Over the past few years Oppo made big strides in expanding both its presence to new markets and its portfolio to the higher echelons and the Reno 10x zoom is another step in that direction. It's an excellent phone with plenty of standout features, and its appeal goes way beyond the periscope zoom camera that gave it its name.
Yet putting so much focus on the extra long telephoto reach might not have been the smartest idea as it puts the phone very close to the P30 Pro. Huawei has both a wider reach and better brand recognition in the West, which combined with the relatively high price of the Reno 10x zoom in Europe might make it a tough sell.
However President Trump provided some unintended aid by forbidding US companies to work with Huawei. This causes a lot of uncertainty around Huawei's smartphone business and will undoubtedly affect the sales of its flagship cameraphone.
And that's why the Reno's launch has the perfect timing - it's there to provide an obvious alternative. While carriers are holding off the Huawei P30 sales until its future is clearer, Oppo can offer its Reno trouble-free and it intends to do so globally.
Indeed there's a lot to like about the Reno 10x zoom. It has a captivating design, one very intriguing pop-up, a large and uninterrupted AMOLED, the most powerful Qualcomm chip yet, amazing battery life, and an impressively versatile camera.
The pricing of the Reno 10x zoom is quite competitive in Europe at about €800, but in India and China it actually costs the equivalent of €500, which is an outright bargain.
As we said, the Huawei P30 Pro is the Oppo Reno 10x zoom's most direct competitor - it could be no other way with a name like that. The Reno has better looks and has no camera bump or a screen cutout, but the P30 Pro beats it in waterproofing and camera quality when zoom and ultra-wide-angle shots are concerned.
The OnePlus 7 Pro could be another alternative depending on your local market. It is about €100 cheaper in Europe and has a lot to offer. It has the same size AMOLED wiht no notch but of QHD resolution. The chipsets are the same and the triple camera on the back is quite similar, although obviously it lacks the reach of the periscope module. And once more, if you live in India or China, the Reno costs as much as the OnePlus, or even slightly cheaper, which makes it the better deal.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is another obvious alternative as an all-round flagship. It packs a higher-res Super AMOLED screen and a punch-hole dual-camera at the front. The triple camera on the back of the S10+ is quite capable (ultra-wide, regular plus 2x zoom) though its Night Mode is lacking and there's no zoom beyond 2x. The S10+ tops the Reno with better stereo speakers, water protection, and an audio jack. But while the Reno matches the S10+ price in Europe, it is much cheaper in other places.
Finally, if you like the Reno for its design and software more than the camera the regular Reno might be worth a look. It's in no way a direct rival, packing the more modest Snapdragon 710 and costing substantially less, but it still lets you experience the huge immersive screen and one of the best-built phones around.
The Oppo Reno 10x zoom camera experience isn't as polished as the Huawei P30 Pro's. Some odd choices were made along the way, which have favored numbers on a flashy presentation over user experience. A pity too, because once you manage to navigate around all the unnecessary complications you can get properly impressive shots.
You see a simple name change would have enabled the main zoom camera option to be 5x aligning with the actual focal length of the periscope camera. And it would have taken some of the pressure off it too rather than focusing too much attention on what is undoubtedly cool, but still first gen technology.
Getting this out of the way the Reno 10x zoom certainly has enough other things going for it. Great looks - arguably the best in the H1 2019 flagship class, no unsightly cutout on its AMOLED screen, and impressive battery life.
The phone's availability is still comparatively limited, but if it's offered in your market, it's certainly worth giving a shot. Oppo isn't afraid to innovate and do things its own way - a risky strategy that has often backfired, but it's paid off handsomely with the Reno 10x zoom.
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