A smartphone need not necessarily have flagship specifications to be able to deliver a comprehensive experience — the recently launched Reno 2 from the stable of Chinese smartphone brand Oppo is just another example confirming this. While some might see the Reno 2 as a successor to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom (review), the latter was a flagship in the Reno-series and the former is a new addition offering a balanced mix of design, performance, imaging and everything else that you expect from a midrange phone.
Business Standard took the Oppo Reno 2 out for a spin, and here is our take on the smartphone:
The Oppo Reno 2 looks identical to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom but gets a dual-colour-tone design that looks absolutely gorgeous, especially in the luminous black colour that we reviewed. Compared to the 10x Zoom, the Reno 2 has better ergonomics and it weighs less (189g), too. The phone’s premium glass-metal sandwich construction complements its design, and the use of Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and back makes it resilient to everyday abuses.
Additionally, the phone has an obstruction-free profile with no notch or cut-out on the front, and no camera bump or capacitive fingerprint sensor on the rear. The phone’s design feels natural and it is comfortable to hold and operate. Its overall design is accentuated by a ‘Shark Fin’ mechanical pop-up selfie camera module that houses the front camera and earpiece. The Reno 2 addresses one of the design flaws of the Reno 10x Zoom by taking the dual LED flash on the back again, instead of keeping it as part of the pop-up module. In the Reno 10x zoom, the pop-up module had to come out unnecessarily while using the flash.
The Oppo Reno 2 has a 6.5-inch dynamic AMOLED screen of a fullHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution stretched in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is bright and vivid and supports HDR, making it suitable to watch supported multimedia content. The phone also supports WideVine L1 DRM services required for streaming high-definition video content via over-the-top (OTT) apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, etc. However, because of the screen’s unconventional aspect ratio, these video-streaming services do not fully utilise the space and leave out thick black bars on either side in the horizontal orientation.
This is an area where the phone shines, despite it compromising the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s periscope telephoto lens. The Reno 2 has a quad-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor of an f/2.0 aperture, 13MP telephoto sensor capable of 2x optical zoom, 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor.
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: Ultra-wide
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: Primary
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: 2x optical zoom
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: 5x hybrid zoomThe phone might not have the exceptional zooming capabilities of the Reno 10x Zoom, but it still manages to offer a modest 5x hybrid zoom and up to 20x digital zoom. Besides, the phone’s primary 48MP sensor is capable of handling tricky situations and taking decent shots — if not stupendous — in most conditions. The ultra-wide sensor works well to capture landscape shots with minimal barrel or fish-eye effect and close-ups with satisfactory detailing.
For photography, the Reno 2’s rear camera might not have the versatility of the Reno 10x Zoom, but the phone has an additional lens that adds new dimensions to the videography capabilities of the Reno 2. The phone’s rear camera can record videos with bokeh effect, a feature limited only to a few premium devices. The phone also has an improved stabilisation (ultra-steady), which allows the camera to record videos without shakes and trembles. Additionally, the phone utilises its built-in microphones to record audio in three different formats – standard, 360-degree and focused. While the standard audio recording registers voice coming from the front, the 360-degree uses all microphones to record audio from all directions, and the sound focus enhances the sound from a particular subject/object.
The phone’s 16MP selfie camera, which is part of the ‘shark fin’ pop-up module, is also a performer. It takes decent shots and has a portrait mode for enhanced bokeh effect. It also has an auto beautification setting that works across modes, allowing you to take enhanced selfies.
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: HDR
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: Night mode
Opp Reno 2 camera sample: 48MPPerformance
The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G system-on-chip, paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. The phone boots Android Pie-based ColorOS 6.1 user interface, which has improved considerably from its previous iterations but still has some flaws. Other than its OS flaws, however, the phone is a sleek performer. It handles day-to-day operations and power-intensive tasks with ease. Playing games on the Oppo Reno 2 is also a smooth experience, with no lag, jitters or thermal issues.
The phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, which is good enough to keep it going for around a day. It supports the VOOC 3.0 fast-charge technology, which replenishes about half the battery in 30 minutes.
Even with some of the key features of predecessor Reno 10x Zoom dropped, the Oppo Reno 2, priced at Rs 36,990, is a strong product, offering a balanced mix of design, performance, imaging, and everything else that you expect from a midrange smartphone. It might not have flagship specifications, but that does not hinder its performance capabilities. Rather, the phone seems to be a complete package that delivers a comprehensive experience.