Updated: Jan 14
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro is one in-trend phone because of its flat and sharp design… that Apple might approve. This under S$1,000 phone just works.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro's design is refreshing, unless you are from the Apple camp. This phone goes with a flat and sharp design which provides a good grip, feels light and looks sleek. It is protected by a matte aluminium frame with a brushed metal finish on the back. The brushed metal finish does make it less of a fingerprint magnet and less prone to visible scratches, but somehow the combination of this new laser-etched design and Startrail's blue colour - a gradual shade of blues and purples - does make it look a bit tacky and less premium.
We haven’t really seen the Starlight Black colour first-hand but it looks so much sleeker in the picture. The reflective camera housing does stand out, and probably stands out a little too much from the overall sleekness. We definitely would have preferred the more subtle and streamlined design of the Find X when it comes to housing the cameras.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro comes with an AMOLED, 402 pixels per inch (PPI), 90Hz refresh rate screen. In most cases, it is bright and sharp enough. That said, this phone is facing some fierce competition in the under S$1,000 category. Some brands under this category are either offering higher PPI or higher refresh rate screens, which is not a deal-breaker as most of us will probably not be able to tell the difference unless you compare it side by side.
One thing that did bother us a little is the management of auto-brightness, which we found we often needed to manually adjust the screen to higher brightness when in a bright environment. On the upside, we are liking the new lock screen on the new ColorOS 12. The new lock screen allows the use of Oppo’s own customisable animated emoji called the Omoji. It does add some personality to the phone when it's locked - in a cute way.
The phone comes with an on-screen optical sensor which works well. It also uses a colour spectrum sensor which is more commonly found on Huawei phones and was launched initially on the LG phone. We are not sure how it contributes to the way it processes its photos but the colours shot on it do look pretty accurate. We will speak more about the cameras in a bit.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro runs on a very powerful MediaTek Dimensity 1200 Octa-core processor. It has a very powerful 3.0Ghz core and a combination of 2.6 and 2Ghz cores. On paper, it should have outperformed the premium Snapdragon 888 but unfortunately on the benchmark tests, it did not. Our Geekbench score gives us 796 on Single-core and 2761 on Multi-core. The scores are more comparable to that of Pixel’s Tensor and the Snapdragon 865, which is found on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra and Sony Xperia 5 II.
That could be because the Snapdragon is built on a 5nm process while MediaTek is still on 6nm. Another reason could also be because most tests are optimised for Snapdragon as it is a more common processor. Our graphics test also came out unfavourable to the ARM G77 GPU found in the Reno 7 Pro. It gets a score of 4,159 which loses out slightly to Oppo’s own Find X3 and the Poco F3.
But numbers are just numbers. We tested out the phone with games like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile, maxing out its graphics quality and to our surprise, it performs pretty well without any hiccups.
When it comes to the wireless modules, the phone stands out with the incorporation of Bluetooth 5.2 - which provides low power and better latency connection - and dual-band GPS which technically provides more accuracy. Google Pixel 6’s are the only other phones that are using this new technology. The downside is that it is still stuck with USB-C 2.0 whereas most phones already moved on to 3.1 or even 3.2 for faster transfer speed.
The phone has a stereo speaker in landscape mode and sound quality is decent but there is no earphone jack.
The photo quality from Oppo Reno 7 Pro's cameras did surprise us. The phone has three camera modules at the back - a 50MP f1.8 24mm main module, a 8MP f2.2 Ultrawide module and a 2MP f2.4 macro. All the camera modules performed well on brightly lit subjects with pictures that are rather sharp with surprisingly quite natural colour reproductions.
The main camera module also did very well in low light but the software tends to overcompensate and push the shutter too low in order to capture more light. This makes it difficult to take sharp pictures in low light if one does not have a steady hand. The only way to overcome this is to switch to Expert mode which allows you to have manual control over your settings. On the front is a 32MP f2.4 22mm wide camera module that works well.
Overall, we are really happy with the quality of the camera but if we want to nitpick, we feel that the f1.8 bokeh should be more obvious. There is also a very slight ghosting effect when we take strong backlit subjects.
Oppo claimed that Reno 7 Pro is the portrait expert and so we had to try it out. It does pretty well in portrait mode, the subject is keyed out by AI quite cleanly but we wouldn’t say it is the best we have seen. When examined closely, the iPhones and Pixels are still the ones to beat.
On the video front, it can shoot up to 4K 30FPS. The footage is sharp when brightly lit and a little noisy when the subject is dimly lit. Similar to the photos, the software again tries to overcompensate and quite often you will get footage that is overexposed, especially if it is on a bright sunny day. It also seems to struggle a little if one has less stable hands and you will be able to witness the AI trying hard to stabilise the footage.
One of the key features is the 65W fast charging on the Oppo Reno 7 Pro. You can get a full charge of the 4,500mAh battery in about 30 minutes. It is currently one of the few phones that can charge this fast and the best thing is that Oppo actually provides a 65W charger in the box. We tried charging the phone and you can really see the power percentage increasing rapidly and the temperature is also very well managed. We can get more than a day of usage out from one full charge. The phone does not support wireless charging, unfortunately.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G will be retailing for S$999 in Singapore and there will be the usual limited discounts and freebies at launch.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro is one phone that will definitely give the premium phones a run for their money but it does fall a little short if it were to be considered a premium phone. Of course, the sub-S$1,000 price tag can justify the shortcomings and is definitely one that you should consider if that's the budget you are comfortable with because this phone just works.
Having said that, the competition is really getting stiffer for this price range and consumers will be glad to know that they do have a lot more options to choose from.