you open or close an app tab or window, but these animations felt a little slow, like we were wasting time watching an app tab close when we could be doing something else.

The toolbar at the top felt a little garish too, made up of huge white blocks when the understated design of Android 9 feels a lot better to look at.

We only played with the phone for a short while, however – maybe ColorOS could grow on us.

Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, which is an impressive cutting-edge processor. The handset we played with had 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, but Oppo didn't actually mention the different combinations available, so there could be different specs available too.

Early verdict

After our short time playing with the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom handset, we're a little unsure of its staying power in the market – its main point of interest is the mechanical 'shark-fin', but we're still not too sure who'd prefer its bizarre look over the Samsung Galaxy A80's rotating pop-up panel or the collection of pop-up cameras coming to the market soon.

It doesn't necessarily feel as high-end as its premium price tag may suggest, and Oppo could be valuing it a little higher than it's actually worth – an unbroken screen and mechanical part isn't necessarily the most important part of the phone.

However things like solid battery life, durability, and plenty of power are what make a phone great and it's not easy to convey these things during a quick hands-on, so when we get our hands on the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom for a full review we may be singing a jollier tune.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.