The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is the best Budget Flagship for Photography

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In the world of smartphones, the phrase, “high-end flagship” has become synonymous with brands like Apple, Samsung, and even Huawei. However, other brands also want a slice of that cake and come up with their own rendition of a premium device that can rival the likes of the big three. The brand we’re talking about today is Oppo, with their latest flagship, the Reno 10x Zoom.

As the name suggests, the Reno 10x Zoom has a camera that allows for 10 times zoom without the loss of any quality, which is impressive, to say the least. It also has the perfect recipe for being a flagship that does give rivals a run for their money. How does it manage to do all that? Let’s have a look at its specs and features to find out.

Design & Display

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image: Oppo

The Oppo Reno 10x plays it safe in this department. Like every high-end phone out there, it uses a glass and metal construction with the metal sandwiched between two glass panels. The glass at the back is mostly frosted except for the thin vertical strip in the middle that has the Oppo script and the triple-camera module. Oppo has also decided to play it safe with the color design by using a simple gradient. Though they have succeeded in making it look beautiful especially in the Ocean Green finish.

The most interesting design cue of the Reno 10x Zoom is probably its popup front camera. However, unlike every other popup camera, this is different. It’s called the Shark Fin selfie camera and you can see why. When open, it makes for a unique asymmetric silhouette that somehow doesn’t trigger our OCDs. As far as safety is concerned, the Reno has a free-fall detection, like the OnePlus 7 Pro, that allows the camera module to retract.

Up front, you get a 6.6″ 2340×1080 AMOLED display. The bezels are almost non-existent thanks to the 86.8% screen-to-body ratio and the shark fin popup camera. Personally, I expected this to have a 1440p display especially considering its price and the fact that the competition has it as well. The glass panel is also flat, which has split opinions. I believe that it does add to the premium look and feel but is inconvenient to use single-handedly.

Cameras

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image: Oppo

Another place where the Reno 10x Zoom truly shines is its rear camera setup. Like most flagships, it has 3 cameras; the main shooter, a telephoto and a wide-angle. The main camera has a 48MP resolution with a 26mm focal length and f/1.7 aperture. Next, comes the 8MP ultrawide camera that has a 16mm focal length, allowing a 120° field-of-view and an f/2.2 aperture.

Lastly, we come to the telephoto shooter. As mentioned earlier, the Reno has a 10x zoom feature without the loss of picture quality. However, not all of that is optimal. The 13MP camera with 130mm focal length and f/3.0 allows for 6x optical zoom. The rest is done via software digitally. This is why Oppo likes to call this a 10x Hybrid Zoom.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image: Oppo

You may wonder, however, that this isn’t that special as the Huawei P30 Pro can go all the way to 50x. Well, the Oppo can go even further at 60x but at a considerable loss of quality. To be fair, you won’t be using 50x or 60x time a whole lot so it’s not really a deal breaker if they’re not perfect. However, you might find yourself using the 10x zoom feature, if you’re into photography, and I can say for certain that Oppo does that best.

Coming to the video recording department, you get the standard options that are available all across the board. You can record up to 4K at 30 and even 60 fps. You get the same with 1080p, except with an additional 24 fps slow-mo option. It doesn’t offer super slow-mo at 480 or even 960 fps but that would’ve come at a loss of quality and no one even uses those.

Performance

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Image: Qualcomm

Under the hood, you get the crème de la crème 7nm Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 CPU paired with the Adreno™ 640 GPU. This killer combo can be found in every latest flagship that has been coming out and performance-wise it’s the best out there. Needless to say, all your games will run without a lag in sight.

In addition to this Oppo has also integrated three different cooling technologies: Cooling gel, triple graphite layering, and copper pipes. This prevents the device from overheating and eventually thermal throttling, which can affect the performance. It may not be the best out there, but it sure does get the job done.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image: Oppo

As far as storage and RAM are concerned, you get 3 configurations: 6GB/128GB, 6GB/256GB, and 8GB/256GB. While the storage seems to be fairly adequate, it’s a shame you can’t get an 8 GB RAM with it. While a 6 GB RAM may be enough, for now, it may fall short if you intend to use this phone for the long term. However, that can be forgiven, Oppo has been gracious enough to give us expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot.

Talking about the battery, the Oppo Reno 10x has an impressive 4065 mAh non-removable cell in the back. Again, it may not be the best out there but it’ll definitely last you a full-day use without breaking a sweat. In addition to that, it also comes with Oppo’s famous 20W VOOC fast charger out of the box. This is a welcome addition that a lot of high-end manufacturers (*cough* Apple) overlook.

Software & Security

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Image: Oppo

The Reno 10x comes loaded from the factory with the latest Android 9.0 (Pie) with Oppo’s own ColorOS 6 running on top. Like most Android UIs nowadays, ColorOS does seem to do a pretty good job at being clutter-free and simple. Though I can’t help but notice that some of its design elements are inspired by Apple’s iOS. It’s not exactly a bad thing as iOS is, after all, an extraordinary piece of software. The animations on ColorOS are short which does make the perception of speed a little more apparent.

Security wise, the Oppo sticks to today’s smartphone convention and has an in-display optical fingerprint scanner. Now, I know those aren’t the best out there in terms of speed and security. However, while security remains questionable, Oppo has pulled a OnePlus with its speed. It is one of the quickest in-display fingerprint scanners out there, beating the much more secure and efficient Ultrasonic one in the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Price & Verdict

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoon start at $570, which makes it a good value. This is especially after considering the fact that the base variant will get you 128 GB of storage along with a MicroSD slot. While the phone is fast enough, it isn’t faster than the likes of the OnePlus 7 Pro, but then it’s also around a $100 cheaper.

I’d recommend you to buy this device if you’re not afraid of trying new a new brand like Oppo or if you want something different in terms of the front camera design. If you want the best performance bargain, you need to go for the Redmi K20 Pro.

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