OPPO Reno 4 First Impressions Review: Compact Midrange Smartphone Redefined

OPPO Reno 4 delivers on all the must-have features and some more from a premium midrange smartphone.

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OPPO Reno 4 unboxing

Early this week, the OPPO Reno 4 was launched in Kenya alongside the company’s first smartwatch in the country – the OPPO Watch.

We’ve been playing around with both and here’s our first impressions review of the OPPO Reno 4.

OPPO managed to fit so much of everything in the smartphone and still maintain a compact and light package.


Before we get into the review, here’s what you get inside the box:

  • 30W power brick
  • Type-C charging cable
  • phone itself
  • pair of earphones
  • silicone case
  • screen protector already preinstalled
  • user guide
  • warranty
  • sim-ejector tool
OPPO Reno 4 contents

*slaps the OPPO Reno 4*

This bad boy can fit so many features in a nicely designed compact package

It’s worth noting that the OPPO Reno 4 delivers on all the must-have features and some more from a premium midrange smartphone.

Design

The OPPO Reno 4’s hardware is obviously great. The design is gorgeous.

The OPPO Reno 4 comes in two colour versions with a brand new Reno Glow for the Galactic Blue version that achieves a matte finish with a glittery OPPO monogram at the back for the Space Black version.

The slim body offers an exquisite design making the Reno 4 manage to balance between functionality and a compact body – so you won’t have to get tired holding it but still guaranteeing premium in-hand feeling.

When you first hold the phone, you’ll notice how light and compact it is. It is thin and lightweight at only 7.7mm thick an at 165grams.

The front sports a 6.4” AMOLED display with a 90.7% screen to body ratio with a resolution of 2400 by 1080 pixels with 409 PPI

That display is beautiful especially if you like binge-watching content on your phone and comes in handy when on Netflix- the Reno 4 comes with a Netflix HD Streaming Certification and supports 1080P streaming, meaning you’ll enjoy your favourite Netflix shows in HD.

The display is vibrant and offers a much lower off-axis colour shift. You can use even outdoors without squinting your eyes.

 For multimedia, OPPO Reno 4 comes with Dolby Atmos that delivers engaging and stunning audio with stereo and bass effects, perfect for listening to music or films without earphones.

There’s an added OSIE ultra-clear visual effect that enhances the video quality and visual effect by increasing picture saturation, contrast and reduce noise for short video apps such as TikTok and Instagram.

The back is plastic and the matte finish help prevent fingerprint smudges on the Galactic Blue while the glossy finish on the Space Black variant makes it feel like its made of glass. The choice of materials used doesn’t add too much weight to the device, plus it makes the phone just a little bit more durable.

Even though there’s a 4015mAh battery under the phone and a 6.4″ screen, the OPPO Reno 4 comes at a decent 165grams.

The side and top bezels are razor-thin except for the relatively thick chin at the bottom. The top bezel also hosts the earpiece grill that also functions as a stereo speaker working in tandem with the bottom speaker.

OPPO Reno 4 screen

The punchhole cutout is relatively minimal and thus less distracting for the selfie camera. You also get an in-screen fingerprint reader.

OPPO Reno 4 indisplay fingerrpint sensor

At the bottom is the headphone jack next to the microphone, type-C charging port and speaker grill.

OPPO Reno 4 ports

Volume buttons are located to the left side of the phone while the power button is on the right side.

OPPO Reno 4 volume buttons

There’s a lot to like when it comes to the design of the OPPO Reno 4 such as the colour gradient back, the matte finish and the great in-hand feel.

The AMOLED screen offers really vibrant colours, great viewing angles and excellent outdoor visibility.

This is the best display OPPO has to offer and is on par with what other midrange smartphones already have. It is sad that OPPO omitted including a high refresh rate like 90Hz or 120Hz.

However, the display quality makes up for that.

The curves from the back that join the front bezels make it easy to use the OPPO Reno 4 coupled with how compact and light the device is.

You can customise the display by switching between Vivid or Gentle plus the color temperature too. You can also customize font and text scaling.

One thing that comes in handy is the Always On Display that lets you view your notifications without turning the phone on.

Hardware

Under the hood, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, Adreno 618 GPU coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage which you can expand using an external microSD card up to 256GB.

The Snapdragon chip is 8nm and delivers a better overall performance and battery life.

You’ll not experience any lag with the device. The OPPO Reno 4 offered outstanding performance be it switching between multiple apps, Chrome Tabs, streaming on Spotify, gaming including playing intense visually demanding games – all of these tasks were well-handled.

The indisplay fingerprint ready is fast and reliable but most of the times I found myself unlocking the OPPO Reno 4 with my face – and its equally fast even with a face mask on and in low light situations.

In terms of connectivity, the OPPO Reno 4 supports VoLTE including faiba 4G.

WiFi connectivity is rock solid too.

Software

The OPPO Reno 4 comes with Android 10 and ColorOS 7.2 out of the box. OPPO’s ColorOS 7.2 offers a wide range of easy to use functions that enhance the users experience from icon-pull down gestures, oppo share, quick return bubble,  AI app preloading, anti-fragmentation engine, really cool customization features such as artistic wallpaper including gravity wallpapers.

Other nice to have features OPPO Reno 4 offers include smart-always on display, smart spying prevention, smart rotation, smart air control that lets you control the phone using gesture such as scrolling up and down on Instagram, Facebook or answering a phone call with a swiping motion with your hand.

Watch how they work in our first look video review below:

The OPPO Reno 4 is slated to be updated to Android 11 and ColorOS 8 when it becomes available for the device.

It’s impressive to see the forward steps OPPO has made in terms of software and makes the OPPO Reno 4 more alluring.

Camera

OPPO didn’t come to play when it comes to photography

OPPO Reno 4 packs five cameras – all AI-powered with four at the back and one in the dual punch hole cutout at the front of the screen.

We have a 48MP primary camera accompanied by a 2MP mono-color sensor, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro camera.

We have a 32MP selfie camera and a sensor accommodated in the pouch hole cutout.

Daylight photo s turn so well. I loved the phone handled scenes with different lighting settings – that HDR really comes through.. Taking 48MP shots come with so much detail.

Colours come out with decent saturation and accurate colours, especially for our African skin tone. Portraits have good background separation.

There’s a lot to talk about the camera experience on the OPPO Reno 4 as the company added AI-powered features to enhance the smartphone’s photography capabilities.

You’ll want to take a ton of photos with the cameras the OPPO Reno 4 packs and we;re saving that for a separate review coming out in a few days – so stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, watch our first look review video below to get a hint of what to expect:

Battery Life

OPPO Reno 4 comes with a 4015mAh battery under the hood which manages to consistently deliver more than a day of use. The phone offers upto 9 hours on heavy use and 11 hours on light use in terms of screen-on-time.

30W fast VOOC charging comes through when do need to juice up the phone. You can go from empty to full in a little over an hour. 

It takes 23 minutes to get to 56% and 40 minutes to go from 0% to 91%.

The Reno 4 offers nifty battery saving features such as the regular power saving mode and super power saving mode and Super Night standby.

With super power saving mode, 5% of battery is enough for Reno4 to support WhatsApp video chat for 1.5 hours or a phone call for more than 1 hours

Super night standby ensures that only 2% of battery life is consumed for about 8 hours while you sleep.

Early Verdict

OPPO managed to strike a really good balance between design, performance and function with the reno and the device does it effortlessly.

The OPPO Reno 4 brings a ton to the table matching its price – you get an aesthetically great looking phone that matches the beauty with its brains thanks to the powerful processor inside, photography and entertainment are also taken care of with a lean software experience and long lasting battery life and fast charging that tops the icing on the cake.

Pricing and Availability

OPPO Reno 4 starts selling from Ksh 39,999 at official OPPO branded stores or on their OPPO shop on Jumia.

Pre-orders are live and are open for now with a 28th September deadline.


When you pre-order, you get the OPPO Enco W11(retails at Ksh 5000), a water flask, an OPPO backpack for free.

If you decide to pre-order both the OPPO Watch and the OPPO Reno 4, you get a discount worth Ksh 4000.

Stay tuned for full reviews of the OPPO Reno 4 and OPPO Watch coming out very soon.

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