Written by Cheryl Tan
Cameras are a main differentiating factor to set apart smartphones nowadays, and the Oppo Reno series wow-ed many with their “shark-fin” pop-up front camera as well as the option for 60x digital zoom when the Reno and Reno 10x Zoom came out earlier this year. So what does the Reno 2 bring to the table?
Bokeh mode for your selfie videos. I know, I know. It might not be a huge thing for most of us, but for those who really take a lot of videos of themselves, this will be great news. The best part? It works admirably.
Bokeh levels are adjustable, and you can go all-out if you want, but I found that increasing the bokeh anywhere past 50-60% resulted in an unnatural looking background and moments where the separation between the background and my hair were glitching.
Of course, it might just be an issue with my hairstyle and others might not see that as often. I found 30% was a good balance between still having the effect and reducing the separation issues.
But what about photos? I was suitably impressed by the bokeh effect on the rear cameras, thanks to the 2MP depth-sensing lens. There’s excellent separation between the subject and background, with the outline of her hair still remaining in focus. The only issue I had was that the colours were a little washed out if you don’t have ideal lighting, but that can be easily edited with a slight bump to saturation.
The front selfie camera didn’t compare as favourably, however. With two people in frame, you’ll have to pick between one person being in focus while the other one isn’t quite in focus. The only way to get both subjects in focus is to be on the same focal plane, and it feels like there’s an incredibly small window for subjects to be in focus. That’s quite limiting since it basically only allows for subjects to stand in a straight line to take a selfie.
There’s a saying, “the best camera is the one you have with you”. While not 100% accurate, the general gist of it is that it’s better to have something to snap a photo with, than nothing at all. But if what you’re using is unable to take a photo of the moment quick enough, it’s not really useful then.
The Reno 2 runs on the Snapdragon 730G processor and the Adreno 618 GPU, which isn’t great, but it works fine for most use cases. Bringing up the camera app and taking a quick shot is snappy enough, and gaming is generally fine as well but I wouldn’t recommend setting all your in-game visual settings to high or ultra. Keep them to medium and you’ll have a much better time.
There’s also 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is decent for the price point. The screen is pretty decent, a 6.5″ AMOLED display which goes up to 500nits of brightness so that I could view the screen comfortably even under bright daylight. The display isn’t over-saturated either, so some light photo editing can be done on the phone.
Another big deal for the Reno 2 is the ability to connect to two Wi-Fi networks at the same time. This allows for seamless Wi-Fi switching if one network gets too slow, and it’s definitely helpful if you’re constantly in a location where the Wi-Fi tends to be a bit spotty.
The 4000mAh battery is decent and can last for slightly over a day on moderate usage, but Oppo’s VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge is great and charges up the phone from 0-100% in slightly over an hour.
Overall, I’d say that this is a decent mid-range phone offering from Oppo for sure. The bokeh feature for selfie videos is definitely an interesting draw and one that’s bound to appeal to content creators.
More information about the Reno 2 (starting from S$899) and purchase options are available on Oppo’s website.