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REVIEW: Oppo Reno2

REVIEW: Oppo Reno2
The Oppo Reno2 has an edge-to-edge display and overall streamlined design.

Dubai - The shark fin snapper is back, with more lens buddies behind it



By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Wed 30 Oct 2019, 12:33 AM

Earlier this year, Oppo released the Reno, a device that is among the burgeoning category of smartphones with 'new' designs. Well, mechanisms that pop out cameras are quite unique, right?
That was in April; fast-forward some months and we have an immediate successor - the aptly-named Oppo Reno2
If you've used or seen the Oppo Reno or Reno 10x Zoom, you'll immediately notice that there isn't much difference between them and the Reno2. And all of them sport that rather interesting 'shark fin' selfie camera, which kinda reminds me of some punk-rock hairstyle for some reason (I miss the New Wave 80s).
While I appreciate efforts to have a true edge-to-edge experience on a smartphone, I'm also not exactly a fan of additional contraptions (I'm better off with punch-holes - notches, even). My biggest concern - as I've pointed out in my reviews of the Xiaomi 9T and Samsung A80 - is that, God forbid, if you drop it you potentially have a serious problem with the mechanism on that fin.
Good news, however: Oppo has guaranteed its durability, and I have a couple of peers who told me they accidentally dropped the device, and nothing funny happened to the camera. We'll take their words for it then.
Anyway, don't look for a fingerprint sensor outside because it's in-screen, and is a more viable option than face unlock. To be fair, the latter works good, but that extra time you need to wait for the shark fin to rise can shave some of your precious time; better to use the sensor since it unlocks the device almost instantly.
The smartphone has a 6.5-inch screen, which I can say is pleasing to your eyes. The fact that it doesn't have a notch or any holes complements it further, with striking content popping out. 
Right behind are four lenses on the Reno2's main camera: 48MP 'ultra-clear', 8MP wide-angle, 13MP telephoto and 2MP mono, which is also the bokeh lens. It also comes with 5x hybrid and 20x digital zoom functions. I also like the way those four lenses are lined up behind, complemented by a strip below it.
Pictures turned out okay, though certain shots ended up somewhat a bit overexposed as opposed to its natural looks. In bright light, however, detail is retained pretty decently. Over to the night shift, the Reno2 holds up pretty well - as long as there's enough light around your subject.
Anything darker than that and you'll get grain and smudge here and there. But there's what Oppo calls ultra-dark mode, which is able to light things up better and I can say it does a pretty neat job, but the colours seem muted. The zooming works good, but, of course, the longer you get, the grainier your shots will be as expected from a digital zoom.
And of course, the shark fin camera. Well, it's standard fare; I didn't see anything fancy or disparaging, just a good-ol' 16MP snapper that captures your moods. Seems to work great for video calling, too.
The bokeh effect, meanwhile, works well. It isn't perfect - 'hairy' issues again - but it does manage to recognise the subject from the background and applies the effect. The wide-angle lens, on the other hand, does a good job of capturing more into your frame, and I like the fact that there isn't much distortion on the edges.
Performance-wise, the Reno2 has 8GB of RAM and a hearty 256GB of internal storage. That said, it was quite odd to experience some lags when opening or switching between apps. Gaming on it is also decent, and it doesn't really heat up when you use it for an extended period of time.
Our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness battery test, meanwhile, showed that the Reno2 lost 11 per cent. That's fair, but I did notice once you mix-use it up the whole day - a combo of streaming music and video, e-mail and everything else in between, AKA the usual drill - it tends to struggle to the nighttime finish line. So you'd better have the charger ready while preparing and having dinner.
AND SO... 
The Oppo Reno2 is another worthy challenger in the mid-range segment, and it doesn't cross the Dh2,000 line (fine, only by a dirham). Smartphone manufacturers continuously pump in flagship-level features to the tier below, which in turn tends to make users have a good second look at these types of devices. That said, the price tag is the deal-maker here - keep in mind that there are phones out there with lesser specs on certain aspects at the same or even higher cost - if you care about more cameras, more storage and, well, a shark fin.
THE LOWDOWN

GOODIES - Eye-candy screen, good camera, generous storage
GOOFIES - Battery life seems below par, lags a bit, shark fin camera an extra thing to care for
EDITOR RATING - We weren't able to get a hold of the Reno, so it won't be fair to compare the Reno2 based on what we haven't experienced. But this experience is good enough. 4.0/5
- alvin@khaleejtimes.com


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