Oppo launched the Reno series last year with the Reno which stepped in the market to go against the mighty OnePlus. Shortly after, the Reno series saw another phone being added to it, the Reno 2, which was a mellowed version of its predecessor and competed with mid-range flagships coming from Redmi and Realme instead of taking on the OnePlus phones. Another Reno has now surfaced, the Reno 3 Pro, which again eyes the Realme, Redmi budget flagship crowd but is missing out on some ‘fin’.
Thinking inside the design box
Over the years, we have developed a special liking for smartphone designs from Oppo. It actually is one of the few brands that still tries to do things outside the box when it comes to design. And the Reno series has been a real showcase of this. With the Oppo Reno and the Reno 2, the brand further innovated an already innovative feature of smartphones, the popup selfie cameras and gave us shark fin-ish cameras that slid out of the top instead of the regular pop camera. The brand even worked to give the two phones a back which was completely smooth with back camera units that did not jut out at all. The Ocean Green color, the green bulging dot, all added to the premium, out of the design box of the Reno and Reno 2.
We were expecting Oppo to cast the same magic design spell on the Oppo Reno 3 Pro as well but looking at the phone, we can safely say that we are slightly disappointed. No, this one is not bad looking and if anything is actually ticking all the design boxes that a phone is supposed to tick in the price segment but misses out on the edge.
Mainstream, but not bad-looking
The Reno 3 Pro comes with a tall, thin bezel-ed, double punch-hole display that has very line-like bezels around the three sides but has a comparatively thicker chin. The AMOLED display, the thin bezels and the double punch hole, all combined, give the Reno 3 Pro a very premium front, all in line with Reno’s design game. Flip the phone around, however, and the Reno design game goes out of the window and mainstream budget flagship feels come rushing in. This Reno has a glass back, with a very subtle color gradient (we got the Sky White variant, and you can also opt for Midnight Black and Auroral Blue) and a vertical, elongated capsule-shaped camera unit on the top left, all of which are the ingredients for a mainstream looking smartphone in today’s day and age.
But mainstream does not equate to bad looking. The Reno 3 Pro looks good. The glass back curves out on the edges and has very subtle line patterns. And the color gradient is pretty and very easy on the eyes. The camera unit holds four cameras in a vertical arrangement with an LED flash on the side while the Oppo sits on the bottom right side of the back.
Between the two glass layers, the phone has a metallic frame which carries volume buttons and the dual SIM card and microSD card tray on the left and power/ lock button on the right. The power lock button has a small green marking which is a bit of a Reno trademark. The top of the phone is bare while the base holds the 3.5 mm audio jack, the USB Type C port, and the speaker grille.
Measuring 158.8 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm and weighing 175 grams, the Reno 3 Pro actually feels thin and light, especially considering the battery that it carries under the hood. We missed the theatrics that the shark fin pop up added to the phone, the flat back which again was a design distinction and the green semi-sphere and even the Ocean Green color which is very Oppo. Yes, it looks good but we missed all of that on this very regular looking Reno.
Betting on camera and MediaTek power
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro might have been a bit of let down in terms of design but the spec sheet of the device looks impressive. It comes with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED full HD+ display with Dual Punch-Hole and a 20:9 aspect ratio, which also houses an in-display fingerprint scanner.
The Reno 3 Pro is powered by a MediaTek P95 processor paired with a massive 8 GB RAM and 256 GB onboard storage. There is also an 8 GB/ 128 GB variant. The storage can be expanded using a dedicated microSD card slot. Some might question the performance capability of the P95 as it comes from MediaTek which is often considered to be not as powerful as its Qualcomm Snapdragon counterparts but MediaTek has surprised us pleasantly in the past with the Redmi Note 8 Pro. And we are expecting the same performance magic from this one as well.
One of the USPs of the Reno 3 Pro is the camera unit on the device, both on the front and back. The phone sports a quad primary camera setup on the back which consists of a 64-megapixel main sensor with f/1.8 aperture, a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor, and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. On the front, the dual punch hole is home to a 44-megapixel ultra-clear main sensor with f/2.4 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth of field sensor with f/ 2.4 aperture (the first-ever dual selfie cameras with a 44-megapixel sensor, we are told). This being an Oppo device, of course, there is a plethora of shooting options, including a special low light mode and the ability to take a 108-megapixel snap.
To keep the Reno 3 Pro going, Oppo has bundled the phone with a 4,025 mAh battery which comes with support for 30W VOOC flash charge 4.0, which can get the phone fully charged in about an hour. In terms of UI, the Reno 3 Pro comes with Oppo’s streamlined ColorUI 7 based on Android 10.
All this comes at a starting price tag of Rs. 29,990 which pitches the Reno 3 Pro against the likes of Realme X2 Pro, the Redmi K20 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy A71. Just how well the Reno 3 Pro fares against this really tough competition will be revealed in our detailed review. It has lost the fin, but we hope it can recover lost design ground in the performance department.