These days, you can get some brilliant phones just a couple of steps below flagship devices. Phones that are worth giving a try if you’re a frequent phone swapper. Phones like the $750 Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.
Now, if you don’t remember this phone, it’s the one with the pizza-slice selfie camera. Yes, rather than having a notch holding the front camera, Oppo has cleverly hidden it inside the phone.
It works like this:
Other things to note on the phone are three rear cameras (a 48MP main, 13MP telephoto, and 8MP wide angle) and, as the device’s name suggests, a 10x zoom. For clarity, it’s a hybrid zoom, meaning it works with a mix of optical and digital techniques.
And yes, it’s pretty cheeky of Oppo to name this version the 10x Zoom, and imply that magnification is all optical.
Lol, so talk to me
The other key points are its massive 6.6″ AMOLED display, and Snapdragon 855 processor. We’ve covered many of the specs and features in our hands-on piece here, so rather do that over all that again, this piece is going to focus more on what I’ve learned using the phone over the past couple of months.
You can see the in-display fingerprint scanner there, which works like a dream.
Got it! So tell me about the pizza-slice selfie camera
Of course. There were two main concerns about this: the time it takes to pop-up, and durability.
Throughout my time with the device, I wasn’t too put off with the selfie–camera‘s rising time. I’d say it takes between 0.5 and 1 second for the camera‘s image to appear on screen. That’s definitely slower than a phone with an embedded front-facing camera, but I never found it detrimental.
This is especially true because of the pay-off.
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s screen (a 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution) is absolutely gorgeous, and the fact the screen is uninterrupted is, well, magnificent. When you’ve grown used to the notch, having a completely unbroken, rectangular screen feels likes a luxury. A glorious luxury that’s well worth waiting slightly longer to take a selfie for.
On top of that, I’ve impressed a lot of people with the way the pizza-slice selfie camera appears from inside the phone. That’s worth a couple of extra points.
And what about the selfie-camera’s durability?
This is still up-in-the-air. Currently, it works fine.
The mechanism functions with no issues, even after being boshed about in my bag, pocket, and dropped on the floor. What has happened though is a layer of gunk, dust, and random debris has coated the pizza-slice camera. This comes off with a simple wipe, but I do have concerns about the mechanism’s longevity.
Will it last a year of working fine? I’d put money on it. Two years? Then, to me, things start to get shaky. Basically if you replace your phone every year, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you hold onto for years and years, I’d be less certain of the pizza slice mechanism lasting.
And how good’s the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s camera?
I’m a big fan. It pulls out colors well:
And is great at moody, outdoor shots:
The 10x zoom is pretty impressive too. To illustrate how it works, here’s a low effort shot I snapped without moving from my desk:
And with the 10x hybrid zoom:
Now, is the camera as good as the Huawei P30 Pro? Nah, but it’s definitely in the same ballpark. But, there is one element that the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom beats Huawei’s device…
…and that is?
Usability. Basically, when I’ve used the P30 Pro I didn’t find it all that slick. While the Oppo Reno’s Android 9.0 with Color OS 6.0 isn’t perfect (I’m not a fan of all the pre-installed apps), it runs seamlessly. I’ve not experienced a single bug or unexpected shutdown in my daily use, something that my colleague who was testing Huawei’s phone encountered.
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is a pretty big device. Its aforementioned 6.6″ screen looks fantastic, but might be a bit too big for some people. Personally, I loved the size, but everyone’s different. If you have small hands, it’s probably not the device for you.
A similar thing goes for its weight. At 210g (for context, the iPhone XS Max is 208g), I found the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom to have a reassuring weight. Still, some friends thought the phone was too heavy, so that depends on your personal preference.
Another thing I’m a big fan of is its battery life. The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom has a 4065mAh capacity battery, and I regularly got through a full 48 hours without having to charge it. Of course, this will change over time, but it felt good having power for so long.
So, who’s it for?
Someone’s whose looking for a top quality phone at a reasonable price, but wants to avoid the usual big hitters. In other words, regular phone swappers who are looking to try something fresh.
Basically, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time using the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Is it good enough to tear contended iPhone or Samsung Galaxy users away from their devices? Most likely not. For that it needs to truly be better than those phones, while currently, it’s almost as good, but cheaper.
Anyway, the Oppo Reno 10x zoom is a well-built, impressive phone that was a pleasure to review. Plus, it’s proven the pizza-slice selfie camera (and other pop-up variants) aren’t just a gimmick. Well, for a year at least.
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Published August 21, 2019 — 11:29 UTC