Smartphones are constantly on a race to the best camera, but more lately, producing unbeatable zoom capabilities is the new arena where some brands are taking their battle. No prizes for telling us which smartphone comes straight to mind.
With their latest flagship Reno 10x Zoom, Oppo makes a strong case for why smartphone photography enthusiasts should recognise them in this field too.
Beyond their namesake 10x Hybrid Optical Zoom, they’ve added on the ability to zoom in up to 60x digitally.
But since many are more familiar with Oppo for their mid-range A and R series phones, it may look pretty steep to shell out S$1,199 (or RM3,399) for the Reno 10x Zoom all of a sudden (the standard edition Reno without 10x zoom goes for S$849/RM1,999).
In fact, it’s by far Oppo’s most expensive model, even above their previous flagship Oppo Find X.
Is it worth it?
At A Glance
For a price tag crossing the thousand dollar range, you get a robust capacity with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage, plus another 256GB expandable.
The phone is also equipped for great performance with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. We found that it runs smoothly and effortlessly overall, and Oppo’s own ColorOS 6 (based on Android 9) adds to the sleek and simple user experience.
One stark downside is the lack of wireless charging (who still wants to plug in in 2019?), but at least lasting the day won’t be an issue with its 4065mAh battery.
In terms of appearance, Oppo has again achieved the most bezel-less display there is to offer, as they did with the Find X. But it’s still up to personal preference to decide if this is a pro or con to you.
While some find it extremely satisfying to take in its full 6.6-inch AMOLED screen with no notch in sight, others may not be fans of the slide-up mechanism used to hide its front camera. You either find it cool, or a little out of place.
Oppo has designed stunning new colours Sunset Purple and Sunset Rose for its Reno series which we got to see at their launch in China, but unfortunately they didn’t make their way to Singapore. Both the Reno standard edition and 10x Zoom are available in classic-looking Jet Black and Ocean Green colours here.
A Camera With Great Zoom, And More To Offer
The Reno 10x Zoom’s rear camera system comprises a standard 48MP lens with 8MP wide-angle and 13MP telephoto.
With a name that’s quite literal, Oppo really wants you to know about its powerful 10x Hybrid Optical Zoom feature. Beyond looking at numbers, whether a camera’s zoom is optical or digital makes a lot of difference.
Optical zoom is achieved with camera optics, in other words it relies on physical lenses like a DSLR does. But since would be impossible to stack lenses one on top of the other in a smartphone, Oppo boasts the use of a periscope system built horizontally inside the Reno 10x Zoom instead.
After its initial release in China, the phone later got an upgrade to reach a 60x digital zoom. This got us wondering what we would honestly do with so much power, and here are some things we tried out.
While its 60x digital zoom really goes far, we expected that clarity would be lost since it only banks on digital enhancement, and achieving a stabilised shot at that distance is virtually impossible.
On the other hand, its namesake 10x Hybrid Optical Zoom produces sharp details in good lighting with its Optical Image Stabilisation, and is so far the highest optical zoom in the smartphone market.
But focusing on just its zoom wouldn’t come close, because the Reno 10x Zoom has plenty more to offer in the camera department.
With its AI-powered image processing, Ultra Night Mode 2.0 that nicely balances dark and bright areas in low-light, and Portrait Mode that gives smooth and natural bokehs, it’s an impressive camera overall.
Its 16MP front camera lens creates good selfies, and beauty adjustments come built into the phone’s native camera too.
On top of all this, the Reno 10x Zoom’s Expert Mode is probably the coolest camera feature, giving you more control over your photography than most smartphones do.
It lets you manually adjust exposure, shutter speed, white balance and focal length to get the exact shot you want.
In all, those looking for a great camera phone will be pleased with the quality the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom can give you. Although some images may turn out slightly over-processed (depending on your preference) such as overcompensating when brightening low-light photos, it generally helps you take stunning shots effortlessly.
Even those who want to exercise a little more mastery over their photography will enjoy the smartphone’s ability to let you play around with ‘expert’ functions.
Among other triple rear camera players, the Reno 10x Zoom sits at quite an average price point at S$1,199, where the range spreads pretty wide from Xiaomi’s Mi 9 at S$699, to the Huawei P30 Pro or Samsung S10+ both at S$1,389.
If you aren’t too bothered by living without wireless charging, and enjoy the quirk of a pop-up front camera, the Reno 10x Zoom performs smoothly with not much to complain about!
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post