You are currently viewing Mathieu’s tests: a new design, a “total” screen, is this smartphone the safe bet for the start of the school year?

Mathieu’s tests: a new design, a “total” screen, is this smartphone the safe bet for the start of the school year?

Oppo no longer hides its ambitions in Europe and Belgium. The Chinese company is investing fortunes in distribution (local offices, including in Belgium) and marketing, in particular by becoming an official sponsor of the Champions League, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

And the latest figures I got are encouraging for Oppo: in 2021, they increased their deliveries by 16% globally, and by 94% in Western Europe, where the brand has been active for only a few years. They were the world’s fourth largest manufacturerbehind the inevitable Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi.


What’s new this summer?

Oppo, like other Chinese Android smartphone makers, has a fairly intense pace of smartphone releases. In the spring, it presented the very premium Find X5 Pro (see my review) and the Find X5. And at the end of August, therefore, we are entitled to the Reno series, which takes the best of the Find series, but with a more affordable price. I could try the Reno 8 Pro in its pretty light green livery. This is a mid-high end, mid-range smartphone.

Sold 749€ in Belgium, it has a high-flying technical sheet on which it only lacks certified waterproofing and wireless charging, two fairly niche options, you will agree. Some might nitpick over the chip, which isn’t a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, but MediaTek has dramatically increased the performance of its SoC (System on Chip): the Dimensity 8100-Max has everything you need to run many applications at the same time, and the best games from the Google Play Store (according to some tests, this chip delivers more performance than the Samsung Galaxy S22).

The rest is in line with the price: 256 GB of internal storage, 8 GB of RAM, a superb very immersive (almost invisible borders) 6.7″ AMOLED display with a high refresh rate, the very fast 80W charge ( 11 minutes = 50% battery), long-lasting battery and stereo speakers Personally, my favorite thing about the Reno 8 is their design. A front face with an almost total screen, a rear face integrating the enlarged photo sensors in a very modern and refined way, an original green color… it’s very successful, and it clearly targets a younger audience than the Find X5 series.

At the software level, ColorOS12 (soon to be 13) is a fairly refined vision of Android, fluid and clean, and without a cumbersome ‘home’ application like Samsung imposes on its phones.

The (self)portrait expert

A quick word on the photo: Oppo uses an excellent 50 MP main sensor on the Reno 8 (the Sony IMX766 which has already proven itself) supported by two other less efficient sensors (an 8 MP wide-angle only which is not not crazy, and a Macro for very close shots). Everything is operated, as on the Find X5 Pro, by a MariSilicon X chip which constantly analyzes the scene to apply the best setting when shooting, and the best software processing.

Oppo says in its communication that the Reno 8 Pro is “The Portrait Expert”. And if he manages well to take photos of others (without particularly standing out, except perhaps in 4K video), it is especially in self-portraits that he shines. Because Oppo had the clever idea of ​​​​putting a good 32 MP Sony IMX709 sensor in the front, in the middle. A module that gives very good details in selfie mode, and which even allows auto-focus for better focusing.


Findings

Oppo is still on track to become Samsung’s biggest competitor in the Android smartphone market, whether in Europe or Belgium. There is indeed Xiaomi which is currently overshadowing it and preventing it from achieving its ambitions, but it must be recognized that all the devices offered by Oppo are successful, and that the company is taking care of its presence in Belgium.

What is a successful smartphone? One that strikes a balance between price, performance, functionality and design. HAS 749€, if that’s your budget for a smartphone, the Reno 8 Pro will give you bang for your buck (and if you buy it before October 1, you’ll get a smartwatch, wireless headphones, and an Oppo cover; that’s the interest of a local establishment of Oppo, with Belgian promotions). If you’re looking for less, there’s the slightly smaller Reno 8, with a less powerful chip and a dedicated chipless photo part; but it only costs 529€ (also with some freebies from Oppo for first-time buyers).

It is undoubtedly this “simple” version of the Reno 8 which is the champion of the quality-price ratio for this start of the 2022 school year. Because the Pro version, at 749€, is struggling in particular, at the end of summer, with its ” the OnePlus 10T (€699, see my test), which has other (excellent) arguments.