Oppo Reno 7 Pro Review
The Rs 40,000 mark is currently the sweet spot when it comes to flagship level performance and affordability. And that is evident when it comes to sales figures for phones around this price point. There are a number of manufacturers vying for the same customers and as consumers you can pick from a wide range of options. Everyone from Apple to Samsung to OnePlus, to even the likes of Realme and Xiaomi want a piece of this lucrative pie.
The Oppo Reno Series has been characterised by slim, pocketable phones with curved displays. They have also had some pretty good camera hardware over the years. But over the years, we have noticed that Oppo hasn’t really been very consistent with the Reno Series.
This time around too there is a discernible shift in the way Oppo has approached the Reno 7 Series, especially when it comes to the design. The Reno 7 Pro now has flat edges and display making it feel very similar to the iPhone when you hold it for the first time.
One look at the back though and that feeling quickly goes away. Oppo has been talking up a new production technique called LDI that it has employed on the back panel. There are hundreds of micro etchings on the glass back which make it take on different colours when viewed at certain angles. Our review unit is in this loud ‘Startrails Blue’ colour.
But there is also a far more subdued ‘Starlight Black’ if you want to tone things down a bit. While the finish might not be to everyone’s liking, it does ensure that the phone remains devoid of fingerprint smudges.
The camera module too is a design highlight on the Reno 7 Pro. It gets an LED light around the module that you can customise to be used for certain notifications. Placed right below the camera module, the light is subdued and reflects off of the micro-etched back.
The Reno 7 Pro is fairly thin, like other Reno Series phones before it at 7.45mm, and tips the scales at 180g, making it easy to hold. Unboxing it, you are met with a fairly standard experience with a 65W adapter in the box and some documentation. Oppo, unlike some other brands, still continues to ship its phones with a power brick.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro features a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate with a 180Hz peak sampling rate. It is not a 120Hz panel, but I don’t really know of too many people who’d notice the difference. The Full HD+ panel does a very good job with vivid colours and good contrast.
It gets sufficiently bright indoors, but isn’t as easy to use while on the move outside. Together with the loud stereo speakers, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro makes for a good media consumption device.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 - MAX. This is a special chipset born out of a collaboration between Oppo and MediaTek. While sheer performance remains the same, the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 – MAX has a couple of bespoke features just for the Oppo flagship. AI Deblur, which Oppo claims improves the quality of selfies, and AI-PQ, which is said to add an HDR-like effect in regular videos. Paired with 12GB of RAM, the Reno 7 Pro’s processor comes across as adept at taking on everything that’s thrown its way. To make things better, you can allocate upto 7GB of storage for processing in ColorOS.
But, frankly with so much performance already on tap, it is hard to test if this does make a noticeable difference. Regardless, it is good to know that it is there. I did use it to play a few games, and even when cranked to max possible settings, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro didn’t struggle at all. In fact, I was able to breeze past all the games that I tried playing with it.
To test everyday performance, we tried having a few dozen Chrome tabs open at the same time, and I never had any issues switching between tabs and continuing from where I left off. The UI isn’t as clunky as some older Oppo phones and feels snappy and responsive.
Battery life is excellent with the 4500mAh unit easily lasting more than a day. The bundled charger also makes recharging a breeze with 30 minutes enough for a 66 percent charge.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro doesn’t get wireless charging or an IP rating, but that’s hardly a miss at this price point.
Sadly though, the ColorOS12 here is still based on Android 11, when so many smartphones are shipping with Android 12. There still are a number of pre-installed apps, but nothing that you would find negatively impacting the software experience.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro gets a new set of cameras – a 32-megapixel selfie camera with a new Sony IMX709 sensor, and the primary rear camera which now gets Sony IMX766 sensor that’s also found on a few other phones this year. The selfie camera has a RGBW pixel layout for improved light sensitivity. There is no optical stabilisation. The Reno 7 Pro also has an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
Oppo offers a number of special features like the AI Highlight video and Bokeh Flare Portrait filter. You can also adjust the aperture when shooting videos. There is dual video too that lets you shoot from both the front and rear cameras at the same time.
The main camera delivers great photos with lots of detail and pretty good colour reproduction. It does take a moment for the main camera to get the exposure spot on when shooting in harsh sunlight.
The ultra-wide is serviceable but there isn’t as much detail and it is something you will notice when switching between the two. The main camera does a pretty good job in low light situations as well. Images of close-up subjects were sharp. But landscape images just weren’t as good.
Then there is the macro camera. I have never been a fan of these, to me they are just gimmicks. The macro camera here just adds to the numbers, but it does produce decent images with enough light. The selfie camera is very impressive and I was able to get really sharp images with accurate skin tones rather easily. In low light however, it was hard to get a sharp image.
Video performance lets the Reno 7 Pro down. Stabilisation is good, but footage tends to be overexposed. And although, you can shoot 4K, it is capped at 30fps. Add to that, if you do decide to use any of the AI features or filters or even use the ultrawide, resolution is capped 1080p.
There are a number of things going for the Oppo Reno 7. It looks good, feels great in the hand, packs a set of really good cameras, has competent processing capabilities and impressive battery life. But the trouble is that the space Oppo has positioned the Reno 7 Pro in already has a ton of really good smartphones. Don’t get me wrong, it is a really good smartphone, but it has its work cut out in this segment.