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OPPO Reno4 5G review
Supersonic speeds for under $800.
5G phones have exploded onto the Aussie market this year, and thanks to a combination of new releases from Apple, Samsung and Google and the continued rollout of 5G across the country, Australians are starting to take notice. OPPO now has quite a few 5G devices on offer down under, so I was keen to see how the new Reno4 5G stacked up against the competition. Here’s what I found.
OPPO Reno4 5G price
The Reno4 5G is the big brother in OPPO’s new 5G Reno lineup. At $799 ($444 at Kogan), it’s $200 more than the more budget-friendly Reno4 Z 5G variant ($499 at Kogan), but you do get more for your money - as well as a little less, in some cases.
For the extra couple of hundos, you’ll get a higher-end Snapdragon 765G, an extra lens on the selfie camera, an AMOLED display, in-screen fingerprint sensor, more durability and 65W fast charging. That said, the cheaper Z model has a higher refresh rate, an extra rear lens, and the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Ultimately, it comes down to what’s more important to you: better performance and ultra-fast charging, or a high refresh rate and headphone jack.
If you prefer your phone on a plan, it’s available only through Woolworths Mobile. The downside is that while Woolies use the Telstra network, they don’t yet have access to 5G coverage, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a 5G device. Instead, we recommend buying it outright and adding a SIM-only 5G plan with either Telstra, Optus or Spintel. At the time of writing, they’re the only carriers with some 5G coverage available.
OPPO Reno4 5G design and display
The Reno4 5G is one sleek device. It’s slim without feeling flimsy, substantial without being heavy and feels far more premium than many smartphones in its price range. The front is pretty much all screen, save for the 2mm-thick bottom bezel and the dual-lens selfie camera. On the back, you’ll find a subtle camera notch rocking three lenses (more on camera performance later). I tested the Space Black model, which is beautiful to look at with a black-tinted mirror backing - something that turned out to be far less of a fingerprint-magnet than I expected, but still reasonably hard to keep looking flawless.
As for the display itself, it may not be small hands-friendly at 6.5 inches, but it’s still damn nice. Thanks to its AMOLED panel, colours are vibrant, whites are bright, and blacks are deep and dark. The Reno4 5G only has a 60Hz refresh rate, so if that’s something important to you, check out the cheaper Reno4 Z 5G, which boasts 120Hz. Don’t get me wrong, the screen is still fantastic, but I would’ve liked to see at least 90Hz on the Reno4 5G.
OPPO Reno4 5G camera
OPPO knows what they’re doing when it comes to smartphone photography, and the Reno4 5G is the perfect example of their prowess. It sports a 48MP primary lens, 8MP ultra-wide lens and 2MP mono camera, all of which combine to make some really nice shots. Colours pop without looking unrealistic, ultra-wide shots avoid the fish-eye effect, low light snaps are stunning and portrait mode works a dream, both with the rear and selfie shooters.
I really have no complaints about the camera quality - it’s better than many at this price point. My only real qualm is one that’s cropped up previously when testing OPPO’s sister brand Realme’s devices - AI beauty. It’s one thing to retouch photos after you’ve taken them, but the live AI beauty feature really freaks me out. You can smooth your skin, make your face thinner, give yourself larger eyes, a smaller nose, smaller face altogether and adjust the size of your chin. Here’s a great read on why it’s a problematic addition.
OPPO Reno4 5G features and performance
As much as I love being able to unlock my phone with my face, I also love having a choice - particularly when I’m sporting my mask. The Reno4 5G includes both face unlocking and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the latter which I’d recommend not relying on alone as it tended to be somewhat temperamental at times. Together though, the two allowed for a fast and secure experience.
Unless you’re a hardcore mobile gamer or constantly using CPU-heavy apps, the Reno4 5G’s Snapdragon 765G processor (the same found in the new Google Pixel 5 and 4a 5G) will more than satisfy. I had no issues switching between apps, running GPU-intensive games and streaming video.
OPPO Reno4 5G battery life
In the past, I’ve tested phones that had either good battery life and a long charge time, or short battery life with super-fast charging. Thankfully, the OPPO Reno4 5G nails both. I got at least a day and a half of moderate use, stretching to two on lower-usage days. When it was finally time to charge, the Reno4 5G’s chunky charger zapped it from 10 per cent to full in 30 minutes - by far the fastest charge I’ve ever seen.
Since 5G isn’t currently available in my area, I never got the chance to test the Reno4 5G’s battery with 5G switched on - something which is a notorious battery-drainer. However, using Wi-Fi or switching 5G off where possible will significantly save juice if you’re finding it’s disappearing quicker than those speedy web pages are loading.
There’s also Super Power Saving Mode, which allows you to squeeze a whole hour of phone calls out of just five per cent battery. Sure, it turns the phone into a glorified Nokia 2100, but in an emergency, we can see it being a godsend.
Unfortunately, like all OPPO phones currently on the market in Oz, the Reno4 5G doesn’t support wireless charging.
Is it worth it?
If you’re looking for the cheapest or flashiest 5G phone available in Australia, the Reno4 5G isn’t it. What it is, however, is a well-rounded mid-range device capable of taking amazing shots and fully charging in less time than an episode of The Mandalorian. Sure, it’s no iPhone 12 or Galaxy Note20, but for hundreds of (perhaps even a thousand) dollars less, you definitely won’t be disappointed with OPPO’s latest offering.