OPPO Reno3 CameraOPPO announced the Reno3 in March 2020. As expected, the device has made its way to Kenya as some of the previous Reno devices. It can be purchased for KES 40000, and before you start debating if the smartphone is worth that kind of money, we are going to stop you right there for a short answer: Yes.

OPPO Reno3 Colours
Reno3 in Midnight Black and Aurora Blue

The Reno3 is a beautiful phone. You will notice this as soon as you open the retail package and hold the smartphone for the first time. It tips the scales at 170g, making it quite light for a large, AMOLED 6.4-incher that also houses a big 4025 mAh battery.

OPPO Reno3 BlackBefore we get carried away with the Reno3’s looks, here is what you get in the box: the phone itself, a clear case (this is always a better idea), a fast 30W VOOC 3.0 charging brick that juices the phone halfway by the 30-minute mark; a SIM ejector tool, some standard earphones (the Reno3 has not eliminated the 3.5 mm headphone socket) and some literature.

OPPO Reno3 Case
OPPO Reno3 dressed in the included case

The setup process is seamless. In under three minutes, you should be at your home screen. Here, you will notice a few things. First, the wallpaper collection is very good, and we appreciate it when you can natively switch them without a third-party app. Secondly, this is ColorOS v7 (not 7.1) so the interface and features are more streamlined and work as advertised. It is worth noting that the skin has grown to include some of the very best features and customization options available.

For instance, you can summon a global search with a single swipe down. If that is not your jam, you can change it to expand notifications.

Apps, as expected, are populated on multiple home screens. If that is not a good choice for you, the software allows you to set Drawer mode. Other features include split mode (Android 10 supports it natively, although we are not sure who runs two apps on a single screen because the majority of people don’t); the ability to clone apps for two profiles and theming your experience, to mention a few.

OPPO Reno3 FrontAlso worth noting is that the number of extra apps or bloatware is minimal (Soloop – a video app, Opera News, and Opera Mini – all of which you can erase). A generous set of Google apps have also been preinstalled.

The general point here is that ColorOS, which runs on top of Android 10 (April 2020 security patch that was sent after booting the device) is polished, runs responsively, and is appealing to the eye.

Now, onto the hardware. The whole package is powered by an octa-core MTK Helio P90 chipset. This is an upper-midrange CPU, meaning it performs as good as the priciest phones around. There is 128 GB of media-hoarding room, and 8 GB of RAM that should make sure your apps and memory are kept in memory for a long time.

SpecsOPPO Reno3
1080 x 2400 pixels
OSAndroid 10, ColorOS 7
ChipMediatek MT6779 Helio P90 (12 nm)
GPUPowerVR GM9446
Storage128 GB
Battery4025 mAh
Fast Charging at 30W aka VOOC 3.0
Headphone jackYes!
FeaturesUnder the display fingerprint reader
44 MP

Main: Quad
48 MP, f/1.8, (wide)
13 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto)
8 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)
2 MP B/W
ColoursMidnight Black, Aurora Blue
PriceKES 40,000

You are not going to slow this phone down with this silicon and random-access memory. OPPO has also made sure that that is the case with the aforementioned software optimizations. We are certain that we will report the same thing during the overall assessment.

Security measures are enforced by an in-screen fingerprint scanner, pattern, or face unlock. Knowing OPPO, I am not surprised by the wicked fast face unlock that I think all customers should use.

An in-screen fingerprint reader means that the back of the phone is less busy, with only a quad-camera, and LED flash and OPPO branding. The camera lenses are arranged vertically on the top left side and include a versatile set of sensors at 48 MP (wide), 13 MP (telephoto), 8 MP (ultra-wide), and 2 MP (B/W). This is an impressive combination that packages all sensors you could ask for at KES 40000.

OPPO Reno3 Camera InterfaceBriefly, the camera system is capable of 5x hybrid zoom and 10x digital zoom, which come in handy when you want to snap far away objects. The 48 MP sensor is also here for the same purpose, and you can actually choose to shoot up to 108 MP samples using multi-frame composition.

OPPO Reno 3 Quad CameraOPPO mentions another feature called optical-flow sub-pixel registration where the camera matches and calibrates sub-pixels on a variety of frames to create a low-pixel original image. Afterward, through sub-pixel interpolation, the original image with low pixels becomes an image taken with high-resolution.

For those who love video, it is worth noting that the phone can record 4K 30fps clips. If you downscale it to 1080p, the framerate can be boosted to 60fps.

Oh. There is a 44 MP selfie snapper hidden in a small tear-drop notch. It is capable of taking portrait selfies (with blurred backgrounds).

OPPO Reno3 NotchTheir performance, as expected, is great, but that is a story for another day.

On the whole, what you are getting here is a solid offering that excels in all areas; a good software experience, fluid performance, promising cameras, and an overall package that is built well with all necessary hardware inclusions such as the headphone jack.

We are going to put the Reno3 to its paces for a final review. This is also a good time to share your thoughts in the comments sections about what you want us to examine before you commit your thousands for the Reno3.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]