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OPPO plays a high roller in Reno

Jonathan Kevin Castillo

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The OPPO Reno takes its cues of its history of pop-up cameras and brought out something that looks fresh and rad.

OPPO loves to try different things for their smartphone cameras. For the N1, we got a rear camera that can be flipped for selfies. The N3 featured a motorized version of the N1, with some screen gestures to control the camera’s rotation. And the Find X introduced a cool a pop-up camera. Now, OPPO gave the pop-up camera a radical redesign with what they call the shark fin.

The shark fin camera pops up whenever you go on selfie mode. It’s sleek and cool, and opens up ideas how a pop-up cameras can be designed to give phones a clearer, physical identity in this era of phones where they all basically look alike.

It captures impressive photos, both front and rear cameras, and the x10 zoom allows you to take pictures from afar. There is also a times 60 zoom and the best way to enjoy that is with a tripod. The Night Mode is impressive. We’ve taken a photo a dark room with the feature on and the result was as if the room was lit. We’re not going to say “well-lit” but it certainly gives the impression of a room with a lot of lights, where in reality, there was barely anything at all. Night Mode doesn’t extend to selfie though, which is fine for me.

The Reno has a free-fall protection for its pop-up camera. It’s a feature where the Reno detects that it’s falling to the ground and will immediately shut the shark fin camera to prevent damage to it. We’ve tried it a few times, dropping the Reno – on a couch – and the feature worked well. We tried dropping it for a split second and the Reno just closed its camera right away. From our time testing with it, it’s proven to be reliable.

The Reno is also one of OPPO’s best designed phones to date. The logo and tag at the back that says “Designed by OPPO” adds a luxury feel to this phone.

If you’re a new OPPO user, you should know that they have this feature called “Screen-off Gesture.” It’s where you gesture while the phone is locked to enable apps. For instance, you draw a “V” gesture and the phone will switch on its flashlight. Draw a circle to launch the camera app. You create new gestures and link it to an app you want. It’s disabled by default and can be found in the Settings menu.

Under the hood, the Reno displays an impressive specs sheet. Eight gigs of RAM and doesn’t sport a microSD card slot, which for us isn’t really a big deal, considering the 256 gigs of internal storage along with available cloud space options like Google Drive.

It ships off with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, which is powerful enough to run most, if not all, apps without staggering into any issue. So yes, if you game, stuff like Mobile Legends and Elder Scrolls: Blades are no problem.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed my short time with the OPPO Reno. The design is great, software features are nice, performance is just right for my usage, battery is impressive, the shark fin camera is cool, and its photo taking power is creepily awesome. It’s a solid two thumbs up on our book. But don’t just take our word for it, when the phone becomes available, you should go check it out for yourself.

 

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