In major cities in recent weeks, hard not to have heard of the Oppo Reno 2. To make people talk about its new flagship smartphone, the Chinese brand relies on very many advertisements (in bus shelters in particular) and has established important partnerships with operators who promote their smartphones in the same way as a Samsung Galaxy S10 or a Huawei P30 Pro. The objective for Oppo is to remedy its lack of notoriety in UK by attracting the attention of consumers who do not know the brand.
At 499 euros, is the Reno 2 a good smartphone? Thanks to its masterful design and its quadruple camera module, the device leaves with solid assets and could be under many trees this Christmas. Is this a good deal? We reviewed the Oppo Reno 2 to answer this question.
A successful design, common to the range
Unsurprisingly, the Reno 2 draws heavily on the design of its predecessors (the Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom). From this point of view, this smartphone has two qualities: its completely edge-to-edge screen as well as its back devoid of any protuberance despite the quadruple camera module. To avoid the edges, Oppo had the idea of hiding the front camera of the Reno 2 in a mechanical drawer in the shape of a shark fin. This is the originality of this mobile which, with this particularity is unlike any other. This will inevitably attract the curiosity of your friends and make them smile at first. But it is ultimately quite anecdotal and in the long term, we end up forgetting it.
If the advantages of an edge-to-edge screen are no longer to be presented (let us nonetheless mention the incredible viewing comfort notably allowed by its elongated 20: 9 format), it is the back of the Reno 2 that makes us love this apparatus. Made of glass and curved on the sides, it perfectly fits the palm of the hand and lets you forget the relatively high weight of the mobile (194 grams). But its real strength is the fact that its quadruple camera module absolutely does not protrude from the housing (not even a millimeter). Faced with the iPhone 11 Pro, the Huawei P30 Pro or the Galaxy S10, we have the feeling that Oppo completely masters its design. The smartphone is stable once placed on a table, it is very significant. The flip side is no surprise that this Reno 2 can easily slip and fall from a table that is not perfectly horizontal. Adding a simple protective shell provides a solution to this problem.
Finally, let’s mention the presence of a jack plug next to the USB Type-C port of the smartphone. This is an increasingly rare feature.
A brighter screen… without a beaten record
When the Oppo presented its Reno 2 to us, the Chinese brand particularly emphasized the new, brighter screen on its smartphone. By using a lareview generation OLED panel, Oppo seemed to want to surpass Samsung and Apple, the best in this field. Unfortunately, this is not the case, the 6.5-inch screen of the Reno 2 is bright, nothing more. Our laboratory has measured an average maximum brightness of 548 cd / m² (446 cd / m² had however been recorded for its predecessor). It is more than enough most of the time but it will make it difficult to use on a beach in full sun. Despite the presence of an automatic boost mode, it was impossible for us to go beyond the 587 cd / m².
The fidelity of the colors displayed by the smartphone is also satisfactory, nothing more. Our laboratory confirms this and has measured a Delta E index of 4.53 by default for this device. The latter corresponds to the difference between the colors displayed by the smartphone and reality (it is therefore approaching 0 that we touch to perfection). By going into the display settings and choosing the soft mode, you can drop this Delta E to 3.46. The colors are suddenly less yellow but remain less fair than on an iPhone 11 for example.
Color OS, controversial overlay
Let’s go cash: we hate Color OS. This overlay used by Oppo looks like iOS (the icons and menus are 100% identical) but it is above all a bad copy. Too many errors remain (translations are bad and the text is often truncated by an ellipsis), which really gives the impression of using a low-cost smartphone. Next to it, the overlays of Huawei (EMUI), Xiaomi (MIUI) and OnePlus (Oxygen OS) really seem to belong to the higher category. It’s a shame.
Despite the use of the mid-range Snapdragon 730G processor and 8 GB of RAM, the Oppo Reno 2 struggles to impress us. Everything is very fast on this smartphone … except when, suddenly, it is no longer. Switching from one application to another can sometimes create an animation error while in some software, like Instagram, pressing a button can simply return you to the home screen. It’s discouraging. Another example of surprising behavior: we were unable to control the volume of our headphones directly from the smartphone. The device seems to create two separate volumes, which no other smartphone does … The Reno 2 would be a much better smartphone without the Oppo overlay. There is only hope that Color OS 7, currently in beta, improves all that.
If there is a good chance that it does not really bother you, also know that the vibrator of the Reno 2 is very average. We often have the impression of receiving a jolt – very brief, certainly, but not really pleasant.
256 GB: large storage space
With a price set at 499 euros, the Oppo Reno 2 is expensive. For a mid-range smartphone, this price is surprising. The Chinese company justifies this by explaining that it has conducted various market studies and noticed that people place great importance on storage. Oppo has therefore chosen to integrate 256 GB on its smartphone … hence the steep bill. Difficult to criticize this choice
The other important point according to Oppo is autonomy. The Reno 2 has a battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh against 3765 mAh for its predecessor. This allows him to benefit from better endurance, a performance verified by our laboratory. The smartphone withstood 3:45 pm in our versatile autonomy review, a result 20% higher than the average of smartphones in its category released in 2019. It also held 11:49 in video streaming and 23:06 in communication. During our few days with the Reno 2, we did not charge it very much in the end. This smartphone is particularly tough.
However, we still regret the lack of ultra-fast charging on Oppo smartphones. A pioneer with its Find X and Super VOOC technology in 2018, the Chinese brand has since released nothing. The Reno 2 takes 1h34 to go from 0 to 100% autonomy with the VOOC 3.0 charger supplied in its box. Note also an amazing Color OS bug: the screen stays on when the smartphone is charging. What is it used for ?
A very good camera
The camera is the first point put forward by Oppo on its page dedicated to the Reno 2. The mobile sports a quadruple camera module which, in reality, really only offers three different lenses. We thus have a main sensor of 48 Mpix (the famous IMX586 from Sony with a lens that opens to f / 1.7), a 13 Mpix sensor to which is affixed a telephoto lens (f / 2.4) for an optical zoom x2 as well as a 8 Mpixmodule sensor affixed to an ultra wide-angle. The fourth module is a depth sensor for improving portrait mode.
With his Reno 10x Zoom, Oppo had already shown us that he was an actor not to be overlooked in photography. This Reno 2 transforms the essay. In addition to benefiting from a very fast application (which changes compared to the lareview OnePlus, a brand that belongs to the same group, however), the mobile takes pretty pictures both day and night. We still notice some difficulties in the management of light as soon as we pass in a dark environment. This remains largely satisfactory.
On its site, Oppo boasts of its “x5 hybrid zoom”. Don’t be fooled by this marketing designation, this is a x5 digital zoom. The latter is good but cannot compete with a Huawei P30 Pro. On the other hand, the quality of the x2 optical zoom is very satisfactory. With the telephoto lens taking advantage of a smaller aperture, it is not surprisingly less good at night.
We therefore admit to being positively surprised by the photo quality of the Reno 2. With the exception of the Pixel 3a, no mid-range smartphone is capable of ensuring such good performance.