Oppo Reno 3 Review: Beautiful But Overpriced

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Introduction

Usually, smartphone manufacturers wait for a year to end to release a sequel or successor of any device. However, Oppo is a bit different when it comes to its Reno device. Just a few months after the first-gen Reno devices were launched, the Chinese smartphone maker launched its second-gen lineup consisting of Reno 2, Reno 2Z, and Reno 2F. Fast forward to the end of last month; Oppo released the third-generation Reno devices touted as Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro (5G) in China.

Slated to arrive in India in February or March, both the devices have received acclaim from tech reviewers and users who got their hands on the device. Talking about Oppo Reno 3 that we will be reviewing it here in detail, the device does have its zing over its predecessor and gives a tough fight even to its Pro variant let alone other devices. Oppo has managed to enhance the experience of Reno 3 a lot with specific tweaks and changes to its hardware configuration and specifications so let’s have an in-depth and whether you should buy it or not.

Read also: Oppo R17 Pro Review

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

Both Oppo Reno 3 and 3 Pro with their 4G/5G variants are available in China and yet to arrive in India. It is expected to launch in India sometime in February or March this year. It will be the third-generation of Oppo Reno series to release in India and it is expected to fetch a price of around Rs 36,000/- although the exact pricing isn’t revealed yet.

The pricing is similar to Oppo Reno 2 although the latest device has 5G so if Oppo decides to roll out 5G in India, it would be a bit expensive.

Box Contents

When it comes to the retail box, it does have all the basic stuff like the manual, quick start guide and the warranty card. Then we have the Oppo Reno 3, a silicone case to go with it, a SIM ejector tool, a SuperVOOC charger, and a Type-C cable.

Read also: Vivo Nex 3 Review

Specs at a Glance

Talking about the specifications, surprisingly, Oppo Reno 3 has the upper hand when compared to the specs sheet of Oppo Reno 3 Pro. The device runs on MediaTek MT6885Z Dimensity 1000L octa-core processor which is the latest from MediaTek. It also includes a 5G modem built-in unlike Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. The chipset is fabricated using a 7nm process which makes it faster than its predecessors.

The chipsets offer an octa-core architecture with 2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A77 with 6×2.0 GHz Cortex A55 paired alongside Mali-G77 MP9 GPU and 8GB of RAM. Furthermore, the device has a RAM option up to 12GB and storage of 128GB without any possibility to expand since there is no option SDCard support. Also, the device has UFS 2.1 storage which, although isn’t as fast as UFS 3.0; it is still faster than others.

Design and Build Quality

I am thoroughly impressed with what Oppo is doing with its Reno series. The Reno 2 had possibly one of the best back panels with a flushed rear camera setup placed right in the centre. On the other hand, Reno 3 brings the rear camera setup to the left, which gives a sense of Realme X2 Pro. Although it will be difficult to get confused between Realme X2 Pro and Oppo Reno 3, both the smartphones are basically from Oppo and its sub-brand so the DNA might resemble a bit.

The rear has a non-gradient glossy matte glass back frosted in colour variants that are Blue Starry Night, Moonlight White, Sunrise Impression, and Moonlight Black. The device comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection for both front and back glass which means it isn’t that brittle to shatter at least for several falls. Except for the rear camera, flash LED, and Oppo’s branding, the back panel is rather untouched.

The front has a water drop-shaped notch with a front selfie embossed within in. The device seems to have a rather thick chin although the bezels aren’t that thick and neither the top bezel. The notch is nicely placed in the centre (which isn’t a surprise) and takes just a bit of the screen real estate which doesn’t even make any difference thanks to the 20:9 aspect ratio of the display.

The device has an aluminium frame, and the frosted colour does spread across the sides of the phone. The right side has a power button and the left has both volume rockers and a Dual SIM card slot which doesn’t support memory card. The best thing about Oppo Reno 3 is that it has a 3.5mm headphone jack unlike Reno 2 and even Reno 3 Pro.

Display

Oppo Reno 3 sports a massive 6.4-inch AMOLED capacitive display with 1080×2400 pixels resolution and a 408PPI pixel density. To puts things perspective, its elder ‘Pro’ sibling offers the same resolution with a slightly larger display at 6.5-inch.

Further, both the front and back glass is covered with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that will prevent the glass from shattering and burning a huge in your pocket to fix it. Apart from that, the phone has a max brightness of 430 nits so that may cause a disturbance in viewing if you are out on a sunny day as you will have to boost the brightness to max and struggle to get a glimpse of the display.

The display has a refresh rate of 60Hz which is homologous to other flagship smartphones while the Reno 3 Pro gets a 90Hz display. Finally, the display looks fantastic and vibrant at the end of the day. It is tall thanks to the excellent aspect ratio, so viewing movies on it will be a lot of fun. Unlocking the phone is simple as well since you have n in-display fingerprint scanner embedded within the lower section of the display so place your figure, an animation will be displayed followed by the phone unlock and that’s in just in a blink of an eye.

Performance

Oppo Reno 3 is definitely more potent than its predecessors’ thanks to the configuration. It runs on MediaTek Dimensity 1000L processor which is the latest from MediaTek and it is fabricated on a 7nm node. This means it can process data faster. As per Oppo, the upgrade A77 ARM core that the processor sports is 20% more powerful than A76 ARM core. Plus, the phone uses a Mali G77 MP9 where the ARM core G77 is 40% faster than its last-gen G76 so that adds up to create a powerful SoC. The SoC can reach an optimum upload speed of 2.5Gbps and 4.7Gbps of download speed.

Reno 3 uses an Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit (APU) to enhance the power as well collectively with the now enhance ColorOS 7 does a lot of wonders. MediaTek processors have a history of overheating; however, Dimensity 1000L processor is reportedly less likely to heat up easily. The processor scored 350,641 on AnTuTu when we run the benchmarking app. This puts the processor ahead of the AnTuTu scores recorded for Snapdragon 765G which is integrated within Reno 3 Pro so that gives the former an upper hand in performance as well.

It can support games even at a high frame rate and graphics so if you are an avid player, do check it out. The device supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 so add these two features in its cavalry of features as well.

Read also: Mobile Phones With The Best Display

Software

Oppo has done a great job with ColorOS 7 which is its custom UI made up of Android 10 and Oppo Reno 3 runs both. This means you get added features and massive UI overhaul with Android 10 while the custom UI ColorOS 7 adds more to check out.

ColorOS 7 is faster than both ColorOS 6.0 and 6.1 and brings native support to Dark Mode and other features. It is highly responsive when you use it on your Oppo Reno 3, and the animations are smooth and soothing as well. It has a built-in Dark Mode that users can kick start or schedule to turn on automatically. It paints apps that don’t support dark mode as well.

One of the best features that ColorOS 7 brings is the Personal Information Protection which replaces all the data such as contact information that apps require permission to access and replaces it with blank data thus, protecting your data. Android 10 brings a lot onboard as well, such as Smart Reply, Live Captions, and others.

As Oppo Reno 3 arrives with Android 10, it is in tow to get boosted to Android 11 and 12 later this year and next year until Oppo pulls the support.

Cameras

Oppo Reno 3 offers a quad-camera setup at the back with a single front selfie camera. About the optics, it has a single 32MP front camera while the rear encloses four camera sensors arranged in a vertical stack on the left side rather than how the triple camera setup was arranged in Oppo Reno 2 where it was flush with the back panel.

The setup includes a 64MP primary wide-angle shooter that has an aperture of f/1.8, 1/1.7″ sensor size with 0.8micron pixel size and OIS. The second one is the 8MP ultrawide angle shooter with an aperture of f/2.2, pixel size of 1.4micron, and a sensor size of 1/3.2″ followed by a third 2MP B/W sensor flanked by a 2MP depth sensor which has an aperture of f/2.4, a pixel size of 1.75micron and sensor size of 1/5″.

To be honest, the front does click decent photos thanks to its 32MP sensor. In all, the Oppo Reno series has received one of the best camera setups and Oppo Reno 3 isn’t any exception to it. The photos clicked using its primary sensor are detailed and since it has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), this reduces the shaky-ness in the video even if you are sprinting. Apart from that, the device supports 2x optical zoom and up to 10x hybrid zoom. Upon zooming, the subject is in focus although expect some degree of loss in quality when you zoom at 10x.

You can toggle between wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, and portrait photos using the rear camera assembly and videos are available at 4K resolution as well. The front camera is capable of shooting videos at 1080p. Overall, the phone does have a powerful rear camera setup with great edge detection in portrait mode photos thanks to the 2MP depth sensor. The fourth 2MP macro sensor does add to its USP since you can expect pictures in great detail even if you click it from a distance of just 2.5cm.

Battery Life

Both Oppo Reno 3 and 3 Pro have the same colossal 4,025 mAh battery backed with Oppo’s VOOC 4.0 tech that brings 30W charging speed onboard. When tested, Oppo Reno 3 was able to fully charge to its capacity in 58 minutes and 26 seconds. The results could vary depending upon various factors and also if you are using the phone or not during its charging phase.

Since we are talking about a huge 4,025 mAh battery, it should last more than a day on light to moderate use while power users might have to charge their phones probably more than light users. Also, Oppo Reno 3 runs on MediaTek Dimensity 1000L processor so it’s battery life might vary as well.

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Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Beautiful display 
  • Quad rear cameras 
  • Premium build quality 

 

Cons: 

  • Software needs improvement 

Verdict

Oppo Reno 3 which comes with 5G support does put a tough fight against its Pro variant. Of course, the Pro variant has the upper hand in terms of processor, Reno 3 gets an edge with its primary rear sensor and so on. Although Oppo Reno 3 is lucrative, I am afraid that many buyers will shy away from buying it. Also, Reno 3 is priced a bit expensive so that will make potential buyers get a different as well or pick the Pro variant once it is available in India. Both the devices have 5G support and yet it remains a question if Oppo will roll out 5G in India or not. This means we will probably get a 4G variant of Oppo Reno 3. More will become clear as we head nearer to the release date in India.