OPPO recently introduced the Reno4 family of smartphones for European markets, comprising the Reno4 Pro 5G, Reno4 5G, and Reno4 Z 5G. Unlike the Reno4 Pro for the Indian market, which we reviewed in the summer, all of the models here support 5G, including the Reno4 Pro 5G. This model shares some similarities with the 4G variant, but it also some notable upgrades like the chipset and the cameras.
The 4G version isn't available in Europe, so the comparison isn't exactly fair, but that phone cost roughly €400, and this phone costs double that, at €799/£699. For that, you get more RAM, more storage, an improved camera setup with some new features, and a more powerful chipset with 5G support.
The company sent us the limited-edition Green Glitter version of the OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G, which is absolutely beautiful. In terms of specs, this is the same as the standard colors of the phone, but everything in the box follows the Green Glitter theme.
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G; octa-core (one 2.4GHz, one 2.2GHz, six 1.8GHz)|
|Display||6.5-inch Super AMOLED, 2400x1080 (20:9), 402ppi, 90Hz refresh rate|
|Body||159.6 x 72.5 x 7.6mm, 172g|
|Camera||48MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 13MP telephoto, Front - 32MP|
|Aperture||f/1.7 + f/2.2 + f/2.4, Front - f/2.4|
|Video capture||4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps; Front - 1080p 30fps|
|Colors||Galactic Blue, Space Black, Green Glitter|
|OS||Android 10 with ColorOS 7.2|
Let's be absolutely clear from the start - this is the most beautiful phone I've reviewed so far. As you can probably guess, it has little to do with the lines and curves that define the phone's body, but rather, with the color. In fact, that's what drew me to this phone the most, and it lived up to every expectation I had. The green backplate has such a wonderful sheen to it, and when light shines on it, it's reflected in a way that's nothing short of gorgeous. This is a phone that stands out and, in my opinion, in the best way possible.
That smoky sheen is complemented by the "Green Glitter" text on the, along with the OPPO logo and a PANTONE color tag indicating that this is indeed glitter green. All of these elements stand out because they use a glossy finish that contrasts with the rest of the back. While it would be nice if the back was completely smooth with the matte finish, the glossy elements do add some grip so the phone feels less likely to slip out of your hands, and it also helps the phone have a stronger identity. One thing that I find somewhat disappointing is that the backplate is plastic instead of glass, so it does feel less premium than I would like it to at this price.
Also glossy is the camera module, which has three cameras, instead of the four on the 4G variant of the Reno4 Pro. I welcome this change because the cameras here are actually more useful, but we'll get to that later.
Going around the phone, it's pretty much business as usual. The metal frame, buttons, and antenna bands also follow the green theme, though they're a bit more subdued. As usual, we find the power button on the right-hand side of the phone, with a vertical green "jewel" giving it OPPO's distinct look.
Over on the left, the volume rocker split into two separate buttons. All the buttons here feel pretty great, with good tactility and actuation. Basically, they're in line with other OPPO phones.
The bottom edge has the USB Type-C port, a speaker grill, and the SIM card slot. There's no microSD card slot for expandable storage, which some might find disappointing. Frankly, with 256GB of internal storage, I would never really have a problem with that.
The top is very clean with a single microphone hole. There's no headphone jack, but this has stopped being a big problem for me. What might be more of a problem is the lack of water or dust resistance on the device, especially when you're already sacrificing ports like the headphone jack and the phone is this expensive.
While not inherently part of the phone's design, I do want to mention that the Green Glitter version includes an exclusive case for the phone, and I think it's great too. It retains some of the spirit of the phone's color scheme, though not as flashy, and it actually makes it feel more premium. It uses harder plastic, and with the metal frame being exposed on the sides, it actually makes the phone feel more solidly built without compromising too much in terms of looks.
Display and sound
On the front of Reno4 Pro 5G is the same exact display as what we saw on the 4G variant. a 6.5-inch AMOLED panel with a 2400x1080 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. In fact, it's so similar that it retains the same issue I had with that display - at lower brightness levels, you can visibly see the colors on the display flicker between different tones, specifically when the image on the screen changes. In fairness to OPPO, I received an update on the Reno4 Pro after my review, and it fixed the issue there. I'm told a similar update is in the works for the 5G version, but I haven't received it so far.
Aside from that, the display is pretty good, though it feels a little less special on a phone this expensive. Still, it's bright with up to 1100 nits of peak brightness (800 nits sustained), vivid, and the 90Hz refresh rate goes a long way in making everything feel very smooth. I also like to reiterate that OPPO's software lets me change the display scaling so text and icons aren't huge. I've seen a few phones that don't allow that, so I always like to point out when they do.
If there's one thing I'd like OPPO to do is dial it back with the curved edges of the display. It's a design trend that hit its peak a while back, but many, including myself, are starting to realize it often brings more problems than benefits. Accidental touches are not uncommon, and it can make for a very frustrating experience.
The OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G has stereo speakers, thanks to the amplified earpiece that doubles as a speaker when necessary. There's not much in the way of surprises here, and the speakers can get fairly loud without much distortion. They're not the loudest I've heard, but they're good enough for most cases.
In my opinion, the cameras on the Reno4 Pro 5G are the most notable upgrade over the 4G variant of the phone. The main sensor is the same 48MP Sony IMX586, and the total number of cameras is lower, but it's for the best. The wide-angle camera is now a 12MP Sony IMX708 sensor, instead of an 8MP one, and it doubles as the macro lens, whereas the 4G variant had a dedicated 2MP camera for that. There's also a 13MP telephoto camera with 2X optical zoom. I find this combination of cameras to be the ideal one, with options to go from a very zoomed-out view to punching in all the way to capture objects up close.
Actually using the cameras, I did have some trouble with the experience. OPPO touts super-fast laser focus, and I will say that when it works, it can be very fast. But it happened pretty often that I would tap to focus on object and the camera just didn't do anything. Usually when you tap to focus on an object, even if the camera fails to do it, you can see it shifting between focus lengths before it fails, but that's not the case here. I would tap the object I want to focus on, and nothing would happen whatsoever. This didn't always happen, but it was enough to be very frustrating.
In the end, though, the cameras offered results that I was almost always happy with. The samples below start with shots from the main camera, followed by a few sets testing different levels of zoom, then macrophotography, and finally, night mode.
Objects under direct sunlight have a tendency to have colors that are a little too warm, and that's more noticeable with the ultra-wide angle lens. Still, the images are sharp and detailed enough, and the colors generally look pretty nice. Having a higher-resolution ultra-wide camera double as a macro camera is also much better than using a dedicated 2MP lens, so you can get some much better up-close shots. As for the telephoto camera, 2X optical zoom isn't that much, and it's almost at the point where you don't gain that much from using it instead of cropping a picture from the main camera. However, it is at least a little better, and it still adds some value. Night mode is also supported for all three cameras, and it definitely helps things be much more visible.
But the coolest thing about this phone is in video recording. OPPO has actually gone and added a night mode for video, which works with both the main and ultra-wide cameras, and I love it. The only phones I've reviewed with something similar are the TCL Plex and the TCL 10 Pro, but those phones had a dedicated 2MP camera for night video. I loved that and wished more phones would do it, hopefully with higher-resolution cameras. OPPO just uses the existing cameras on its phones, though it still records at 1080p. Here's a screenshot of a video taken from the same spot, under a dimmed white light, comparing OPPO's solution to the TCL 10 Pro.
While the TCL 10 Pro offers colors that are a bit more in line with what you'd see under natural light, the image looks smudgy, with the OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G capturing warmer colors, but a bit more detail and clarity. Weirdly enough, the wide-angle camera on the Reno4 Pro 5G can only record in night mode, and not in regular mode.
Another interesting video feature is "Movie" mode, which records video in the 21:9 aspect ratio, and also offers tools to adjust exposure, shutter speed, and focus on the fly while recording.
You can also use the camera's Extra HD mode to take 108MP pictures, despite the lower-resolution sensor. This takes multiple shots and merges them to get the higher-resolution picture, but while you can get some extra detail from it, I don't think it warrants being used for most purposes.
Performance and battery life
The Reno4 Pro 5G packs a Snapdragon 765G chipset and 12GB of RAM, so it's no surprise that it can handle pretty much any day-to-day task you throw at it without much issue. Tasks can stay in memory for quite a while with 12GB of RAM, and it's no secret that the Snapdragon 700 series of processors offers enough performance for most people's needs.
One thing that I found really troublesome, though, was Wi-Fi performance. This is among the worse phones I've tested when it comes to connecting to a network when the signal is weak. Every time I tried to use my home Wi-Fi in areas where the signal doesn't reach as well, the internet connection just wouldn't work. This isn't the only phone that's had this issue for me, but at €799, it's a bit hard to swallow.
Moving on to benchmarks, the Reno4 Pro 5G delivers pretty solid performance. First, we have AnTuTu, which is a general benchmark covering many aspects of the experience. The result is pretty close to that of the LG Velvet, which has the same chipset.
GeekBench is a CPU-focused test, and interestingly, the phone actually scored much lower than the Velvet here, particularly in the multi-core test.
Finally, GFXBench tests the GPU, and again, it's pretty close to what you'd get on other phones with the same chipset.
Battery life on the Reno4 Pro 5G isn't as good as on the 4G variant, but it still hasn't failed to get me through a full day of usage. Having OPPO's SuperVOOC charging really helps, because with 65W of power delivery, it's really easy to get back to a full battery. I can just leave it charging while I eat breakfast and it'll be back up to 100% when I'm done.
The OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G is a pretty great phone. There's a reason we've seen companies like LG, Google, and OnePlus bet on devices with the Snapdragon 765 chipset, and that's because these processors can deliver more than enough power for anyone's needs without resulting in the premium price that usually comes with the Snapdragon 800 series. With 12GB of RAM and more storage than I'll ever use, performance is everything I need it to be.
Overall, OPPO offers a pretty great experience with everything here. The display is beautiful and smooth with its 90Hz refresh rate, the cameras produce generally nice shots and the versatility of getting an ultra-wide and a telephoto lens is great. Most importantly to me, the inclusion of a night video mode is a rare sight that's incredibly welcome on this phone and makes this one of the most special cameras I've seen in a phone.
But price is where OPPO falls short with its latest outing. LG's Velvet costs just under €600, and the Pixel 5 costs £599. The Reno4 Pro 5G has some advantages over those phones - the camera setup is more versatile, it includes double the RAM of the LG Velvet, double the storage of both of those phones, and super-fast charging. But it also makes some sacrifices, like water and dust resistance, or the use of plastic instead of glass or metal, if you consider that a sacrifice.
At €799/£699, it can be a bit hard to justify those sacrifices, but this is still a good phone. I'd say it might be more justified if you get the Green Glitter version, since you're getting something that looks unique and absolutely beautiful. However, that model only seems to be available in the UK. You can find the phone on OPPO's website, if you're interested, and you also get Bang & Olufsen H4 headphones - which are worth £250/€300 - for free until November 13.