The software commitment of Android OEMs has been getting much better in recent years, with Oppo now the latest brand to commit to four years of major Android updates and five years of security patches.
In a press release this week, Oppo announced that its Android 13 rollout has been the fastest in the company’s history.
ColorOS 13 has rolled out to 33 devices so far, over 50% more during the same time period as Oppo managed with its Android 12/ColorOS 12 upgrade last year. The rollout started with the Find X5 series back in August, just days after Pixel phones, and has expanded widely in the time since.
But the bigger news from Oppo this week is that ColorOS is getting a new update policy, with Android updates promised for longer periods of time on select devices.
Oppo says that this new policy will guarantee four major Android updates and five years of security patches on “flagship” devices launched in 2023 and beyond. It stands to reason that the Find X6 series and perhaps the Find N2 Flip will be among those eligible for the new policy.
OPPO also announced the new ColorOS update policy. This includes the commitment to guarantee four major ColorOS updates with 5 years of security patches for global users on selected flagship models starting in 2023.Through it, OPPO aims to bring longer-lasting and more stable intelligent experiences to global users by continuing to build on ColorOS.
This policy mirrors that of OnePlus, which also committed to upping its software support timelines starting next year. Samsung, meanwhile, has offered the same guarantee on its flagship devices since early 2022, and extended that back to devices launched in late 2021 as well. Google offers a similar, although slightly lesser policy with three years of major Android updates and five years of security updates, though Google’s policy also extends to its more affordable A-Series devices.
The Fastest Rollout with ColorOS 13
• ColorOS 13 rolled out faster than any other version in its operating system’s history.
• OPPO guarantees four major ColorOS updates with five years of regular security patches for selected flagship models starting in 2023
SHENZHEN, Dec 20th, 2022 — Today, OPPO officially announced that ColorOS 13 rolled out faster than any previous version in its operating system’s history. The company also expanded its update policy for ColorOS to guarantee four major Android upgrades with five years of security patches for selected flagship models in 2023.
ColorOS 13 is the latest Android-Based operating system from OPPO. Designed for simplicity and comfort with its brand-new Aquamorphic Design, ColorOS 13 includes a series of impressive features such as Smart AOD, Multi-Screen Connect, and Home Screen Management that provide intelligent, and user-friendly experiences to global users.
Since launching on August 18th, 2022, ColorOS 13 has been delivered to 33 smartphone models globally, making it the fastest and biggest update in the history of ColorOS. During the same four-month time frame following their official release, over 50% more handset models were compatible with ColorOS 13 (data from August 18 to December 18, 2022) compared with ColorOS 12(data from October 11, 2021, to February 11, 2022).
OPPO also announced the new ColorOS update policy. This includes the commitment to guarantee four major ColorOS updates with 5 years of security patches for global users on selected flagship models starting in 2023.Through it, OPPO aims to bring longer-lasting and more stable intelligent experiences to global users by continuing to build on ColorOS.
At first glance, the Reno 2F looks similar to the Reno 2. It comes in two colors, namely Lake Green and Sky White. The unit we have here takes on the latter colorway, and it changes hues, depending on how the light hits it. Upon closer inspection, there’s a ridge pattern all over the rear. You don’t get to feel its texture, though, as the Reno 2F’s back is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Similar to the standard Reno 2, the Reno 2F’s cameras are stacked vertically on the center rear. The ceramic O-Dot is also present, but instead of sitting below the cameras, it’s now located above them.
Upfront, the Reno 2F also has a full-screen, notch-less display. The chin on this device is slightly thicker than that of the Reno 2, however. Despite that, it’s not much of a distraction. Similar to the rear, the display is also protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
The Reno 2F also has a pop-up camera module, but it doesn’t adapt to the shark-fin design of the original Reno and the Reno 2. It’s your standard pop-up camera, and it lights upon rising and falling back into place. The light effects can be changed into several colors, or it can also be randomized if you can’t choose a particular hue.
On the left, one can find the volume rocker, while the right side houses the dual SIM tray and the power button. The power button is highlighted with a green strip. Like the Reno 2, the buttons are clicky and easy to reach.
Housed at the bottom of the device are the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB-C port, and single downward-firing speaker.
The Reno 2F looks somewhat identical to the Reno 2, especially at first glance. Just like its sibling, the 2F is also sleek, and premium and its curved glass back makes it comfortable to hold.
For hardware, MediaTek Helio P70 runs as the 2F’s chipset, paired up with Mali-G72 GPU and 8GB of RAM. We tested it through our standard benchmarks, and here are the results:
• AnTuTu: 148,130
• Geekbench: 293 (Single-Core), 1,442 (Multi-Core), 5,772 (RenderScript)
• PC Mark: 7,796 (Work 2.0)
• 3D Mark SSE: 1,273 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,255 (Vulkan)
• AndroBench: 474.1 MB/s (Read), 190.56 MB/s (Write)
The Reno 2F executed basic tasks well, whether it be taking photos, browsing social media, navigation, messaging, and the like. When it comes to gaming, however, frame drops happened from time to time. Even so, it’s not bad enough to ruin the gaming experience.
An in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock recognition are the 2F’s biometrics options. They’re both quick, but there’s a slight delay with the face unlock. You would need to wait for the camera module to pop-up first before it can scan your face and unlock the device.
Just like any smartphone out there, the Reno 2F has its highs and lows. The 2F has an eye-catching colorway, a notch-less display, pleasant audio, has video stabilization, and pretty good battery life. But as expected, it has its imperfections. The pop-up mechanism looks average, frame drops happen here and there during gaming, selfies come out average-looking, and the photos produced turn out to be modest.
OxygenOS 13 and ColorOS 13 share more than a few similarities – they are effectively the same OS masquerading as different “versions.” Toss in Realme UI 4.0 and it’s an inconvenient truth that BBK appears unwilling to own up to.
Given that Pete Lau claimed OxygenOS and ColorOS’s unified platform was set to be walked back, it’s all the more frustrating as we once lauded the former as the “best Android experience.” It’s amazing to see how much times have changed the industry’s disrupter. Some might say that this has been inevitable. None of this is more apparent when using ColorOS 13 and OxygenOS 13 side-by-side.
Sharing components and hardware production pipelines is one thing, but for many, the crux of why they still continued to persevere with OnePlus was OxygenOS. Just what is in store? Here’s everything you need to know – the good and the bad.
Merging all in Android 13
We saw the first steps of the merger between ColorOS and OxygenOS with the Android 12 update. It’s even more pronounced this time around, to the point that it’s actively hard to tell the two Android skins apart. The similarities are so pronounced that it’s almost easier to point out the minor changes than what is the same.
There are big changes right away in the pull-down Notification center in OxygenOS and ColorOS 13. It is eerily reminiscent of the Android 11 Developer Preview 1 whereby the media controls were tested inside the Quick Settings panel alongside common toggles. You can certainly see some iOS influences, but the addition of the Android 12 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pill-style toggles are an important alteration.
It’s hard to argue that this does limit utility and does so at the expense of some identity. With many Chinese OEMs doing similar things, it’s a tad disappointing to see the simple Quick Settings panel and Notification center removed in favor of this iOS-lite combination.
Settings page changes
A number of changes have been made in the Settings menu and a number of associated submenus so that OxygenOS 13 is even more like ColorOS 13. You can see it instantly from the injection of color to the Settings sectional icons. There are other changes such as to the About phone screen, which is now identical on both devices including the “share” button to send or post your device specs to apps and other services.
If you’re in any doubt about whether the changes are fully merged across, even the SystemUI icon within the processes and battery section now has the same icon in OxygenOS and ColorOS 13 based upon Oppo’s system icon design.
For years we hoped that OnePlus would add Always-on display support and finally it was introduced with OxygenOS 11 and Android 11. Since then, the feature has evolved, and to be fair to OnePlus the implementation has been solid overall.
A case in point is the brand-new Spotify widget for the Always-on display. Spotify is pushed like a banner ad within the Shelf section here too, which some might find intrusive. However, if you do use the music streaming service, you can enable a new widget that will appear when the Always-on display function is active. It’s a neat integration but is artificially limited. We’d like to see it come to more streaming and media services or just have a generic option available.
Because so much of the software is now bleeding into ColorOS, one-time exclusive Canvas AOD functions are now available to Oppo phones. Even the exclusive Parsons School of Design “Insight” feature is now part and parcel of ColorOS 13. Many of the widgets and customization options are set to be made available to Oppo and OnePlus owners.
A number of changes have been made to the homescreen including to how things look and operate, but, again, everything is visible across both versions of OxygenOS 13 and ColorOS 13. One of the most notable changes that feels like it has been lifted right out of Nothing OS is the ability to enlarge any homescreen folders for easier access.
ColorOS 13’s “Aquamorphic” icon style is available here too, which is another indication of the merging visual identities. Google’s themed icons have also made the jump over to ColorOS and OxygenOS for the first time. System apps and any supported Google apps will adhere to your preset system wallpaper colors. This relies upon greater support for Dynamic color with wallpaper-based theming available more extensively via the “Wallpaper & style” app in the Settings section.
This works in a similar manner to the Color palette feature in One UI. You can select from some preset basic color swatches with previews of just how certain menus and app controls will look. It’s nothing new, it’s just tuned here again in Android 13. Even the new wallpaper selection in OxygenOS 13 and ColorOS 13 have similarities. The stock selection feels like a copycat without the effort being made to hide it.
Global device search is in the works for the App drawer in both versions of Android 13. This looks like it is going to work in a similar manner to how Pixel devices offer the search functions when swiping up from the homescreen. It’s not fully functional or doesn’t appear to be at this stage, but this is a good move regardless.
The OnePlus Shelf function has jumped over to ColorOS for the first time in Android 13. This is one of the few features alongside Zen Mode and Work-Life Balance that has survived the UI overhaul. You can still activate by swiping down at the homescreen but it’s here in ColorOS 13 for the first time.
There is no ability to add toggles or on-device storage data with a limited selection of widgets including a Step tracker, Weather data, Notes, Clock, Photos, and Spotify control tab. Sadly, it looks like the ability to choose a right corner swipe gesture to access this quick panel has also been fully removed as you can only toggle via a homescreen swipe down here in Android 13 in ColorOS 13 and OxygenOS 13.
OnePlus and Oppo are among the best on Android when it comes to haptic feedback. The O-haptic feature has been available for a little while but joined OxygenOS 12.1 and ColorOS 12.1 when the Find X5 Pro launched. With Android 13, it’s likely coming to even more OnePlus and Oppo devices. This lets you tune the haptic intensity and how vibrations “feel” when active.
For years OnePlus and Oppo have remained adamant that Warp Charge and SuperVOOC charging utilized different technology despite evidence to the contrary. Now even the charging animation is identical across OxygenOS and ColorOS. It’s pretty nice too, but the “SuperVOOC” branding is now more prominent after bleeding into OnePlus devices over the past 18 months.
Removal of OnePlus identity
You could very easily argue that the OnePlus identity is slowly being airbrushed out of existence, and there are a few key areas where that is evident here in the Android 13 beta. Of course, changes could be simply due to the fact that ColorOS and OxygenOS 13 are still in the early preview phase. We’re not quite as convinced given the bulk of changes over the past couple of years. Even so, here’s a few key areas you’ll notice the watering down of the OxygenOS branding:
No Never Settle in Shelf
The useful Shelf feature has evolved over time to include many new tweaks and functions, but you’ll spot right away that the iconic “Never Settle” tagline and branding has been wiped from the pulldown section. ColorOS 13 has added the Shelf feature to add yet more confusion. It looks and functions in the same way.
Lack of 1+ calculator easter egg
Another removal in the OxygenOS 13 beta is the popular calculator easter egg. For those unaware, you can launch the stock calculator app and enter “1+” then tap “=” to reveal an animated “Never Settle” logo in the output box. Attempting to do this in the latest OxygenOS beta does nothing.
OxygenOS logo removed in Settings
In the Settings menu, there is no more room for the traditional OxygenOS logo that has been used for a number of years. You’ll usually find this by heading to Settings > About phone > Software version. While Oppo’s ColorOS logo is emblazoned within the same pane on Find X5 Pro, it’s curiously missing on the OnePlus 10 Pro. This could be a simple oversight within the Android 13 preview, given that the animated OxygenOS logo remains in place upon device startup.
Oppo and OnePlus need to stop this charade of trying to claim that ColorOS and OxygenOS are different builds. While there may be under-the-hood differences, at least functionally the two are now identical. Some of the identity of OnePlus has been sacrificed and for hardened fans, the lack of transparency is not only frustrating, but it’s also insulting.
It’s exacerbated as OxygenOS 13 and ColorOS 13 are, in fact, absolutely fine. In fact, ColorOS has come a long way in recent years. It was once quite poor and now it’s very good in its own right. Oppo’s third-party Android skin can stand on its own with a number of impressive features, well-organized sections, and genuinely useful changes.
A bigger problem with this update choice is that the OnePlus of years gone by could almost sell devices courtesy of the clean, lightweight version of OxygenOS that offered a genuine alternative to the Google Pixel series.Things deteriorated over the past few years and any individuality has been ripped from the brand. Fans will be disappointed, and we’re saddened too. It almost makes it hard to recommend that you go out and buy a OnePlus phone, because, from Android 13 onwards, you’re buying an Oppo phone in all but name.
The Oppo A93 5G comes in as the 5G rendition of the standard Oppp A93. Aside from offering 5G connectivity, we have also got a different chassis design slightly bigger display, a bigger battery, and more. This article bothers on the specs and price, to help you make your purchase decision.
The design on the Oppo A93 5G is the first indication of dichotomy you will find when comparing it to its non 5G sibling. Oppo made a couple of observable changes that make both smartphone design different.
Examining the rear panel design on both smartphones reveals Oppo opted for an elongated square camera module which holds the three cameras in a vertical position, as opposed to the smaller square module on the non-5G A93, which held in cameras in a pair of horizontal positions.
Please note that enthusiasts who decide to purchase this Android smartphone will have three colour options and they include Black, White, and Aurora.
Moving up front, we discover a slightly bigger display, as well as a punch hole, as opposed to the camera cut out on its less premium sibling. This display is 6.5 inches in size and is based on an IPS LCD panel, which is a drop from the AMOLED panel on the standard OppoA93, what more, we have a resolution of 1080 x 2400 Pixels and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The Cameras on the Oppo A93 5G falls short in camera hardware, its camera turns out to be less premium when compared to the ones on its non-5G sibling.
On the rear, we have a 48MP primary camera with an aperture of f/1.8, a 2MP depth camera with an aperture of f/2.4, and another 2MP depth camera. This camera setup is capable of shooting videos up to 4k @ 30fps.
Moving up to the front, we discover a single 8MP camera, as opposed to the dual-camera setup on its non-5G sibling. This camera is capable of shooting videos up to 1080p @ 30fps.
Hardware and Software
On the performance side, the Oppo A93 5G opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor as opposed to the MediaTek Helio P95 processor on its non-5G sibling.
The other performance facilitators include an Adreno 619 GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and a non-removable 5000mAh battery which is bigger than the 4000mAh battery on its non-5G sibling.
On the software side, we have got the ColoOS 11.1 user interface running on the Android 11 operating system.
The Oppo A93 5G features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, low energy Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band WiFi.
Internet connectivity on here is capped at 5G, which means enthusiasts can utilize 5G connectivity for downloads, streaming, and uploads, provided they are in an area with 5G reception.
The Oppo A74 5G is a fairly affordable 5G phone. It is extremely similar to the Oppo A54 5G but has 50% more RAM and double the storage. This kind of cheaper 5G phone is relatively new, but you now have a whole stack of options if you want 5G and have $300 or £250 to spend.
The Oppo A74 5G is better value than the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, and a little slicker than the Moto G50. But die-hard bargain hunters may want to consider the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite instead, as it has a better chipset and a bigger screen.
Don’t rule out the Oppo A54 5G if you can get by with 64GB of storage either. It’s only around $30/£30 cheaper but that may matter when you’re working to a budget, and the jump from 4GB of RAM to 6GB seems to make a rather subtle difference in most use cases.
We know the alternatives, but how is the Oppo A74 5G to use? A joy, mostly. The camera is responsive, the Snapdragon 480 chipset is better than you might guess considering it is part of Qualcomm’s ‘budget’ line. And while the Moto G50’s battery lasts longer, the Oppo A74 5G does just fine if you plan on charging every day. It’s a great ‘first 5G phone’, and to get something significantly more interesting at this level you have to ditch 5G and make do with 4G.
There’s nothing ground-breaking going on in its camera array though, and some 4G phones around the price have better screens or much faster chipsets.We’re still experiencing a 5G growing pain or two, then, but if you care more about 5G than blistering gaming performance, advanced camera chops or getting a bold OLED screen, the Oppo A74 5G is a fine choice.
Oppo A74 5G price and availability
Out now in the UK and Australia
Costs £249.99 / AU$399.99
Can import to the US for around $290-300, but there’s no CDMA support
The Oppo A74 5G is not really a phone intended for the US market. It lacks CDMA support, ruling it out from working properly with some US networks. However, you can import it for around $290-300. It costs £249.99 in the UK and AU$399.99 in Australia, similar to what you’d pay for a base spec Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. Higher ‘A’ number, better phone? They’re completely different series from different companies, but the Oppo does get you a little more tech for your money, including more storage at 128GB, making this a decent deal from most perspectives.
Affordable phones like the Oppo A74 5G may explore recently discovered ground, that of 5G mobiles most of us can afford, but there’s not much of a pioneering spirit in their designs.
Androids in this category tend to either have mid-size or large screens. They have all-plastic designs and tend to sacrifice a tech frill or two in order to fit 5G into the budget.
You get to choose things like whether you prefer a side or rear fingerprint scanner, a teardrop notch or a punch-hole, and how gaudy you want the back to be. The Oppo A74 5G achieves a good balance across these elements.
It’s a mid-size phone, one with a 6.5-inch screen rather than the 6.67-inch display seen in the various 4G and 5G Xiaomi phones you might buy at the price. The punch-hole looks a bit smarter than a teardrop, and the side-mounted thumb scanner is marginally preferable to a rear one, in our opinion.
Oppo A74 5G has a relatively grown-up looking grey to black gradient cast along its back. While the light reactive finish is matte, the rear surface is still glossy, so you’ll see your reflection in it.
The camera lens housing is the one part we’re not too sure about. It’s made in the image of a top-end phone, an oversized chunk of glass, without having hardware that would require all the space used here. On first opening the box we thought the Oppo A74 5G’s camera looked a bit like a toy box approximation of a high-end phone’s, like a kid wearing a slightly-too-large suit. That said, we’d forgotten all about that after about 24 hours.
The Oppo A74 5G is a perfectly pleasant phone to look at, hold, and use in most respects, though it lacks water resistance. It also only has one speaker, a mono driver on its bottom.
We’ve used this for many, many hours of podcast and live radio streams at this point. It doesn’t get too harsh at max volume and performs just fine in most situations. However, some 4G phones at this level have greater volume and bass, and stereo speaker arrays.
6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 IPS LCD screen
Solid peak brightness
90Hz mode improves scrolling smoothness
The Oppo A74 5G has a 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 LCD screen with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz. You can switch it down to 60Hz for a slight battery life boost, but the phone actually automatically drops it down to 60Hz with incompatible apps, or when the screen shows something static for a couple of seconds.
A 90Hz refresh rate improves the fluidity of scrolling, and makes a half-decent phone feel faster, even if it is not in reality. A Full HD resolution shouldn’t really be particularly notable when you spend $250/£250 or more, but these days it kind of is. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G has a 720p screen and so does the cheaper Moto G50.
Should I buy the Oppo A74 5G?
You’re after affordable 5G Cheap 5G is trending, and the Oppo A74 5G is riding that wave. It’s a 5G phone, and if Oppo sold the same device with 4G last year, it wouldn’t have been laughed off the phone shop shelves.
You don’t want a gigantic screen A lot of the enthusiast-fave phones around this price are made by Xiaomi, and they have larger screens than the Oppo A74 5G. More display space may be great for Netflix and gaming, but this phone is easier to handle thanks to its smaller panel.
You need lots of storage With 128GB of storage built in, the Oppo A54 5G has more than a lot of phones at this sort of price. So if you want to locally store a lot of media or download lots of apps and games, you won’t feel constrained.
Don’t buy it if…
You don’t need 128GB of storage
The Oppo A54 5G is very similar to this phone but has less RAM, half the storage and a slower charger. Its cameras, processor, screen, and design are identical — or near enough that you can’t tell them apart. It’s only a little cheaper, but we are talking about cheap 5G phones after all so every dollar or pound counts.
You barely care about 5G We love that phones like the Oppo A74 5G make 5G more accessible. But 5G is not a ‘free’ feature yet and other 4G phones at the price are more interesting. You get a killer chipset in the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro, a better camera in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. The Oppo A74 5G treads a slightly dull middle road.
You want good night-time photos
The Oppo A74 5G’s camera holds up pretty well during the day, but is weaker than many at night. Its auto mode low-light images are poor, and while the night mode increases brightness and brings a bit more color out, it can actually reduce the detail level from dismal to… worse than dismal.
After an initial beta rollout, Oppo has now shared an official stable roadmap for ColorOS 12, which is based upon Android 12 for some regions.
urrently, the only Oppo device to get updated to the stable Android 12 build of ColorOS is the Find X3 Pro. The flagship in the Oppo lineup is slowly getting updated across the globe after an expanded beta phase for the flavorsome software build.
According to XDA-developers, it looks like we’ll see a further four devices updated by the end of December with the ColorOS 12 beta opening for three more. That would mean that Oppo will have eight devices in total running the very latest Android 12 version by the end of 2021. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a massive improvement over recent years.
The timeline will see last year’s exceptional Find X2 series updated from December 20, while the Reno 6 Pro and limited Diwali Edition device will get ColorOS 12 from December 22. The standard Reno 6 will begin to see the OTA from December 28:
Oppo Find X2
Oppo Reno 6 Pro 5G
Oppo Ren 6 Pro Diwali Edition
Oppo Reno 6 5G
As for the beta, the Reno 5 Pro and F19 Pro+ will be eligible from December 10. Finally, the Oppo A74 5G will be able to sign up to test Android 12 and ColorOS 12 from December 28:
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G
Oppo F19 Pro+
Oppo A74 5G
Unfortunately, this roadmap is only currently confirmed for India, but it’s highly likely that European and remaining global regions will follow shortly afterward. To check if you are able to update your eligible device, head to Settings > About Phone > Tap the ColorOS version number.
The Oppo Reno5 lineup launched looks well-equipped too. An OLED panel with a high refresh rate, fast charging, capable SoC, lightweight build and plenty of base storage and memory.
And in a (not so) surprising move, Oppo is releasing this one under two names in Europe. The Reno5 is launching in Eastern Europe, whereas Western Europe is getting it as the Find X3 Lite. The two models are identical in specs
Oppo Reno5 5G • Oppo Find X3 Lite
So even though we got specifically the Reno5 model for review, our review findings should apply to both devices in equal parts.
While the Oppo brand is well-known in Asia, and even though it’s yet to make a name for itself in Europe, it’s positioned as a premium brand elsewhere. So it’s no wonder that the company avoids undercutting the competition price-wise and yet focuses on making well-executed handsets with a premium look and feel.
The Reno5 (or Find X3 Lite, if you prefer) uses a bright, 90Hz OLED panel and a 64MP main camera and it also offers one of the fastest charging technologies. It’s also nicely compact and pocketable.
Probably the biggest selling point of this one is its size and ergonomics. In a market where behemoths rule, the Reno5 5G is a breath of fresh air with its compact 6.43-inch display and a weight of 172g.
Oppo Reno5 5G specs at a glance:
Body: 159.1×73.4×7.9mm, 172g; Gorilla Glass 5 front, plastic back and frame.
The phone also comes with 128GB of base storage, and the Snapdragon 765G 5G is nothing to scoff at.
What we can scoff at is the phone’s current pricing. The launch price of €450 is quite optimistic considering that the competition in the midrange is quite heated and this phone comes with a plastic back and frame.
But let’s not rush to any conclusions as this phone might offer more than what meets the eye at first glance. First, time for an unboxing.
Unboxing the Oppo Reno5 5G
The phone comes in a premium-looking box and fresh mint color. It contains the usual user manuals and the 65W-capable wall charger with a USB-A to USB-C cable.
Oppo has also thrown in a bonus case, too, along with a pair of 3.5mm headphones.
The Oppo Reno5 5G is a solid phone with quite a bit of well0executed features. However, in a typical Oppo fashion, the company wants to position its mid-range handsets as the premium offerings in their respective segments, which is the case with the Reno5 5G/Find X3 Lite. It’s challenging some considerably more powerful handsets, but that’s not to say Oppo‘s contender doesn’t bring something to the table.
Let’s just assume that you didn’t come here because the Reno5 5G fits your size. You are here because it fits your price range. If that’s the case, then the just-announced Xiaomi Poco F3 is a must-have on your list, priced at €350. The only real advantage of the Reno5 5G is the camera performance, especially at night and the extremely fast charging. Sure, you don’t get a 3.5mm audio jack or a microSD card slot, but the F3 boasts a brighter 120Hz OLED, a bigger battery, a more powerful Snapdragon 870 SoC and stereo speakers.
And if by any chance you feel hesitant to use Xiaomi’s MIUI or you have your own niche reason not to go for the Poco F3, consider one of Motorola’s latest additions to its portfolio – the Motorola Moto G100. It runs on a much speedier Snapdragon 870, it challenges the Reno5‘s Night mode on the main camera (except for the ultrawide, though) and offers a clean Android experience Moto phones are known for. This comes at an extra €50 on top of the €450 that Oppo‘s contender asks. Sure, you give away the OLED screen, and you settle for slower charging but the phone’s performance is top notch.
The 4G version of Samsung’s Galaxy A72 is another viable option despite its slower Snapdragon 720G. The phone excels in other aspects such as battery endurance, display, camera, build and speakers. Note that the Galaxy A72 has a solid 64MP main camera with OIS aided by a 3x telephoto camera while its body is IP67-certified against water and dust.
Released back in October 2020, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G may not be the newest offering from the list, but it’s pretty darn relevant. Running on a last year’s flagship Snapdragon 865 SoC, rocking probably the best LCD panel we’ve come across in a while (144Hz at that) and excelling in pretty much every way, the Mi 10T is still a great value proposition sitting a few bucks shy of €400, and undercutting the Reno5 5G. The latter may only compete with the Mi 10T Pro in terms of camera quality and charging speed.
It’s light, it’s compact, it charges fast, and it shoots well in the dark. But it’s still no match for the cut-throat mid-range market where even stereo speakers are a standard feature. Oppo‘s mid-range devices have always had some trouble competing with the rest price-wise. It’s hard to argue with the likes of Poco F3 and the Mi 10T Pro as they both offer better price/performance ratio while asking less than the Reno5 5G.
In a parallel universe where the Reno5 5G‘s price was lower, it would have been an easy recommendation. The handset employs a capable SoC that proves to be energy-efficient too, it has a bright HRR OLED, and it’s an excellent shooter that’s hard to match even by the supposedly more capable Poco F3. Despite his price, we are sure the camera quality and the compact nature of the phone will win over some users, even if they are just a few.
Light and compact build.
Good 90Hz OLED with tiny punch-hole.
Surprisingly good battery life despite the 4,300 mAh capacity.
Great main camera across the board, ultrawide way above average.
The Oppo A9 2020 is an affordable phone with a huge array of features. It has a big screen, an even bigger battery, four rear cameras, a lot of storage and even one of the better budget chipsets.On paper the Oppo A9 2020 seems almost bafflingly good, but there are three obvious shortcomings. Its screen is not as advanced as those of the Moto G series and the outer shell is plastic. The only glass sits on the screen and cameras, the only metal around the camera housing.This is one of the best budget phones for those who tend to hit their phone hard with video streaming and gaming on the way to work. It has the screen inches and battery life to make the most of these jobs.
If that describes you then you can probably safely buy it, while if you’re looking for other things from your phone then read on to see if the Oppo A9 2020 fits the bill.
As we say, there’s no clear US release date for the phone and considering it landed in the UK and Australia the end of 2019 we wouldn’t expect Oppo to debut it there anytime soon.
Clad in plastic but looks good from a distance
Big and thick
Lacks water resistance
The Oppo A9 2020 could pass for a more expensive phone from arm’s length. Its back looks almost like curved glass, and has a finish that reacts to light. A color-shifting ‘S’ snakes across the light’s path like some older Moto G mobiles.
It’s large too, and has a slim screen notch. If you told someone you paid twice the price for the phone, they would probably believe you.
That illusion largely falls apart when you pick the Oppo A9 2020 up. The sides and back are plastic. You can tell the rear isn’t glass just by looking. Plastic tends to distort reflections around areas like the fingerprint scanner and camera housing, as the pressure flexes the rear just slightly. Glass does not bend so easily.
The Oppo A9 2020 has curved sides for comfort, but it doesn’t feel remotely as high-end as Oppo’s own Reno 2. That phone is twice the price, though, and this year even Motorola has reverted to using plastic on the rear instead of glass in the Moto G8 Plus.
Size is the other part to bear in mind. Oppo has made a budget powerhouse here, but the large screen and battery mean the A9 2020 may seem intimidatingly large to some of you. It’s also 9.1mm thick, although the slight curvature of the back does take the edge off this.
The use of plastic ceases to matter if you use the included silicone case, and you probably should probably use a case. However, the bundled one is not as good as those bundled with the Reno 2 Z and Reno 2.
The silicone plastic is stiffer, and a lack of attention to detail in its construction leads to the power button losing its click. This is oddly upsetting, and led us to removing the case – you’ll likely be able to find something better online.
Thankfully, Oppo has not also messed up the screen protector. Like most other Oppo phones, a plastic protector is attached in the factory. It saves the heartbreak of scratching your phone within two days.
The Oppo A9 2020 lacks water resistance, like almost every phone at the price. We did at one point accidentally dip the bottom of the phone in some soya milk and it’s still working fine, but this proves nothing more than that it won’t explode on contact with liquid.
6.5-inch 720 x 1600 screen
Display could be sharper but this isn’t too much of an issue
Color temperature is cold out of the box
The Oppo A9 2020 has a very large 6.5-inch screen. This is significantly larger even than the Moto G8 Plus’s 6.3-inch screen.
Those looking for problems will notice this is not a Full HD screen. It’s a 720 x 1600-pixel panel. The first limitation we noticed was something else, though.
Fresh out of the box, the Oppo A9 2020’s color temperature is quite cold, which in turn makes the just-okay color saturation look worse. One of the first things we did was to go to the Display part of the Settings menu and switch the temperature to its ‘warmer’ setting.
This doesn’t make its color reproduction a match for a high-end mobile, but does give the screen a more pleasing character.
Does the screen resolution matter? Lower pixel density is more obvious on a huge screen like this than the iPhone 11, which only has around 10% more pixels in each direction. But this usually manifests in a slight softness of text, rather than cruder-looking pixelation.
That’s thanks to Android’s excellent resolution scaling and that the panel is advanced enough to avoid making the pixel structure at all visible. We’re truly surprised by how legible tiny fonts are when you zoom out in a browser window.
In old versions of Android, text would become ugly and blocky when made of this few pixels, but it now looks good.
The Oppo A9 2020’s screen compared to the Reno Z’s
Sure, we’d prefer a Full HD screen, but that is the Oppo Reno Z’s job. And crucially, we would rather a 720p+ LCD (as seen here) than a 720p+ OLED.
OLED displays for phones use a PenTile sub pixel arrangement, in which pixels share subpixels. That means the lower pixel density clarity we see here just isn’t possible in an OLED of the same resolution (yes, an OLED would offer better contrast and color).
It’s also important to appreciate what the Oppo A9 2020 can still do very well. Even a 720p+ screen like this is perfect for YouTube streaming. Video footage still looks excellent at this resolution, and the very large canvas makes watching video more enjoyable. We thought we’d dislike this screen, but we like it, quite a lot in fact.
There’s one other thing to bear in mind too: did you know Netflix doesn’t actually stream at resolutions above 720p on most Android phones? Still, if only the sharpest text will do, consider the Moto G8 Plus.
A big screen, an almost everlasting battery and solid specs make the Oppo A9 2020 one of the best affordable phones for those who stream a lot of video, and a still great option for almost everyone else on a limited budget.
Superb battery life
Better than average night photos
Good-quality stereo speakers
Two of the four rear cameras seem to do very little
The Oppo Find X2 Pro flaunts a chunky camera assembly on its back, compromises and gets a punch hole in the display, and limits its moving bits to just the vibration motor. So it must have lost all the charm that the Find X from mid-2018 had – its elevating camera assembly was plenty cool on its own, but it also kept the back flush and the display cutout-free, only whirring up swiftly when needed. Ah, but it’s a different kind of charmer the Find X2 Pro.
For this generation, Oppo has shuffled up the priorities, and we don’t mind the new ones. For starters, an all-around impressive camera setup with big sensors and capable lenses, entirely unique to the Find X2 Pro, beats the Find X’s limited (if good for what it was) stow-away outfit. You get a 48MP 1/1.43″ f/1.7 primary cam and another 48MP 1/2.0″ f/2.2 ultra-wide, each outspeccing competitors’ offerings in one way or another. And the cherry on top of all that is the 13MP telephoto cam with a 5x periscope lens that beats the Galaxy S20 Ultra in zoom power, if not in resolution and sensor size.
Keeping the cameras static has meant a hole in the display, which isn’t ideal, particularly when the previous generation had no such blemishes. But what a display it is, indeed – high resolution, high refresh rate, high brightness, high dynamic range, high color fidelity – high everything. We’d take all that and live with the punch hole.
And that is one of very compromises on the Find X2 Pro. It doesn’t have wireless charging, but that’s not really a make or break feature, the lack of a headphone jack is hardly news at this point, and who is really going to lament the missing microSD card slot with half a terabyte of built-in UFS 3.0 storage?
The Find X2 Pro also has an IP68 rating, the ‘8’ being a first for Oppo with water and dust protection quite rare in the company’s lineup to begin with. Stereo speakers get a check mark in the specsheet too and the 65 watts in the charging section are among the most watts you can get on a phone these days.
Oppo Find X2 Pro unboxing
You get the fast charger needed to make use of all the 65W inside the box too, not at an extra cost. The adapter is quite the chunky unit, but power goes together with size. Mind you, it’s not 65 watts of PowerDelivery-compliant output, so you won’t be using that to power your laptop, nor can you expect your 65W PD charger to pump 65 watts to the Find X2 Pro. It’s a proprietary SuperVOOC 2.0 solution and you need both the adaptor and the supplied cable to achieve the full power. With another phone, it’ll do 10W max, while the Find X2 Pro itself can draw 18W from QuickCharge/PowerDelivery bricks.
The bundle includes a set of earbuds ending in a USB-C connector. Another welcome sight is the silicone case, though you may not be so keen to opt for that cheap-ish feel as opposed to the handset’s own finish, be it Vegan leather or Ceramic.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro goes for €1200 in Europe, and that’s not a modest amount of money. The all-out Galaxy S20 Ultra runs for €1350, and that relative price difference is mostly the same in other markets where the two are available. Despite the premium for the Ultra, we still feel it’s the Find X2 Pro’s main competitor.
The number above is for 128GB storage version Ultra (as others don’t seem to be in stores just yet) versus a 512GB Find, which makes it look like an even worse deal though the Galaxy does come with the option to expand that storage with a microSD card. Battery life is hardly a differentiator, with neither managing to impress, though the Find’s 36 minutes to a full charge could be key to the right buyer. Oppo‘s display is no worse than Samsung’s, which is saying something, and it even outdoes it by offering 120Hz at 1440p (the Galaxy is capped at 1080p at the HRR). The software could decide it for you as both custom jobs have their own quirks, but Samsung’s is arguably more polished.
Ultimately though, it’s the camera that sets the Ultra apart and warrants the extra money. The two are closely matched in this respect upon first glance, but the Galaxy tends to outperform the Find in most areas, with a particular advantage in low light. The Find’s ultra wide-angle cam isn’t quite the beast we hoped it to be, but even so, it, in particular, could sway you into the Oppo direction if you’re adamant about autofocus.
Other alternatives are available as well. The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes to mind, and even though it’s already more expensive in its base 64GB trim, there’s something that will justify its price to brand loyalists. The iPhone doesn’t have a periscope telephoto, but you can hardly call it a bad cameraphone. It’s missing a high refresh rate on its screen and has a notch the size of a continent, but those two aside, it’s one of the best panels you can buy. The Pro Max will outlast the Find in an endurance race, and that’s probably the one objective victory it can snatch here.
A few upcoming phones may be worth waiting for before you jump up for Find X2 Pro. The OnePlus 8 Pro should be quite intriguing if rumored specs are anything to go by, plus we can’t imagine it’ll be quite as expensive as the Find. Huawei’s P40 Pro family is the pipeline too, with a Pro (or a Pro Premium?) posed to be a fine Find alternative if you can learn to live without Google services. And an already real Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro is offering competitive specs at a little over the Find X2 Pro‘s price – this one can’t arrive at the office soon enough.
A lot of people may have bought the original Find X from 2018 simply for its one-of-a-kind elevating camera even though it wasn’t spectacular as an actual camera for its time. The Find X2 Pro from 2020 takes a whole different approach and makes for a winning combination of top-level hardware in a conventional body.
While it can’t quite compete with the Galaxy S20 Ultra in absolute image quality at the long end of its triple-cam setup, in most other cases, it delivers images and video that are hard to beat. And if we take that same Galaxy as a reference, the Find X2 Pro can teach the Ultra a thing or two.
If you’re looking for a high-end device today, we reckon you can’t go wrong with an Oppo Find X2 Pro.
Standout design, particularly if you opt for the Vegan leather version. IP68 rating is a welcome addition.
Possibly the best display on the market.
Class leading charge times, battery life you can live with.
Oppo’s fairly new Reno series has a midrange member – the Reno Z which offers all the essential features from a phone in its price range and even some improvements compared to the more expensive Oppo Reno. The device recently made its way to our office and we got to unbox it and take a look at its key features.
Starting with the design the Reno Z feels really similar to the vanilla Reno. In fact, the two devices are nearly identical as far as dimensions go with 6.4-inch AMOLED displays and a dual-layer glass build.
What you do notice with the Reno Z though is the waterdrop notch which replaces the signature shark fin pop-up mechanism from the other two Reno models. On the flip side, the selfie camera on the Reno Z comes in at 32MP which is double that of the regular model.
The paint job on our review unit is called Aurora Purple and it’s a predominately blue color with a purple tint towards the top part of the back. Speaking of the backside we have the same dual-camera setup from the Oppo Reno here with a 48MP main shooter utilizing a Quad Bayer filter and a 5MP depth sensor.
One of the biggest changes comes under the hood with the new Helio P90 SoC paired with 4GB RAM and 128 GB storage. The phone comes with Color OS 6 which is a heavily skinned version based on Android Pie with a lot of room for tinkering and customization. Audio heads will also enjoy the added Dolby Atmos support which was absent on the vanilla Reno.
Another welcome addition is the 4,000 mAh battery which should translate into ample running times. At around €300/£300 here in Europe, the Reno Z is a compelling package but we’ll have to go through our review procedure before we give out any judgments.
Oppo Reno Z specs
A few years ago, if you paid £300 for a smartphone you’d be treated to a boxy slab of plastic that was about as alluring as a trip to Slough or Milton Keynes. To this day, lazy design remains an issue at this end of the market – even the Pixel 3a is a little on the dull side visually.
Oppo’s decided to try and buck this trend, and make the Reno Z look as jazzy as possible, loading it with a wealth of flashy colour options and a few design flourishes that are normally reserved for more expensive phones. For a start, it has a glass back. This, plus my review unit’s snazzy purple colouring, instantly make it more alluring than most £300 phones. Be warned, though. As Bon Jovi sang, it gets slippery when wet and will crack if dropped without a case.
It also has a few top-end features including a Huawei P30-style dewdrop notch, dinky bezels and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. The scanner’s not quite as nippy as the P30’s but the fact the tech’s even in a phone this price is seriously impressive.
At first glance, under the hood things are also solid. Powering up the phone I was instantly stunned by how good the 6.4-inch AMOLED screen is, when compared to other phones this price. The 2340 x 1080 is suitably sharp and colours, while a little warm to the naked eye, generally look great. This, plus the Dolby Atmos stereo speaker setup, make it a great phone for Netflix bingeing in bed.
The Oppo Reno Z’s battery
Battery life is also great thanks to Oppo’s decision to load the Reno Z with a giant 4035 mAh cell and its custom VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 tech. With regular use, this combo let me easily get at least two days’ use out of the Oppo Reno X as my main work and personal phone.
This entailed listening to music on my commute, taking and making a few calls, constantly checking my social media and message feeds, plus a game of PUBG and a quick hour on Netflix before bed.
It dealt with demanding tasks like video streaming and gaming pretty well. Streaming video on Netflix with the phone screen at 150 nits (the level most people will be comfortable with), the Reno Z lost an average of 6-8% of its charge per hour, which is excellent. Most phones lose at least 10% running the same process. Gaming was the same – it lost around 12-15% per hour, which again is not to be sniffed at.
The Oppo Reno Z’s camera
On paper the camera’s a similar story. Oppo’s loaded the Reno Z with a dual-sensor rear camera setup that pairs the 48-megapixel Sony sensor seen on the OnePlus 7 with a secondary 5-megapixel “depth” snapper. Up front you’ll find a 38-megapixel selfie camera. The specs put the Reno X on a par with its arch-rival, the Motorola One Vision, which has a near-identical rear camera setup.
With real-world use I found camera performance between the two is fairly comparable. This means it’s good, but not Pixel 3a level, particularly in low light.
The camera app is fairly stripped down, but it has most of the features you’d expect, including auto, panorama, night, portrait, slo-mo and Google Lens options. The only minor issue is the fact there’s no RAW shooting option, which will annoy enthusiasts, but at this price that’s far from a deal-breaker.
Shots taken in normal light look good and match, if not beat, the One Vision for quality, though be warned – like the Motorola, shutter speeds can be a little slow and the camera can sometimes push the bokeh effect too far, giving portrait shots a slightly soft feel.
A few years ago I’d have praised the Reno’s low-light performance at this price. The phone can actually take usable images in low light. But hold it next to the Pixel 3a and the difference is clear. Pictures taken on the Pixel 3a in low light have better contrast, are less prone to noise and generally look more realistic than those taken on the Reno Z.
Though again, this is forgivable as it matches, if not beats, nearly every other competing £300 phone’s low-light performance.
The front camera paints a similar picture. For the money, you get great image quality that’s more than good enough to chronicle most drunken students’ clubbing adventures or finding-themselves trip around Europe. The only slight annoyance is that the app seems to softly “beautify” you even when the beauty mode is turned off and, once again, it can be a little aggressive when applying bokeh.
The Oppo Reno Z doesn’t have a unique selling point like the Pixel 3a’s camera. But it earns a spot as one of 2019’s leading mid-range Android phones by getting all the basics right, offering solid battery life and a great screen for bingeing on Netflix.
Great screen for the money
Solid battery life
ColorOS adds bloatware and will delay software updates