Gadget Review: Oppo Reno2

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Gadget Review: Oppo Reno2

Published: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 9:28 PM

Earlier this year, Oppo released the Reno, a device that's 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 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 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 not exactly a fan of additional contraptions (I'm better off with punch-holes - notches, even). My biggest concern is that if you, God forbid, drop it, you potentially have a serious problem with the mechanism on that fin. Good news, however: Oppo has guaranteed its durability.
Anyway, don't look for a fingerprint sensor outside because it's in-screen, and is a more viable option than face unlock. The smartphone has a 6.5-inch screen, which I can say is pleasing to the eye. 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 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 a bit overexposed. In bright light, however, detail is retained decently. And, of course, the shark fin camera. Well, it's standard fare; I didn't see anything fancy or worth disparaging - just a good-ol' 16MP snapper that captures your moods. 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 apply the effect.
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 the whole day - a combo of streaming music and video, e-mail and everything else in between - it tends to struggle to get to the night-time finish line. In other words, you'd better have the charger ready.
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.
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, Adreno 618
Platform Android 9.0 Pie
Storage 256GB
Display 6.5" Amoled, 93.1% ratio, 401ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Camera Quad: 48MP Sony IMX586 (f/1.7) + 8MP wide (f/2.2) + 13MP telephoto (f/2.4) + 8MP mono/bokeh (f/2.4)
Front camera Shark fin 16MP (f/2.0)
Battery 4000mAh
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC; nano SIM
USB-C, 3.5mm audio
Biometrics In-screen fingerprint, face unlock
Price Dh1,999
Pros Eye-candy screen; decent camera; generous storage
Cons Battery life seems below par; lags a bit; shark fin camera an extra thing to care for
Author's 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. 3.5/5

By Alvin R. Cabral

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