We already published our hands-on review of the OPPO Reno 3 Pro, which will likely go official in the country very soon, judging by OPPO Philippines‘ recent social media posts. Now, it’s the OPPO Reno 3‘s turn in the spotlight.
(Update, April 30: Our review is up! Read OPPO Reno 3 review: Heating up the midrange competition.)
(Update, April 24: Preorders have gone live in the country! Read OPPO Reno 3 priced, now up for preorder in the Philippines.)
Here are our first impressions of the more affordable, less-specced-out phone in the series. As a quick aside, it’s important to keep in mind that what we have are the global variants of the Reno 3 phones, which are different from their Qualcomm-based counterparts for the Chinese market.
The new Reno handsets that OPPO is set to launch in the Philippines are powered by MediaTek processors; neither of the phones have 5G-capable circuitry, too.
The regular OPPO Reno 3 doesn’t look like a direct sequel to the OPPO Reno 2F (which it succeeds); rather, it looks like a successor to the manufacturer’s F series, with its waterdrop notch at the top bezel and vertical camera array on the upper-left side of the back panel. It doesn’t have a pop-up selfie shooter like the Reno 2F. And its rear-facing camera system doesn’t sit flush against the panel; quite the opposite, in fact.
That’s not to say the Reno 3 is aesthetically disappointing, as you can tell by the photos in the article. Sure, it’s not the most attractive option in the segment, but we found it pleasing to look at in spite of the familiar design formula. The back of the phone is also made of glass with slight curves around the edges, so it feels nice in the hand and provides a decent grip.
Like previous Reno models, the OPPO Reno 3 has a color-shifting paint job to make it appear more attractive under certain lighting conditions. The power button still has a green accent, while the volume keys are located in the same general places as on previous releases, making them convenient to locate and press. The frame that holds everything together is made of plastic, which is well built but still somewhat disappointing given this OPPO’s premium positioning.
There’s no physical fingerprint reader anywhere on the Reno 3; OPPO has embedded the biometrics sensor beneath the Super AMOLED screen. It’s fast and accurate as far as modern fingerprint scanners go. Not only that, it keeps the back of the phone looking clean and minimalist.
Fronting the OPPO Reno 3 is a 6.4-inch screen running at 2,400 x 1,080, at a tall ratio of 20:9. As for the bezels, they’re small enough not to notice, and there’s no huge notch or camera cutout for the selfie camera.
The refresh rate is 60Hz, as expected. Nothing fancy, but the quality of the panel is pretty good, so colors look vivid but not so intense that they appear unrealistic. Plus, the viewing angles are wide enough to actually share your screen with another person.
Along the bottom, you’ll see a USB Type-C port flanked by a headphone jack and a mono speaker. The speaker is actually loud for its size and can fill a small room with plenty of sound at max volume.
Quad cameras on the back, 44 megapixels up front
The OPPO Reno 3 has a quad-camera layout with dedicated lenses for ultra-wide and telephoto shots. The secondary 2-megapixel sensor is a monochrome one that can improve contrast in your photos. It also doubles as a dedicated sensor for extreme closeup pictures.
The primary camera pairs a 48-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture lens, and both the ultra-wide and telephoto shooters combine with the main sensor to offer 5x hybrid zoom and up to 20x digital zoom. Like the Reno 2 series, the Reno 3 comes with OPPO’s Ultra Dark Mode, which can help you capture bright and clear pictures in low light without the need for a tripod or gimbal.
For taking selfies, the OPPO Reno 3 comes equipped with the company’s new 44-megapixel camera module with f/2.4 lens. It’s one of the sharpest front-facers on the market now, and the phone doesn’t seem to use pixel binning for higher-quality images in dim areas, like a restaurant or a bar.
Unlike the Pro edition, the standard Reno doesn’t have a dedicated bokeh lens for portrait selfies, but it can shoot convincing blurred-background selfies with Portrait Mode. Further, it produces a bright screen flash to light up your selfies while shooting in Night Mode.
Just some sample pictures shot on the OPPO Reno 3
MediaTek Helio P90 plus new Android 10-based ColorOS 7
Keeping things humming along nicely inside is a MediaTek Helio P90 chipset with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. In day-to-day usage, the phone feels snappy and responsive, even without a high refresh rate for the panel. It’s quite impressive how similar it feels to the Reno 3 Pro, which uses a faster Helio P95 chip.
The OPPO Reno 3 is also a decent bet if you want a phone that can handle the latest games at medium to maxed-out settings, even though the benchmarks won’t get you excited. We will have more to say about the performance of the handset in our full review after we put it through heavy workloads.
On the software side, the Reno 3 runs the latest ColorOS 7 based on Android 10, making it one of the first OPPO phones to ship with the company’s latest Android skin.
ColorOS 7 brings some new features, including a number of visual upgrades and the ability to quickly share big files between compatible Realme, Vivo, and Xiaomi devices, as well as a global dark mode with third-party app support. Our review unit even applies the March 2020 Android security patch to the system, improving its security and stability.
As for the battery, the Reno 3 has a 4,025mAh cell that charges at 30 watts. OPPO claims the phone can reach full capacity in about 70 minutes with its proprietary VOOC 3.0 wall charger. Not the fastest our there but still impressive, especially for a non-flagship.
That’s it for now. Be sure to check back every now and then for our full review of the OPPO Reno 3.
OPPO Reno 3 (global) specs
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, 20:9 aspect ratio, 60Hz refresh rate, 2,400 x 1,080 resolution
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio P90
- IMG PowerVR GM 9446
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- Quad 48MP (main), 13MP (telephoto), 8MP (ultra-wide angle), 2MP (monochrome) rear cameras
- 44MP front camera
- Fingerprint sensor (in-screen)
- 4,025mAh battery with 20-watt Type-C fast-charging (VOOC Flash Charge 3.0)
- ColorOS 7 based on Android 10
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