Whenever I embark on a phone review, I have no expectations. I can end up being dissapointed by the device or be genuinely suprised by it. In this case however, I was fortunately surprised by this phone.
The OPPO Reno 2F is the latest smartphone from OPPO and I’ve been using it for close to 2 weeks now. This phone almost ticks all the right boxes of what I look for in a smartphone: Build quality, display, cameras, battery life and performance.
Starting off with the build quality, this phone feels premium. It has a huge 6.5″ 1080p AMOLED display at the front and has no notch. The back is made from curved glass and the ergonomics are just right. This is a phone you’d want to keep in a case and thankfully there is a free one in the box.
The AMOLED display is great. The deep blacks and the punch colours makes viewing content enjoyable. I enjoyed streaming content on it via Netflix, YouTube and Prime Video or viewing photos while browsing or checking out my photos in the gallery.
This display is also pretty bright, OPPO claims a 430 nit brightness and I believe them. You can easily use this screen under direct sunlight which is not the case for many phones out there. It is not HDR certified like more expensive phones but that is fine for most people.
The OPPO Reno 2F performs like a charm. It has a Mediatek Helio P70 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
I’m used to seeing Mediatek CPUs in low end smartphones and I did not have expectiations for the P70 but it surprised me. It benches the same as a Kirin 710 found in Huawei midrange phones or the Qualcomm 665 which is a treat.
However, the biggest reason why this phone is so enjoyable to use is the 8GB of RAM. 8GB of RAM is plenty for Android and it allows you to open multiple apps without them to reload everytime. 8GB RAM was reserved for high end phones and it is great that we are starting to see it trickle down to sub 30K phones.
The 128GB of internal storage is also plenty for anyone to use. I have never maxed out that storage after installing every app that I need and letting Apple Music and Spotify cache all of my music. If you need more storage, you can still add a microSD card and it supports cards upto 256GB.
OPPO stuffed a lot of cameras in these phone, 5 to be exact and they all have different functions.
On the front, you have the single 16MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture and on a motorized system. This camera pops out pretty quickly (OPPO claims it does that in 0.7 seconds) and it has cool lighting effects around it. It also doubles as part of the facial recognition system where it pops out to recognize your face to log you in.
The photos from the selfie camera are pretty decent, well if you remove the skin smoothing filter of course. It still has an over-zealous exposure compensation slider (which is common in Android phones) where they tend to take brighter photos than they should. Most people will be okay with the selfie camera quality from this phone.
The main camera system is also pretty standard and nothing new really. There is a 48MP main camera with an F/1.7 aperture, a 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle camera, a 2MP black and white camera and a 2MP depth sensor.
Photos from the main 48MP are pretty decent in good lighting conditions. The phone takes 12MP photos by default where it combines 4 pixels into one superpixel and so you won’t see any extra detail compared to pure 12MP cameras on other phones.
There is upto 5x digital zoom which I’d never use since I’m a fan of optical zoom. Night mode also works rather well on this phone but you need to have stable hands since the main camera lacks optical image stablization.
The ultra wide angle camera is pretty average and I believe it is the same 8MP sensor that is found in cheaper phones too. Use it in good lighting conditions (daytime) because the photos get grainy pretty quickly in lower lighting conditions. Still, ultrawide cameras are so useful if you want to take photos or videos of landscapes that are cramped or would look better if they were shown in a wider sense.
The most dissapointing thing about the Reno is the fact that it only shoots video upto 1080p @ 30fps. Smartphones of its range shoot upto 4K and in the Reno 2F’s case, the limitation is thanks to the Mediatek P70 processor. However, if video is not your primary concern, you won’t be bothered by the lack of a 4K video option.
Battery life is usually one of the main things people look out for in a phone and I’m happy to say that the Reno 2F has excellent battery life.
In my testing, I consistently got 8 hours of screen on time. This is great for a phone with a 4000mAh battery and it bests my Y9 Prime 2019 which gets roughly 7 hours of screen on time. My usage involves a lot of web browsing, social media use, light gaming and my location is on all the time.
When that battery finally depletes, thankfully OPPO ships a 20W charger inside the box and it charges pretty quickly thanks to their VOOC charge tech. It can go from 0-50% in half an hour and that battery can last you an entire day if you need it.
Also, it is unusual to say this but OPPO ships quality USB-C cables inside the box which is quite underrated. I want more manufacturers to ship such high quality accessories in the box.
It also runs on Color OS 6.1 that runs on Android 9 Pie and it took a while to get used to. The settings app is convoluted but with time, you get to know where everything is. I set the phone to reveal the app drawer so that it makes it easy to locate my apps.
Thankfully, it runs great, probably thanks to the 8GB of RAM that is present here and I didn’t have any slowdowns of any manner.
The Reno 2F also has some pretty nice extras. The loudspeaker is quite loud and full and I wish it was a dual speaker setup. It also has Dolby Atmos sound processing which makes your sound more ‘immersive’ and in some cases, you get to experience that in some content like videos.
It also has an in-display optical fingerprint scanner which works well for the most part but it is still not my favourite type of fingerprint scanner. I prefer the normal fingerprint scanner that is placed at the back, but in display ones are cool and that is why they are everywhere.
The OPPO Reno is a late contender to my favourite phones of the year. It has excellent battery life, looks good, main camera is decent and it performs quite admirably.
It retails for KES 39,999 in the Kenyan market and I recommend it. It has few competitors in that price range.