If I said the term ‘flagship mobile’ to you, you’ll probably automatically think Apple, Samsung, Google Pixel and maybe even Samsung or OnePlus. But, Oppo have been silently sneaking their phones among the top handsets for a while now, and although there are a few items that keep the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom mobile from hitting that ‘Premium’ tag, it’s still a wicked phone for the price.
The Oppo Reno is part of their R series of handsets and was released in 2019. Sure I know it’s the beginning of 2020 now, but it’s still a relevant handset for sure, and its closest rival has to be the Huawei P30 Pro, especially for the camera quality and more importantly, the optical zoom.
Which is where the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom comes in. But more on that in a moment, let’s start at the beginning, with the Reno 10X Zoom’s design.
If there’s one thing that stands out about this flagship device and that’s its ocean green colour on the rear of the handset. It’s a beautiful design and the way it catches light, almost gives it a two-tone type finish. As we’re already around the back, I’ll state now that this phone has a tri-camera setup which are flush to the rear of the phone, and don’t worry about scratches. There’s a little nub underneath the cameras so the phone is never laying flush against a table. This is surrounded by an almost reflective chrome streak that runs down the centre of the device, which is a staple of Oppo’s design over the past few handsets.
Going down the right hand side you will see the power and lock button while on the left is the volume rocker. Due to the size and weight of the handset, I found the volume rocker is a little hard to reach with my firefinger, so had to switch to two handed use, while the lock button is in a perfect position to get to with my thumb with one hand. The surround is coated in a matte metal finish which gives it a degree of protection from drops, but there’s one thing that is going to hinder this phone if it accidentally slips out your hands, and that’s its weight.
The Oppo Reno 10X Zoom Mobile is heavy. Definitely one of the heaviest handsets I’ve used in a long while. And I believe it’s all down to the 10X optical zoom, as well as the chunky 4,065mAh battery inside. The thickness of the phone stands at around 9.3mm which is mental when you compare it to something like the Google Pixel 4’s thickness of 8.2mm.
There’s also what they’re calling the ‘Shark Fin selfie cam’ hidden in the top of the phone, which automatically pops up when the selfie function is selected inside of your camera app. It’s an innovative feature, and one that makes the front of the screen look even slicker, as there is no notch for a selfie cam which is seen on pretty much all other handsets, and having no buttons on the front too makes this phone feel like all screen, which is only a good thing in my eyes.
The phone uses a Type-C USB port to charge and has Oppo’s VOOC Flash Charge which is a fancy branding way of saying 20W fast charging capability. Unfortunately, there’s no Qi-charging capability, because the rear of the phone is so rounded, and I’m assuming too thick as I said before, this phone is a bit of a beast. On bottom is also the SIM card tray as well as a speaker, which for the most part, doesn’t sound too bad. Although this is the only speaker, so don’t expect stereo sound here.
Speaking about the screen, the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom has a 6.6 inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and a pixel density of 387. It’s coated in Gorilla Glass 6 as well for added protection from impacts.
The screen gives off a great quality when viewing media playback, and I had no issues when watching YouTube videos, a bit of Netflix on my commutes or even looking through photos from past devices saved to my Google Photos cloud account. Everything looked very sharp and very vivid.
Inside the Display & Brightness menu, there is a slider to make the colour tone warmer or cooler, but I was actually pretty happy with the default right down the middle option. There’s also a Screen Colour Mode, which you can change between using the more common sRGB colour space or stick to the defult P3 colour gamut which offered much more vivid colours.
However, the larger screen can be a drain on the battery life, which we found when watching content on my commutes and while I was working. The ‘Shark Fin’ novelty is also a cause for this drain, as I couldn’t help but show people the quirky feature, especially when I got to work. I found myself reaching for my charger by around 3pm, after a decent amount use. I leave my house at around 7:10am, and work in social media as my day job, so my phone is very much an extension of my body, it’s in use prety much from the time I leave my house.
Inside the phone you can find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with an Adreno 640 graphics chip. There are several variations of handset depending on how much RAM you want, and these are either 6GB, 8GB or 12GB. Likewise with storage, you can choose 128GB or 256GB. What’s aweosme about the handset is the fact you can extend the memory with a microSD card up to 256GB. It shares the SIM slot which can be located on the bottom of the handset.
When we ran our Geekbench 5 test, we revealed a score of 590 on a single core and 2646 on a multi-core score. This puts the handset in line roughly with the Xiomi Black Shark 2, and Samsung Galaxy S9. However, looking over the Geekbench website saw scores of as much as 658, sticking it closer to the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro. 3DMark told me that the Slingshot Extreme test was the best for this phone, so we ran that and received a score of 5,718.
The Oppo Reno 10X Zoom comes with Android 9.0, or Pie as it’s better know, but Oppo use their own variant called ColorOS 6. There’s a few new features which I’m not too familiar with, so I thought I’d run thorugh them quick.y ColorOS 7 is on the way soon so this info will be out of date in no time. The first new feature is the inclusion of an app drawer. ColorOS5 didn’t have it, and most phones out of China don’t have one. But Oppo included one here. You just need to activate it from the menu.
The notification panel has had a nice graphical overhaul. Everything is more prominent and bold. Big button type switches this time round. It’s nice and clear. There’s also a new AI feature under the hood which detects app usage and offers what it thinks you’re going to use in the app tray. It also comes into action in the new Hyper Boost and Game Space, which are both designed to make the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom feel more snappy. AI is also involved in photos, but what phone doesn’t use AI in the camera nowadays right?
The interface has had an aesthetic overhaul too since its previous iteration. Icons, colour schemes and more are included. This also included the choice to switch on nav keys or stick to a newer gesture controlled UI. You can even change the way the buttons look, like a pill middle button.
Riding mode is for when you’re driving. It’s basically the same as Google’s new driving mode, which disables notifications when it knows the car is moving, but it’s got a new name and a new skin. And finally there is the redesigned smart assistant. Swipe right from the home screen and you’re given a flurry of information including a calendar, temperature outside, your location and a step tracker by default. There doesn’t seem to be any way of customising the smart assistant with third party apps.
Around the back is the flush to body camera we mentioned earlier. There are three lenses in total. The first is the main camera, which has a 48 megapixel sensor and an f/1.7 aperture. Others have an 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 and lastly a 13 megapixel periscope sensor with an aperture of f/3.0, which is the interesting one of the bunch.
The camera is an interesting offering. As the phone mentions, it has a 10X zoom, which is the big selling point of this device. But it isn’t optical, despite what you may think. The phone can actually hit a whopping 60X zoon, but this is a mixture of optical and digital zoom, and don’t expect to take a nice sharp image hand holding the phone at that range. Even the smallest shake will send the image into a blur. The phone actually only has a 5X optical zoom, and the presets the phone can hit completely bypass its max zoom level. The phone goes from 1X, to 2X, to 6X right up to 10X. Why it skips 5X is baffling to say the least. But bad stuff aside, the camera isn’t half bad.
The Oppo Reno 10X Zoom does a faily decent job in daylight situations. Colour saturation is very nice, and there’s a Dazzle Color setting if you need to boost the colour. Contrast ratio is decent enough but there is various HDR effects you could use that appear as R1 – R10. Think of these as your typical Instagram filters in real time. The portrait mode also does a great job of separating its subject with the background, and keeps the subject looking very sharp. There are also the usual camera modes available like panorama, slow motion which shoots at 1080p, timelapse and expert controls which allows you to adjust shutter speeds, white balance and exposure.
For low-light photography, I was left impressed. I used this camera at Christmas, taking snaps while we ate and when we were opening presents, and images came out sharp, albeit a little low on the saturation scale. At this point though, I didn’t use the Dazzle Color. But everything still remained nice and sharp.
Video again is a very decent quality, and whatmore, can actually shoot at 4K at 60 frames-per-second, and there’s no noticable rolling shutter either with sharp speedy pans. Image stabilisation kicks in nicely too, which really helps with shooting handheld.
There’s no secret that the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom mobile is trying to take on the industry leaders. It’s just lacking some refinements that we have now come to expect from Apple and Samsung. However, the aesthetic look of the Reno Zoom 10X is pretty decent, and as a performer, it can at least keep up with the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro, especially with the camera. Heck, even the OnePus 7T is having a run for its money, as the Oppo is slightly undercutting the latest company to break the flagship market.
Even its operating system, the ColorOS6 has been improved in such a way that you no longer feel too hindered when using it. Everything felt fluid, I had no noticable slowdowns, and it ran everything I threw at it flawlessly. The 10X Zoom marketing issue is a little disappointing, but the camera is extremely capable in most lighting situations. It’s heavy sure, but it’s got a premium feel to its body. Well done Oppo, you’ve got a cracking handset here.