Hands-on review: OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G
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Hands-on review: OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G

Hands-on review: OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G

The OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G was launched in the UAE on September 22. We got an exclusive hands-on review with the device ahead of its launch

Gulf Business
OPPO Reno4 PRo 5G with Enco W51 headphones

As OPPO gears up to celebrate its 16th anniversary this year, the global technology company has made major strides. Apart from internalising most of its production – reportedly over 85 per cent of OPPO products are manufactured in-house – it has also notched up over 19,300 patents while at it.

Importantly, the company has committed $7bn in R&D over a three-year period starting 2019, that’s resulted in a consistent stream of releases. One of the areas where the smartphone major has excelled in is its 5G technology. Europe’s very first commercially-available 5G smartphone was launched by OPPO – the Reno 5G – in 2019. Since then, it has built on its 5G advantage and launched other devices with this technology too.

Here in the UAE, the OPPO Find X2 Pro 5G, launched in June 2020, and offered a high-end package priced at nearly Dhs5,000 at the time of its launch.

On September 22, OPPO launched its latest Reno4 Pro 5G – part of the new Reno4 Series – in the UAE at a retail price of Dhs 2,499, around half what you’d typically pay for a 5G device with similar design and camera capabilities from a competitor.

We went hands-on with the device recently, along with the new OPPO Enco W51 wireless earphones which comes complimentary with it for those in the UAE who pre-order the phone until September 29.

Gripping the phone, it’s slim (7.6mm) and lightweight (172gm) with a narrow body that allows you to not only hold the phone firmly with one hand, but also allows your thumb to comfortably cover the breadth of the device.

Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, it boasts a dual-mode 5G SA (Standalone Access) and 5G NSA (Non-Standalone Access). The difference between the two is that while the former is built to be compatible with dedicated 5G infrastructure, the reality is that we’re a fair bit away from seeing its ubiquitous use. Hence the advantage of the 5G NSA which uses 4G network infrastructure to provide higher speed and access to the internet.

OPPO Reno4 Pro 5
The phone includes a 12MP Ultra Night Wide-angle Video Lens (Shot with OPPO)

The phone’s 6.5-inch AMOLED screen curves gently along the edges and has a refresh rate of 90Hz which displays sharp distortion-free images.

With a competitive price tag, the new Reno4 Pro 5G isn’t angling for the position of a business device, but rather one that is aimed at a younger audience. That brings us to the camera, where OPPO has paid significant attention to boosting its night-photography and video capabilities.

The triple cameras at the rear are arranged in a linear format. It comprises a 48MP main camera, a 12MP Ultra Night Wide-angle Video Lens – using a Sony IMX708 sensor – and a 13MP telephoto lens which supports 5x hybrid optical zoom and up to 20x digital zoom.

On the device, you can toggle through to the video mode where you’ll find the symbol of a crescent moon to activate the Ultra Night Mode. We tested it out in low-light conditions and the brightness of the images really did increase quite substantially.

OPPO says that its camera research team in Japan spent over a year honing the Ultra Night Video algorithm used for this device that bumped up video brightness in low-light conditions by nearly 75 per cent.

OPPO Reno4 Pro 5
The OPPO camera team spent over a year honing the Ultra Night Video algorithm on this device (Shot with OPPO)

In those poor light conditions, a laser detection autofocus technology quickens the camera’s autofocus – reportedly by over 140 per cent over a standard camera. The Sony IMX708 ultra-wide-angle sensor allows for a panoramic shot with a wide field of vision.

But alternatively, from dark nights to bright lights, the phone’s camera has another trick up its sleeve. Typically, it’s notoriously difficult to shoot a subject against a bright backdrop – for example with a windowpane in the background. But with a Live HDR mode on this new phone, another smart algorithm kicks in to separate the shadow from highlight and allows the subject in the foreground to light up.

The Reno4 Pro 5G also features an Ultra Steady Video 3.0 that reduces blur around moving images, and this image stabilisation technology can even be used from the front 32MP camera, which is useful for video chatting while on the move.

The battery life can, rightly, be a key factor for several customers when deciding which device to purchase. OPPO has particularly excelled in this area. With a proprietary 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging technology, we managed to raise the charge on our Reno4 Pro 5G from 55 per cent to 99 per cent in around 16 minutes.

OPPO has also built in a safety mechanism into the device via circuit breakers at five points across the adapter, cable, phone and battery which will cut the supply of current should it detect any surge in current.

You can’t fully deal with the problem of low-battery anxiety without building a phone that doesn’t give up in the final moments of its battery life. OPPO has introduced a Super Power Saving Mode which, it says, will allow WhatsApp chats for over 1.5 hours or calls for over an hour or the ability to watch 100 short videos, take 100 selfies and text for 90 minutes – all of this when you’re down to the last 5 per cent of your battery charge.

The Reno4 Pro 5G uses OPPO’s ColorOS 7.2 UI that brings a range of easy to use features to the smartphone. Built-in are OPPO developed apps such as video editing tool – Soloop as well as OPPO Labs that allows you to customise ringtones.

The 256GB device is shipped with 12GB of ROM, and is available in Galactic Blue and Space Black – the blue version features over a million crystal planes along the caseback that give it a high-gloss look though with a matt finish that doesn’t allow the caseback to become covered in fingerprints.

According to Counterpoint Technology Marker Research, OPPO was the fifth-highest selling smartphone manufacturer in Q2 2020, accounting for around nine per cent of the market. For it to further accelerate in the last two quarters, it has to roll out a greater number of 5G devices – and at a competitive mid-range price bracket, without letting these feel mid-level in specs or design. The Reno4 Pro 5G is a good start.

OPPO Enco W51

The Reno4 Pro 5G ships along with the all-new OPPO Enco W51 active noise-cancelling wireless headphones. Equipped with 7mm drivers, it is compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 technology. It did a good job of cancelling out ambient noise, with OPPO saying that it delivers up to 35db of noise-cancelling ability – compared to the average of 20 you’d find on headphones from most other manufacturers. It even has a triple-microphone setup to reduce ambient noise when taking calls. While it was the right fit straight out of the box for our ears, there are also three additional earbuds – large, small and extra small – for anyone who wants a more snug fit.

The Reno4 Pro 5G 256GB is available at Dhs 2,499 and can be pre-ordered until September 29 with a complimentary OPPO Enco W51 headphones from here. From September 30 onwards, the headphones can be purchased independently for Dhs499.

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