Oppo has demonstrated itself to be at the bleeding edge when it comes to full-screen, bezel-less smartphone experiences. First the Oppo Find X, and subsequently the Oppo Reno, which traded a sliding camera tray for a sharkfin-styled pivoting selfie camera assembly.
The Oppo Reno2 brings the same stunning edge-to-edge display at a high-to-mid-range SGD 899 price point. The hardware on board isn’t too far off the mark, with a mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset and lack of wireless charging and ingress protection.
But for what it’s worth, what it does boast is a quad-camera array much like the one on the flagship equivalent, along with an in-display fingerprint scanner, an OLED display and a generous 256GB of storage paired with 8GB of RAM.
Sleek, svelte and premium-feeling, the Oppo Reno2 sports a glass sandwich design, and comes in either Sunset Pink or in Luminious Black – the version we received.
Glass is slippery, but it’s all good since the phone comes with a decidedly luxurious leatherette case that feels great and grippy in the hand.
On the rear, the Reno2 sports a four-camera array, flush with the back and arranged in a vertical line in the centre down the long axis of the phone. A flash is offset to the side, while to the bottom a tiny nubbin is positioned, likely to prevent scratches on the cameras.
On the bottom is a 3.5mm audio jack (remember these?), along with a USB-C charging port and the lone speaker port on the whole phone.
The quad-camera array doesn’t consist of the most immediately useful lens options, and instead involves a 48-megapixel main camera – similar to the ones found on Oppo’s other flagship devices. It, however, won’t produce ultra-detailed images, and instead is down-sampled via pixel-binning to produce a 12-megapixel final image.
Like other smartphone camera arrays, image quality isn’t fantastic on the 8-megapixel ultrawide angle shooter, especially in poor lighting conditions. Zoomed in, the Reno2 only has a 2x telephoto camera to help deliver a hybrid zoom of 5x, short of the Reno 10x Zoom and the Huawei P30 Pro which utilise dedicated periscopes to deliver a longer focal length.
The fourth and final camera is a monochrome sensor dedicated to enhancing computational photography features like portrait mode.
However, the Reno2 seems to suffer in harsh lighting conditions where its HDR functionality does not average the exposure as well as it should.
Selfie-taking, one of Oppo’s self-proclaimed strong suits, also seem to smoothen skin details and lighten skin tones by default – which I didn’t care for, but can see why it might appeal to some. But what do I know – selfies account for only 509 photos out of my album of 16,693 photos. Three percent.
Despite the absence of flagship processors, the gaming-oriented Snapdragon 730G chipset on board enabled the Oppo Reno2 to tear through my regular retinue of games without much issue. PUBG and Call of Duty: Mobile didn’t put much of a fight save for some warming.
The generous 8GB of RAM also helped with multitasking, and I didn’t encounter any lagging or forced app closure unless I really tried to challenge the phone with some serious app juggling. Practically, this phone would be sufficient for most regular use-cases.
This year’s Android field has been decidedly tame (and well, lame). The 2019 Huawei Mate 30 devices have been well overshadowed outside of the US by the Google ban, Google’s Pixel 4 has been largely incremental from last year’s Pixel 3 devices.
Oppo sticking to its guns and delivering an all-screen, no-notch, no-cutout experience is commendable. The Reno2 brings this experience to a (slightly) more affordable price point, packing most of the flagship features and camera performance.
Again, it’s far from the perfect phone. The lack of wireless charging, ingress protection and a lower-tier Snapdragon 730G chipset is the tradeoff keeping the phone from flagship territory.
If you don’t demand bleeding edge high-performance gaming performance, don’t take your phone into the bathroom, and don’t own a wireless charger, you’d be rewarded with a futuristic (still!), immersive all-screen experience, a swanky sliding selfie camera tray, along with all the versatility the Reno2’s quad camera array offers – all for S$899. Hell, you even get a 3.5mm jack thrown in.