Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G Review: Lots of style, but what about substance?

Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G  Review: Lots of style, but what about substance?
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Over the last few years, Oppo’s been hitting all the right notes with its Reno series phones. And it looks like that’s going to be the case this year too with the company’s latest flagship, the Reno 7 Pro. The phone looks fancy, feels fancy, and also works like a charm. And add to the mix some really powerful cameras and we have on our hands what appears to be on paper at least a really strong offering. But is it worth your money? We’ll try and answer this and more in our in this in-depth review of the Oppo Reno 7 Pro. 

Oppo Reno 7 Pro: Design and display

Let’s get this review started by talking about the design of the device. As has been the case with previous generation Reno phones, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro is an extremely good looking phone. It looks really up-market with its thin, yet boxy design language. For me, it is possibly one of the most good looking phones in not just its segment, but also the market cutting across various price segments. 

From its near bezel-less display to its back panel, the phone looks and feels premium, and impresses with its gorgeous, eye-catching design. And this is because Oppo’s done a lot of good things with the device’s design language. For example, the Reno 7 Pro features a really thin 1.5mm bezel, the thinnest on a Reno smartphone to date. 

Then, there’s also the fact that the Reno 7 Pro features what the company calls an aircraft-grade Shooting Star design with 1.2 million micro-lines and 8-micrometre engraving depth. The smartphone also features the company’s Orbit breathing light around the rear camera module. Thanks to the unique etching technique used by the company, the shooting star design gives the phone a subtly sparkling finish. Overall, the phone follows a minimalist approach, with only the dual-step camera module the only element crying out for attention. 

But how does this translate to use in the real world? Well, all these elements combine to give the phone a really premium look, which is not only great to look at, but also to hold in the hand. 

Oppo Reno 7 Pro: Display

Moving on to the display, we have a 6.55-inch full-HD+ AMOLED panel with support for a 90Hz refresh rate. This 20:9 aspect ratio display also offers support for HDR10+, and being an AMOLED panel, we also get support for the Always-On-Display (AOD) feature. 

In terms of performance, the display is good. Topping out at 800 nits, it’s not the brightest panel we’ve seen on a phone in the recent past. However, it proved to be bright enough in most lighting conditions — including usage under direct sunlight. During our review, we tested the phone’s display on both the Vivid and Gentle colour profiles found within the display settings of the device. Of the two, the latter is calibrated for accuracy in the sRGB colour space, while the Vivid profile appears to be calibrated for covering a wider colour range by attempting to hit the wider DCI-P3 colour space. We tested both these colour profiles for accuracy and Gamut coverage, only to achieve mixed results.

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In terms of real-world performance, the display proved to be quite good. It feels premium and works as well as any other panel fitted on an Oppo phone in the past. It definitely matched up to our expectations as it not only offered good brightness levels but also managed to reproduce vibrant and punchy colours. Apart from this, the display also offers good viewing angles and text legibility.

Oppo Reno Pro 7: Performance

While the phone gave us no reason to complain in the display and design department, it did leave us asking for a little more when it came to the hardware and performance section. But before we get to the test results and tell you about our experience with the device, let’s quickly get the specifications out of the way. 

So, the Reno 7 Pro brings with it a Dimensity 1200 Max chipset paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This is an upgrade on the Dimensity 1200 SoC found on the Reno 6 Pro last year — but mostly in name. This ‘MAX’ variant of the Dimensity 1200 is an exclusively customized chip that Oppo claims provide more enhanced performance in key areas compared to the original 1200 SoC from last year. 

Now the claim is true. The chipset does offer better performance over the Oppo Reno 6 Pro, but if that’s because of a more powerful chipset, or simply because the Dimensity 1200 SoC is a more mature platform now, is something we’re not sure about. 

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In benchmarks, the phone did okay by clocking better scores in CPU heavy tests such as  AnTuTu, Geekbench and PCMark when compared to the Oppo Reno 6 Pro from last year. However, its scores were nowhere close to those clocked by competing devices such as the OnePlus 9RT and the Xiaomi 11T Pro which are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. The same was the case for GPU tests like 3DMark WildLife and also GFXBench. 

Even though not as good as the results of the Snapdragon 888 SoC phones, the benchmark performance of the Reno 7 Pro did translate to good enough performance in gaming and day-to-day tasks. However, it’s important to add we did notice some level of instability while playing games on the device. The problem here could very well be the thermals as we noticed the phone’s chipset also being throttled to about 70 per cent of its performance in the CPU Throttling Test. 

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Oppo Reno 7 Pro: Camera

Moving on to the money makers for the phone — yes, we’re talking about the cameras of the Reno 7 Pro. Oppo has put a lot of effort into ensuring an above-par photography experience with its Reno 7 Pro. Being an area of focus for the phone, we see the company equip the device with impressive cameras supplemented by a host of features to elevate its performance. 

The phone comes with an interesting set of cameras. Of these, both the 50MP primary camera with Sony IMX766 sensor and even the 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens proved themselves to be good additions during our tests. However, we found the 2-megapixel macro lens ending up being on the phone just to make up the numbers. 

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Because of its design, the primary lens offers good results in darker environments as it captures plenty of data in low light scenarios. The phone’s Night Mode is definitely a neat addition to the device and a quick way of filling up images with more light than actually exists in the frame. However, we found its results to not be the most accurate. 

And in well-lit situations, it performs pretty much as good as any high-end or even premium-segment phone in the market. These images come out crisp and vibrant with a good amount of natural light. The colours are also rich and accurate, with these shots also offering a good dynamic range. The lens also captures a good amount of detail which helps if you zoom or crop an image. 

The secondary lens also manages to capture decent pictures in well-lit conditions, however, low light performance does leave a little to be desired. As we mentioned before, the performance of the macro lens did not live up to our expectations in general, as the phone did not manage to click good macro shots, regardless of the lighting conditions.

We also have an interesting front camera on the Reno 7 Pro. This is an IMX709 sensor with an RGBW fusion unit. This lens again offers a design that helps it capture a lot of light regardless of the lighting condition. The post-processing of these selfies is also good, helping the phone capture accurate skin tones and skin details. 

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Oppo Reno 7 Pro: Battery

Oppo Reno 7 Pro packs a 4500mAh battery which is the same size as the one found on the Reno 6 Pro. It is a 4500mAh pack that’s enough to keep the phone running for at least a day without running for the charger.

But that’s if you’re a moderate user. For heavy users, the phone will give you less than a day’s use on a charge. And when the phone does run out of charge, it can be quickly topped up using the device’s 65W SuperVOOC fast charger which can fill up the battery completely in about 35 minutes. 

This is pretty much the same battery performance that we got from the Reno 6 Pro last year. So honestly, it would have been better if the company had made an upgrade in this department. 

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Oppo Reno 7 Pro: Verdict

So it’s time to answer the all-important question: Is the Reno 7 Pro worth buying?

Definitely yes if you want a phone that looks and feels like a million dollars, and can also capture really good shots regardless of the lighting conditions from both its front and the rear sensors. However, for pretty much everything else, including the performance of the core hardware, the Reno 7 Pro gets bested by competing phones which offer a lot more at a similar price point. And that honestly could be the Reno 7 Pro’s biggest problem going forward as even more powerful devices like the iQOO 9 Pro are expected to launch in India in the coming days at around the same price point as the Reno 7 Pro. 

Also Read: Oppo Reno 7 review: One step forward, two steps back

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