Note: This article was first published on 23 January 2020.
Oppo is on a roll it seems. Their Reno series was announced in April 2019 with the Reno 10x Zoom and Reno only to be quickly followed up by the Reno Z in July. This was later followed up by another launch in mid-October, adding the Reno2 and the Reno2Z to the line-up. The Reno2 Z is simply a direct upgrade for the Reno Z, with a new camera system and a notch-free display thanks to the inclusion of a pop-up selfie camera.
We'll focus on their higher-tier Reno2. More than just a simple replacement for the Reno, this sits just under the Reno 10x Zoom and above the standard Reno as a tweener between the mid-range and flagship categories. As such, it gets the slightly newer (relatively speaking) Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor (2.2GHz) with Adreno 618 GPU, a step above the Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor on the Reno and a level below the Snapdragon 855 on the Reno 10x Zoom.
This is even reflected in the screen size. The Reno2 has a 6.5-inch, 2,400 x 1,080pixels (401ppi) AMOLED display (20:9 aspect ratio), which places it right smack in the middle of the Reno and Reno 10x Zoom in terms of size. Here's how they stack up:-
The camera system is also more aligned to that of the Reno 10x Zoom, as the Reno2 gets the same fin-style pop-up 16-megapixel selfie f/2.0 camera and a robust 48-megapixel quad camera system:
Together the system covers the equivalent of 16-83mm focal length (35mm equivalent terms), with 5x Hybrid Zoom and 20x Digital Zoom that’s powered by what Oppo calls Fusion Imaging Technology. There’s also a new AI-tuned Ultra Dark Mode, and a new AI Beauty Mode, with your usual bokeh effects.
The Reno2 comes with only one standard configuration of 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, but unlike the Reno, you’ll get the option of adding memory via microSD (supporting up to a further 256GB in capacity).
Like the Reno 10x Zoom and the Reno, (and really most phones today) the Reno2's front is mostly glass with hardly any bezels. To be precise, it has a 93.1% screen-to-body ratio. The screen has a rated contrast ratio of 1,400,000:1 and a maximum brightness of 800nits. That’s not the brightest of screens you can find in the market now (the Note10+ maxes out at 1,308nits), but it’s sufficient enough that you won’t have issues viewing the screen even in bright sunlight.
The biggest difference between models really comes in the finish. Oppo introduced a new "Twilight Mist" finish with the Reno2, and this gives a nice deep sheen over the majority of its back, while the sides are a slightly lighter toned so when the light catches the sides, it feels like there’s an LED light flashing around the edges.
The Reno2 comes in two colour options: Luminous Black and Sunset Pink. Our review unit was in the Luminous Black, and with this in colour option in particular, the centre strip is surrounded by a lighter tone too. So when you tilt the phone up and down it seems like there’s a light flashing around the centre of the phone too.
In terms of size and weight, the Reno2 fits between the Reno 10x Zoom and Reno too. It measures 160.0 x 74.3 x 9.5mm and weighs 189g, just a hair smaller than the Reno 10x Zoom (162.0 x 77.2 x 9.3mm, 210g) and slightly wider and thicker than the standard Reno (156.6 x74.3 x 9.0mm, 185g).
Gorilla Glass covers both the front and back of the phone. The camera system is once again flush under the glass surface, with a tiny glass knob placed strategically so that the lens doesn’t come in contact with the surface when you place the phone down.
You’ll find the volume up and down buttons on the left, with the power/hold button on the right. Just below the power button is also where you’ll find the SIM card tray, and it’s worth noting that you can configure the power button to call up Google Assistant with a long press.
Just like the Reno, the Reno2 has a 3.5mm audio jack at the button of the phone, with a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. Fingerprint scanning is once again the preferred biometric security implementation, with an under-display scanner to preserve the all-display front.
There’s also face recognition with the selfie camera, and this works just as well as the implementation on the Reno 10x Zoom – fast to pop up, and fast to retract. That also means the same limitations though – the physical gaps necessary to allow for the camera system to pop up and down means the phone isn’t IP rated for dust and water protection.