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Oppo Reno7 4G Review


Oppo Reno7 4G Review: This is one of the two Oppo Reno7 series launched in Kenya by Oppo recenlty. The other device is the Oppo Reno7 5G.

The 4G unit has looks that resemble last year’s Oppo Reno6 5G. Well! Just the looks because the Reno6 5G is a different beast of a unit.

Specifications

Despite being a tad ‘liter’ that the Reno7 5G, the Oppo Reno7 4G comes with interesting features. They include:

Display

  • 6.43 inches; 1080p; 90Hz HRR; AMOLED display. 
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Protection on the front

Build

  • Glass Front, Glass Back (Made with the Oppo Glow technology)

Software

  • Android 12 (ColorOS 12.1)

Processor

  • Snapdragon 680 4G (6nm)

Camera

  • 64 MP, f/1.7 PDAF; 2MP Depth Sensor; 2MP Microscope camera
  • 32MP Selfie Camera

Storage

  • 256GB ROM; 8GB RAM (Available 8+128GB trims).  

Unboxing

The retail package remains almost the same as the previous Oppo Reno and The A-Series. You will find the following;

  1. The Phone
  2. An insert containing the manuals, the TPU Case and the sim ejector pin
  3. The 33W SuperVooC Charger
  4. USB type A to Type C cable. 

Surprisingly, Oppo didn’t include earphones in the box despite returning the 3.5mm jack that had been removed from the Reno6 5G. There are also no USB type C earphones like on the Reno6 5G. 

360 turn. 

On the left, we have the volume buttons and sim-tray that can take two sim-cards and a microSD card. On the top of the phone is the primary microphone. On the right, you will find the power button and at the bottom of the phone, you will find the 3.5mm jack, USB type C port and a single bottom-firing speaker. 

The Good

Oppo Reno7 design language is to give you a compact phone in a world that is increasing the average smartphone size. At 6.43 inches the screen is not too large while at the same not too small to enable you to consume content on the display without any inhibitions. The fact that it is an FHD+ screen, has the Widevine L1 certification, meaning it can stream 1080p videos, has a high 90Hz refresh rate makes the user experience totally worth it. It could be streaming your favourite content, or playing your favourite games; name it all, you are almost always guaranteed an experience. The box-like design makes the Oppo Reno7 4G very easy to hold. The Oppo Glow technology enables the phone; especially the Cosmic Black variant, to be devoid of fingerprints and smudges, eliminating the need to use the TPU case but for your safety it is advisable to do so. 

Wait there is more! 

Oppo has two levels of protection, one on the screen. It’s lined up with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and comes with a factory-installed screen protector. While this definitely gives us the peace of mind that your phone is safe from scratches and damage from keys or coins, caution needs to be taken to ensure that the phone isn’t dropped on a hard surface as it will definitely shatter the screen. The other level of protection is against water. Don’t dive into that pool yet. It’s only IPX4 Water-resistant. That means you are safe against splashes and some rainwater drops. It will get damaged however if you drop it in water. 

The Fast

The 33W SuperVooC charger is a gift. I was used to putting my old phone overnight so that it charges to full by the time I wake up. That is no longer what I do with the Oppo Reno7 4G. I literally plug in my phone in the morning when I wake up and by the time I am done with my morning workout, the phone has fully charged. From the interwebs, they say this phone charges from 0-100% in 43 minutes. 

While the charging is very fast, the battery consumption is not that fast. It is very consistent with how much of charge you will have at the end of the day. I use my Oppo Reno7 4G as my primary phone. This means calls, messages, social media and the like will all be sorted out from the phone. I also use it to shoot, edit and upload content for my truck business. Reliable is an understatement as I am able to do all this, play some games like Genshin Impact and Mortal Kombat (which are demanding graphics-wise and resource-intensive) and still get home with over 50% of charge. On average I get about 10 hours of screen on time before I put it on standby. 

The Amazing

Android 12/ColorOS 12.1 

New phone, new OS. It is always amazing when you have new software for a new phone. This is the part where the Oppo Reno7 4G punches above its weight. It launches with Android 12 (Color OS 12.1) out of the box. Android 12 brings with it many features among them colour themes, where you can use the colours of your wallpaper to select the colours for how the icons and menu appear. Besides that, Oppo has given us that stock Android feel with Color OS 12.1. Google services take care of messaging, calls and contacts together with the calendar. To make matters interesting, Oppo says that the Reno7 is guaranteed 2 years of OS updates and four years of security updates. (By the time of this review, Oppo had already pushed two security updates i.e. the May Security Update and an update to enhance performance and bug fixes to the camera and correct screen flickering).

Camera

Oppo Reno series has always been known for its camera prowess. The Reno7 does reduce the camera count unlike its predecessor the Oppo Reno6 4G which had 4 camera lenses. The Reno7 has a 64MP Main camera with AI and PDAF, a 2MP Microscope Camera (with an orbit light around it) and a 2MP depth sensor. The missing lens here is the 8MP Ultra Wide camera which surprisingly is on the Reno7 4G’s more powerful 5G enabled Reno7 5G. 

The Camera UI is very user-friendly. The user modes are all present through scrolling horizontally on the camera menus. From Portrait to Pro, microscopic and night, you won’t get lost using the camera. The Google Lens has also been embedded in the camera UI making it easy for you to snap and search stuff online. Oppo has also preloaded filters that you can use to enhance your pictures especially when you are taking portrait shots. The 64MP mode is also available. You won’t get lost when using the UI. This translates into the following;

  1. Great Image Quality 

The images shot here are excellent especially when you get the lighting and distance and angles right. Colours remain saturated, even though at times AI does this over-processing and over-sharpening causing the images to appear more artificial than natural. It is the one qualm I have with the main camera that takes images at 16MP (Quad Bayer Lens). It tends to over-process green foliage making pictures look more artificial than natural especially when you use a camera app like the G-Cam (Google Camera). A few samples are shared below. 

When it comes to portraits of both human and non-human subjects, the pictures are really good especially when you get the distance right. The image processing algorithm gives you the opportunity to correct the blur effect to your test even after the image has been taken. You can enhance the pictures using the pre-loaded filters to your liking. 

64MP Mode gives you okay images only that they are huge in size. Unless you have storage which is not an issue on the Reno7 4G you may need to stick to the 16MP mode. 

NB. I would not say much about the Microscope camera given the fact that I still haven’t gotten the hang of it. 

Selfies on the Reno7 4G are taken using the 32MP selfie lens with Sony IMX709 image processor that not only makes your selfies/selfie portraits crisp and clear but give your Oppo Reno7 4G prowess in selfies in lowlight environments. Added to the filters, you have the opportunity to have top-of-the-range selfies. A few samples are here down below. 

2. Low Light Photography

Night-time photos are good. It all depends on how your environment is well lit. Oppo will use the surrounding light to process and enhance the pictures. The resulting images are good, with a great amount of detail and usable for social media platforms. The darker it gets, the lower the quality gets too. 

3. Videography 

Videos both for the front and rear camera are capped at 1080p @ 30fps. They are very good. There is EIS to help with stability and quality. The chipset SD680 4G cannot shoot in 4K. The phone has two microphones and they come in handy, especially when recording videos. The sound quality resultant from this is really good. 

The below video was shot using the Reno7

The Shock

Sound Quality

While the sound is really good, I felt that Oppo could have at least had Stereo Speakers on this phone. It is a common feature in the competition. Don’t get me wrong, the single bottom-firing speaker is good. It has a balanced sound. Lacks the bass but it does okay given you will not be playing the sound using the loudspeaker. 

Omission of the Ultra Wide Camera

The smartphone world changes rapidly and without warning. There are two types of phone manufacturing companies. One; those that bump up camera count, and two; those that increase the quality of the lenses. Oppo finds itself in between the two. How? The Reno7 5G has the 8MP UW Camera whilst the Reno7 4G doesn’t. We get that the 2MPs depth sensor or Macro lens doesn’t add quality to the pictures. We also know that software can be used to take portraits off the main camera. It was really shocking to find the Reno7 4G without the UW lens that would be really needed for those wide-angle shots. 

Pricing and Conclusion

Oppo Reno7 4G finds itself in a class that has very capable devices. The Realme 9i, Redmi Note 11, Oppo A96 and even the Oppo Reno5 F. Let’s separate the siblings for a moment. Oppo A96 has basically similar specs to the Reno7 4G but costs less. It doesn’t have a microscope camera or any stabilization. The Reno5 F may be slightly older but it has 4K recording on the main camera. Realme 9i and Redmi Note 11 all have the same SD 680 chipset. They have also stereo speakers and cost less than the Reno7 4G.

In conclusion, this phone has a number of things going for it. Android 12 (ColorOS 12.1) out of the box. AMOLED screen, 90Hz HRR. 33W SuperVOOC Charger. Great camera and video ability. Would I recommend the Reno7 4G? Yes. Even with its higher price, it brings the assurance of software and security updates, something that the competition cannot guarantee. Oppo says the Reno7 4G will get two years of OS updates and 4 years of Security updates. At the end of it all, the Reno7 4G balances both software and excellent hardware for a wholesome experience. 

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Anjeyo Ananda

In a competitive smartphone world, you need the right information to help you make the right decision on your next phone. I am Anjeyo Ananda. I give you the information you need to know about the smartphone you are about to buy.

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