Oppo’s Reno series has been the company’s flagship offering in India for a few years now, ever since it stopped launching new models in the Find series. The formula for Reno Pro models has been pretty straightforward so far — slim bodies with curved displays and very fast charging. While the charging bit is still the same for the brand new Oppo Reno 7 Pro, Oppo has decided to switch things up with design. This new flagship model also has a new(ish) SoC, upgraded camera sensors, and stereo speakers, making it a fairly decent upgrade over the Reno 6 Pro (Review).
However, competition in this segment has never been fiercer. Samsung is leading the charge with its Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review), we have OnePlus’ latest 9RT (Review) and plenty of options from Xiaomi and Realme that are all packed to the gills with premium features. The Oppo Reno 7 Pro needs more than just a pretty face to win buyers’ attention, and it’s time to see if can manage that, in this full review.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro price in India
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro is only available in one configuration in India, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 39,999. This is lower than the price that the Reno 6 Pro launched at, which is a good start. This phone is available in two colours, Starlight Black and Startrails Blue.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro design
Design has always been a big talking point for the Reno series and it’s no different with the Reno 7 Pro. However, instead of the curved display and glossy frame you might have expected, the 7 Pro takes a design cue from last year’s Reno 6 (Review), with a similar flattened aluminium frame and a flat display. The bezels around the display are also very slim, and along with the small hole-punch cutout, the Reno 7 Pro looks striking from the front. I personally welcome this design choice as I prefer a display with flat versus curved edges, which tend to make typing and swiping a bit tricky.
The glass back of the Oppo Reno 7 Pro has a new finish. Oppo says it has used a new laser process to create hundreds of diagonal micro-etches, which are visible at certain angles. The finish feels great and doesn’t attract fingerprints. The camera module also has an interesting multilayered design, and around it, we now have a light strip that glows when you get notifications and when the phone is charging. You can’t change the colour of this strip (which would have been nice), but you can choose which apps and events trigger it.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro doesn’t have a headphone jack like the Reno 7, and doesn’t support expandable storage either. It does have stereo speakers though, which is a feature that has been missing from previous Pro models. The 6.5-inch AMOLED panel means delivers very good colours and contrast. It’s a full-HD+ panel with a 90Hz peak refresh rate and 180Hz peak touch sampling rate, plus Corning Gorilla 5 for scratch protection. A 120Hz refresh rate or even a higher touch sampling rate would have been more substantial upgrades, but buyers will have to make do.
Oppo hasn’t skimped on bundled accessories. The Reno 7 Pro ships with a 65W charger and a case, along with a USB cable and SIM eject tool. Overall, Oppo has done a good job with the design. The phone is also quite slim (7.45mm) and light (180g), which I like.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro specifications and software
There’s a new SoC in the Oppo Reno 7 Pro, the Dimensity 1200-Max from MediaTek. This is basically a standard Dimensity 1200 SoC with two special optimisations made for the Reno 7 Pro: AI Deblur, which is said to improve the quality of selfies, and AI-PQ, which is said to induce an HDR-like effect in regular videos. There doesn’t seem to be any performance benefit with this ‘Max’ version of the SoC, so for all other tasks, it should be business as usual. The 12GB of RAM can be expanded by allocating 7GB of storage, if you use the RAM expansion feature in ColorOS.
Connectivity options for the Oppo Reno 7 Pro include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and the usual suite of satellite navigation systems. The phone has a 4,500mAh battery with support for up to 65W fast charging, using Oppo’s proprietary SuperVOOC charger. In terms of premium features, the Reno 7 Pro still misses out on things such as an IP rating for waterproofing and wireless charging. These features are still not common in phones in this segment, and including them would have been a good way for Oppo to really shake things up.
You get ColorOS 12 but this is still based on Android 11, not Android 12. It’s a disappointment given how many new phones are now shipping with Android 12 out of the box. There’s the usual set of shortcuts and gestures, not to mention a lot of preinstalled apps, just like with previous versions of ColorOS. Most of the default apps are third-party ones and can be removed. There’s a new Omoji feature, akin to Apple’s Memoji avatars. This lets you create digital avatars of your face, or choose from some pre-existing ones, but its use is limited to the always-on display and your phone’s account profile picture.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro performance and battery life
I used the Oppo Reno 7 Pro along with the more affordable Reno 7 (First impressions) for about a week, and things were fairly smooth. The shape of the phone is quite ergonomic, the power and volume buttons have good feedback, and the display is responsive and very legible even under sunlight. The in-display fingerprint sensor works very well, and so does face recognition. I didn’t notice any unwanted heating, except when gaming, when the metal sides and back got a bit hot. Some of the preinstalled apps are notorious for spamming silly notifications, but as I mentioned before, you can simply uninstall them.
Videos looked very good on the Oppo Reno 7 Pro’s display. Viewing angles were satisfactory. HDR videos looked great, and I’m not sure how much of a difference the AI-PQ feature in this custom SoC actually made – standard videos looked fairly good too, but that could also be because of the quality of the AMOLED screen.
I ran PUBG: New State to test how this phone handles demanding multiplayer games. With all the graphical settings cranked up to the highest allowable limit, gameplay was smooth and the display response was on point. The phone did heat up after about half an hour or gaming, but frame rates were steady throughout. For those who swear by benchmark numbers, the Reno 7 Pro puts on a good show, but don’t expect Snapdragon 888-level performance. It got 6,28,794 points in AnTuTu, which was respectable.
Battery life was quite impressive too. Our HD video loop test ran for nearly 22 hours before the phone tuned itself off. This is a very good runtime, and in terms of daily usage, you should expect the Reno 7 Pro to last a day and a half, if not more. I was averaging nearly two full days with medium to light usage when testing it, which I felt was very good. Charging is fairly quick with the bundled charger. It can deliver roughly a 66 percent charge in half an hour and fully charges the phone in well under an hour.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro cameras
The cameras on the Oppo Reno 7 Pro have been updated from those of the previous model. The 32-megapixel selfie camera now uses a new Sony IMX709 sensor, which has a RGBW pixel layout for better light sensitivity and also supports DOL-HDR. It doesn’t have autofocus, the aperture is not very wide at f/2.4, and video recording is limited to 1080p. The second upgrade is to the primary rear camera, which now has a Sony IMX766 sensor. This seems to a very popular sensor this year, and we recently saw it in the OnePlus 9RT too. However, Oppo hasn’t implemented optical stabilisation, which is disappointing. This phone also has an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
More than the camera sensors, Oppo is throwing all its weight behind special features in the camera app. These include AI Highlight Video and a Bokeh Flare Portrait filter, which we saw with the Reno 6 series too. One new addition is the ability to adjust the aperture when shooting videos with the front and rear cameras. You get a bunch of other shooting modes too, such as dual-video, expert, slow-mo, etc.
In daylight, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro captured detailed photos with the main rear camera. Colours were decent, although I noticed that the phone struggled a bit in getting the exposure right in extreme HDR situations. The ultra-wide camera on the other hand did a better job in such cases, although details were weaker. Close-up photos taken with the main camera looked good, although once again, it often struggled to get either the exposure or colours right when shooting under harsh sunlight. In most other cases, it fared better. The macro camera is potentially useful if you’re shooting under good light.
The main rear camera fared well in low light. Close-ups were sharp and clear, and colours were good even under minimal ambient lighting. Landscape shots looked a bit too over-sharpened at times and low-light photos lacked punch, unless I used Night mode. Selfies taken with the new front camera sensor were also quite impressive. After turning off beauty filters, I managed to get accurate skin tones and good details when shooting during the day. Low-light selfies were also good but I had to be extra steady to get a sharp image.
The bokeh filter worked well during the day, as it created a very shallow depth of field effect and and turned bright spots into small globules of colour. This effect looked good in videos too, but only as long as I didn’t move about too much.
Speaking of video, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro can record at up to 4K using the main rear camera, but only at 30fps. If you want 60fps, you’ll have to drop to 1080p. Also, if you enable any of the AI effects and filters or even shoot using the ultra-wide camera, the resolution will be capped at 1080p. This is a bit limiting for a phone at this price level. The quality of video recorded at 4K in daylight was pretty average. Stabilisation was good but bright areas were often overexposed. The ultra-wide camera was surprisingly decent at video recording and cropped the frame to avoid a fish-eye effect. Low-light video was not great, especially if I was shooting with AI processing enabled. Footage was very grainy and jittery, which was less than ideal.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro is a good update to the Reno 6 Pro, and Oppo has done the right thing by pricing it lower. The flat display, stereo speakers, and improved camera sensors are all welcome changes. Battery life is also solid, and it doesn’t hurt to have super-fast charging. The AI camera features and filters are fun additions if you’re looking to create social-media-ready photos and videos without having to tinker around in other apps.
There’s still plenty of room for improvement though. I was expecting more of an upgrade in the display and SoC departments. Video recording was a bit of a sore point for me with the Reno 6 Pro and it doesn’t seem as though there’s been any meaningful improvement. Despite the lower price, I still feel you can get better value from the competition. Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review), Moto Edge 20 Pro (Review), Realme GT (Review) and Xiaomi 11T Pro offer more powerful processors and higher refresh rate displays. You can even get impressive telephoto cameras in the same price range.
Still, if fashionable looks and quirky camera features trump sheer performance for you, then you should be happy with the Reno 7 Pro. It’s definitely better value than the Reno 6 Pro, but do keep in mind that there are more feature-packed offerings in the market.