Oppo Reno 2 can easily be called one of the best-looking phones out there. It offers a masterclass in how to craft a premium smartphone at a not-so-premium price point. Half of the experience of the Reno 2 is in its looks and that’s the part that satisfies you the most. But the Reno 2 is also about its quad camera setup, Snapdragon 730G processor and notchless AMOLED display as well.
With the Reno-series, Oppo has managed to create something special by combining premium design aesthetics with new technologies. The Reno 10x Zoom, for example, offered a shark-fin rising camera and 10x zoom lens. The Reno 2 also bring a similar elevating camera and bumps up the zoom to 20x. But with a price tag of Rs 36,990, is the Reno 2 worth buying given the competition around, or should you spend a little extra and go for the Reno 10x Zoom flagship instead? Read our Oppo Reno 2 review to find out.
Oppo Reno 2 Design
When I reviewed the Reno 10x Zoom a few months, I called it the “best-designed phone in 2019”, and this now extends to the Reno 2 as well. The new Reno 2 brings a similar design philosophy as the previous Reno, which is a good thing. It gets a stunning curved Gorilla Glass 5 rear panel, which is smooth and feels solid to the touch. The best thing about the back of the Reno 2 is that it is one seamless piece of glass without any camera bump.
The vertical quad camera system sits underneath the glass, offering a clean and visually attractive look. The Reno 2 also comes in a new Luminous Black colour, which is one of my favourite colours on a phone this year. The panel gets a deep black coating that also covers the frame as well. On top of that is a blue halo effect around the edges and around the center Oppo strip almost glows like an LED light at certain angles. It is hands down one of my favourite colours on a phone right now.
The Reno 2 also comes in an Ocean Blue colour, which looks similar to the previous Reno smartphone. The glass however, is glossy this time around rather than matt finish, so expect to see some fingerprints and smudges as you go about your day, especially on the Luminous Black option. The lack of a camera bump may also lead you to smudge the bottom camera sensor as your finger rests on the glass, so you will have to clean it often before taking pictures.
The shark-fin rising camera previously seen on the Reno 10x Zoom returns on the Reno 2. The pivot rising structure moves fast initially so that the camera is out in about 0.8 seconds, allowing you to unlock the phone using face scan quickly. It’s quite efficient, but you will notice dust accumulating on the system after a while due to more surface area popping out.
The curved edges on the back offers a nice grip. The phone feels quite premium to hold and the weight is on the heavier side. The black metal frame sees a power button on the right side with a green accent on top, which is a nice touch. The volume keys are on the left side and they are all well within reach. The top of the frame is where the shark-fin rising camera comes out and the bottom sees a 3.5mm headphone jack, Type-C port and a speaker grille.
Oppo Reno 2 Display
The Reno 2 comes with a 6.55-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 6 on top. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Dynamic AMOLED is also what Samsung uses on its Galaxy Note 10-series. The Reno 2 offers a FHD+ (2400×1080) resolution and a screen-to-body ratio of 93.1, which means what you get is practically all screen and no bezels except for a very slim chin that is almost non-existent.
The AMOLED display on the Reno 2 looks spectacular with vivid colours, deep blacks and excellent viewing angles. It is a display with almost no faults. In Vivid mode, the display offers plenty of punchy and saturated colours. In its default Gentle mode, colours look sober and washed out but more true to life if that’s what you want.
Brightness levels on the Reno 2 are fantastic as it can max out at 800 nits when outdoors, which is quite impressive. The display is great for watching videos and playing games. The edge-to-edge display offers a distraction-free experience. The phone also supports the Widevine L1 standard so you can stream content on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video in crisp HD resolution.
Oppo Reno 2 Camera
We now come to the USP of the Reno 2, which is its quad camera setup. And there’s a lot to talk about here. But what you need to know before anything else is that the cameras on the Reno 2 are really impressive.
Oppo is following close behind Realme in bringing quad camera phones to the market. Like the Realme 5 Pro, the Reno 2 also gets a 48MP quad camera system, only fancier. In addition to a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor that supports OIS and EIS, the Reno 2 also offers a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel monochrome lens.
The standout feature that Oppo is highlighting is the 20x digital zoom support, which is a unique offering in this segment. The Reno 10x Zoom, to recall, offered 10x digital zoom, so you get twice the amount on the Reno 2. The 20x zoom feature has a nice hook to it, but it’s not something you will use often.
The Reno 2’s telephoto lens can offer 5x hybrid zoom, which offers some really crisp and detailed zoomed shots with the help of EIS. The camera is able to retain some details and colours look good as well. Zooming all the way up to 20x leads to soft and noisy images, but there is some stability to be found, which allows you to capture blur-free photos.
The 48MP main camera can take stunning shots in daylight via its default 12MP pixel binning mode. Photos look sharp and colourful on the AMOLED display even without Chroma Boost enabled. When HDR kicks in the dynamic range can get pretty wide, offering good contrast in tricky lighting conditions. In some rare instances, the camera does overexpose the scene, making colours look washed out. The AI scene detection does well to reduce grains when shooting indoors or as the sun sets.
Oppo says the Reno 2 comes with an Ultra Dark Mode that’s supposed to be an improvement over the previous version. The mode works well enough for low-light conditions, but don’t expect Pixel-like photos. The long-exposure mode requires you to keep your hands still for a few seconds, allowing you to capture brighter shots with low noise.
The wide-angle lens also comes in handy if you want a different perspective. The wide-angle mode not only lets you capture a wide area, but you can also use it for close-up macro shots as well. The phone holds up well in the video department with the ultra steady mode kicking in to offer good stabilisation. You can even record videos in wide-angle, but it will look quite poor and noisy indoors.
The Reno 2 can also capture live bokeh videos, which works pretty well. In fact, the feature impressed me more on the Reno 2 than it did on the Galaxy Note 10+. The 16-megapixel front camera will get you some nice-looking selfies in daylight, but not the sharpest or most-detailed. The selfie camera also tends to blow out the background at times, so it isn’t the most reliable. In addition to portrait stills, the selfie camera can also record real-time bokeh videos.
Oppo Reno 2 Performance and Software
The Reno 2 is powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 730G processor that is equipped with an Adreno 618 GPU. It is easily one of the smoothest mid-range processors out there right now. With the Snapdragon 730G chipset, the Reno 2 can breeze through pretty much any task you throw at it. The device feels snappy and quick to the touch and the experience while using it was quite delightful. The chipset is also based on a 7nm process, which makes it more power efficient as well.
With 8GB of RAM under the hood, the Reno 2 will let you switch between apps without any lag or slowdown. In my time with the smartphone, I did not notice any crashes or lags whatsoever, The phone runs consistently smooth even on heavy usage. Compared to the regular Snapdragon 730 chipset that powers the Redmi K20, the Snapdragon 730G comes with a slightly faster GPU.
The Reno 2 is an excellent smartphone to game on. I played a few sessions of PUBG on default high graphics, which ran consistently smooth. During the course of a match, I did not encounter any drops in frame rate or slow down and touch response felt good. Wi-Fi connectivity was also strong with network ping speeds consistently in the 30-40ms area. After a 30-minute session, the phone did not get warm.
Oppo Reno 2 ships with a new ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9 Pie. The new custom UI version comes with fewer preloaded apps on the Reno 2, which is a pleasant surprise. It seems to be the case for the Reno 2 only as the Reno 2Z offers a lot of bloatware. There’s no official reason behind this, but the good thing is that the Reno 2 comes with a pretty clean UI. The app drawer is disabled by default, but you can enable it in Settings.
ColorOS 6.1 offers some neat features such as a lockscreen magazine, Night Shield, Game Space and smart battery saving options. Wallpapers look attractive on the AMOLED screen and app icons are small.
There is an earpiece right on the top edge of the frame, which delivers a fairly clear and loud audio output for calls. The single speaker on the bottom is also loud with a good amount of clarity, delivering a good sound experience while watching movies or playing games. The on-screen fingerprint sensor is extremely snappy and slightly faster than the face unlock method, but both are equally reliable.
Oppo Reno 2 Battery
Oppo Reno 2 offers a full-day battery life on its 4,000mAh battery, but not more than that. It’s probably the only area where the Reno 2 feels a bit lacking. If your average day includes streaming a few hours of video or music, frequent messages and social media browsing, you will likely need to charge the device just before bedtime.
A major relief is that that the Reno 2 comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging support and a 20W charging brick in the box. So even if you charge the device for an hour before sleeping or right after you wake up in the morning, you’ll be good to go for the day.
Should you buy the Oppo Reno 2?
Barring the price, there is honestly no reason why you should not buy the Reno 2. It is a fantastic phone that delivers a premium experience on all ends. Right from its stunning glass and metal design in Luminous Black to its attractive notchless AMOLED display, terrific mid-range processor and a great set of quad cameras, the Reno 2 is everything you could ask from a smartphone and then some.
But with a price tag of Rs 36,990, the Reno 2 isn’t exactly competitive given the competition around. For a little less or a little more, you can find Snapdragon 855-powered phones like the OnePlus 7 and even Oppo’s own Reno 10x Zoom in this segment. The Reno 2 with all its attractive qualities and must-have features may still feel underwhelming if you’re looking for a flagship processor at this price.
Oppo Reno 2 review
- Stunning glass design
- Fast performance
- Good quad cameras
- Bright AMOLED display
- Average battery life
- Low-light camera performance
- Price could have been better