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  • Cheryl Tan

Oppo Reno4 Pro Review: A Pricey Mid-range Phone

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

We’ve covered so many mid-range phones lately, I’m starting to feel a bit fatigued. The Oppo Reno4 Pro, though, is a bit of a surprise, partly also due to the fact that it’s not priced at the same range most other mid-range phones are. This costs S$899, which is in line with what Oppo was asking for their Reno2 and Reno3 Pro, but it’s definitely on the expensive side compared to others. So let’s see if the phone warrants that higher asking price.

First off, you’ll notice the back of the phone looks starkly different from most other phones out there. That’s right, it’s not glossy. It’s made with matte plastic and I absolutely love it. This means no fingerprints at all, but a major downside is that plastic is very prone to scratches so a case might be prudent. The phone comes in Starry Black or Silky White, and I think the naming’s pretty apt, the back of the white model definitely looks like silk.

Inside, you get a Snapdragon 720G processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The phone is generally responsive and snappy, although I’ve found that there were times it wouldn’t register a tap on the screen.

Speaking of the screen, it’s a 6.5-inch 90Hz FHD+ curved edge display that seemingly supports HDR in some applications, but not in others. You’ll notice HDR at play when watching videos on YouTube, but it wouldn’t kick in when watching shows on Netflix for me.

90Hz refresh rate is a nice touch though, and you’ll definitely notice the difference if you’re coming from a standard 60Hz refresh rate phone. 180Hz touch sampling rounds that out, but again, I’m slightly sceptical since I experienced issues with touch registration.

Weighing in at around 160 grams, it’s lightweight, but also reveals that the chassis is made of plastic instead. That being said though, it’s pretty solidly built. There’s no creaking or squeaking even when squeezed in the hand, so that’s a big plus.

Moving onto the cameras, you get four in a straight line down the left side. What I instinctively don’t like is that fact that the cameras are all raised and packed closely together. My first thought was that gunk would get caught pretty easily in the crevices between each lens, and that turned out to be true. Well, not gunk necessarily, but I noticed fingerprint smudges around the lenses and it was next to impossible to clean off even with a microfibre cloth.

It’s quite a big change from Oppo’s previous design aesthetic, where the camera lenses were typically flush against the back of the phone. Of course, protruding lenses also increase the risk of scratches and such, which is another point to take note of.

Comprised of a 48MP main camera, a 8MP ultra-wide angle camera, 2MP macro camera and 2MP mono camera, photos taken with the Oppo Reno4 Pro are pretty decent.

The main lens is plenty sharp and makes for some excellent photos when you’ve got good lighting conditions.

The photo above is straight out of the camera with no edits done, just a filter turned on when I was taking the picture. Just look at the fur on the cat, especially around the nose. Super sharp, with very nice fall-off towards the top of the head. The front punch-hole camera is a 32MP selfie lens, which works okay too.

Battery life was pretty good, despite the smaller 4,000mAh battery capacity. The phone supports Oppo’s SuperVOOC charging technology, which allows the Reno4 Pro to be charged at 65w, and Oppo claims it will charge from 0-100% in 36 minutes. I tested this, and it’s pretty accurate; my unit finished charging in 39 minutes, so props to Oppo here.

To round things off for the phone, there’s also the 3.5mm headphone port included, which I like. There’s also no 5G capability in this phone, which means that if you’re looking to futureproof, you might have to look elsewhere.

In addition, though, Oppo also launched their new Oppo Watch (starting from S$299) with the Reno4 Pro. Unboxing it, you’ll notice it looks very similar to the Apple Watch, but with minor differences.

First off, there’s no protruding crown on the right side, which I’m extremely thankful for. I never liked the off-centre protruding crown, so I’m glad it’s not here. Instead, Oppo gives you two buttons on the right side that are just ever so slightly raised.

The top button opens up the app drawer and the bottom button opens a list of workouts for manual tracking. It’s super simple. Everything else is done by touch, swiping back to get out of a screen, down to open up the control panel drawer, up for notifications and right for a series of card widgets that can display heart rate, sleep and more.

The watch is fast and the 1.9-inch display really does work great. You’d not expect to be able to type out messages on a smartwatch but I found myself using the watch for quick responses to WhatsApp messages since it was just so convenient.

Sleep tracking and heart rate tracking is quite accurate, I benchmarked them against a Garmin smartwatch and I found that the sleep tracking was actually even more accurate than what the Garmin watch was tracking. Step tracking was also spot on, although I did find that if I wore the watch for activities like cooking, the step counter would jump quite a bit.

I’m not a big smartwatch person, to be honest. I prefer traditional watches, but I can’t deny that the Oppo Watch was insanely convenient. For people who are big on smartwatches, it’s definitely an option to consider.

My one quibble is that the Oppo Watch is still limited by battery life, like many other smartwatches. It can go 1.5 days on a single charge, but I always found myself with a dying watch just minutes before bedtime, and I’d have to give up my sleep tracking for that night. It’s easily resolved by popping it onto the charger when bathing, but again, you’d have to remember to do so and put it back on after the bath.

So, are these products worth the price? I’d say yes, definitely for the Oppo Watch. It really has impressed me.

The Reno4 Pro though, I’m on the fence about. Oppo has released their phones on a lightning-quick schedule, for reference, their Reno3 series came to Singapore in April 2020, and the Reno2 series was launched just a few months prior, in October 2019.

Personally, I think that if Oppo took a bit more time in between iterations, they’d be able to produce a better, more compelling phone. Right now, people who bought the Reno2 or Reno3 definitely have no reason to upgrade. But for the general public who’s looking for a mid-range phone that performs well, the Reno4 Pro works fine. It’s just a bit too expensive, in my opinion.

More information about the Oppo Reno4 Pro (S$899) and Oppo Watch (starting from S$299) can be found on Oppo’s website.

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