Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G Review: The right amount of everything

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The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G is a smartphone that takes you close to a flagship experience. We gave you our first impressions on the device a few weeks ago. But now that we have had time to use it further, we can deep dive into what is good and what needs improvement. Currently, the smartphone is available for Dh2,499 which puts it in tricky waters with respect to its competition. But does it do enough to overcome it?

Design and build quality

We spoke at great length about the smartphone’s design in our first look. Its 7.6mm chassis and 176g weight is excellent for daily use and is something we wish more manufacturers were able to do. Its compact form factor has made one-handed use easy and its Galactic Blue colour is a nice touch too. The Reno4 Pro 5G may not immediately get your attention at first glance but it grows on you, the more you use it.

We are a fan of the slim and lightweight nature of the Reno4 Pro 5G

Something we were concerned about initially was also its power button placement. It felt a bit too high however since then, my hand has gotten used to it. We are also impressed with the phone’s toughness. It sports Gorilla Glass 6 on both the front and rear panel with an aluminium frame which makes for a great in-hand feel. Moreover, it has also been able to survive two drops because of this protection without showing any wear and tear. So, if you are someone who likes compact yet solid smartphones, you will be happy with the Reno4 Pro 5G.

It would have been nice to find an official IP rating on the smartphone

But the lack of an official IP rating sticks out like a sore thumb. By placing the smartphone in the higher end of the mid-range spectrum, Oppo has brought this scrutiny upon itself. Although the phone may be unofficially resistant to small splashes of water or gusts of dust, having an official claim gives users that added cushion which the Reno4 Pro 5G fails to do. If it was not for this omission, Oppo would have made the most complete smartphone in this price bracket from a design perspective.

Display and multimedia consumption

One of the things that stands out about the Reno4 Pro 5G’s display is its brightness. It clocks a peak brightness of 1,100nits and with this, you should have no trouble using the phone outdoors. In fact, sometimes the brightness feels a bit too high when you want it to be lower in a darker environment. We have noticed that even when the brightness is toggled down all the way, the Reno4 Pro 5G’s panel is much brighter than the competition.

Watching multimedia content on the Reno4 Pro 5G is great

As for its specifications, it is a 6.55-inch AMOLED display. It has a 1,080 x 2,400 pixel FHD+ resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio and HDR10+ support. Above all, it also sports a high 90Hz refresh rate. For both daily use and multimedia watching, the smartphone nails the sweet spot. Scrolling feels smooth and watching videos is a pleasure, given the vibrancy of the panel. We have had no trouble with HDR inconsistencies, black crush issues or banding so the quality of the display is great as well. To some, the curved nature of the display may be an inconvenience however personally, it has provided a greater level of immersion when watching content.

In addition to the display, the stereo speakers elevate the user experience

It is also nice to see that the smartphone equips stereo speakers. These compliment the display perfectly with rich sound both for music and movies. The speakers are loud and adequately clear to use although not the loudest for its smartphone category. Rounding up on display and multimedia, it is also worth noting the that phone has an in-display fingerprint scanner. It is an optical scanner that is positioned well but seems a tad bit slower than the competition, although this should only translate to a few milliseconds of a difference in real world usage.

Performance and software

This is where things start getting interesting for the Reno4 Pro 5G. Inside our unit, we have 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Unfortunately, it does not come with any micro-SD card expansion support which would have been nice to see. Otherwise, even bumping up to a faster UFS 3.0 class would have been appreciated for better read and write speeds. With this, the smartphone rocks the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor clocked at 2.4GHz. There is an Adreno 620 GPU here too which in combination runs the show extremely well.

There is a slight pause when quickly switching between two applications

Whether you are editing small video clips, multitasking, browsing the web or playing games, the Reno4 Pro 5G has you covered. On the 5G part, I was only able to use it properly 2-3 times as the connectivity is not yet available in my locality. Something I want to emphasise further with the smartphone experience is software. The Reno4 Pro 5G comes running ColorOS 7.2 on top of Android 10. The phone is likely to get an update to the new ColorOS 11 and Android 11 in due time however nothing about that is detailed thus far.

We should be seeing an Android 11 update for the Reno4 Pro 5G soon

But I mention this because I believe the smartphone does need an update or two. Coming over from another smartphone with the same Snapdragon 765G, there was a hint more stutter when using the Reno4 Pro 5G. For instance, quickly switching between two applications resulted in a pause of 2-3 seconds before the phone abruptly switched. This is not something you should see especially at this price tag. Considering the previous phone I used with the same processor had no such issue, we think this stems down to software optimisation.

Some of Oppo’s in-built applications can actually be useful, for instance Soloop to edit videos on the go

As far as using ColorOS 7.2 goes, it has been a pleasure. Over the last 6 months of so, I have adapted to the skin extremely well. And it was nice to see the phone running stock Google applications for things like the phone or contacts application among others. This shows Oppo’s commitment to streamlining its user interface and we expect to see more such changes in the coming months. Google applications were available as expected and Oppo’s in-built features for screen recording and video editing came in handy on numerous occasions.

Camera capabilities

With its triple-camera setup, you get a versatile camera experience on the Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G. Firstly, its primary 48MP Sony IMX589 sensor comes with PDAF, AF and OIS. This makes real world usage easy and consistent. I found myself being able to take quick pictures whenever required with no problems with regards to focus hunting. Next up comes the secondary 13MP telephoto lens. Once again, my experience was all about consistency and how easy it was to use. It gave me decent zoom coverage when I needed without irrational quality loss. Moreover, these cameras also do a good job at night however you need to stay a bit more patient to avoid any blurry photos.

While the triple camera configuration protrudes a fair bit, it has not been damaged with usage thus far

Lastly, we have the 12MP ultra-wide lens, which also becomes the dedicated video camera on the phone. While there is an inconsistency between the colours on the primary and ultra-wide lens, it diminishes to almost negligible in good lighting conditions. We will say that the ultra-wide camera does not live up to flagship expectations for photos but for videos, it is a different story.

Using the video camera in both the day time and night time, it gives you some good results as long as you remain stable. The phone is capable of up to 4K 30fps footage so there is no high refresh rate option at 4K. However, it does give you a lot of video options to make video capture smoother. Impressively, the phone was also able to do a good job of reducing flicker under studio lights and maintain a good focus on what was being showcased. But if you plan to use the video camera for more than 15-20 minutes continuously, you will suffer from the phone overheating, especially given the temperatures outdoors.

The front camera on the smartphone is a 32MP sensor

To round up on the camera experience, you find a 32MP hole-punch selfie camera. Once again, it was nice to see the camera being so responsive and reliable, showing some excellent dynamic range capabilities. Even at night, the camera should be able to do a decent job with selfies either of yourself or in groups.

Battery life

One area where the Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G absolutely gets it spot on is when it comes to battery life. On the smartphone, you find a 4,000mAh battery which does not sound too big on paper. However, Oppo has done well to optimise it. Since I have used the phone, there has not been a day where I have not been able to get a full day’s worth of usage. Whether you push connectivity, the screen or the camera, the battery stays in tact which is extremely impressive.

Battery performance from the Reno4 Pro 5G is nothing but impressive

To top it off, the Reno4 Pro 5G comes with 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charging. With this, the phone is able to recharge from 0-100 per-cent in just 32 minutes from my experience. A quick 15 minute top-up also gets you about 60 per-cent. With this sort of charging technology, you can easily forget overnight charging. But if you are invested in the wireless charging ecosystem, you will be disappointed to know that the Reno4 Pro 5G does not support it. Personally, this is not a big deal but it might be for someone who has had it on their previous smartphone.

Conclusion

Looking at the Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G as an overall package, there is a lot to like about it. Its display, design, camera and battery life all do well when required. Even performance with the processor on-board is flawless aside from a few hiccups that Oppo can definitely fix with updates. But we feel that the Reno4 Pro 5G is priced a bit too high for what it offers, especially with recent smartphone launches from other manufacturers. This is not Oppo’s fault but more the fault of the competitive market we live in. For those who do not care about the limitations of the device, this is a great buy. And if you happen to find the Reno4 Pro 5G on a deal for less than Dh2,000, do not hesitate to pick it up.