OPPO Reno 10x Zoom review: Claim to the throne

Gelo Gonzales
OPPO Reno 10x Zoom review: Claim to the throne
Incredible telephoto shots and a mature design show the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is primetime-ready

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MANILA, Philippines – Just a year ago, OPPO launched its Find X flagship, known then for its full-screen display – then a rarity – along with its sliding body and a price tag that perhaps surprised more than a few of the OPPO faithful. It was P50,000, which at the time was a price point reserved for the iPhones and the Galaxy phones. Even Huawei at the time was still just getting comfortable in that part of the atmosphere.

Not to knock on the Find X, it was simply the case that a P50,000 OPPO had been unheard of at that point. This was a brand that built its reputation with inexpensive phones that capitalized on Filipinos’ apparent love for selfies, and endorsed by mainstream celebrities, perhaps the most memorable of whom was singer Sarah Geronimo.

The leap felt just a little bit sudden. At the time, It felt like the Find X would be more a stage-setter than anything, an OPPO proof-of-concept flagship – that they too could make a premium device – more than a real sales superstar.

A year since then, the Find X has proven to be both. It sold well, at least in its native China, and has thoroughly warmed up the stage for its new premium flagship, the Reno 10X Zoom.

A year since the Find X, we have the Reno 10X Zoom, an OPPO phone that, at a glance, just feels more at ease with a hefty price tag of P46,000.

A number of design cues and key features back up my sentiment. The back has this beautiful, frosted glass finish, which feels a little more reserved than the bold, deep neon vibe of the Find X. It doesn’t call for as much attention as the Find X. There’s no camera bump as the camera array is built within the curved body seamlessly, adding to its sophistication.

At the bottom of the array is a tiny, round, silver nub that lifts the phone just a tiny bit when placed on a surface so as to avoid scratches on the cameras. The nub has a green outline, likely the same shade of green in the new OPPO logo which features a darker green than its old logo.

The power button has a line in the same green as well – tiny design cues that give the phone a little pop of personality without being loud. A small strip of text runs on the back showing the OPPO logo and the text “Designed by OPPO,” another nice touch.

The “shark fin” pop-up selfie camera felt weird and gimmicky at first but weirdly too, it’s grown on me quickly. The more common box pop-up camera never really felt elegant, for some reason. So credit to OPPO for going with this uncommon, asymmetrical implementation that just feels more, for the lack of a better word, cool.

SHARKFIN POP-UP

All in all, it’s a strong, sophisticated design befitting of a premium line, certainly more mature than the Find X.

Hardware-wise, the phone’s star feature is its camera system’s zooming capabilities. On the top of the camera array is a standard-angle lens, an ultra-wide at the middle, and a telephoto lens with a zoom angle that’s 5x the standard. These are essentially 3 fixed angle lenses that uses software to zoom in digitally – although it must be said that the software is good enough that it more or less behaves like a real zoom lens, transitioning seamlessly from one lens to another.

The zooming system’s not different from all the other multi-camera phone implementations but the big difference here is its 5x optical lens. This means the phone has a lens that has a fixed angle that’s already more zoomed-in than any other phone out there outside the Huawei P30 Pro. With a zoomed-in starting point, the software has to work a little bit less in preventing the degradation associated with digitally-assisted zooming as opposed to starting on a standard-angle lens.

Check out the phone's funky, long box

Translation: the phone just takes really good photos of really far objects. It’s unprecedented if not for the Huawei P30 Pro, which came months before it. OPPO’s 5x lens though has the bigger f/3.0 aperture compared to the P30 Pro’s f/3.4. The bigger aperture means more light is able to come in. The Reno 10X Zoom also has the bigger telephoto sensor (13MP) than the P30 Pro (8MP). The Reno also has a longer digital zoom (60x) than the Huawei P30 Pro (50x) although good luck with the quality at those zoom levels for both.

The P30 Pro wowed with its zoom, and the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom wows just the same. It’s still pretty insane how close in you can get with these cameras.

That no other phone zooms in like these two – especially with the current uncertainty that its rival Huawei is facing – should give the Reno 10X Zoom considerable appeal among consumers. That’s why the timing of the 10X Zoom’s release – and the Find X setting the stage for it a year ago – couldn’t have been better for the brand too.

OPPO nails the premium experience with the Reno 10X Zoom, giving it a potent weapon in a phone race that’s suddenly become more wide open in the wake of Huawei’s woes.

You can get the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom on Oppo’s official Lazada store here. – Rappler.com

(Disclaimer: OPPO lent a review unit for the purpose of this article.)

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.