Oppo Reno 4 Pro Review: A mid range smartphone with highend features

by Nicole on August 3, 2020
Oppo reno 4 Pro
Positives
  • Good mid-range performance
  • Textured glass for a confident hold and fewer fingerprints
  • Extremely fast charging
  • Above average camera for being a mid range phone
  • Color Retention shooting mode is very fun
  • Headphone jack (A rare sight these days)
  • Thin and light (7,7mm and 161g)
  • Great Video, excellent stabilization
Negatives
  • No 5G
  • Low light photos are better than the category average, but it’s still where you see this is a mid range phone

Oppo launched the first Reno 14 months ago and this might just be the phone that shows off just how fast Oppo can pivot a product line to consumer needs. The original Reno was a highend phone aimed at being a technology showcase, the sharfin popup camera and 10X zoom looked to lead the market. Well over a dozen phones later, the intention of the Reno line has changed, and the 4 Pro is a mid range phone that aims to be best in class.

The Reno 4 Pro is significantly thinner and lighter than almost all other phones on the market.  Measuring just 7.7mm at its thickest point and weighing 161g, it has an airiness to it that was noticeable right out of the box.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700 series and Sony’s IMX586 have made it possible for mid range smartphones to offer high end features. Pair this with a matte textured glass back and a 90Hz Super AMOLED display with a 180Hz tough sampling rate for gamers and you have a phone that is good enough for just about any user.

Perhaps the most interesting feature on what is yet another mid range smartphone, is “Color Retention” shooting mode. This allows the phone to shoot videos with only humans in color, while the background is in black and white.

“Color Retention” mode can also highlight just red, or blue, or green, and leave the rest of the frame in monochrome. All of this is done with real time (so you can see the change in colors as you’re recording), the product of advanced software algorithms. As far as I know, only Huawei’s last couple of flagships, such as the Mate 30 or P40, offer this feature, and the Reno 4 Pro does it much more naturally.

Another video trick is 960fps (frames-per-second) video recording, which is a feature seen in several flagships, but a rarity in a mid-tier device. General video stabilization is also excellent, making for a video camera that performs well on a technical level and offers a lot of creative opportunities.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G; a capable processor that can handle AI algorithms and intensive graphics processing, but doesn’t support 5G. It’s a hair slower than the Snapdragon 765 and 865, too. Still, performance is mostly good, with the occasional stutter when juggling apps or switching camera lenses.

The Reno 4 Pro has a distinctive vertical camera module. The main camera is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX sensor which is capable of capturing superb videos. For still photos the fast autofocus and top notch color reproduction make it easy to like the camera.

There is a pair of 2-megapixel sensors for macro and mono shots and both work but we wonder if you really need dedicated lenses for this. There are lots of phones that take great macro and portrait photos without including the extra lenses. It feels like Oppo included them so the phone would have something to differentiate it in the crowded mid range category.

The last lens is the ultrawide angle camera, which at 8-megapixel, f/2.2 with a quarter-inch sensor, is pretty much only good for daytime photos. At night it loses significant details. The good news is Oppo’s camera algorithm tech is really advanced, as its image stacking night mode does a solid job of hiding hardware shortcomings.

Basically, the ultrawide camera wont be your first choice when shooting at night. The wide angle captured what my eyes were seeing, the standard lens was able to take shocking photos in nightmode. This is what Huawei shocked us all with a few years ago, now we have it in a mid range smartphone camera. Overall, the wide angle lens is good, but the images are a little soft.

What my eye could see, wide angle lens shot with night mode

These next two are standard lens with night mode, if you look out the window there are even details outside! It’s impressive considering my eyes saw none of this!

2X zoom with night mode

5X Zoom with night mode

 

If this phone were in the $900 or above price range, I would say it was below average, but since it’s aimed at the mid range, it’s top of its class. The low light photos lack detail, and if it was a highend phone I would be disappointed. However, low light is where you separate the midrange from the high end and the Reno 4 Pro does an above average job with low light for a mid range phone. Photos during the day and portraits look great, plus the video performance really pushes everything over the overall camera experience above its price class.

Selfies

The selfie camera is good, but is a bit weak in low light. The beauty mode if used on low looks pretty natural, it makes me feel like I got a week of good night sleeps when I use it!

OPPO’s ColorOS version 7.2 based on Android 10. The overall UI felt smooth and responsive despite the mid-range specs. Make no mistake, though, there are still plenty of pre-installed apps alongside Google’s apps but OPPO’s custom experience is thankfully inching ever so closer to a vanilla Android experience each release.

Saying it has fast charging is an understatement

Oppo recently announced it has developed a 125W fast charging tech that, if it works as advertised, should be mind-bogglingly fast. Maybe so fast that I have to begin to wonder if we need it, because Oppo’s current industry-leading 65W is already blazingly fast.

I did a real-time battery charge test with the Reno 4 Pro, which can be seen in the video below, and the battery charged from 15% to 53% in 10 minutes.

Even without the fast charging tech, the 4,000 mAh cell here can power the Reno 4 Pro all day for most users. The ultra-fast charge is almost just an insurance policy for people who constantly forget to charge their phones overnight.

Here is a look at my Accubattery stats, this is the predicted use after a week of monitoring. You can see it’s easily all day when I use it heavily.

The Oppo Reno 4 Pro hasn’t officially launched in Germany, but we found it on CECT SHOP for 479EUR and in the US it sells for $470. At this price the Reno 4 Pro feels like very good value.

Rating
Design / 8.5
Camera / 8
Sound / 8
Performance / 8
Battery Life / 9
Software / 7.5
Price / 8.5
Editor's Choice / 8.5
Hardware / 7.5
Display / 8
Oppo reno 4 Pro

It’s hard to stand out as a mid range smartphone, but the Oppo Reno 4 Pro has added enough high end features to make it stand out. A textured matte glass back, 90Hz AMOLED display, very fast charging, Color retention making it a great little video phone that takes a decent low light photo. The battery life is easily all day, if not a day and a half which makes it easier to forgive the fact it doesn’t have 5G.

If you’re looking to spend under 500 on a phone, the OPPO Reno 4 can offer you a good style and design, all day battery life and a camera that’s fun to use.

8.2
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