OPPO Reno 4 Review: Compact and Incredible

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OPPO Reno 4

OPPO Reno 4 is the latest mid-range smartphone from OPPO in the Reno series and was recently launched in Kenya alongside the OPPO Watch.

We’ve taken the phone through its paces, from unboxing and our first look review to reviewing its camera performance. All this culminating to the full review.

OPPO Reno 4 contents

You can watch our unboxing and hands-on review of the OPPO Reno 4 and the OPPO Watch below(Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.)


Design

OPPO Reno 4 boasts a really gorgeous design. The smartphone company introduced two new designs with the Reno line including a brand new Reno Glow for the Galactic Blue version that achieves a matte finish with a glittery and not so subtle OPPO monogram at the back for the Space Black version – OPPO says this is to make the device something of a fashion statement. (It did – attracting attention wherever I went)

The OPPO Reno 4 is slimmer and lighter and the matte finish in my Blue unit gives it a plush on-hand feel.

The OPPO Reno 4 has a great size and weight to fit comfortably on one hand and in the world of giant smartphones, this compact form is a win for me and probably a lot of people who prefer their phones light and slim so that they have no trouble wielding and operating their phones with one hand, from taking photos, browsing the web, replying to texts and emails or scrolling through social media.

The power button has been placed well near where your thumb for the right-handed or index finger for the left-handed would naturally rest when holding the phone.

The power button can also be set to launch Google Assistant.

The volume rockers are also placed slightly above the power button but on the left side which I got used to. There’s also a Dual SIM nano tray.

OPPO Reno 4 volume buttons

At the bottom, you get the speaker grill, Type C charging port, a microphone and a headphone jack.

OPPO Reno 4 ports

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.

The matte finish at the back helps prevent fingerprint smudges but you’ll have to put the bundled silicon case on the phone to prevent against scratches.

Display

OPPO Reno 4 sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90.7% screen to body ratio and 1080×2400 resolution delivering a crisp 409-pixel density and held up well when using it outdoors and indoors with no issues at all.

OPPO Reno 4 display

The screen gets exceptionally vibrant and the colours are vibrant too with slightly higher contrast and saturation which I loved. The screen renders deep blacks and vivid colours that are easy to view across a wide range of viewing angles.

the screen gets exceptionally bright and the colours look stunning

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.

You can tweak between a Gentle Screen or Vivid in the display settings.

The OPPO Reno has a very high peak brightness, so most of the time I had it at mid – low brightness since the display is perfectly legible.

At 6.4″, the display is still huge enough to provide space for gaming and enjoying multimedia content. This coupled with the thin bezels provide a great viewing experience that only gets interrupted by the punchhole cutout on the top left of the display.

Always-on Display is supported too to show you notifications icons, time, date and battery percentage at a quick glance.

For biometrics, we have an optical in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock which are equally fast and accurate.

OPPO Reno 4 indisplay fingerrpint sensor

Face unlock not only works in lowlight but also with your face mask on especially if your out and about – handy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 that lets you squeeze all icons on your screen with a simple gesture to one corner for easy reach, 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.

Navigating through the COLOROS UI is a pleasant affair.

There’s a lot of neat improvements including the smart floating sidebar that you can pull from the edge if the display that brings frequently used apps and tools which you can customize as the default apps and tools include calculator, file manager and screenshot.

ColorOS 7.2 reduced bloatware apps as you now have SoLoop, an AI -powered video editing, OPPO Labs that sports expeeimental features that inlcude a rwlaxation app, decison speinner and tool to create customised ringtones.

Google apps are included too and are arranged in a separate app folder.

I loved the gesture navigation implementation where you can swipe from either the bottom or the sides instead of using the navigation buttons.

Performance

The OPPO Reno 4 packs both beauty and brains. Under the gorgeously designed chassis is a a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, Adreno 618 GPU coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

You can expand the storage with a an external microSD card up to 256GB.

This is such an upgrade from the OPPO Reno 3 as you are getting a now more competent processor capable of handling heavy multitasking and intense gaming.

The combination keeps things responsive and zippy as apps load pretty much faster as both intensive games and the occasional bouts of multitasking.

It’s been a real joy to use the OPPO Reno 4 and I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO seeing HOW THIS IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE IS GOING TO HOLD ITS OWN LONGTERM

Resource and graphic intense games are handled with relative ease such as playing PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, GrimValor, Critical Ops, Asphalt 9, Arena of Valor, Shadow Fight 3, Real Racing 3, Alto’s Odyssey and Mortal Kombat X in their highest settings.

It’s worth noting that the phone will warm up especially after a long gaming session but did not get hot enough for me to take a break.

ColorOS 7.2 comes with Game Space that boosts gaming performance for supported games. It comes in handy as it lets you block notification appearances on the screen for distraction-free gaming.

Aside from gaming, the OPPO Reno 4 handled well switching between apps during heavy multitaksing.

You could easily come from browsing the web on Chrome, open Spotify or the camera app with no stutter.

Moderate to light users will love the buttery smooth performance too.

For multimedia consumption, that AMOLED display comes through together with the included support for Dolby Atmos that enhances audio along with some pre-set audio modes such as Smart that automatically adapts sound effects to the media being played, Movie that offers real 3D surround sound and powerful bass, Gaming that provides stunning bass for immersive gaming and Music for a fuller and more balanced sound.

The speakers can be found at the bottom and the top(earpiece grill) are impressive and provide loud and crisp audio which doesn’t get distorted even when maxed.

Cameras

I used the OPPO Reno 4’s cameras religiously and I was not only blown away by how they handle ideal shooting situation but also the non-ideal ones.

OPPO Reno 4 Quad cameras

I even had to do a separate review for that which you can read below plus a ton of shots:

OPPO Reno 4 Camera Review: Unrivalled Performance

OPPO Reno 4 comes with five cameras – a 32MP selfie camera in the hole-punch cutout that also accommodates a sensor and a quad-camera setup that includes a 48MP primary camera accompanied by a 2MP mono-colour sensor, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro camera.

This combination makes for a very capable and versatile camera array. You get a cleaner camera experience that captures details and contrast in good light.

The camera app is fast and responsive with an neat interface has modes laid out in a horizontally with extended settings tucked away in the More tab.

The camera app take shots relatively quickly with no lag.

Selfies are crisp and well detailed when taken in ample lighting.

Lowlight performance is decent and the Night mode changes everything but in a good way as you’ll see in the sample shots shared on the article above

This mode adds light and details for a clearer and brighter shot in darker areas. The shots are good enough to even be shared on social media platforms.

You’ll have to keep your hands steady for upto 10 seconds to let the camera capture shots in lowlight.

OPPO tossed in plenty of modes to shoot with including Pro mode, Portrait mode, Panorama, Time Lapse and Slo-Mo.

The HDR mode handles challenging situation pretty well.

Taking 48MP shots come with so much detail allowing you to get decent quality prints or tweak them further in a photo editing software.

Food shots are great enough to spice up your Instagram feed

The 8MP ultrawide also does a good job retaining colour as the primary camera.

Portrait mode does an equally good job with isolating subjects from the background.

OPPO included other features such as AI colour portrait which pushes the background in a photo to black and white while retaining colour of the person in focus.

The OPPO Reno 4 not only offers unrivalled camera performance but also video performance. There’s a steady video on for selfie videos. The dual selfie cameras offer EIS and the front ultra-steady video can work with most filters at both [email protected] and [email protected], and with bokeh and beautification at [email protected]

The main camera can also shoot AI colour portrait videos and monochrome video with this feature.

Both Ultra Steady video to capture action shots without a gimbal and ULTRA steady video pro which is supported by the ultra-wide angel camera to capture a wider angle video shot.

There’s also support for 960fps smart slow-motion playback that uses intelligent motion detection algorithm. The OPPO Reno 4 can also take slow-motion videos in [email protected][email protected], and [email protected] on the rear cameras.

It‘s also worth noting that OPPO Reno 4 allows users to take slow-motion video in [email protected] and [email protected] with its front camera.

OPPO included SoLoop which is a smart video editor offers even more exciting updated features to easily create an entire trendsetting video with a single tap.

The unrivalled performance coupled with the impressive hardware the OPPO Reno 4 ships with make for a compelling package.

Battery Performance

OPPO Reno 4 packs a 4015mAh battery that offers more than a day and a half of usage on heavy usage. I’m pretty sure it could go close to two days with light to moderate use.

I was getting an average of upto 9 hours of screen on time.

And when it needed juicing up, 30W fast VOOC charging came through.

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%.

If you’re nowhere near a socket or extensions, OPPO 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.

Verdict

If you’ve got 40K lying around go get this power horse or literally save up to get yourself or your loved one as an early Christmas gift now that the holidays are near – you or your loved one will eternally be grateful for making this decision.

OPPO Reno 4 actually delivered. It was built to get work or play done.

OPPO Reno 4 managed to effortlessly strike a really good balance between design, performance and function


OPPO Reno 4 delivers on all the must-have features and some more from a premium midrange smartphone – you are getting 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 lean software experience and long-lasting battery life and fast charging that crowns the whole experience.

OPPO Watch Review: Stylish and Functional

Pricing and Availability

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

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.


1 COMMENT

  1. The only reason I switched from Samsung to Oppo Reno 10x was on the first place shark fin (no open front cam!) and on the second place lens ZOOM! All gone now for a couple of new versions now! To bad!

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