OPPO Reno4 Pro review: Great design, display and battery, but expensive

OPPO Reno4 Pro

The OPPO Reno4 Pro recently made its global debut from India. Priced at Rs 34,990, the smartphone is a midrange offering with features inspired by the company’s premium offerings. These include OPPO’s 3D borderless sense screen — that is just a fancy name for side-curved screen — and 65W fast-charging capability. Besides, the phone has a distinct design and 3.5mm audio out port, a combination that most other smartphones in the midrange segment lack.

Overall, the OPPO Reno4 Pro seems to be an all-rounder with something in store for everyone. But is it good enough to justify its premium midrange pricing? Let’s find out:

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Design

The OPPO Reno4 Pro has a thin (7.7mm), compact and lightweight (161g) construction with ergonomics that feel natural to hold and comfortable to operate. The phone’s front is dominated by a side-curved screen with a punch-hole for front camera — that is the only distraction on an otherwise seamless front profile. The phone’s back boasts a gradient design, which looks dazzling, especially in the starry night colour variant (the unit we reviewed). Made of plastic, the back cover is susceptible to scratches. However, its matte texture hides these scratches and also improves the phone’s in-hand grip. Like the back, the phone’s frame is also made of plastic and it has a glossy paint covering it, which may wither away after prolonged usage.

By and large, the OPPO Reno4 Pro is a design marvel, even with its questionable construction material — its thin plastic frame does not look sturdy and may lose its glossy sheen with time.

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Display

Complementing the OPPO Reno4 Pro design is its side-curved super AMOLED screen of a 90Hz refresh rate. The side-curved display might not have any major advantage over the flat panels but it adds novelty to the phone’s design by eliminating side bezels and feels natural to use, especially with gesture-based navigation controls. Also, the display’s 90Hz refresh rate brings user interface transitions to life and makes on-screen content look lively. The refresh rate can be set to adaptive from settings for the display to adjust the refresh rate based on on-screen content requirements. It saves battery power without compromising the overall experience.

As for quality, the display is bright, vivid and responsive. It is set to render vivid colours by default, and you can tune it from display settings to use natural colours. Though OPPO did not specify if the panel supports HDR formats (HDR10 or HDR10+), it manages to render HDR10 content available on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video with enhanced contrast and dynamic range. On Netflix, however, no such enhancements were visible.

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Camera

The OPPO Reno4 Pro has a quad-camera module on its back, featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro sensor, and a 2MP monochrome sensor. On the front, the phone has a 32MP sensor for selfies.

OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Auto HDR (ultrawide)
OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Auto HDR (wide)
OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Auto HDR (Digital 5x zoom)

Despite featuring four different sensors on the back, the phone lacks versatility and the overall imaging is underwhelming. The phone’s primary rear camera captures detailed shots with good dynamic range but the colour reproduction is unnatural and the photos look heavily processed. Similarly, the ultra-wide sensor works well to capture details but the output lacks colour accuracy and shows barrel effect distortion on the edges. Though the phone lacks a telephoto lens, it can go up to 10x with digital zoom. Interestingly, the zoom works fine and the photos taken at 5x and 2x zoom in daylight conditions look decent. As for the macro sensor, there is no option in the camera user interface to use the sensor. Enabling the automatic scene detection is the only way to take close-up shots using the macro sensor but that does not work every time.

OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Ultra-wide
OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Wide
OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Macro

In low light, it is just the primary camera that works well. Thankfully, the phone has a dedicated night mode, which improves its low-light imaging to a large extent. The night mode supports ultra-wide sensor, too, and the images captured in the night mode through the ultra-wide sensor come out well.

OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Lowlight
OPPO Reno4 Pro camera sample: Lowlight

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Performance

The OPPO Reno4 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G system-on-chip, paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. It boots Android 10 operating system covered under OPPO’s proprietary ColorOS 7.2 user interface. Details aside, the Reno4 Pro is a mixed bag when it comes to performance. It handles everyday tasks with ease and shows no weakness in handling processor- or graphic-intensive apps. It lags sometimes but not so much as to ruin the user experience. What ruin the user experience, however, are inconsistencies in the UI. The phone hangs abruptly only to resume on its own after a few minutes. There are apps that close down automatically and the Chrome browser seems severely hit by glitches — it freezes and does not work unless you force-close and restart it. That said, the phone is not a power performer. It is also not a phone for gaming, as it struggles to maintain consistent frame rates, especially in graphic-intensive gaming titles like PUBG.

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Battery

The phone is powered by a 4,000mAh battery, which keeps it going for a full day on full charge. Its on-battery time might not be exceptional, but charging time is, thanks to the superVOOC 2.0 fast charger. This 65W fast charger charges the phone’s completely drained out battery to 100 per cent in around 35 minutes, which is the fastest charging you get in a smartphone at present.

OPPO Reno4 Pro: Verdict

The OPPO Reno4 Pro is expensive and might not stand a chance to compete with other heavyweights in the midrange smartphone segment — such as the Realme X2 Pro (review), OnePlus 7T (review), OnePlus Nord (review), etc. It does well in isolated departments but fails to impress as a complete package, especially in the light of its premium midrange pricing. It lacks the performance and imaging you expect from a midrange smartphone. The silver lining, though, are design, display and battery.

Read our full coverage on Oppo India

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