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As Oppo doubles down on efforts to breaking into overseas markets with its latest offering, the Reno 10x Zoom, released last month. I’ve been using the device for a month now, and with its sleek design and a novel camera setup, it performs swimmingly.

With no known relation to the city in Nevada, this device is part of the Reno line. As its bizarre name suggests, the main draw of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is its cameras. With a triple camera lineup, the device is the first implementation of Oppo’s development of 10x hybrid zoom capability, which TechNode reported on in December last year.

The “10x Zoom” can be a little misleading—in fact, the camera only zooms up to five times using its telephoto lens. But the device supports a whopping 60x digital zoom. What’s even more confusing is the way the zoom presets were programed. Through the zoom button in the camera app, the camera jumps from 1x, to 2x, jumping to 6x and 10x, then to ultrawide.

Barring this quirk, the camera lineup is great—but it doesn’t blow its competition out of the water. Outdoors and indoors, the cameras seem to deliver images that tend look a little soft and videos still look a bit shaky. Although the beauty filters can be adjusted, the default setting seems to slightly over-touch photos.

The selfie camera is cleverly hidden in a “shark-fin” style pop-up at the top of the device, which was definitely amazing to see in action. Oppo claims that the mechanism is good for five years of “frequent use”, but we won’t know how true that is—that is, until we see it in the news.

When I was done marveling at the mechanism, we dove into the cameras themselves. The photos from the front camera were… not bad. The photos looked a little washed out, and the bokeh in Portrait mode was a little overzealous—even artificial at times. In some low light situations, however, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom flounders. Fidelity of pictures taken with little light were lost significantly.

In video mode, the in-camera stabilization works, but not really well. Unlike other phones like the Huawei P30 Pro, the telephoto lens cannot be used to take videos.

As a firm believer of stock or near-stock Android experiences, slow and chunky Chinese-made UI skins do not float my boat. ColorOS 6, on top of Android 9.0, chokes ever so slightly occasionally when playing graphics-intensive games, but I can let that slide.

For anyone who’s used an Android phone, the device shouldn’t take long to get used to. With a clean interface and many customizable options, the software is certainly up to par.

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is a mid- to high-range device, and its hardware certainly suggests so. With a Snapdragon 855 and at least 6GB of memory, the device runs games and processes photos at a blazing speed.

The phone also sports a massive 4,056 mAh battery, comfortably allowing for a full-day moderate use (read: video-streaming and games before and after work). Using Oppo’s proprietary VOOC charging system, the massive battery can go from 0 to 70% in 30 minutes too.

The 6.6-inch AMOLED screen is extremely impressive as well, with a high resolution 2,340 x 1,080, producing eye-popping colors and deep blacks. Thanks to the front-facing camera mechanism, the screen is effectively bezel-less. The proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and fingerprint reader are embedded in the screen, achieving a 93.1% screen-to-body ratio. Together with the glass and metal finish, the device feels truly premium.

The Oppo Reno comes without an IP rating and wireless charging—things some might consider as “must-haves” for a premium smartphone in 2019. But make no mistake—the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is a very good smartphone. Most of the remaining issues from the phone seem to be fixable with just a software update, and it’s up to Oppo to correct these issues.

With a solid camera lineup, one of the best smartphone chips, and the large notchless display, the thoughtful design of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom makes a splash with its refreshing experience. I’ll certainly be looking forward to what Oppo has to offer in the future.

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