Technology

Oppo Reno 4 5G Review: Try Before You Buy

The Oppo Reno4 5G is a good smartphone for its price, but I just wish the software was a little less terrible.

There certainly is no shortage in quality smartphones that exist in the hotly contested and somewhat difficult to signal “midrange” market in 2020. Dropping $1000 on a phone is still a sizeable investment for most, and it’s something that Oppo is keenly aware of with their latest offering. 

I’ve been using the Reno4 5G for the past few weeks (thanks to Oppo being kind enough to send one out for review), and whilst the results are mixed, I certainly respect what they’ve managed to put in consumers’ hands with this product. As the midrange offering that sits between the cheaper Reno4 Z 5G and the topline Reno4 Pro 5G, the Reno4 does more than enough to warrant a purchase – if you understand just what you’ll be getting out of the box. 

In the hand, this feels like a premium product and is topped off by a superb glow-like design on the back which has a grippy texture to make holding the Reno4 5G a pleasant experience at all times. In terms of the triple camera setup, the Reno 4 5G rocks a monster 48MP main camera and a 32MP selfie camera. There is a bit of technical mumbo jumbo worth mentioning here – such as the camera system featuring the Sony IMX586 sensor and a nifty little Ultra Steady Video feature – but on the whole, you’d be hard stretched to find better photographic capabilities on a phone at this price point.

How those capabilities are executed remains up for debate. Camera features have come to be a big selling point on the modern smartphone, and this year, Oppo has also introduced what they call the Ultra Night Video, a handy little feature for those keen to shoot in the dark. 

In terms of raw power, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G claims to boost performance but I didn’t notice anything remarkable in this area. Apps load at a similar pace to my Samsung S10, boot-up times are virtually identical, but where the Reno4 5G does win is in download times. For memory, you’re looking at 128GB of space with no option for expansion, somewhat disappointing given that many phones that are priced less than the Reno4 5G have that feature. 

All in all, on a technical and design level, the Reno4 5G should serve you just right. But there is a problem here. 

The OS being implemented by Oppo is terrible. Named ColorOS 7.2, this is similar to some of Oppo’s competitors in that it has taken its own stab at Andriod and tried to make the operating system its own. It might be a thing of personal preference and is certainly nothing close to a deal-breaker, but the needless amount of apps that come pre-built into the Reno4 5G and a difficult to maneuver OS take up what little space the product has with a user experience that I cannot describe as anything other than annoying. 

But again, that’s a slight nitpick on my behalf however certainly still a genuine criticism. 

In terms of share value, the Oppo Reno4 5G does more than enough to push itself into the forefront of your decision making if you find yourself after a solid mid-range smartphone this Christmas. Definitely try to have a go with it in-store if you can, but know you’ll be getting decent value for money regardless. 

The Oppo Reno4 5G was provided by Oppo New Zealand for the purposes of review.

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