We attended the OPPO Innovation Event 2019 in Barcelona last February and saw the world’s first camera system with a 10x hybrid zoom firsthand. We took some pictures with it in a controlled environment. It was also confirmed during the gathering that the first OPPO phone with 10x zoom capabilities would appear in its next top-of-the-line offering.
Four months later, we have the new OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition in our hands, fresh from its announcement in China in April. It is beautiful, bold, powerful, and, frankly, quite a handful to operate — bigger and heavier than the standard OPPO Reno, which we wrote about last week. Which makes sense; this is, after all, the sort of device that caters to power users with specific camera requirements and money to blow.
In the Philippines, the top-spec OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage carries a suggested retail price of P45,990, or roughly $887 converted. For a speedy flagship with a camera that can do what no other phone can (60x digital zoom), that seems pretty reasonable. So on to our review, then?
Design and build
On the outside, the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition features glass and metal sandwiched packaged tastefully in a gorgeous design language that, refreshingly, doesn’t mix colors to stand out and draw attention. At the same time, this phone is a joy to hold, even though it may be too big for some.
In the hand, it nestles nicely in the palm, its smooth matte-glass finish, which we’d describe as friction-less and identical to the OPPO R17 Pro‘s surface, adding to the comfort factor.
The ergonomics feel great, too, thanks to the contoured sides that slope downwards toward the metal frame, as well as the tactile power and volume buttons along the edges of the handset. It might be on the heavy side, but its heft also gives the perception of reassuring build quality.
Of course, the highlight here can be found around back, where the the triple-lens camera module sits completely flush with the mostly flat rear panel. Many top-end smartphones these days have a camera bump, so it’s impressive that the Reno 10x Zoom Edition doesn’t have one despite its more complicated design, which includes a periscope-style zoom lens that is similar to what Huawei previously did with the P30 Pro.
The back also features an interesting hardware element in the form of a tiny, raised nub that rests just below the main camera module. According to OPPO, the nub exists to help prevent the camera lenses from scratching when you have the handset face up on a flat surface. That’s pretty smart, actually, especially since it compliments the rest of the hardware so well.
If you’re looking for the fingerprint reader, you won’t find it on the rear. It’s embedded in the screen, which has become a popular trend with smartphones this year. It works well, faster and more accurate than it was on the R17 Pro, though you might still prefer a standard capacitive sensor if ease of use is your prime concern.
Another big attraction is the motorized pop-up camera for selfies. However, instead of using a small camera module that only has room for the sensor and lens but not much else, OPPO has decided on a wedge-style retractable module that is bigger and hides the earpiece speaker and flash for the rear camera.
The rising mechanism does make us feel a bit skeptical about the longevity of the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition, but the company feels confident it will last the lifetime of the handset. After using the phone heavily for a week, we can confirm that OPPO has every right to be confident. It’s quick, and you don’t hear the moving parts doing anything as the camera pops out of the top.
The front of the Reno 10x Zoom Edition is mostly occupied by the AMOLED screen that is layered with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for some peace of mind. However, the display doesn’t sink into the frame and wrap around the edges as much as the screen on the OPPO Find X.
The bottom of the device, meanwhile, sees a USB-C port beside a bottom-firing loudspeaker, which is great for media playback but can be easily blocked by a single finger.
The earpiece serves as a second speaker for stereo output. Unlike the bottom speaker, however, the earpiece is often flat and produces weaker sound. That aside, it does create a stereo feel even though it’s not very good. There’s no headphone jack anywhere in sight, but the upside is that the included in-ear buds which plug into the USB-C port actually sound nice for in-box accessories.
By adopting a pop-up selfie cam, OPPO managed to strip out most of the bezels on the Reno 10x Zoom Edition, resulting in a good viewing experience free of interruptions by any sort of notch. The AMOLED display is huge — measuring 6.6 inches across — and adopts a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution at an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.
The panel offers accurate color representation if you switch to a warmer color temperature manually in the Settings menu, while black levels are better than those of many high-end handsets, with plenty of detail on display in shadowy areas. It’s plenty bright, too, topping out at 440 nits of brightness, which is sufficient to make text visible in most indoor and outdoor places.
On top of that, it supports swipe-up gestures for navigation, as well as always-on functionality, so you can keep an eye on time and incoming notifications without having to turn on the screen.
When it launched last year, the Find X impressed us with its picture quality and aggressive curves. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition obviously skips the latter, but makes up for it with a particularly outstanding display that runs as well as anything on the feature set.
The hallmark feature of the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition is, as its name suggests, the camera module at the back with a powerful zoom lens that delivers 10x hybrid zoom, or up to an unprecedented 60x digital zoom when pushed all the way to its limits.
And yet even with such a capable camera, the handset still manages to fit a 48-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide lens for panoramas. The hidden front-facing option is 16 megapixels.
4 sets: Ultra-wide vs 1x vs 2x vs 6x vs 10x vs 60x
Pressing the zoom button in the native camera app enables 2x digital zoom, then 6x zoom, which uses software to improve on the 5x optical zoom with minimal quality degradation, then 10x hybrid zoom, and then super wide by switching to the camera with a 16mm equivalent focal length. Going all the way to 60x is done by moving the zoom slider. But be warned: You probably won’t like the results.
3 sets: Auto mode vs Night mode
Otherwise, the image quality is generally good, especially in well-lit environments. In low light, the Reno 10x Zoom Edition is only satisfactory and often struggles with artificial lighting.
Selfies shot on the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom. First 3 have versions taken in Portrait mode
There is a subtle, natural-looking depth of field when taking macro and portrait shots using the primary camera, though we’d recommend avoiding bright environments despite the presence of HDR for both front and rear cameras. The selfies we’ve taken with our unit look nice, be it with or without the in-camera beauty setting.
Other sample pictures
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 powers the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition. In the Philippines, the chipset is paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of expandable storage, while an Adreno 640 takes care of the graphics and can play anything and everything you want at max detail. There’s no lag when running apps, and multitasking between a dozen or so apps is effortless.
The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition can play anything and everything you want at max detail. There’s no lag when running apps, and multitasking between a dozen or so apps is effortless
The Snapdragon 855 is indeed one of the most powerful chips on the market now; only the latest Samsung Exynos 9820 is a match for it in terms of synthetic and real-world tests. Sure, the device does get warm around the back when playing a graphics-intensive game like PUBG Mobile for extended periods, but it’s nothing we haven’t already experienced before.
Comparing it with the Snapdragon 710, the Snapdragon 855 more than doubles the scores we saw on the standard Reno. In fact, talking about benchmarks, our review sample delivered the best numbers we’ve ever seen.
The Reno 10x Zoom Edition gets a 4,065mAh cell under the hood and OPPO’s 20-watt VOOC 3.0 fast charging with the bundled power brick in the retail box. Using the right charger and cable, the phone goes up to about 50% in 30 minutes.
Wireless charging is still not available on this model, or any OPPO device before it. Yet, given the inclusion of decent fast charging, we think we can do without it.
The smartphone usually lasts for two days with normal use in our testing. When we were out running chores and using cellular data, the screen-on time averaged between five-and-a-half hours to six hours, with the battery backup still lasting a full day.
Your mileage will vary based on usage patterns, but its battery life is among the longest we’ve seen in the category. PCMark’s battery test put our unit’s lifespan at above the 10-hour mark — notable coming from a flagship with a big display.
The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition ticks the right boxes and comes with a couple of hallmark features of its own. Most notably, the camera, while not class-leading overall, can zoom farther and offer a clearer picture than pretty much any camera phone out there. The display is big, has almost zero bezels, and is easily the best OPPO has put in a smartphone, while the Snapdragon 855 and battery backup won’t leave you wanting.
OPPO’s F series put the company on the map and brought it rapid commercial and critical success over the past few years. But it’s the Reno 10x Zoom Edition that establishes it as a worthy rival to Apple and Samsung. If price isn’t much of a factor, this handset is about as good as it’s going to get for the time being.
OPPO’s F series put the company on the map and brought it rapid commercial and critical success over the past few years. But it’s the Reno 10x Zoom Edition that establishes it as a worthy rival to Apple and Samsung
OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition specs
- 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, 2,340 x 1,080 resolution (19.5:9)
- Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- Triple 48MP (f/1.7), 8MP wide (f/2.2), and 13MP telephoto with 10x zoom cameras
- Pop-up 16MP front camera (f/2.0)
- Fingerprint sensor (in-screen)
- 4,065mAh battery
- Color OS 6.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie
- Fog Sea Green, Extreme Night Black, Nebula Purple, Pink Mist colors (last two not available in the Philippines)
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