While many smartphones these days feature a portrait mode to create ‘DSLR-like’ bokeh, most of them do it rather poorly as compared to the iPhone, which has pioneered portrait-style shooting since the iPhone 11 Pro, hence the once ‘selfie expert’ smartphone brand wants to do that even better with the OPPO Reno7 Pro 5G, and in our tests, OPPO pulled it off, but it still isn’t perfect.
The Reno7 Pro 5G continues to feature the squarish blocky design that we have loved from its predecessor, which feels very premium to the touch just like a modern flagship, and the Starlight Black color we have received looks absolutely stunning as you still get a bit of bling when you the phone around, hence its not entirely a boring black color like some other phones.
In addition, the slim camera bump has a two tone treatment that looks really nice and I’m glad that OPPO kept it clean of camera specs and megapixels, the ‘AI Portrait Cam’ label thankfully uses a rather clean font and is hardly noticeable from far, and one neat trick that OPPO has done is have a RGB light around the camera bump that glows when the phone charges or receives notifications, which is certainly a much better solution compared to having your camera flash come on.
Maintaining the same 6.55-inch display size as its predecessor, the Reno7 Pro maintains a 90Hz AMOLED panel but with noticeably better brightness this time, colors are on point just like what you’d expect from an AMOLED display and while I am absolutely fine with the given refresh rate, I am rather underwhelmed by OPPO’s decision on not moving to a Super AMOLED display that offers much better brightness and colors, while I also noticed that certain apps I use can’t take advantage of the 90Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling.
Powered by a Mediatek Dimensity 1200 Max processor and supported by 12GB RAM and 256GB of expandable storage, the Reno7 Pro certainly loses out in performance compared to phones equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, but this phone is definitely no slow performer which you can expect smooth and responsive app launches, the phone also support OPPO’s RAM expansion feature if you feel 12GB isn’t enough but to be honest, you don’t need that feature.
The Reno7 Pro 5G ships with ColorOS 12 based on Android 11, this is one thing I would have expected OPPO to have done better since the software team has worked alongside with OnePlus’ OxygenOS team, as it should have already been on Android 12 since this is a 2022 device, it still has a few bloatware pre-installed which can thankfully be removed, but fortunately there hasn’t been any major performance issues and ad infestation during my two week review period.
Disclaimer: Images are resized for publication
Camera wise, the Reno7 Pro 5G’s main 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor is definitely serviceable as a social media and road trip camera. However, the Reno7 Pro 5G tends to have inconsistency in image quality whether you are shooting in good lighting or low light, as you can see in the images above, it sometimes doesn’t get the correct white balance and lacks sharpness, especially in low light, the camera generated quite a bit of grain even when I used Night mode.
Fortunately, the Reno7 Pro 5G delivered as advertised in its portrait shooting capabilities, OPPO’s AI Algorithm has certainly worked well in separating the human subject regardless of day or night time portraits, and this feature extends to video shooting as well though it is only limited to 1080p resolution.
The Reno7 Pro 5G has no problems offering me a full day of usage with 4 hours of screen-on-time, I will usually be left with around 26% of battery life at the end of the day, I am also thankful that the 65W SuperVOOC charger can get me up in no time should I forget to charge the phone the next day.
Ultimately, the Reno7 Pro 5G is an excellent smartphone that I can hardly consider it as mid-range, sure enough it doesn’t have the fastest internals or best display, but the overall user experience is a pleasant one and OPPO could easily issue a software fix to rectify the inconsistent camera performance.
However, the asking price of RM2,999 makes the Reno7 Pro 5G no easy recommendation, while OPPO is definitely looking at the premium audience, the new Galaxy S22 series and iPhone 13 could be better alternatives for a slight cash top up, not unless you appreciate things like faster charging and expandable storage, it’s definitely a tough fight for the Reno7 Pro 5G to appeal to its intended audiences.