Full-screen AMOLED display, shark fin-style pop-up selfie camera
Premium hardware, but lacks good software
Decent camera, great battery with fast charging
The latest premium offering Oppo Reno 2 had many consumers excited with its arrival. But it also left quite a few first generation Reno smartphone owners fuming as the series upgrade came just three months later. Oppo however clarified that the Reno 2 isn’t a successor to the existing Reno smartphone. Instead, the company sees it as a more powerful variant and an additional option for Indian consumers with added features such as the quad-rear camera.
Oppo introduced three Reno 2 smartphones – the Reno 2, Reno 2Z and Reno 2F – in India with upgraded hardware and quad-rear camera setup. The Reno 2Z and Reno 2F can only be seen as the lineup options for the affordable segment. The Reno 2, on the other hand, got its rivals’ eyeballs rolling in this price segment. The Oppo Reno 2 costs Rs 36,990 in India, and will be available across online and offline retail stores across India. But should you buy it? Read my full review to find out.
Design, Display and Fingerprint Unlock
At the front, the Oppo Reno 2 offers a full-screen notchless display, thanks to the shark fin-style pop-up selfie camera. There is no denying the fact that Oppo Reno 2 is the best looking smartphone in its segment. It has got a great glass design with flushed quad-camera setup. Oppo has done a commendable job in the detailing. I was even more impressed with the bundled back cover, which is of leatherette material. It makes the phone grip well in hands, and Oppo has managed overall weight distribution (even with the cover) very well. The handset doesn’t feel too big or too heavy.
Coming to the display, the Reno 2 flaunts a 6.55-inch AMOLED Panoramic notch-less display, that’s what company is calling it. The display offers 20:9 aspect ratio and uses best-in-class Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for protection. That said, the back glass offers last generation Corning Gorilla Glass 5. In terms of display performance, I had no problem with the viewing angles, touch performance, color hue, brightness or anything else. It is certainly flagship grade.
What you also get in the display is the front under-display Fingerprint Unlock 3.0 sensor. At launch, Oppo claimed improved accuracy and faster unlock, which I found to be true in the Reno 2. I have used many smartphones with under display sensor, and usually these are not at par with physical fingerprint sensor, but Reno 2 has impressed me a lot. Going forward, I am hoping that the technology evolves further, but until then, the fingerprint sensor on Reno 2 is so far the best in its segment.
Performance and UI
Under the hood, the Reno 2 packs Qualcomm’s latest gaming processor Snapdragon 730G. The Reno 2 is the second smartphone in India to use this new processor from Qualcomm. The other smartphone which uses the same chipset is the Samsung Galaxy A80 in India. In terms of performance, I can confidently say that processor is great in its own way, but not as fast as top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855. Since Qualcomm has specifically designed it for smoother gaming experience, it does a great job there. I didn’t face any problems with the device during heavy gaming. Also, it doesn’t take away much of the battery and doesn’t heat up either.
Oppo has launched the Reno 2 in one variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage in India. The phone is powerful for any kind of multitasking, but I encountered occasional snags, which is mostly felt because of software. I am not fan of Chinese overlays over Android, and the ColorOS is one of them. Having said that, the user interface (UI) is still better than most other Chinese competitors offerings. I feel the company needs to rework the overall software experience, especially with the quick settings layout and notifications.
The highlight of Reno 2 is its quad-camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary Sony IMX586 sensor. It also offers 20X digital zoom, but the primary feature is the 2x optical zoom, which can go up to 5x hybrid zoom. The second 13-megapixel telephoto lens helps with zooming capabilities, and then there is an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a dedicated 2-megapixel monochrome lens.
During my review time, I found Reno 2’s rear camera to be perfect for the daylight conditions. It could capture details, color temperature and skin tones very well. As you can also see in the camera samples below, the outcomes managed perfect center sharpness, contrast, brightness and close to natural color reproduction. The AI scene detection with High Dynamic Range (HDR) turned on produces stunning images in the daylight and well-lit scenarios. Oppo has also done good job with the 123 degree wide-angle lens. It is one of the features that every smartphone should have right away.
Watch Video: Oppo 10x Lossless Zoom
Another highlight of the Reno 2 is its ‘5X Hybrid Zoom’, which in my tests was just about decent. The camera also has the ability to zoom further up to 20X digitally, but honestly that would just give you a VGA camera like image. When it comes to low-light, the camera does a decent job as well, but images look overprocessed with less detailing. The night mode is slightly better, but nothing compared to Google Pixel or Huawei P30 Pro.
For selfies, the front shark fin-style pop-up camera incorporates a 16-megapixel f/2.0 lens. It can also reproduce some nice-looking selfies in daylight, but struggles in low-light. The Portrait shots in fairly lit conditions look decent with good subject separation. Overall, its a decent camera, if you do not have any problem with its elevating mechanism. Checkout all photo samples below (slideshow).
The Reno 2 packs a large 4,000mAh battery, which is great for a full day use. I am a heavy multitasker, and all my phones usually give up at the end of the day. With Oppo Reno 2, I was happy with the back up time and even more with the VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. I could simply charge my phone in less than 1.5 hours every single time. The fast charging is as quick as the OnePlus phones and even works with their chargers.
Final Thoughts: Should you buy?
The Oppo Reno 2 at Rs 36,990 is tough to recommend over the OnePlus 7 or the Honor 20, because of its price. The phone does pack premium hardware, but the software is certainly not up to the mark. In my opinion, the quality of hardware and design is definitely top class, and there is very close similarity to OnePlus in premiumness and overall feel, since both brands are from the same parent company.
What makes the Reno 2 worth giving a shot, is its premium looks, quality cameras and good battery life with fast charging support. That said, the phone lacks a good operating system, which is primary feature of any smartphone. The same operating system you also get in Realme smartphones, so nothing differentiates Oppo Reno 2 in that department. Also, when I compare it with OnePlus 7, there is nothing extra that I get in the Reno 2 in terms of performance. The OnePlus 7 has an advantage of price, Snapdragon 855 chipset and exceptionally satisfactory OxygenOS. But coming to Oppo Reno 2, the smartphone features a full-screen display, which OnePlus 7 doesn’t offer, and also offers two additional lenses in the back camera setup, which are pretty useful.
|Features||OnePlus 7||Oppo Reno 2|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC|
|OS||Android 9 Pie||Android 9 Pie|
|Display||Optic AMOLED-6.41-inch full HD+||6.55-inch FHD+|
|Internal Memory||6GB RAM + 128GB storage||256GB, 8GB RAM|
|Rear Camera||48MP + 5MP||Quad – 48MP + 13MP + 8MP + 2MP|