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    OPPO Reno3 (Global) Review: An Almost Complete Package

    After a bit of a delay, the OPPO Reno3 and the Reno3 Pro have arrived in the Philippines. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the OPPO Reno3, which is one of the most affordable smartphones in the Reno series. With the Reno name being affiliated to more premium-priced smartphones, will the OPPO Reno3 be able to bring the Reno experience to a more palatable price point?

    OPPO Reno3

    Chipset MediaTek Helio P90
    Screen 6.4-inch AMOLED, 20:9, 2400 x 1080, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
    RAM 8GB
    OS Android 10 with ColorOS 7
    Rear Camera 48MP f/1.8 Main, 13MP f/2.48 Telephoto, 8MP f/2.2 Ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 Mono
    Front Camera 44MP f/2.45
    Storage 128GB expandable via MicroSD slot
    Network Dual-SIM, 4G LTE
    Connectivity Dual-band WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack
    Battery 4,025mAh, VOOC Flash Charge 3.0
    Others In-display Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock
    Colors Auroral Blue, Midnight Black, Sky White

     

    Design and Features

    The OPPO Reno3 largely sticks to a conventional mid-range smartphone design. At the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, which leads to a resolution of 2400 x 1080. A sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has been applied onto the screen in order to reduce the risk of the screen being scratched by accident.

    As you might have noticed, the Reno3 doesn’t deploy any fancy pill-style holes for its front 44MP f/2.45 camera and instead still uses the brand’s waterdrop notch. There’s also a rather significant bottom chin. Both of these breaks the uniformity of the screen since the side and top bezels are barely noticeable in the overall front profile of the smartphone.

    The display itself is pretty much what you expect from an AMOLED panel. Blacks are deep, colors pop without too much aggression while retaining clear contrast. Brightness is also decent allowing for the smartphone to be used under sunlight without much issue. On the lower end of the brightness scale, the screen can be turned down enough as to not blind you when opening the smartphone in a dark room.

    Although the back of the OPPO Reno3 comes in a polished finish, it is made out of plastic instead of glass. This detracts from its premium build and feel quite a bit. For our review, we got the Auroral Blue variant, which comes with a deep violet blue color at the bottom that slowly turns into a light blue hue at the top; surely an attractive design for those who like to stand out.

    At the top left portion of the smartphone is a vertically-aligned quad camera setup. Taking the lead is a 48MP f/1.8 main camera flanked by a 13MP f/2.48 telephoto lens, an 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 2MP f/2.4 mono shooter. Just beside the camera bump the device’s LED flash.

    Three buttons are present on the Reno3. At the right-hand side is its power button while the other side houses the volume buttons. All three buttons deliver a tactile enough experience to let you know that they are activated when you press them.

    Just at the top of the volume buttons is the smartphone’s SIM tray. Ejecting the tray reveals a triple-cut SIM tray that allows you to use two SIM cards alongside a microSD card to expand storage. Unfortunately, we’re not receiving the 5G version of the Reno3 and thus the device is only 4G compatible.

    There’s no fingerprint scanner at the back since it comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Unlocking the smartphone using the display’s scanner is fast so long as you configure your fingerprint properly.

    As far as design goes, the OPPO Reno3 doesn’t really detract from the norm of smartphones. Weighing in at around 170g, the smartphone is pretty light with good handling overall. The back material could have been improved from plastic to glass in order to give it a higher-end feel but we expect that OPPO opted for the former in order to reduce costs and bring the device to a lower price point.

    User Interface

    The OPPO Reno3 ships with Android 10 with their trademark ColorOS 7 on top. As the latest iteration of the ColorOS, the Reno3 packs all the icons on the Home Screen although if you can still activate the traditional app drawer via the settings menu.

    Icons on ColorOS 7 is now more customizable than before. It now allows you to set the icon styles to three different presets. If you’re very particular about icons, then you can activate Art+ Icon where you can change the icon size, foreground size, and corner shapes.

    Gesture controls can be activated if you want to remove the virtual buttons at the bottom. The Reno3 supports a plethora of gestures such as swipes from both sides, general navigation, and 3-finger screenshot. You can also control the smartphone even when the display is off allowing you to activate the camera or turn on the flashlight.

    Of course, Dark Mode is available and can be quickly toggled via the notifications menu. You can also quickly access several apps of your choosing by swiping in from the little bar that appears on the right-hand side of the smartphone.

    Camera

    The OPPO Reno3’s camera ships with all the settings you need for taking good photos and video. Standard options such as HDR, Auto, Night, Portrait, Slow Motion, Sticker, Time Lapse, and Panorama are present. If you want more control over the exposure of your photos, you can use its Expert mode for all the three usable cameras to get the picture you want.

    As for video, the smartphone supports 2160p30fps maximum recording for the main camera with 1080p30fps or 60fps also available. OPPO is also using gyro-EIS for stabilization for video capture. As for the selfie camera, it can capture 1080p video at 30fps.

    The global version of the OPPO Reno3 varies from its 5G cousin. Instead of a 64MP f/1.8 primary, the OPPO Reno3 global variant now comes with a 48MP f/1.8 main camera. Despite the reduction in pixel count, the smartphone is able to take well-detailed photos with decent contrast and exposure as well as good color reproduction.

    The 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera also takes well-detailed photos on the surface, which should be fit in any kind of social media posting. Finer details, however, are a bit lost since it doesn’t have enough pixel count for closer inspection. There is also a significant amount of fish-eye at the edges, which is expected since this is an ultrawide lens.

    Its 13MP f/2.4 telephoto lens preserves just enough details for the smaller objects to become noticeable in photos. In some situations, we can even make out smaller text in the background. Colors are decent although their not as well-defined compared to the Reno3’s primary lens.

    Performance and Benchmarks

    Since we are not getting the 5G version of the OPPO Reno3, the brand has replaced the Dimensity 100L chip with a Helio P90. Though this can be considered as a downgrade by some, the Helio P90 chipset isn’t a slouch.

    Using the OPPO Reno3 for our daily tasks such as email, browsing, YouTube, and occasional multitasking posed no problems for the chip. The chip is even able to deliver steady framerates while playing Call of Duty: Mobile.

    As for benchmarks, the OPPO Reno3 scored decent points in our suite of tests although a bit lower compared to other smartphones in its price range. The device is able to reach scores of 9,515 in PCMark Work 2.0, 218,634 in AnTuTu, and 1,242 and 1,538 in OpenGL and Vulkan tests in 3DMark, respectively.

    Battery

    Encased in the OPPO Reno3’s plastic chassis is a 4,025mAh battery. The battery is usually able to last us the whole day with average use for our daily tasks. It does, however, need charging by the end of the day. Rather disappointingly, the device is only able to last just past 9 hours when it comes to PCMark Work 2.0’s battery test.

    The device charged via a USB Type-C port at the bottom that’s compatible with VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. Charging the smartphone usually takes just around an hour and a half from starting from 0% up to its full capacity.

    Conclusion

    With a list price of PhP 18,990, the OPPO Reno3 checks all the boxes when it comes to delivering a decent smartphone experience. There are, however, a few downsides.

    Let’s start off with all the good that the OPPO Reno3 can do. Design-wise, it’s a pretty looking smartphone. Although the build quality can be better, we can live with its plastic shell since its appearance hides the fact that it is made out from a cheaper material.

    Its AMOLED display, while not mind-blowing, allows for good reproduction of images whatever the condition. The only real downside is that it is still running the standard 60Hz refresh rate. It would have been better if OPPO included a 90Hz screen with the device in order for the smartphone to feel smoother in both games and general use.

    Though its MediaTek Helio P90 is already a year old, it is still able to keep up with the user’s demand. While not as fast as other chipsets in the market in terms of benchmarks, it still offers enough processing power to allow the Reno3 to perform steadily with any task.

    Battery life is one of the only real downsides for the OPPO Reno3. Although it has a 4,025mAh battery, battery life only lasted us just enough for a day with medium use, it’s a bit annoying that we have to charge the smartphone at the end of the day instead of having enough juice for us to enjoy content before we go to sleep. Thankfully, VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 alleviates the waiting time quite a bit.

    As we’ve mentioned, the OPPO Reno3 offers just enough to be considered a good smartphone but not a great one. It needs a killer feature in order to separate itself from the pack especially since the smartphone world is all about one-upmanship.

    Though not as technically impressive as the Reno2, it is quite a bit cheaper and has almost all the bells and whistles you need from a smartphone. If you’re looking for a great camera smartphone and can live with its rather aging Helio P90 platform, then the OPPO Reno3 might just be the smartphone for your next upgrade.

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