is known for its camera-centric innovations in There, however, is one more thing this Chinese smartphone maker does not always get enough credit for, and that is its smartphones’ design language. Look at its newly launched flagship smartphone in the Reno series, the Reno 7 Pro It is touted by the company as a camera-centric smartphone, but there is more to it than meets the eyes. It has a fresh new design, feature-rich operating system with tons of options for customisation and personalisation, and several value-added features for improved everyday experience.


Design





The Reno 7 Pro looks different from most other smartphones, and for better. It has a flat frame made of aluminium, holding together the 2.5D curved glass of the front and back. The smartphone looks mesmerising in its starlight black colour variant (review unit). Its glass back looks like OnePlus’ sandstone cover from a distance, but it is smooth and shiny, and not grainy and dull. An interesting add-on here is breathing notification and charging light. It adds zing to the otherwise dud looking protruding rear camera module.


Dominating the front is the phone’s 6.5-inch screen, which covers the entire front and leaves only negligible bezels around. Complementing the design language is the phone’s thin waistline (7.45mm) and lightweight build (180g). Overall, the OPPO Reno 7 Pro is a design marvel that is pleasing to look at and comfortable to hold and operate.


Display


The OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G has the same display used in its predecessor, the Reno 6 Pro (review). However, OPPO incorporated a flat panel this time and ditched the two-side curved screen in lieu of a flat frame. It is a 6.5-inch fullHD+ AMOLED screen of a 90Hz refresh rate with support for HDR10 and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats. The screen’s 90Hz refresh rate may seem underwhelming compared to peers with a screen of 120Hz, but in experience, there is barely any perceptible difference between the two. The AMOLED screen of 90Hz on the OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G feels responsive and smooth. As for the quality, the display is bright, vivid and responsive. It is set to render natural colours by default; you can tune it from display settings to use vivid colours.


Camera


The OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G brings incremental but meaningful upgrades. The smartphone features a triple camera set-up on the back, featuring a 50-megapixel primary sensor (Sony IMX766), an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. There is one more sensor here, but it does not have an independent utility and is there merely to sense colour temperature. On the front, the smartphone debuts a 32MP Sony IMX709 sensor.


Details aside, the OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G brings significant imaging improvements over the predecessor. Yet, the phone’s camera performance is not on par with the best camera in its segment. The primary sensor works well across light conditions. It captures frames with a good detail, and without any visible noise or distortion. The ultra-wide-angle sensor is a good performer, too. Though not as capable as a primary sensor, it is a decent one to capture frames that require a wide field-of-view (FoV). The sensor straightens the barrel effect and the images it takes look uniform and free from visible distortion. The macro sensor is there for novelty and its performance is nothing to write home about.


Like the Reno6 Pro 5G, the Reno 7 Pro 5G boasts the OPPO’s camera-centric value added features such as portrait video with the flare bokeh effect, focus-tracking, and AI Highlight video. Starting with the portrait video feature with flare bokeh effect, it works only with human subjects but delivers good results irrespective of lighting conditions. Shutterbugs might not like the quality of the video recording but this specific feature is likely to impress social media enthusiasts.


Besides the portrait video feature with flare bokeh, there is an AI highlight video feature. It is touted to improve the dynamic range, colour depth and range, and contrast, to deliver an enhanced video experience irrespective of light conditions. In real life, the feature improves video recording, but not always. In lowlight conditions, the feature brightens the scene if there is some light source, however dim. In daylight condition, the feature enables HDR, based on the scene requirement, to capture details that otherwise go missing. Overall, it is a good value-added feature.


Rounding up the package is the dual-view video, AI colour portrait, monochrome video, and ultra-steady video features. The dual-view video feature lets you use both the front and rear cameras simultaneously to record videos. The AI colour portrait applies a monochrome filter on the frame background while keeping the colours intact on the subject. The ultra-steady video uses electronic image stabilisation technology to record videos free from motion blur and shakes.


Complementing the value-added features for video recording is the OPPO’s SOLOOP video editing app, which comes pre-installed in the Reno 7 Pro. It is easy to use and has many templates to quickly process the recorded video for use on social media platforms.


Coming on to the front camera, it is good for selfies but still not best suited for group selfies because of the sensor’s narrow field-of-view (FoV). This is despite OPPO’s effort to have a new feature where the sensor uses its best FoV if it identifies more than one person in the frame. Nevertheless, the front camera also supports the night mode for lowlight selfies, but it requires stable hands to capture decent images free from motion blur. Both the portrait video with flare bokeh effect and AI Highlight feature are supported by the front camera too.


Performance


The OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Max system-on-chip, paired with 12GB RAM and 256GB on-board storage. The phone’s performance is top-notch. It delivers consistent performance without any visible lag or throttling, even after extended usage. Speaking of performance throttling, the phone keeps thermals in control and does not heat up unnecessarily. It warms up a bit at times but not to a point where it becomes uncomfortable to hold and use.


Complementing the phone’s performance is the ColorOS 12 user interface. Based on Android 12 operating system, this custom user interface from OPPO is full of customisation options for personalised experience. Unfortunately, there is bloatware installed in the phone. Some of it is part of the package and cannot be uninstalled. These things hamper the overall experience and set back the OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G by some notches.


Battery


The OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G packs a 4,500mAh battery and ships with the company’s 65W USB-C fast charger. The phone sails through a day even if the screen is set to 90Hz refresh rate. Charging time is quick and it takes about an hour to charge the battery fully from zero per cent.


Verdict


Priced at Rs 39,999, the OPPO Reno 7 Pro 5G is an expensive smartphone for the package it offers. But, it is certainly more than the sum of its specifications. The phone is not about the regulars but value-added features. That said, it makes a good smartphone despite bringing just incremental upgrades over the predecessor. One thing is sure though, the overall feel of the Reno 7 Pro is positive but not premium or flagship kind. Spend a little more and you get the much better OnePlus 9RT (review). Even if you care for the OPPO’s value-added features, most of them are part of the OnePlus smartphone. Other than OPPO and OnePlus smartphones, there is Xiaomi 11T Pro (review). This Xiaomi smartphone is a solid all-round package, with several industry-first features. Importantly, unlike the OPPO’s niche features, the Xiaomi’s are for all and make a perceptible difference in everyday use.





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