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Oppo Reno 4 Pro review: The price of ultra-fast charging
Oppo Reno 4 Pro
What we like
What we don't like
The mid-range smartphone market is flooded with options and standing out can be tough. The Oppo Reno 4 Pro takes an interesting approach. Sure, there are powerful phones, and others that toss more cameras into the mix, but what about fast charging? The Oppo Reno 4 Pro brings rapid 65W charging to the mid-range, and backs it up with a fetching design, decent performance, and yes, a headphone jack.
Is fast charging reason enough to buy the Oppo Reno 4 Pro over more feature-packed alternatives? Let’s find out in the Android Authority Oppo Reno 4 Pro review.
Oppo Reno 4 Pro review: Design and display
- 160.2 x 73.2 x 7.7mm
- Plastic back
- In-display fingerprint reader
- 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display
- Gorilla Glass 5
In a world of glass and metal sandwiches, Oppo made the bold decision of employing an all-plastic build. After using the phone for a week, I can’t say it was necessarily a bad decision. The plastic back and frame make possible a compact body that weighs a mere 161g. If you, like me, prefer to carry your smartphone in your hand, the significant weight reduction is obvious. Your wrist will really appreciate it.
The matte finish on the plastic back doesn’t have the best texture. Sure it improves the grip, but it doesn’t feel premium and attracts hard-to-remove smudges to boot.
This extends to the plastic surrounding the camera as well. The glossy plastic of the module is prone to smudges and I often had to clean the lens while taking a photograph. As for the symmetric camera layout, I appreciate the thought here, but it does look a bit ridiculous.
The green accent on the power button looks great, and the headphone jack is convenient to have.
Over on the right side is the power button that doubles up as a Google Assistant key. The green accent on the power button adds a nice visual flair. That said, I didn’t like the volume buttons much. They sit too close to the frame, and there wasn’t sufficient feedback. Along the bottom edge is the USB-C port as well as the headphone jack.
The screen is a 6.5-inch AMOLED panel with Full HD resolution. Out of the box, the display is tuned for a more vibrant and saturated look. However, that’s easily changed by switching to the gentle color profile. Color accuracy is very good, but for me, it’s the peak brightness that really stood out. I measured peak brightness levels at about 790 nits, making the display usable even under direct sunlight.
The phone has excellent peak brightness levels affording sunlight visibility, and good color accuracy once set to the gentle color profile.
The phone sports a 90Hz display, which adds fluidity. As expected, it’s possible to lock it to either 90Hz or 60Hz in lieu of the default adaptive mode. I found little reason to keep it at the lower setting, as battery life was plenty good even with the phone set to 90Hz. Yes, there is Gorilla Glass 5 for protection from drops and scratches, and the in-display fingerprint scanner is as fast as they come.
The display is a bit smaller than some of the competition, and the slim bezels and selfie-camera cutout help reduce the overall footprint of the phone. The Oppo Reno 4 Pro stands out as one of the most comfortable phones I’ve held in recent times. Shame there’s no IP rating.
Performance: Smooth enough
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
- 2 x 2.3GHz Kryo 465 Gold and 6 x 1.8GHz Kryo 465 Silver
- Adreno 618
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage, plus microSD card slot
I’m of the opinion that most smartphone users don’t need the absolute latest and greatest chipset. However, Oppo’s choice to use a Snapdragon 720G chipset at this price point is a bit perplexing. It’s not that the chipset is lacking, but if you’re spending just short of $500, or Rs. 35,000, you expect a little more grunt.
Daily performance is satisfactory, but this is not the phone to get for heavy gaming.
That said, the octa-core chipset isn’t exactly slow. In fact, I didn’t face any hiccups at all in my time with the phone. It certainly helps that Oppo’s software optimization is fantastic; Color OS absolutely flies here. If your smartphone use involves making phone calls, texting, and social media, performance won’t be an issue.
However, if mobile gaming is a priority, the Reno 4 Pro might not be the best option for you. The phone is certainly powerful enough to push through the occasional round of PUBG, but if you’re the type to spend hours on the game, you’ll find the phone a bit lacking. Frame rates hovered around 30fps, which was palatble for casual gaming.
Battery: As fast as it gets
- 4,000mAh battery
- 65W charging
- No wireless charging
The battery on the Oppo Reno 4 Pro is run-of-the-mill when it comes to longevity, but the secret sauce is in the fast charging.
On an average day, I clocked between 6 and 6.5 hours of screen-on time. Gaming will take a toll. A half hour round of PUBG quickly drained a little over 10% battery life.
The phone charges to 60% in about the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Here’s where the ultra-fast 65W charging comes in handy. The phone goes from zero to 100 in just 32 minutes. That’s just incredible. In fact, it managed a 60% charge in just fifteen minutes, or about the time it takes me to make a solid cup of coffee.
Software: Android 10 with a dash of Color
- Color 7.2
- Android 10
Whether you like ColorOS or not is your personal preference, but it is a pretty robust take on Android. While I prefer a more stock-like implementation, Color OS 7.2, based on Android 10, on the Reno 4 Pro offers a whole host of features and customization capabilities.
From the icon packs to themes, adjustable gestures, corner rounding, and more, there’s plenty for setting up the phone exactly how you like. I quite liked the smart sidebar feature that lets you add a toolbar with shortcuts and actions for quick access. I also enjoyed the variety of options available to customize the always-on display. The game space option lets you set custom profiles for games.
On the flip side, the phone has a whole host of third-party apps on board, and not all of these can be removed. While I appreciate the full-featured video editor, office suite, and even theme store, I’d have much preferred the option to download them on my own.
Camera: Underwhelming performance
- 48MP, f/1.7, primary sensor
- 8MP, f/2.2, 119-degree ultra-wide sensor
- 2MP, f/2.4, macro sensor
- 2MP, f/2.4, depth sensor
- 32MP selfie camera
- 4K 30fps video recording
The camera setup on the Oppo Reno 4 Pro is pretty straightforward. It offers standard and ultra-wide cameras, but there’s no telephoto lens, which isn’t ideal at this price point.
Oppo tuned the camera to deliver bright and vibrant images that are good to go on social media. However, the exposure compensation tended to be set a bit too high for that bright look. Blow up the images on a large screen and you will also notice heavy digital noise reduction and oversharpening.
Spotty HDR implementation is another pain point, as the camera doesn’t do a very good job retaining highlights. With a spotlight shining down on the bag of coffee beans, the right side of the image is a bit too bright, and the brighter exposure certainly doesn’t help.
The wide-angle camera does a pretty good job on the Oppo Reno 4 Pro. While the resolution isn’t particularly high, I definitely appreciated the similar color profiles between the main and wide cameras. Unfortunately, poor HDR and the over-bright exposure are again highlighted here.
Due to the positioning of the main camera sensor, you will invariably end up placing a finger on the camera lens. This leads to smearing and smudging, and you’ll want to make sure that you clean up the camera before you take a photograph.
The Oppo Reno 4 Pro doesn’t fare well in low light scenes. The standard mode struggles to take a sharp image and there is just too much noise. The Night Mode does a bit better, but not by much. Images might look a bit sharper and brighter, but the over-the-top noise reduction removes all sense of detail and the image is unusable for anything other than throwaway social sharing.
The macro sensor doesn’t resolve much detail, but hey, it’s there if you care about capturing close-up images. I wasn’t particularly enthused by the selfie camera, either. The 32MP sensor is paired with aggressive processing, which takes away a lot of detail. Once again, the camera veers towards brighter, overexposed shots. You can check out high-resolution Oppo Reno 4 Pro photo samples by following the link.
- Headphone jack
- Stereo speakers
- AptX, AptX HD, LDAC support
First, the good: the Oppo Reno 4 Pro has a built-in headphone jack. Audio quality is great and you won’t be disappointed here if you use high-quality headphones. Of course, the phone supports all the latest audio codecs, too, including aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC.
The stereo speakers sound unbalanced, but it's nice to have a headphone jack.
Audio output from the speakers was decent, but far from great. The stereo speakers don’t get too loud. Since the Reno 4 Pro uses the earpiece as a second speaker, it just isn’t loud enough, which led to unbalanced output.
Oppo Reno 4 Pro review: Specs
|Oppo Reno 4 Pro|
6.5-inch Dynamic Super AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 resolution
Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
65W Super VOOC 2.0
Quad camera setup: 48MP
(IMX586+OIS+EIS)+8MP(wide angle) + 2MP(Depth Sensor) + 2MP (Macro Sensor)
In-display fingerprint sensor
Dimensions and weight
160.2 x 73.2 x 7.7 mm
Starry Night, Silky White
Value for money
- Oppo Reno 4 Pro: 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage — Rs. 34,999 (~$465)
The Oppo Reno 4 Pro is priced at Rs. 34,999 in India, which makes it rather pricey for a mid-range option. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the hardware here, but the Snapdragon 720G chipset just doesn’t pack the oomph you’d expect for the money.
Add to that the less-than-stellar cameras, and all you’re really left with is a one-trick pony. The real selling point here is fast 65W charging. Some may prefer better cameras or gaming performance.
Excellent devices compete against the Oppo Reno 4 Pro, such as the all-new OnePlus Nord. The Nord excels in almost every single way. The Snapdragon 765G is significantly more powerful, and the cameras are just as versatile. It certainly helps that the Nord is much cheaper, too, with a starting price of just Rs. 24,999 (~$334). Nord buyers will have to settle with 30W charging.
Then there’s the Vivo X50, which again packs a much faster Snapdragon 765G and adds unique features like a gimbal camera that drastically improves video capture. The Vivo X50 is also priced at Rs. 34,990 (~$467).
Oppo Reno 4 Pro review: Should you buy it?
The Oppo Reno 4 Pro is a good-looking piece of hardware that might cut it for someone who values design and needs a phone for general use. However, it really isn’t meant for photography enthusiasts or gamers. The 65W charging is handy to have, but since the Snapdragon 720G doesn’t really tax the 4,000mAh battery, it can be a bit of overkill.
After all is said and done, it’s hard to justify the chipset and average cameras at this price point. This makes the Oppo Reno 4 Pro a tough sell unless you really want the fastest charging speeds around.