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OPPO Reno 4 Pro review: Premium design letdown by an underwhelming chipset

The Reno 4 Pro combines an elegant design with 65W fast charging, but the internal hardware doesn't pass muster in this category.

OPPO is doing all the right things in 2020. The Find X2 series holds its own against the best that Samsung and Google have to offer, and OPPO is making a lot of strides in cleaning up its software. The Android 11-based ColorOS 11 build comes with a lot of positive design tweaks that make the UI more palatable to a global audience.

With Huawei largely out of the picture in Western markets because of the U.S. ban, Chinese manufacturers like OPPO and Xiaomi are taking advantage of the void and positioning their products as the ideal alternatives to Huawei and Honor. We've already seen this with the Find X2 series in the high-end segment, and OPPO is now looking to emulate a similar level of success with its mid-range phone, the Reno 4 Pro.

The standout feature on the Reno 4 Pro is 65W fast charging, which debuted on the Find X2 series earlier this year. The same charging tech is also on the OnePlus 8T and a few Realme phones, and it is exciting to see 65W charging make its way to the mid-range segment with the Reno 4 Pro. So let's take a look at what the phone has to offer, and whether you should consider picking it up.

OPPO Reno 4 Pro

Bottom line: The Reno 4 Pro has a sleek design that stands out, and the phone is one of the lightest in this segment. The 90Hz AMOLED display is fantastic, you get 65W fast charging, and even a 3.5mm jack. But the Snapdragon 720G is just not fast enough in this segment, and that ultimately makes the Reno 4 Pro a non-starter.

The Good

  • Vibrant 90Hz AMOLED screen
  • Sleek design
  • All-day battery life with 65W fast charging
  • Decent cameras
  • 3.5mm jack

The Bad

  • Too costly for the hardware on offer
  • Poor auxiliary cameras
  • No wireless charging

₹34,990 at Amazon India £700 at Amazon UK

OPPO Reno 4 Pro What I like

With a weight of 161g and thickness of 7.7mm, the Reno 4 Pro is one of the lightest and thinnest phones in the mid-range segment. The lightweight design is mostly down to the fact that the phone features a polycarbonate back, so even though the Reno 4 Pro has a 4000mAh battery, it feels significantly lighter in-hand.

The Reno 4 Pro is one of the best-looking phones you'll find in the mid-range segment.

The plastic back has a matte finish that gives it a great texture, and it does a good job masking the fact that the layer underneath isn't glass. The phone is available in two color options — Silky White and Starry Night — and I'm using the latter version. The design features a subtle gradient, starting out with a sky blue color at the top and culminating in an inky blue hue at the bottom.

The effect is striking, and the rectangular housing for the camera modules complements the design of the phone rather nicely. The four camera lenses are arrayed vertically within the housing, with the solitary LED flash module sitting to the right. The housing is decked out in chrome, adding a nice contrast to the overall design.

Elsewhere, you'll find the power button on the right, the volume buttons to the left, the single speaker at the bottom, and there's even a 3.5mm jack to the left of the USB-C charging port. While the analog port is no longer a fixture on high-end phones, it's good to see manufacturers offering the jack on mid-range and budget devices. The Reno 4 Pro also has a three-slot SIM card design that holds two SIM cards as well as a MicroSD slot.

Like most mid-range phones, the Reno 4 Pro has a dual-curved screen with the edges extending over to the mid-frame. Combine that with the thin form factor and there's very little to hold onto at the sides. For what it's worth, I didn't face any problems with accidental touches.

The screen has thin bezels and a hole-punch cutout to the left, and the in-screen fingerprint reader is fast and doesn't have any issues with authentication. The 6.55-inch display itself is one of the best in this category, and the AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate has vibrant colors and great viewing angles. The panel gets sufficiently bright, lets you choose between two color profiles — Vivid and Gentle — and you can lock the screen to 90Hz or use variable refresh rate to let the UI automatically decide when to use 60Hz or 90Hz.

65W fast charging gives the Reno 4 Pro an added edge in this category.

The Reno 4 Pro is available with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. The phone has Wi-Fi ac connectivity, Bluetooth 5.1, AptX HD, NFC, and even an FM radio tuner. But the highlight of the phone is the 65W fast charging.

The phone comes with a 4000mAh battery, and I had no issues getting a full day's worth of use from the battery. The 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 tech fully charges the battery from flat to 100% in just 36 minutes, ensuring you don't have to leave the phone plugged in overnight. This is a clear differentiator for the device, with the phone using a dual-cell charging system with two 2000mAh batteries each receiving a 32.5W charge.

The Reno 4 Pro has four cameras at the back: a 48MP Sony IMX586 primary lens joined by an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP portrait lens. The 48MP sensor is a known quantity in this segment, with a bulk of the best cheap Android phones featuring the sensor.

You get a 32MP camera at the front, and the camera interface itself is very intuitive, with all the shooting modes and various toggles for HDR, flash, and timer easily accessible.

As is the case with most phones that feature the 48MP IMX586 sensor, the Reno 4 Pro uses four-to-one pixel binning to produce 12MP shots. The phone takes great shots in daylight conditions, with the resultant images offering great dynamic range and lots of detail.

But the camera suffers in low-light conditions, with images losing out on detail. You still get decent color saturation, and the dedicated night mode does a decent job minimizing the noise levels, but the phone doesn't come close to the Pixel 4a or 4a 5G in this area.

On the software side of things, the Reno 4 Pro runs ColorOS 7.2 based on Android 10. ColorOS 7.2 has a fresh design with modern UI elements and doesn't feel as cluttered as earlier versions of the skin.

There's plenty of customizability, and you get to choose your preferred method of gesture navigation, schedule the system-wide dark mode to kick in at a particular time, and change the look and feel of icons without having to install another launcher.

OPPO is aiming to do a better job with updates, and the Android 11-based ColorOS 11 beta build is slated to debut on the Reno 4 Pro by the end of October. A stable build should be available for the device before the end of the year, which is still better than most Android phones in this segment.

OPPO Reno 4 Pro What I don't like

OPPO sells the Reno 4 Pro in 4G and 5G variants: the 4G version is powered by the Snapdragon 720G, while the 5G model features the beefier Snapdragon 765G. The 5G variant should be an interesting device to consider if you're in the UK, but the 4G model just doesn't pass muster.

The lackluster hardware makes the Reno 4 Pro a tough recommendation.

The Snapdragon 720G is a capable chipset in its own way, but its deficiencies are immediately exposed when paired with a 90Hz display. The chipset just does not have enough power to push the 90Hz panel, and that fact is evident by the janky animations and infinitesimal delay whenever you launch an app or go back to the home screen.

Then there's the matter of gaming. The Snapdragon 720G just doesn't measure up to the likes of the Snapdragon 765G, the Snapdragon 855, or the Exynos 990 in terms of gaming performance. With other phones in this segment powered by beefier chipsets that deliver much better performance, the Reno 4 Pro is at a major disadvantage.

OPPO should have done more to optimize the performance of the Snapdragon 720G — the Pixel 4a is powered by the Snapdragon 730 and feels much more fluid because it is well-optimized — but as it stands, you're just not getting your money's worth here.

OPPO Reno 4 Pro The competition

The obvious alternative to the Reno 4 Pro is the OnePlus Nord. The Nord is one of the best mid-range phones you can buy today, and it features the same 6.5-inch 90Hz AMOLED screen and 48MP lens, but it comes with a Snapdragon 765G chipset that delivers significantly better performance.

The Nord is also much more affordable, with the 8GB/128GB version selling for just ₹27,999 ($380) on Amazon India. But it's in the UK where the Nord is a particularly great option, with the phone retailing for £379 ($490) on Amazon UK — a full £320 less than the Reno 4 Pro.

Then there's the Pixel 4a series. The regular Pixel 4a is now available in India for just ₹29,999 ($408), and it has a more compact design, better internal hardware, and a camera that is in a league of its own. Over in the UK, the Pixel 4a 5G is a great option for £498 ($645) on Amazon, with the phone featuring a Snapdragon 765G chipset and a fantastic camera along with an ultra-wide lens.

OPPO Reno 4 Pro Should you buy?

You should buy this if ...

You want a lightweight phone

Coming in at just 161g, the Reno 4 Pro is one of the lightest phones in this segment. The sleek design and matte finish make it a great choice.

You want a 90Hz screen

The Reno 4 Pro has one of the best AMOLED screens in the mid-range category, with the high refresh rate backed by vibrant colors and great viewing angles.

You don't want to plug in your phone overnight

The 65W fast charging standard fully charges the 4000mAh battery in just over 35 minutes, meaning you'll never have to leave the phone plugged in overnight.

You should not buy this if ...

You want a phone for gaming

The Snapdragon 720G is decent enough for most day-to-day tasks, but it just does not measure up in the mid-range segment, particularly for gaming. The chipset just doesn't have the

You need good auxiliary cameras

The 48MP camera takes decent photos in most lighting conditions, but the rest of the lenses on the Reno 4 Pro are sub-par.

You want wireless charging

If you like charging your phones wirelessly, you'll have to look elsewhere.

The Reno 4 Pro has a lot of potential. The AMOLED screen is one of the best you'll find in this segment, the sleek design makes it stand out, and you get 65W charging here. The 48MP camera is also decent enough for what you're paying, and there's even a 3.5mm jack.

3.5 out of 5

But the main issue with the phone is the Snapdragon 720G — it just isn't good enough to power the 90Hz panel, and that ultimately makes the Reno 4 Pro a tough recommendation. I like the sleek design and the 65W fast charging, but there are plenty of alternatives that deliver much better value in this category.

OPPO Reno 4 Pro

Bottom line: The Reno 4 Pro gets a lot right, with the phone featuring a vibrant 90Hz AMOLED screen and a sleek design with 65W fast charging. But the internal hardware is a letdown, and the phone just isn't as powerful as its rivals, making it a poor recommendation in this category.

₹34,990 at Amazon India £700 at Amazon UK



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