[First cut] Oppo Reno 2: More step-up than successor… in price and specs!
Generally, the “2” variant of a smartphone comes a while after the first has been launched but this is not the case with the Oppo Reno 2. It sounds like the successor of the Oppo Reno, which was launched barely a quarter ago but is actually another addition in the Oppo Reno series as per the company. That said, it is a step ahead of the Reno, and we are talking of the Oppo Reno and not the Oppo Reno 10x, which was a high-end specced device.
Cut from the same Reno cloth
Oppo has been one of the few brands in the industry that has dared to experiment with the looks and design of its smartphones. This was exemplified in the Reno, which had a very distinct, premium-looking design, with a shark fin pop up camera, the only one of its kind in the pop-up camera world. The Reno 2, now, is basically the Reno with a few differences here and there. You might not even be able to tell the two phones apart if you had a quick look at them. Look more closely, however, and the differences become apparent.
Just like the Oppo Reno, the front of the Reno 2 is also all about that, tall, edge to edge display. There are hardly any bezels around it. Yes, even the chin does not have that thick a bezel as we generally see on smartphones. It is relatively thicker than the other three bezels but is still very thin. And it is a slightly larger display as well, while the Reno had a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, the Reno 2 comes with a tall, 6.55 inch dynamic AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. Now, dynamic AMOLED displays are not very common and are generally considered premium (the Samsung Note 10 has one), so its presence is definitely a pleasant surprise. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6, to save it from smudges and scratches, and is also home to an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Four cameras, and not one juts out!
We have seen some really glorious displays this year with very thin bezels but what we have not seen is smartphone backs with not even slightly protruding camera setups. Just like the Reno, the Reno 2 also brings that camera bump-free back finish to the table. Well, almost. The reflective glass back has a very tiny semi-sphere, accented with green color, which protrudes just a little, mainly to keep the cameras from getting in direct contact with the surface you put the phone on. We received the Ocean Blue variant of the device, which is actually anything but Ocean blue. It is a good color with the hues of dark blue, purple and sea green, but we do not think there is anything Ocean Blue about it.
The upper half of the back of the phone is all about the cameras. The Reno 2 comes with a quad-camera setup which is a step up from the dual camera unit we saw on the Reno. There is a dual-LED capsule-shaped flash that sits right next to the camera. The lower half of the back sports Oppo and “designed for Reno” branding. The back has a gradient finish and creates vertical line-like patterns. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection, and there is a case in the box as well. The smartphone measures 160 x 74.3 x 9.5 mm, and while not a small phone by any standards, it fits well in the hand, although the glass front and back make it slippery.
The “fin” is here too…such Reno feels
The slightly greenish frame of the phone acts as a breather from all that glass on the front and back. It also makes the phone slightly more comfortable to hold and adds to the grip. In the frame on top, lies the front camera of the phone. Yes, the famous Shark Fin pop-up camera, that “wedges out” of the frame when you turn the selfie camera on, and unlike in the Reno, the flash of the rear camera has not been placed in the “fin” which we think is a good touch, because otherwise, we had the fin rising every time we wanted to use the flash, and not just while taking selfies. The left side of the phone carries the volume buttons while the right houses the hybrid SIM card slot and power/ lock button which has a small green line engraved on it. The base of the phone carries 3.5 mm audio jack, USB Type C port, and speaker grille.
Apart from the slightly bigger display, the quad-camera setup and the flash shifting from the shark fin to the back, the Oppo Reno 2, looks pretty much exactly like the Oppo Reno. The two smartphones are siblings but look more like twins that were born minutes apart or in this case months apart. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, simply because the Oppo was a very elegantly crafted device and the Oppo Reno 2 has inherited the same gorgeous good looks from its brother. We are not sure if the different shape of the pop-up camera makes that much of a difference to the design but the tall, edge-to-edge display, bundled with that mostly smooth back with the tiny circular bump, make the smartphone look very premium. And once again stand out. You might not be able to tell if this is the first or second, but there is no mistaking this for anything but an Oppo Reno!
Those upper mid segment specs…
Like the Oppo Reno, the Reno 2 also comes with a very upper mid-segment spec sheet. We have already mentioned the 6.55 inch full HD+ dynamic AMOLED display, which is a rarity at this price point. There is also a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor (one of the fastest processors out there, this side of the 855 and 845) which is paired with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage that can be expanded using a microSD card. The 730G is definitely a step ahead of the Snapdragon 710 that powered the Oppo Reno, and we are being promised improved performance, especially in the gaming department.
The quad-camera setup consists of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX856 sensor with OIS and EIS and f/1.7 aperture, a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The cameras offer a 5x hybrid zoom and 20x digital zoom. As per Oppo, the main sensor, the wide-angle, and telephoto, work together to give you a detailed, zoomed picture, without compromising on quality. The sensors can shift between f/1.7 and f/2.4, adjusting the aperture for a number of lighting conditions. There is also an ultra-dark mode for low-light photography. On the front, or in the frame rather, is a 16-megapixel selfie camera that rises up when you turn on the front camera, which comes with support for the soft front light and AI beauty mode.
The Oppo Reno 2 comes with Android 9 (Pie) out of the box and is layered with Oppo’s in-house ColorOS 6 UI, which is quite feature-rich if a little overwhelming. The phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery and comes with support for VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge. Oppo claims that the phone can be charged from 0 to 100 percent within an hour and a half, and even charges at a brisk rate between the 90 to 100 percent charge point, where most others tend to slow down (“trickle charge”). Connectivity options on the device include Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi, 4G, and GPS – par for the course.
…and that very upper price tag!
Priced at Rs 36,990, the Oppo Reno 2 finds itself standing right up in the alley of not only the OnePlus 7, the Asus 6Z and the Redmi K20 Pro, but even its own Oppo Reno 10x Zoom. The phone comes with a very distinct design and has a few very good specs and numbers up its sleeve, most of all perhaps those quad cameras. But it still would have to perform extraordinarily well to make it big in this competitive segment, as it will be going up against a number of devices running a much more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip. To find out just how well it does, wait for our detailed review.