Latest!

OPPO Reno 3 Pro review: an interesting expansion to the Reno series

On: March 21, 2020

The OPPO Reno and Reno 10x Zoom which were launched in India last year stood out from the crowd with their polished glass finish and unique Shark Fin elevating selfie cameras. OPPO launched the second-generation Reno2 series a few months later, which retained the original design, while adding more affordable variants with a run-of-the-mill elevating camera. The company has now launched the third-generation of the Reno series in India in the form of the OPPO Reno 3 Pro. The latest smartphone is a complete detour from previous Reno series phones. I have been using the smartphone for a while now and here’s a detailed review of the Reno 3 Pro.

Design and display

The Reno 3 Pro looks more an F-series offering, and as such, doesn’t feel as premium as its predecessor. There’s no moving camera module this time, which has allowed OPPO to drastically cut down the weight of the Reno 3 Pro (175g compared to 215g for the Reno 10x Zoom). This is ideal for users who like lightweight smartphones, however, I prefer a solid hand feel. Another reason why the Reno 3 Pro feels so light is that OPPO has decided to swap the glass back panel with a glossy polycarbonate. You get Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front though.

The Reno 3 Pro features a 20:9 Super AMOLED screen with 1,080 x 2,400 pixels screen resolution. As is expected from an AMOLED panel, the Reno 3 Pro’s display is extremely vivid and sharp when it comes to colours and text. I didn’t find any issues with the brightness and viewing angles on the smartphone. In fact, I spent one whole day walking on the streets of Sarojini Market in direct sunlight and didn’t have to squint even once, which is impressive. However, considering that more affordable smartphones from Realme, Redmi and POCO are now offering high refresh rate displays, the standard 60Hz panel on the Reno 3 Pro is disappointing. On the bright side, there is Widevine L1 certification for you to enjoy shows online in high resolution. Lastly, the display features a dual punch-hole cutout in the top left corner. OPPO claims that it has tried to make the punch-hole as small as possible and after a while of usage, I didn’t find the cutout being intrusive at all.

The rear panel is home to a quad-camera setup sitting vertically in the top left corner. The camera module juts out quite a bit and if you don’t use the case provided, the Reno 3 Pro wobbles when placed on a surface. I advise using the case anyway, since the polycarbonate back of the handset is quite prone to scratches and the Aurora Blue as well as Midnight Black variants are smudge-magnets. The Sky White variant that I have with me did pick up smudges too, but these are more concealed thanks to the light paint job.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on the back, as Reno 3 Pro makes use of an optical in-display sensor, which is pretty fast and accurate. The face unlock is speedy too. Other design elements include volume buttons on the left and power button on the right with a green accent as a nod to the Reno series. You will find the dual SIM tray with a dedicated microSD card slot on the left as well. The bottom edge is housing a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker. There are two noise-cancelling mics, one each on the top and bottom.

Cameras

The OPPO Reno 3 Pro comes with a 64-megapixel Ultra Clear primary camera with f/1.8 aperture accompanied by a 13-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture, a 119-degree 8-megapixel ultrawide lens and 2-megapixel macro lens, on the back. The rear camera gets features like 5x hybrid zoom, 20x digital zoom, Ultra Dark Mode for shooting brighter shots in low-light conditions, ability to capture 108-megapixel Ultra Clear image, ultrawide angle video shooting, and Ultra Steady Video 2.0.

In the normal mode, the main camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning to click 16-megapixel shots. You can turn on 64MP mode from the hamburger icon on top of the viewfinder and 108MP mode inside the Pro mode by clicking on XHD toggle on top. The 108MP mode simply interpolates 64MP shots to 108MP and digitally amplifies the image to improve details and exposure. For selfies, you will find the world’s first 44-megapixel primary lens on the front backed by a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

In the standard mode, the camera clicks excellent pictures in daylight. The images have a well-balanced dynamic range, punchy yet not over-saturated colours, and good details. I also captured images using the 64MP and 108MP modes, and at first glance on the phone itself, I couldn’t tell any difference between the two. However, as you transfer images to a computer and start pixel peeping, the 108MP images definitely have a much higher amount of details. The camera locks focus quickly and the AI scene recognition works efficiently as well.

As for low light, there are three modes – night mode, Ultra-Dark mode and tripod mode. The dedicated night mode can be activated by swiping to the extreme left option on the viewfinder. The images captured using this mode were good with impressive exposure, however, slight grain is visible if you look closely. The Ultra-Dark mode automatically turns on when the ambient light level is lower than 1 Lux. There’s no other way to activate it but to shoot in pitch dark, and the results were satisfying. Lastly, there’s the tripod mode, which uses long exposure and takes more time to capture and process the image, which makes it unsuitable for spur-of-the-moment click or candids. However, the tripod mode provides the best result out of the three low-light settings.

Coming to the telephoto lens, the 13-megapixel shooter offers 5x hybrid zoom and up to 20x digital zoom. The camera clicks great images with good details and sharpness up to 5x hybrid zoom but does lack details slightly if you push the zoom further. However, the zoomed images still have good clarity even at 20x. As for the wide-angle lens, it also captures macro shots and I had little to complain in both modes. Of course, the image quality takes a hit but that is to be expected from the 8-megapixel sensor. Lastly, the 2-megapixel depth sensor only kicks in when you turn on the bokeh mode and is able to accurately separate the subject from the background.

Let’s talk about the USP of the Reno 3 Pro, the dual 44-megapixel + 2-megapixel setup on the front. Once again, OPPO has capped the standard selfie mode to 40-megapixel and to be able to capture 44-megapixels images, you will have to activate 44MP mode from the hamburger icon on top. I found zero differences in 40MP and 44MP modes and therefore, didn’t bother going through the whole humdrum of activating 44MP every time I wanted to click a selfie. The camera captures brilliant self-portraits with high details and natural skin tone. Thanks to the depth sensor, the portrait selfies also turn out to be great with decent edge detection. There’s also a night mode in selfie camera, which does a good job as well. The only drawback here is the beautification of the images by the software even if you have turned off the feature, which makes selfies look unnatural.

As for videos, the camera can shoot up to 2160p at 30fps videos and up to 720p at 240fps slow-motion videos. OPPO is offering Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady Pro video modes, which the brand claims can provide gimbal-like stabilization.

Performance

The OPPO Reno 3 Pro is the first smartphone in the world to come with MediaTek’s Helio P95 chipset, which offers a 10 percent improved GPU performance over its predecessor – the Helio p90. The Helio P95 is also the first in the P-series to come with MediaTek’s HyperEngine Technology, which facilitates hardware and software-level enhancements for an improved gaming experience. The processor is accompanied by 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage, which can be further expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card. I received the 128GB variant, which offered around 110GB out of the box.

In day to day usage, I didn’t find the handset lag much despite my review ritual of firing up all of my apps and keeping them in the background for the duration of the review. Though there is a little delay in the camera app loading, when all my apps were open in the background, which I observed was not the case when I cleared the background apps. The PUBG Mobile started with in high settings with graphics set to HD and frame rate set to high by default. The gameplay was smooth for the most part and what impressed me was the fact that the handset stayed cool even after 30 minutes of gameplay. Simpler games like Temple Run and Candy Crush play like a delight on the Reno 3 Pro. The built-in Game Space also improves the experience further by allowing users to block notifications and calls while gaming, and also use both mobile data as well as Wi-Fi for better online gaming.

Software and battery

The OPPO Reno 3 Pro boots the latest ColorOS 7 running atop the most recent Android 10 update. While the interface has been cleaned up a lot to resemble the stock Android, ColorOS still comes with a fair share of bloatware. Most of this can be uninstalled, but I used the phones with the included apps to get the complete experience. As a result, I was bombarded with spammy notifications especially from the browser, which is a recurring issue in Realme and OPPO devices. However, things are not all bad as you get an improved system-wide dark mode, smart assistant, smart sidebar, Digital Wellbeing and more.

The MediaTek Helio P95 might not be a super-powerful chipset but its 12nm die size ensures that the 4,025mAh battery of Reno 3 Pro sees through a day easily. I didn’t use the Reno 3 Pro as heavily as I usually do and with heavy WhatsApp along with an hour of PUBG, I had to charge the Reno 3 Pro only around noon on the second day. And the 30W VOOC 4.0 super fast charging ensured I had 60 percent battery from zero in just 30 minutes with the smartphone fully charging just under an hour.

The competition

With Reno 3 Pro priced at Rs 29,990, OPPO has some notable devices to contend with. The Realme X2 Pro (review), which starts at Rs 27,999 for the base 6GB variant but is priced the same as Reno 3 Pro for the top two variants. It offers a 90Hz display, Snapdragon 855+ SoC, and 50W SuperVOOC fast charging. Then there is the Samsung Galaxy A71, which is priced the same and comes with Super AMOLED Infinity-O display, Snapdragon 730, 64MP quad-camera, 32MP selfie camera and 4,500mAh battery.

Bottomline

At its price, the Reno3 Pro doesn’t exactly stand out compared to the competition, and I would suggest looking at other options if you want a more performance-focussed device. However, it offers a vivid display, good cameras and a long-lasting battery with fast charging, which should satisfy most users.

Pricebaba’s rating: 7 / 10

What works:

  • Stunning AMOLED display
  • Great cameras
  • Good battery life with super-fast charging

What doesn’t:

  • Underpowered processor
  • Bloated software
Comments
Tags:
Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.