OPPO Reno 10x Zoom review: the only Huawei alternative

8 August 2019

A price that makes competitors worry

OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is available since early June throughout Europe at a suggested price of 799 euros. For several hundred euros less you can buy a smartphone that rivals the best from Huawei. However, unlike its Chinese competitor, OPPO still has to succeed in building its name and reputation in Europe, which it aims to achieve with this device.

In short

OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is a very intriguing smartphone. In addition to the new motorized system, the real key feature is its camera setup, the only one currently able to compete with the king, the Huawei P30 Pro. With this device, OPPO has taken the Find X concept from last year into its own hands and has significantly improved it in every respect.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Perfomance
  • Software
  • Battery

The flagship that OPPO wanted

As with the standard model, the first thing you can notice when you hold the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is the front dominated by a large display with small frames and no notches or holes in sight, which makes us immediately understand that, just like his younger brother, the front camera is was hidden inside the frame of the device with the new shark fin slider system, a distinctly different approach than the Find X and which is called the Pivot Rising Camera.

The new pop-up system brings out the front camera and LED flash from a scissor mechanism that lifts only on the right side, a solution that in my opinion is really original. At first I was skeptical, but seeing how it works in person made me particularly curious. OPPO has tested the mechanism for 200 thousand times and has equipped it with a safety system in case of accidental fall of the smartphone.

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The rear part differs from the younger brother for the presence of a completely different photographic compartment, composed of three sensors that we will talk about shortly. The interesting thing I could see right away is that none of these modules protrude, which is quite the opposite of most current flagship devices, especially those hosting ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lenses.

However, OPPO does it thanks to a little trick: under the cameras you can see a small round protuberance, called O-Dot, specially designed to protect the lenses from scratches when you place your smartphone on flat or uneven surfaces. Also here it is possible to notice the absence of the LED flash, since OPPO has decided to insert it in the pop-up mechanism.

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Apart from all these very special aspects that immediately catch the eye, aesthetically this OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is a top device in all respects. The materials used seem excellent, as do the construction and assembly. In addition, the Chinese manufacturer has also decided to opt for two types of gradient colors, Jet Black and Ocean Green, a phenomenon typical of the current trend and that make this smartphone very elegant. I mean, the flagship that OPPO probably wanted.

There is no space for bezels

It’s time to lower the fin and turn on the huge 6.6-inch AMOLED screen which, as we said before, offers small frames and rounded edges. There’s nothing to say, the panel is really good, shows bright colors a brightness that at first glance seemed to me quite high. The display is protected, as you might expect, by Gorilla Glass 6.

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With frames measuring only 1.35 mm on both sides and a lower frame of only 3.5 mm, this panel dominates the entire front of the smartphone with its 19.5:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution, reaching the incredible screen-body ratio of 93.1%.

In addition, OPPO has told us that it has decided to use the DCI-P3 color gamut, which contains richer shades of color than the other two proposals sRGB and AdobeRGB. This choice should stem the excessive saturation of AMOLED displays, which usually have a tendency to “shoot” and overexpose colours.

Optical fingerprint sensor, but more efficient

OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is equipped with an optical fingerprint reader located underneath the OLED display, allowing the two devices to reach the screen/body ratio that the manufacturer claims to be 93%. In addition, the new system, called Hidden Fingerprint Unlock 2.0, uses an improved finger illumination system to achieve an unlocking speed of 28.5% higher, as well as easier fingerprint recognition than the previous generation.

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ColorOS renews itself

Also on the new flagship of OPPO you can find Android 9 Pie masked by the proprietary interface of the manufacturer, the ColorOS, which this time reaches version 6.0. One of the biggest complaints about this UI is the insistence on continuing to offer only one layout of the home screen, i.e. one without an app drawer.

Fortunately, it seems that OPPO has decided to please users, as this time we could see the presence of an App Drawer that you can open by sliding your finger from bottom to top, just like any other Android smartphone.

ColorOS 6: best tips and tricks you need to know

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As well as other custom interfaces of the various Chinese brands, ColorOS is also very oriented to the Eastern market and differs enough from Android stock, which is why you need to spend some time in his company to get used to the various menus, submenus and features.

The best hardware available

Under the hood, OPPO didn’t mind the expense and decided to equip the Reno 10x Zoom with Qualcomm’s most powerful processor, the Snapdragon 855, which allows this smartphone to achieve very fast reaction times and a user experience free of slowdowns or troubles. The new SoC is supported by 6 or 8GB of RAM, plus 128 or 256GB of internal storage.

In the short time I’ve spent with my smartphone, I’ve never noticed any kind of problem. Any app opens very quickly, multitasking has always been efficient and the system has never shown hesitation. We will explore this issue further in our full review where we will give you more information, including various benchmarks against major competitors in its market segment.

No audio jack, but stereo audio

OPPO also chooses to follow the same strategy as Huawei, aiming to eliminate the audio jack on its flagship device. However, contrary to what its Chinese competitor has done, OPPO has managed to install a pair of stereo speakers, a small detail always welcome.

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Lots of cameras for more fun

OPPO showed off its 10x hybrid zoom technology during its press conference at the Mobile World Congress. What he didn’t tell us is that the smartphone he made us try was actually a prototype of the Reno 10x Zoom well camouflaged as an ad-hoc designed cover.

This smartphone uses the same principle already seen on Huawei P30 Pro: it uses a periscope sensor capable of obtaining a 5x digital zoom that, combined with the main sensor, can reach a 10x hybrid zoom, practically “lossless”.

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Apart from this absolute novelty for the manufacturer, the photographic sector is composed of the following configuration:

Sony IMX586 48MP Main Sensor

8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor

5x optical zoom periscope capable of achieving a 10x hybrid zoom by combining the three sensors

In addition, OPPO also introduces a new technology dedicated to shots in low light conditions, called Ultra Night Mode 2.0. Thanks to the support of AI, the new device from the Chinese manufacturer also has a feature that can detect and focus on the face of a subject even in the dark.

How to use Ultra Night Mode on OPPO smartphones

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Finally, the 16MP front camera with LED flash has been inserted into the new fin-shaped mechanical scrolling system we talked about at the beginning of the article.

A battery that recharges in a flash

Although it’s still too early to deliver a definitive verdict, in the first few hours spent together with OPPO Reno 10x Zoom we were able to see a very good battery management that gives us hope. However, the smartphone has not yet faced the right charge cycles to be able to express itself accurately, so the appointment is once again postponed to our full review.

One thing we do know for sure is the presence of a VOOC 3.0 charging technology, a technology almost like the Super VOOC we saw in action on OPPO Find X and offering an exceptional (if not phenomenal) speed of recharging the battery.

Verdict

Reno 10x Zoom is well designed, well done and offers everything you would expect from a flagship. However, a lower price than the competition is also synonymous of compromise and, in this case, it means no wireless charging, no Super VOOC technology, an overall weight not quite low, no 3.5 mm audio jack and no IP rating against water and dust. OPPO has decided to focus its strength elsewhere, where it really counts: top performance thanks to the use of the best chip on the market, a generous amount of memory and an extremely versatile camera.

Will the Chinese manufacturer be able to expand his popularity in Europe? We don’t know yet, but the company’s results during the first quarter of 2019 are particularly encouraging. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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