OPPO Reno 4 Pro Review: Loving the fast charging

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Some of us are so used to mediocre charging capabilities for our phones, that we hardly understand or appreciate the pros of extremely fast charging, which is a good bonus with the OPPO Reno 4 Pro. Offering good mid-range performance, decent camera output, and textured glass for a confident hold and fewer fingerprints, this device certainly scores high points in the charging department.

Although it is not 5G-ready, besides the above-mentioned pros, the phone doesn’t really stand out in the crowd. The reason behind this statement is simple, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700 series and Sony’s IMX586 are good enough to add the hype of high-end functionality in mid-range phones, making it difficult for OPPO Reno 4 Pro to really differentiate itself. Most phones in this range have to rely on a marketing spin or design, to make a dent.

How Does it Feel

A good grip is often missing in phones with a glass back. It looks nice, but the feel is amiss. Tackling this trend with an amicable solution, the OPPO Reno 4 Pro with an anti-glare matte finish. We have to embrace the fact that glass backsides look chic but are hard to handle. Simply upping the strength of the glass is not a solution but making use of innovative materials and enhancing the manufacturing processes to make glass feel less like glass, could be the answer.

The Reno 4 Pro’s anti-glare matte finish gives us a visual and tactile experience that is different from most phones, and this includes premium flagships. The good news about this glass that OPPO has used is that it keeps the backside glass nearly fingerprint-free. It even offers a less slippery grip and gives you more confidence holding it, as you stride down the road. This confidence is necessary, given that the design of the phone is a bit iffy. What we mean is that its 7.7 mm thin and 161 grams light – luxury or fragile – you can decide. The screen curves to the side, and meets the curved back, adds to the thinness appeal that OPPO boasts about.

Under the Hood

It’s important to acknowledge that the OPPO Reno 4 Pro has super capabilities but is not driven by benchmarks that this industry is used to – as showing-off marketing materials. Keeping your expectations, a lot more realistic with the Snapdragon 720G at the forefront, the phone is nowhere near the 700 series champion – the Snapdragon 765G. Thankfully the 8 GB of RAM helps the Reno 4 Pro to function with minimal fuss and lag. The phone doesn’t integrate 5G, but this is ok for markets like India, as it’s not yet that evolved in terms of 5G.

Given the specs, we can understand why OPPO is focusing on smooth videos and fluid graphics – the demographic that they are going after seeks these features. The phone comes with a 6.5-inch E3 SuperAMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. Definitely a plus for gamers. The 2400×1080 resolution works well with streaming services and videos and the tall 20:9 aspect ratio makes room for two apps side by side. Only be mindful of the fact that the phone has a lower resolution, and this means that there is less room for pixels and content.

The software on the phone is OPPO’s ColorOS version 7.2 based on Android 10, which gives us a good UI experience. The phone is responsive despite the mid-range specs, however the pre-installed apps along with Google’s apps offer OPPO’s custom experience, which moves the needle closer to a vanilla Android experience, with each of their releases.

When Four is an Overcrowded Bus

The OPPO Reno 4 Pro sports four cameras on its back, and as fancy as this may sound, you will soon realize that you actually end up using only three of them directly. The fourth camera – a 2 megapixel “mono” camera – is added on for depth perception and additional data. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with the monochrome special effects that cameras are capable of.

All eyes are on the main 48-megapixel Sony IMX586, which produces 12-megapixel photos with more detail than a normal 12-megapixel sensor. An 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle shooter and 2-megapixel macro cameras complete the trio cluster. The OPPO Reno 4 Pro gives us decent pictures and although the details are clear, the colors are a tad bit saturated. Another bummer is that the phone’s widest angle isn’t exactly that wide either. We have to resign to the fact that folks from the other side of the globe prefer selfies with enhancements, and hence we have to live with it.

The reason why OPPO doesn’t talk much about zoom is that the phone doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto lens. You can make out its absence when anything higher than 2x zoom is tried to be captured. In the Portrait mode or bokeh simulation, the captures are very stunning. The accurate separation of the subject in the front and the good blurring of the background makes it an interesting capture. The large 32-megapixel front camera is very accurate and for some odd reason, OPPO’s camera software enhances images with strong beautification post-processing, making selfies too creamy and pasty.

Power of (Charging) Power

The strength of the OPPO Reno 4 Pro doesn’t lie in its camera or features, it squarely sits on the charging power. OPPO bundles a 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 Flash Charge charger with the phone, which is the opposite of the latest talks about ditching chargers in the box. The charger bundle is important because with it you can experience OPPO’s phenominal36-minute charging. In our experience, the 4,000 mAh battery charges from 0% to 100% in under 40 minutes. It’s not the 36 minutes that OPPO advertises, but we won’t fret about it.

Beyond doubt, Reno 4 Pro’s charging is the hero feature, but we should consider this notion that the super-fast charging tech can also degrade battery life super-fast. Although OPPO stands by its claim and the tests for degradation are still inconclusive. OPPO says testing battery longevity is harder to do in labs. To be honest, unless you are looking at holding on to the phone for a couple of years, then you may want to consider the longevity angle. Most people change their phones in 2-3 years, so degradation is the least of your problems.

Wrap-up

The OPPO Reno 4 Pro ticks the boxes when it comes to the basics, but the clear winner is the charging speed, which is the biggest grouse for most smartphone users. This strong smartphone has a lot to offer, but it’s one of many in the mid-tier smartphone market. In fact, with OnePlus Nord’s sleeker offerings in the same pricing, makes the OPPO Reno 4 Pro lag behind.

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