Two months after its launch in India, Oppo has held an event in London for the new generation of its Reno range. In this case, only two new models arrive in Europe: Reno 2 and Reno 2 Z, while Reno 2 F does not. We’ve been lucky to try Oppo Reno 2 before its official launch so here’s our full review.
The main difference between the Reno 2 and the original Reno is the rear camera. Now, the module includes four lenses that significantly improve photographic results and bring them closer to those of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom also launched in April.
The official presentation in Europe of Oppo Reno 2 took place 16 October, at an event held at the English National Ballet in London.
It will be available from 18 October priced from £449 in the UK – that’s £50 cheaper than the original. If you’re looking for something even cheaper, the Reno 2 Z is just £329.
Check out our best mid-range phone chart to see what it’s up against.
Design & Build
Before analyzing the performance of Reno 2, you are probably interested in knowing more about its design. At first glance, it does not present too many physical differences with the previous model and retains that curved structure at the rear, as well as at the angles.
The dimensions have changed slightly, now with a taller and thicker body than before: 160 x 74.3 x 9.5mm instead of 156.6 x 74.3 x 9mm. That’s because Oppo has made room for a bigger screen and a more powerful battery.
Our first feeling was that the Reno 2 is somewhat heavy, but it should be said that you quickly get used to both weight and dimensions, especially if you come from a device with a smaller screen. If you are also one of those who prioritise having a large screen to be able to handle it well with one hand, this experience is even better with the absence of any type of notch or hole in the panel thanks to its moving selfie camera.
The Reno 2’s bezel is very small but still visible. Although aesthetically we prefer the design with curved edges of mobiles such as the Galaxy Note 10, we still prefer that there be a bezel because the image on the screen is not interupted.
As we have already mentioned, the main difference between the first Reno and this is the rear camera. This also affects the design, since behind we now have four lenses instead of just two. The O-dot is still present to protect the camera.
The presence of this raised nubbin does not make the mobile completely flat and it may bother you if you type with your smartphone resting on the table. The Reno 2 will shake a little when writing but at least it will remain stable and will not slip.
It is also worth mentioning that it has the same Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and the same Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear as per the original Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom.
If you are bothered by the fingerprint marks left by your fingers, you can use the protective case that comes in the box, although its design will not be to everyone’s taste. There is no mention of its water resistance, so we assume it’s not resistant.
The Reno 2 arrives in Europe in two colors: Ocean Blue and Luminous Black. In other markets it is also available in Sunset Pink, and we are looking forward to seeing it. The tones are brighter than the Ocean Green and the Jack Black of the previous model.
Specs & Features
Since Oppo has not surprised us with too many design developments, the most interesting thing here is to see if the small internal improvements such as screen, cameras, processor and battery make a big difference to the original and can compete with current rivals.
We have already said that the screen of Oppo Reno 2 is somewhat larger than that of its successor. Specifically, the new Reno has gained just 0.1in on the screen, its panel being 6.5- instead of 6.4in. Also, the aspect ratio is now a very tall 20:9.
This is the same AMOLED Full HD+ screen, but now it has a somewhat higher resolution of 2400×1080 pixels at 401ppi. Oppo says it has a brightness of 500 nits, quite similar to our results at 463.
We can’t say how the screen looks in broad daylight because our tests have coincided with rainy days. However, we think that in general terms you will not have problems seeing the panel with that brightness level.
The colours are vibrant and the images look sharp and with good contrast. Some high quality YouTube videos do not play with the desired quality even at a resolution of 1080p, especially if they are especially dark images.
At a much lower price, the screen of this Oppo is much better than the LCD of the iPhone 11. The Reno 2 panel reaches higher levels of brightness and more saturated colors. If this saturation bothers you, though, you can adjust the colors to softer tones.
And so onto the main event since the two rear lenses of the original Reno have multiplied to four.
In the first generation, the rear camera configuration consisted of a 48Mp main lens and a 5Mp depth sensor. Now, in addition to the 48Mp lens, it has a wide angle 8Mp camera, a 13Mp telephoto lens and a 2Mp mono sensor.
In general, and as you can see in our Flickr gallery below, the results are good, although the weather during our testing didn’t do it any favours. The colours are crisp and true to reality.
The camera disappoints when it comes to to 20x magnification. With the optical zoom and even with the hybrid zoom up to x5, the results are decent, but thereafter, with the digital zoom, the photos lose a lot of quality and are quite blurry.
If we compare the results obtained with the main lens with and without the night mode activated, the differences are quite remarkable. With the mode activated, the portrayed objects will be much better appreciated, almost as we perceive it with our own eyes.
By testing the macro mode, the Reno 2 will be intelligently able to detect what it is that you are portraying. As it happened with the Reno 10x Zoom, we like more the blurry effect that is achieved with this type of photos than with the portrait mode activated.
Speaking of portrait mode, in the gallery you can also appreciate the differences between a selfie using this mode and another without using it. The bokeh effect is not too pronounced and the results are more natural. In addition, it manages to handle the hair silhouette well.
We have taken these photos with the front retractable camera. This is the same removable system that we have seen in previous Renos in the form of shark wings and with a 16Mp lens.
To those who are concerned about the durability of this module, we must say that the automatic closing of the camera when detecting the free fall has always worked for us. In addition, Oppo says they have tested 200,000 times and should last up to 5 years.
The new video features are interesting. We especially want to highlight the Ultra Steady mode, which offers fantastic stabilization and it will make it seem like you are using a gimbal.
Oppo says its retractable camera is the first to allow video recording with a bokeh effect. It should be said that the blurred background is achieved artificially through software and that the results are not too good (hair is often blurred).
Performance & Battery life
The Oppo Reno 2 is only available in a single configuration: 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The previous model, on the other hand, was also available with 6/128GB.
That’s a nice upgrade, then and the Reno 2 also comes equipped with a new processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G and the Adreno 618 GPU, which is a step up from the Snapdragon 710 processor.
If we look at the performance tests below, we see that Reno 2 surpasses Reno Z, although this was to be expected. On the other hand, it was not possible vs the Qualcomm 855 found in the Reno 10x Zoom.
For practical purposes, the new Oppo device remains a handset with which you can trust if you want to perform from the most basic tasks to more intense ones, although you may suffer a bit with video games rich in graphics.
In terms of longevity, the Reno 2 includes a battery with a capacity of 4000mAh, slightly higher than the 3765mAh of the previous generation. In our tests with Geekbench 4, it has given a result of 10 hours and 10 minutes.
This translates into hours and hours of real-world usage. The battery of the Reno 2 should easily last throughout the day, even if you regularly use the camera, watch video or play video games.
When you have exhausted the battery, you can take advantage of the fast charging of the Reno 2. VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 technology at 20W allows you to recharge it from 0- to 46% in 30 minutes and you can use the phone while charging it without affecting the charge itself.
If you’re afraid of running out of battery too early, in addition to having a power bank nearby, you can use the power saving mode. You can set, for example, to save battery provided the phone is idle.
Connectivity & Audio
For now, 5G connectivity has not reached the mid-range market, so if you want to enjoy higher speeds when using the internet you must continue betting on its Reno 10x Zoom 5G model.
The other connectivity services are what we would expect today on any smartphone: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and GPS. You can also unlock by face recognition or fingerprint sensor embedded in the screen and both systems are very fast.
Although the charging port is USB-C, the headphone jack port is maintained, something that we’re happy about. Personally, we are getting used to the idea of connecting headphones in the same port as the charging cable.
We already complained about this in our review of the Reno 10x Zoom and we see that Oppo has not decided to fix it: the audio comes mainly through the speaker at the bottom. It bothers us particularly and does not help to offer a premium experience at all.
Another novelty of Reno 2 is the operating system. Bearing in mind that the previous model launched only six months ago, we did not expect Oppo to include a completely new version of its Color OS.
Color OS 6.1 comes pre-installed, which is based on Android 9 Pie. The interface has some differences, but usually we do not notice major changes. We quite like the visual design of this software, although it may seem to some that the icons are too small. In any case, you can only make the font and screen size of the apps larger.
In general terms it works well, although in some moments we have noticed that it does not respond well to some movements with the finger, such as swiping up and down or pinching with two fingers to zoom.
As we saw with Color OS 6, the possibility of controlling Reno 2 with certain gestures is preserved: draw a circle on the locked screen to open the camera or a ‘V’ to activate the flashlight, or also slide three fingers down to capture the screen.
If you swipe three fingers up, you will activate the split screen option instead. It is useful for those who want to chat with someone while watching a video on YouTube or other combinations of apps. It is not compatible with certain apps like Instagram, though.
Finally, we want to highlight Oppo’s efforts to take care of the health of its users. With Reno 2, you can also control your mobile use with the Digital Wellbeing feature ’or protect your view with Night Protection or Visual Anti-fatigue Mode.
Those who expected many developments with the second generation of Oppo Reno will be disappointed to see that the Reno 2 has few differences with its predecessor, especially physically.
It should be said, however, that we are glad that the Chinese company has at least improved the cameras. The Reno 2 quad camera will not leave anyone unhappy, although the hybrid zoom could be better.
For an average user, the power of the processor and the graphics card will be enough even to watch Netflix series or play a video game. They will also celebrate not having to charge the battery before the end of the day.