The 16MP pop-up front camera is amazing, too
Whether you aspire to become a pro photographer or you just love snapping selfies for the ‘gram, a phone with a good camera is an excellent investment. And you can find plenty of phones with great cameras from OPPO. The smartphone maker is well-known for their mobile photography innovations, and they have recently upped their game with their new Reno series of Android smartphones that really excel in the camera department. It consists of the Reno Standard edition and the Reno 10x Zoom. The former is now available at all Singtel, M1, and Starhub store and official distributors across Singapore, while the 10x Zoom will arrive on 15 June.
We had the opportunity to test out the Reno Standard phone for a few weeks, and we enjoyed using it. First, let’s talk design! Upon holding it in our hands for the first time, we loved the 3D glass back panel and its chic metallic effect. We got the Ocean Green colour, and it’s such a gorgeous and unique colour. You can also spy the tiny little knob right below the camera lens; it’s a smart design feature that keeps the back panel elevated when you place the phone on surfaces like a table, so that the camera lens doesn’t get scratched.
The size and weight, though, we found just okay. The body is 9mm thin and weighs about 185 grams. Not super weighty, but not very light either. We could hold the phone in one hand, but when it comes to typing, we need both hands to stabilise the phone. The device also feels a bit slippery and thus not very secure in our hands, probably due to the glass back.
However, there’s a little strip of reflected glass down the middle of the back, and we found that placing our fingertips on top of that strip helps to stick them there more securely, strangely enough!
The display is also incredibly large. The OPPO Reno Standard has a full frontal panoramic front AMOLED display of an impressive 6.4 inches. Basically, there’s loads of screen space and really thin bezels just along the border, it’s almost as if there are no bezels at all. If you want an even greater display, the 10x Zoom version gives you that with a 6.6-inch display – that’s even larger than the iPhone XS Max!
The resolution of the Reno Standard edition is also really high-definition without hurting your eyes, because the lighting is kept low (you can adjust it to be even lower too, of course) and it does not use stroboscopic lights.
Another cool feature we loved is the light-sensitive fingerprint system near the bottom of the screen. The little lines animate a bit and the phone vibrates when it doesn’t read your fingerprint correctly. It doesn’t appear and light up all the time (thank goodness, because that would eat up some battery), but when it senses some movement, like when you pick it up. A problem we had was trying to unlock the phone without picking it up (like when the phone is just placed on the table), because the fingerprint scanner would not pop up.
According to OPPO, their new fingerprint system and algorithm improves fingerprint-unlocking success rate by 20 – 30%. We did find the scanning to be quite accurate and fast most of the time.
As for the battery life, the phone has a 3765mAh battery that can last pretty long, especially at the start. As you can see in the screenshots below, the battery settings tell us the expected usage – you can use the phone for about one day and six hours more at 73% battery life, and over 11 hours at 38%. The phone also tells us what we can do to save power, and identifies the most power-draining apps to switch off, which is really helpful.
Now, onto the biggest highlight of the phone, which for us is definitely the cameras – a brilliant 48MP main rear camera with a special Night Mode, and a 16MP front/selfie camera that is hidden until you select it, and then it slides up!
The rear camera offers amazing image quality in terms of lighting and colour. The colours are more vivid and vibrant than other phones we have used, all in a natural-looking way. The camera also adjusts to the object or scenery being taken, switching between a wide range of camera modes. Here are some images we took with the Reno Standard main camera that showcase the different modes, Food and Bouquet (flowers).
We also took lots of photos with the main camera when we went to the DinoQuest exhibition at Science Centre, the Naiise Iconic store at Jewel Changi Airport, the Canopy Park at Jewel Changi Airport, and the Spider-Man: Far From Home event at Changi Airport. To see more examples of the camera’s powers, check out those articles!
The camera has its own Portrait mode too, and its blurred-out background effect is pretty without going too extreme. See above how a photo on the regular camera mode (left) compares to the Portrait mode (right)!
The pop-up front camera is a really neat feature, and the sliding is smooth and efficient. But it’s more than just a gimmick, because the 16MP camera quality is awesome. It adds a slight smoothing and soft effect that beautifies your face in a selfie without looking too artificial.
Check out how a wefie photo that we took using the front camera looks:
Finally, we experimented with the Ultra Night Mode of the main camera. In that mode, the camera takes in the environment over about four seconds, so you need to hold the camera steady, and fast-moving shots might be a problem. The result is photos taken in low light look not just brighter but more vibrant and sharper, by reducing the noise.
Here are two photos taken in normal mode (top) and in Ultra Night Mode (bottom) for comparison:
How different and prettier it is!
Yet, we felt that the Ultra Night Mode is not very good for taking photos of people. When we add a person into the shot, the background remains clear and vivid, but the person looks blurry.
Still, we really enjoyed the cameras, which we think is enough to make us go out and get the Reno Standard phone ourselves! It comes at a rather wallet-friendly price anyway, at $849 (including GST) without a contract, and even lower with a contract. Overall, the phone packs a lot of innovative features that cater to a variety of needs and interests. The excellent frame by frame optimisation and performance also make the phone great for gamers. For hardcore gamers and those who want even more advanced photography features, look out for the Reno 10x Zoom too on 15 June!