The Oppo Reno4 Pro (available on Amazon, Lazada and Shopee) flatters to deceive. From its product images, it looks like a flagship smartphone with a curved, near-bezel-less display and quad rear cameras.
But this illusion was broken when I picked it up.
The Reno4 Pro is too light, lacking the heft of a flagship phone. Also, despite the frosted glass finish, it has a plastic chassis, not a glass-and-metal body.
To be fair, the Reno4 Pro ($899) is not targeted at the premium segment. And its weight (161g) soon grew on me as it is easier to hold than a glass-clad flagship model.
It does have some features that may be deemed as high-end, including a 90Hz Amoled screen that is smooth, responsive and bright enough to use outdoors on a sunny day.
The display also made an impression while playing high dynamic range (HDR) videos on YouTube, where the specular highlights were almost searingly bright (the display can put out a peak brightness of over 1,000 nits, according to Oppo). But to my disappointment, HDR was not supported by the Reno4 Pro in Netflix.
The spotlight, though, is on its 65W fast-charging feature. Oppo says the Reno4 Pro's 4,000mAh battery can be recharged from zero to 100 per cent in 36 minutes compared to one hour or so for other phones with fast charge.
In my test, it took 43 minutes, which is close enough. This super-fast charging feature more than makes up for the Reno4 Pro's lack of wireless charging.
Battery life was good - the Reno4 Pro lasted 15hr10min in our video-loop battery test at maximum screen brightness.
Like most mid-range phones, the Reno4 Pro does not have IP certification for water or dust resistance. On the plus side, the headphone jack is alive and kicking on the Reno4 Pro. It has a single speaker at the bottom that is sufficiently loud, unless covered by your palm.
However, the rear cameras are at risk of being obscured by a stray finger or hand while holding the phone as the vertically-aligned cameras are too close to the edge.
The main 48-megapixel (MP) camera performs like the ones found on many mid-tier smartphones. It uses pixel-binning to create good-looking 12MP photos that appear less noisy than the native 48MP versions. In bright daylight, photos turn out sharp with accurate colours. The white balance is slightly off for indoor shots, but still acceptable.
But users may be disappointed by the lack of a telephoto camera among the Reno4 Pro's four cameras. Instead, you'll find an ultra-wide camera, which despite being of a lower quality than the main camera, has its uses. I am not thrilled by the presence of the macro and the depth cameras, but they are the norm for mid-range models.
In low-light situations, the Reno4 Pro's night mode does a decent job at brightening up the scene. While the photo quality is not great, especially when zoomed in, the shots are probably usable for social media.
The camera app has several interesting modes that should appeal to the social media crowd. For instance, the AI Color Portrait mode renders the background of a portrait photo in black and white while the subject remains in colour. This feature also works for videos.
While the Reno4 Pro's ColorOS interface mostly sticks to the stock version of the Android 10 operating system (OS) without heavy-handed customisations, the phone has a bunch of preloaded Oppo-made apps, such as its own clock and calculator apps, that add little value next to to the default versions in the Android OS.
The Reno4 Pro's performance is acceptable, though its mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G is just a tad slow when it comes to loading and running apps and games.
Despite its lower model name, the 720G is actually similar in performance in my test to the Snapdragon 730G. But the mid-tier Snapdragon 765G chip is faster, offers 5G connectivity, and more importantly, is found in the cheaper OnePlus Nord ($649).
And that, in a nutshell, is my main beef with the Reno4 Pro. It is a very decent mid-range smartphone with two standout features - a bright display and super-fast charging. But its overall package does not justify its $899 asking price when there are cheaper alternatives in the market.
90Hz Amoled screen
Relatively expensive for its specs
Plastic build does not feel premium
Software could be more streamlined
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G (Dual-core 2.3GHz, hexa-core 1.8GHz)
Display: 6.5-inch Amoled, 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 402 ppi pixel density
Operating system: ColorOS 7.2 (Android 10)
Memory: 256GB (with microSD expandable storage), 8GB RAM
Rear cameras: 48MP (f/1.7), 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 119-degree), 2MP depth (f/2.4), 2MP macro (f/2.4)
Front camera: 32MP (f/2.4)
Value for money: 3/5
Battery life: 5/5