Phones

Super-fast charging on Reno4 Pro

 Oppo Reno4 Pro.
Oppo Reno4 Pro.

The Oppo Reno4 Pro 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 is broken when I pick 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) grows 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 makes an impression while I play high dynamic range (HDR) videos on YouTube, where the specular highlights are almost searingly bright. But to my disappointment, HDR is not supported by the Reno4 Pro in Netflix.

The highlight, though, is its 65W fast-charging feature.

Oppo says the phone's 4,000mAh battery can be charged from zero to 100 per cent in 36 minutes, compared with one hour or so for other phones with fast charge.

In my test, it takes 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 is good too - the phone lasted 15 hours and 10 minutes in the 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 present. It also has a single speaker at the bottom that is sufficiently loud, unless it is covered by your palm.

  • FOR

    •Ultra-fast charging

    •90Hz Amoled screen

    •Lightweight

    AGAINST

    •Relatively expensive for its specs

    •Plastic build does not feel premium

    •Software could be more streamlined

    SPECS

    PRICE: $899

    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)

    BATTERY: 4,000mAh

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    OVERALL: 3.5/5

However, the rear cameras are at risk of being obscured by a 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 will 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 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 some preloaded Oppo-made apps, such as its own clock and calculator apps, that add little value next 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 loading and running apps and games.

Despite its lower model name, the 720G is similar in performance to the Snapdragon 730G in my test. But the mid-tier Snapdragon 765G chip is faster, offers 5G connectivity and, more importantly, is found in the cheaper OnePlus Nord ($649).

The Reno4 Pro is a decent mid-range smartphone with two standout features - a bright display and super-fast charging. But its overall package does not justify its $899 price, when there are cheaper alternatives in the market.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2020, with the headline 'Super-fast charging on Reno4 Pro'. Print Edition | Subscribe