Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G hands-on: Premium at a price

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Oppo’s Reno series is a mid-range smartphone set that focuses on build quality and design. The Reno 4 Pro, which was released in August, launched in some funky colors with a punch hole and curved edges, but housed a mid-range chipset.

Now Oppo has just released the Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G. This phone follows the same mantra as the non-5G model, while benefiting from some hardware tweaks. I’ve had some hands-on time with the device and today I’m going to reveal my first impressions with the Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G.

More details: Oppo’s updated Reno 4 Pro boasts 5G and more processing power

Design and display: The focus

Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G rear shot on a desk next to the charger and box

From whichever angle you look at it, the Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G is a pretty phone. It’s got smooth curved front glass, shiny, minimalist rails, and relatively thin bezels. The top and the bottom of the device are flat so, weight distribution aside, you could have stood the phone up on its own. The rear triple camera bump is rather unique in its split-level design.

Continue reading: The best Android camera phones you can get

However, it’s the color and pattern that make the Reno 4 Pro 5G stand out. The Oppo logo is printed under the polycarbonate back in a pattern in a gradient effect. Atop of this is a rainbow/oil-slick effect that catches light differently at certain angles. Oppo is calling this colorway Space Black.

Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G hero shot off angle on a desk

In the hand, the Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G feels like a flagship. Both front and back are Gorilla Glass 5, which helps the phone feel fantastic. At 7.6mm in thickness and 172g, the phone feels delicate, light, and premium. Unfortunately, Oppo has opted out of an IP rating, though the company claims the device still has some level of water protection.

Related: Here are the handsets with the best smartphone speakers

Let’s take a tour of the device. On the top is a microphone. On the left are individual volume buttons. On the right side is the power button with a green accent. On the bottom is the dual-SIM tray, USB-C port, microphone, and speaker. That bottom driver pairs with the earpiece for a stereo setup.

It’s built brilliantly, so the sub-par, fuzzy haptics stand out by a mile.

The in-display optical fingerprint scanner seems fast enough, though the Reno 4 Pro 5G’s face recognition is far faster. The buttons feel clicky, with no looseness to them when shaking the device. The biggest standout issue is the haptic setup. Vibrations feel weak, loose, and muddy. In a phone that costs £699, this is not acceptable. The much cheaper Poco X3 NFC has better haptics than the Reno 4 Pro 5G.

Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G rear triple camera bump at an angle and on a white table

Upfront is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ 90Hz AMOLED display. On the surface, it looks sharp, bright, and vibrant. It feels smooth and responsive to the touch, too. The curved sides, while providing aesthetic flair, do tend to distract when viewing content under direct light. For instance, watching YouTube under the lights in my kitchen resulted in glare at the top of the display. All in all, the display looks impressive. We’ll hold out to give a verdict until after we complete our thorough display tests, though.

Performance and software: The other bits

Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G quick settings pull down focused on the time

As with previous generations, the Reno 4 Pro 5G focuses on its hardware and less on its specs and software. This generation is no exception, though that’s not to say that the included Snapdragon 765G and up to 12GB of RAM are to be scoffed at. The chipset has a proven track record for speed and power efficiency. And thanks to the use of this particular chip, this version of the Reno 4 Pro offers 5G connectivity

Read more: Snapdragon 765G vs Snapdragon 865

ColorOS 7.2 runs atop Android 10 on the Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G. Unfortunately, Oppo missed the opportunity to launch the Reno 4 Pro 5G with Android 11. The software skin is far from stock Android, with a radically different bubbly aesthetic. Compared to the stock version, it sports extra features like a quick-access sidebar, focus mode, and screen-off gestures.

In summary: An interesting culmination

Oppo Reno 4 Pro 5G front on on a desk with the charger

We found that the standard Reno 4 Pro lacked in performance and in camera quality. Thankfully, it looks like the bump to a Snapdragon 765G could fix one of those downfalls in the 5G version. We’ll have to wait until camera testing to see if Oppo fixed the latter in this updated model.

Would you pay £699 for a Snapdragon 765G-equipped device? Let us know in the comments.

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