We’re not sure the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom fits its high asking price, but it’s still got some intriguing features and impressive specs.
- Novel ‘shark-fin’ pop-up
- Massive battery power
- Cutting edge chipset
- We’re not a fan of the OS
- High price
- The 10x zoom wasn’t hugely impressive
When most smartphone companies launch different variants of the same model, they choose ‘Plus’ or ‘Pro’ as a tag for the largest, but Oppo is taking things in a different direction with the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition. The 10x Zoom is one of several ways the handset improves on over the standard Oppo Reno, and it’s an intriguing thing for Oppo to focus on for the name.
The main draw to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, as with all the Oppo Reno phones launched, is its unbroken screen and 93.1% screen-to-body ratio – this is facilitated by the ‘shark-fin’ pop-up selfie camera, which emerges from the handset when you want to take a selfie.
There are a few other important selling points to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition, but it’s also sitting at a fairly high asking price, so is the device worth its premium price?
Release date and price
When it launches in certain European countries, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition will cost €799 (roughly $895, £690, AU$1,270) .
This release date is set to be in June, but we don’t have any more specific a date than that. We don’t even know where it will launch then – while the standard Oppo Reno will hit certain European countries when it launches in May, we don’t know when (or if) that device will reach other countries, and so the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s journey remains a mystery.
Design and display
The biggest draw to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is the screen – it’s a 6.6-inch AMOLED display that’s not broken by a notch at the top, and the bezels are pretty thin too. Oppo says the phone has a 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, and that seems about right.
One useful quirk of the screen is that Oppo says it’s designed to be 8% more power efficient than previous Oppo phones, so using it at higher brightness shouldn’t tank the battery too much – the phone does also give you a warning if it’s on high brightness, warning you of the battery drain.
We don’t know the exact dimensions of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition, but it felt surprisingly light to hold for its large body size – this could be because the phone is bigger than it needs to be, due to the lack of 5G modems – more on that cryptic comment later.
The phone was rather large, although with the ever-increasing size of phone displays it didn’t feel unnecessarily unwieldy to hold.
The back of the handset had a rather novel design, and the slightly rippled rear created light patterns when we held it. It’s a rather minimal design too – there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, and there’s not even a top speaker (this is hidden in the ‘shark-fin’, although it still works when the fin is down).
And now for the unique part of the design – the fin seemed to work well when we played about with it. We could pop it up and down in rapid succession without anything going wrong, and although it felt a little slow to close after we turned off the front-facing camera, it seemed durable enough.
Oppo says the fin can open and close 200,000 times without damage, which equals doing it 100 times a day for around 5 years, Samsung said something similar before the Samsung Galaxy Fold debacle, so we’ll have to test it ourselves to find out if that’s accurate.
Camera and battery life
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition actually has 20x zoom capability – but the name is in fact referring to how far you can enhance in a picture to retain its quality.
We tested the phone in a rather low-light setting, and zoomed-in images did seem a little grainy – zoomed pictures were definitely a higher quality than we’ve seen in other phones, but it was no Huawei P30 Pro either.
The phone has a three-camera rear setup, consisting of one with a 48MP main sensor, one with a 13MP telephoto lens, and one with an 8MP ultra-wide lens. Ultra-wide mode seemed impressive, with a 120 degree field-of-view, but as we’ve just described the telephoto lens for the zoom pictures wasn’t the most breathtaking thing in the world.
Oppo also boasts the phone’s Night Sight mode, but we didn’t test the phone in a setting with low enough light to put this mode through its paces. It’s something we’ll definitely need to test in our full review.
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition has a 4,065mAh power back – that’s a gloriously large battery, and we’d be surprised if it didn’t easily last a full day of use.
Oppo also brings its ‘VOOC 3.0’ fast-charging with the phone – it hasn’t stated how fast this actually is, but supposedly it speeds up the ‘trickle-charging’ process when a phone takes a long time to power up the last few percentage points, so it could cut down on a serious amount of charge time. Once again, we’re going to need to test this out to pass a final judgement.
What about the Oppo Reno 5G?
There is only one difference between the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition and the Oppo Reno 5G version – the latter works on 5G as well as 5G.
That may sound like a trivial point to make, but the dimensions of the two phones are exactly the same – that means inside the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition is space enough to add 5G modems, space which is now just empty within the body of the phone. This is probably why it’s so light.
There’s nothing wrong with a phone having big open spaces, and it was likely done by Oppo so they only had to manufacture 2 different phones instead of 3, but a smaller handset wouldn’t have been terrible either.
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition runs ColorOS 6, a fork of Android 9 Pie, and we weren’t hugely impressed by it.
It didn’t provide as ugly a user interface as Huawei’s EMUI does in the Huawei P30 Pro or Xiaomi’s MIUI in the Xiaomi Mi 9 – instead its problems stemmed through its functionality.
One of the selling points of ColorOS is its animations when you open or close an app tab or window, but these animations felt a little slow, like we were wasting time watching an app tab close when we could be doing something else.
The toolbar at the top felt a little garish too, made up of huge white blocks when the understated design of Android 9 feels a lot better to look at.
We only played with the phone for a short while, however – maybe ColorOS could grow on us.
Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, which is an impressive cutting-edge processor. The handset we played with had 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, but Oppo didn’t actually mention the different combinations available, so there could be different specs available too.
After our short time playing with the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom handset, we’re a little unsure of its staying power in the market – its main point of interest is the mechanical ‘shark-fin’, but we’re still not too sure who’d prefer its bizarre look over the Samsung Galaxy A80’s rotating pop-up panel or the collection of pop-up cameras coming to the market soon.
At such a high price-point for a phone that doesn’t necessarily feel high-end, Oppo could valuing itself a little more than it’s actually worth – an unbroken screen and mechanical part isn’t necessarily the most important part of the phone.
However things like battery life, durability, quick processing and staying power are what makes a phone great, and worth a high price point, and it’s not as easy to convey these things over a quick hands-on, so it’s possible when we get our hands on the phone for a full review we’ll be singing a jollier tune.