Oppo Reno 3 Pro review: A beautiful yet imperfect phone
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a 64-megapixel rear quad-camera setup that is impressive.
Its battery life is excellent as well.
But it misses out on features that phones under Rs 20,000 have.
Oppo has a good track record in the Indian market, not only because its phones are positioned at some aggressive price points but also because these phones have proven their mettle time and again. When Oppo introduced the Reno series, it was clear about one thing an impeccable device with an arresting design and impressive performance. The Chinese brand is back again with a new smartphone to the Reno series. It has launched the Reno 3 Pro in India after a few months later it was introduced in China. But it is not the same model as the one in China. The Reno 3 Pro has one too many differences in India, such as dual selfie cameras and the lack of 5G.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro bears a starting price tag of Rs 29,990 in India and brings many big numbers to the table. For instance, the Reno 3 Pro is touted to be the first smartphone in India with a 44-megapixel camera on the front. A big megapixel number does not translate into the best output from the cameras but, at least, it is something to brag about. The smartphone is also the first one to rock the MediaTek Helio P95 processor that was launched recently. So, should you buy it or skip it? I put the Reno 3 Pro to test and here is my review.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro Design and Display
Oppo is famously known for giving good designs and some interesting patterns on its smartphones across ranges. When the Reno series was introduced in India, it took the market by storm of course, in terms of sales but also from the perspective of the design. Reno 3 Pro carries the legacy forward and I think it is one of the uber gorgeous phones I have seen so far.
I got the Auroral Blue colour variant of the Oppo Reno 3 Pro and, boy, was I impressed! A phone should look good and stand out from the crowd something that Reno 3 Pro has meticulously done. The smartphone has a dual-tone gradient on the glass back that just radiates different shades of the two colours when held at various angles against a light source. I love how deftly Oppo has crafted the rear on the Reno 3 Pro with an eye-catching finish.
But it is not glass. Oppo has used polycarbonate material with a glossy touch to mimic glass on the Reno 3 Pro. I don’t have complaints here because the Reno 3 Pro does not support wireless charging and, thereby, a faux glass back is a good choice. It is also why the phone feels so light lighter than the Realme X2 Pro even. Also, the rear panel is prone to fingerprints a lot.
Oppo has given curved edges to the back of the Reno 3 Pro, which, thoughtfully so, allows for a good grip. The back of the smartphone has a rectangular camera island that just protrudes out. It is so outward that the phone starts to wobble when kept on a flat surface. I suggest you buy a mobile case for the Reno 3 Pro to avoid any potential chances of falling. The camera island, however, has a short wall around it for protection against scuffs.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a power button on the left and the volume rocker on the right both reachable to my fingers. The bottom of the Reno 3 Pro has a USB-C port flanked by a speaker grille and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The speaker, however, is inconveniently located and is blocked by the palm when holding the phone sideways. Both top and bottom ends have microphones each on the Reno 3 Pro. The SIM card tray is also on the left, right above the volume control buttons.
Moving on from the rear, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with a dual punch-hole design. It is 2020 and smartphone makers are still struggling to find the best location for front cameras. To be honest, punch-holes are not a distraction anymore, but it would have been nice to see some new design. The bezels are adequately slim, and the phone has a good grip, considering how tall the display is.
Moreover, the stickler in me would have liked if Oppo had paid some attention to detail on the punch-hole design. The pill-shaped cutout has a reasonable distance from the top left, which I find awful. This not only hogs the space unnecessarily but also makes the status bar congested in an event of multiple notifications.
The display, particularly, is an impressive one it produces good colours that are also vibrant but oversaturated sometimes. But that is doable for when I am using the smartphone under bright sunlight. The outdoor legibility is impressive, but the colour accuracy dives. There is also a fingerprint sensor embedded under the display it’s an optical sensor and works accordingly nothing fancy but works well.
Now, I have used a good number of smartphones that have a higher refresh rate. Display with refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz not only feel smoother when being used but they are also upping the overall value of money quotient of the phone. Unfortunately, that is not true for the Oppo Reno 3 Pro. Despite being a Rs 30k phone, the Reno 3 Pro compromises on the higher refresh rates for the display, which is off-putting for me. It is quite strange for Oppo to have ignored something that is touted as one of the selling points of phones these days. Contrary to it, Oppo’s spinoff Realme is breaking grounds with its Realme 6 series that introduces the 90Hz display to the budget segment in India.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro Specifications and Performance
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro is an upper mid-range phone, which is why it is expected to perform well, if not the best. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P95 processor, which has made its debut. It is a slightly powerful variant of the MediaTek Helio P90 SoC and the results on the AnTuTu benchmarking app have shown it indeed is. The Oppo Reno 3 Pro scored 215229 in the test, which is good. Now, these scores are something brands go gaga over and include them in their marketing pitch. But what about the real-world performance?
In my time with the Oppo Reno 3 Pro, I did not face any lag, whatsoever. I could juggle between apps, ranging from those that hog too much memory to those that are lightweight in terms of consuming RAM. Even with the games open in the background, I could resume using other apps without any stutters. The MediaTek Helio P95 processor does a good job of handling too many memory-intensive apps concurrently. However, I noticed a small lag when opening the camera app with so many apps open in the background. In an otherwise scenario, the camera app opens smoothly. The processor also struggles when the camera is processing a high-resolution image but that’s something that will not impact the output.
Also, if you are planning to use this phone for a lot of gaming, you may want to skip this because, based on my usage, the processor is a little underwhelming in front of the tall claims that the company made.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro runs ColorOS 7 that is based on Android 10. It has everything that Android 10 offers dark mode, granular control on notifications, and more. In comparison with its previous-generation version, the ColorOS 7 has not changed much in terms of functionalities. Yes, it has been beautified but that’s about it. A lot of features are still missing in ColorOS 7, especially if I see it as custom software that should ideally be tweaked to give new and better features. Moreover, the native browser and UC Browser on the Reno 3 Pro pestered me with a flood of ads in the notification drawer, some of them being unsavoury, to say the least. I had to get rid of them manually. But ColorOS 7, otherwise, looks good. The icons and the overall interface have been bettered, along with some cool animations and system sounds.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro Battery
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a 4025mAh battery under the hood. I can undoubtedly say that the Reno 3 Pro is one of the best smartphones that are known for their battery life. The battery on the Reno 3 Pro lasts for more than a day on a single charge, with a mix of normal and heavy usages. The screen-on time on the Reno 3 Pro is about eight hours, which is impressive. But the device begins to consume more battery when it is running a heavy game, but that is doable since there is fast charging on the phone.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro comes with 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0 technology, which did top the battery from zero to full in around an hour. Oppo could have gone for the 65W fast charging, as is available on the Reno Ace in China. But, guess, that was something reserved for the spinoff Realme to use and claim the title of launching an India-first phone with the technology.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro Cameras
If it’s Oppo, it’s the cameras we should talk about the most. But, my job is to tell you all the aspects, nonetheless, including the cameras. The Reno 3 Pro has four cameras on the back, including a 64-megapixel Samsung sensor as the main snapper, a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, and a 2-megapixel mono lens. There are two cameras on the front a 44-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
The main sensor does an immaculate job of photography in bright light. Oppo has customised the sensor deftly to produce crisp, vibrant, and detailed images. I loved how the main sensor could bring out the difference between different tones of the same colour group. The dynamic range on the photos is appreciable but I noticed some colour saturation in certain conditions. The colour in photos incline towards the flossy side but you may be swayed by the output I was not. There is some zooming available on the sensor but if you want to spot the gaffe from afar, the telephoto lens comes into the picture.
Oppo is touting 20x digital zoom with the 13-megapixel sensor and I tried it to test the claim. The zooming capability of the Reno 3 Pro is impressive it can take steady shots of things afar. The shots lack details but it is not much of an issue.
The ultra-wide-angle sensor can be used when you want to click a photo of an entire building or your entire room, but you can also use it to click macro shots. The images are grainy but preserve details to a good extent under good lighting conditions. For macros, the sensor performs just okay. It’s a good thing that the Ultra Night mode works with all the sensors. The Ultra Night mode works fairly well. It does tend to wash off the colours though.
There is also an Expert mode that enables the XHD resolution for photos. It is essentially a photo shot with 108-megapixel resolution. As expected, the photos clicked using the mode are more detailed and preserve very fine elements in the scene. You can zoom in up to 20x using the mode as well. The HDR on the cameras also works quite well. The mono sensor is the one that, I feel, should have been better. It struggles to identify edges to be able to produce the bokeh. What you get as a result is patchy blur across the photo.
With the 44-megapixel selfie camera, Oppo has bagged the title of being the first in the world with the sensor. To my dismay, however, there is nothing extraordinary here. I have noticed the same information and details on photos clicked using an inferior sensor on other phones. But I am not saying that selfies are bad. In fact, they are quite nice and will impress you. There is a beautification of selfies turned on by default. If you do not want artificial colouring on your face, I’d advise you turn it off before taking selfies. The depth sensor also does a decent job but the photo looks photoshopped sometimes.
Coming to videography, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro does an impressive job there too. The smartphone has EIS that is facilitated by Oppo’s software to stabilise shaky videos. Apart from the videos shot using the main sensor, the video using the telephoto lens also retain stabilisation, which is also impressive.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro Verdict
For Rs 29,990, Oppo Reno 3 Pro could have a hard time making its position in the market. while it packs some good features and has done fairly in certain areas, its repute is likely to be hampered by its rivals, which may not be even from the same price bracket. The lack of a 90Hz display is something that a smartphone buyer should not ignore when it’s a gamble of around Rs 30,000. This phone is not for you if you are looking for a device that can offer you heavy gaming. Then, whom is this phone for?
Firstly, you should be an Oppo loyalist to be willing to spend Rs 30,000 on the Reno 3 Pro. Secondly, you get a great display and good cameras on the Reno 3 Pro. Thirdly, the battery on the Reno 3 Pro is worth appreciating. Fourthly, the design on the Oppo Reno 3 Pro is eye-catching and people around you will stare at it if they cannot be straightforward enough to ask you what phone this is. If these four points sound well to you, Reno 3 Pro is the one for you.