Technophile

Oppo Reno 3 Pro review: Playing the camera game

Mala Bhargava | Updated on March 21, 2020 Published on March 21, 2020

Not that much stands out on this nice and very middle-of-the-road smartphone but it has a nice set of cameras with a lot of megapixels

Oppo’s previous Reno phones were uniquely and beautifully designed. I seem to remember an interesting triangular pop up camera, stealthily sliding out to make the smartphone look one-of-a-kind. The back was sophisticated and elegant and entirely unique. All that sort of thing seems to have been dropped for the new Oppo Reno 3 Pro, which makes you wonder what the series is about if there’s nothing obviously signature connecting the line-up.

All the same, the Reno3 Pro is not bad looking, even nice in two of its colour variants: Auroral Blue and Sky White. It’s more of a plain-Jane in the ‘Midnight Black’ we received for review. The back which feels more plastic than usual has a nice light-catching flavour to it but besides catching the light, also catches finger and other smudges and shows them up prominently. The supplied clear case should come in handy. It would also offset the solid camera bump from the entire quad assembly vertically located on the top left of the phone.

Big battery

Even if the Reno3 Pro doesn’t look very distinct, it is nice to hold, being narrow and lighter than many. The back being curved probably adds to the in-hand comfort. It’s tall but not inconveniently so. Though the device feels light, there’s a big 4,025mAh battery on the inside and it lasts really well, making it one of the more compelling features of the phone. On top of that there’s a hefty 30W charging brick for fast VOOC 4.0 Flash charging. It takes a little over 50 minutes to charge from nearly nothing to full.

Processors

The Reno3 Pro uses an Octa-core (2.2 GHz, Dual Core + 2 GHz, Hexa Core)

MediaTek Helio P95 processor, not a Qualcomm Snapdragon and is in fact the first phone to use this chipset. Users typically have more confidence in a Snapdragon, but the Helio P95 does fine for most tasks and comes up with good benchmark results. You have 8GB of RAM and 129GB storage with a memory card slot available for expansion of up to 256GB. There’s a 256GB variant. The 6.7-inch screen is fine enough but has an elongated punch hole top left because that houses two front cameras. Well, they have to go somewhere and users have become quite tolerant of punch holes, which will continue to be a relief from notches for a while.

Performance

Performance on the Reno 3 Pro is good but not by no means any better than that of more powerful phones in the same category. For everyday not-very-intensive actions, regular users won’t really feel a difference or any sort of lag. It’s just power users who may be able to tell that it’s no speed monster. But navigating apps and scrolling online etc are just fine. The phone runs on Android 10 and ColorOS7 which is a new and improved version of the software and is tolerable. The extra apps, push notifications and the arrangement of options in the Settings are still not well thought-out. At the same time, there are many customisations that are useful, if one cares to explore.

Cameras

One thing that the Reno phones have had in common is various new things with the cameras. While the Reno 3 Pro’s cameras don’t really offer any breakthroughs as such. The specs include a 64MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, a 13MP telephoto camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a 119-degree field of view, and a 2MP mono camera. The front cameras include, rather unusually, a 44MP selfie camera and a 2MP depth sensor.

The cameras are strictly daylight. When you’re out in good light, you’ll get both good colours with a nice realistic dynamic range and details in images. You can zoom in and the experience is much the same as with other phones that have these. Stay within the optical range to get some nice images and extend beyond more to see something such as reading a board or something because noise instantly kicks in and the cameras become vulnerable to the slightest movement. In darker places, both photos and video take a hit and are noise-filled. The front camera, famous for all those megapixels, is actually quite flattering. If you want realistic razor sharp photos from the front camera, which few people really do, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The Reno 3 Pro would be a fine phone if there weren’t so much competition in the exact same category, much of it offering snappier performance. The Realme X2 Pro comes to mind and it’s a cousin of this phone, coming from a related brand.

Oppo Reno 3 Pro
  • Price: 29,999 and Rs 32,990
  • Pros: Big battery and good battery life, enjoyable cameras, flattering selfies
  • Cons: Uninteresting design compared with previous Reno phones, performance just adequate

Published on March 21, 2020
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