Oppo Reno7 5G Review: Maintaining The Standard

A few years ago most South African consumers would not have come across the name Oppo, but ever since the brand officially launched in the country in the mobile space in 2020, it has been making a name for itself for solidly designed and good value for money devices.

One of the phones that helped to lead that charge was the Reno5 5G, which served up a number of great elements in a relatively affordable package that was powered by Android and supported 5G.

Now its successor, the Oppo Reno7 5G, has landed in South Africa and we have spent the past couple of weeks getting to know the premium mid-range phone to see whether it can indeed match the performance of the previous iteration.

A little different

We start as always with design and Oppo certainly has a formula.

In fact it reminds a lot of Huawei phones before the entity list situation unfolded, with large Android-powered phones that sport good cameras and interesting colourways being par for the course.

Here the Reno7 5G is much the same, as was its predecessor. For this iteration an adequately sized 6.4″ AMOLED FullHD (2400×1080) display is present, with no notches in sight. Instead a punch hole is present to house a 32MP selfie camera.

We will talk about the camera performance shortly, but sticking with design and the Oppo Reno 7 5G looks like many of the premium mid-range phones in this price bracket.

To make it stand out, aesthetically at least, a unique colourway called Startrails Blue has been added to the mix. What makes this option unique is the etching on the rear cover, which is meant to look like a bunch of shooting stars streaking across the back.

We’ll leave it up to others to decide whether that is indeed the effect created, but from our perspective it does at least help to distinguish the Reno7 5G from the swathe of options on the market currently.

All in all then it is a rather handsome device and you can see precisely the quality you are getting from the R14 999 (RRP) price tag when handling the phone. This as it feels truly premium in-hand, with solid build quality and an interesting rear cover, showing Oppo has put some thought into this phone.

Clean and simple

We now shift to the software and while the Reno7 5G fully supports Android and Google Play Services, something Oppo makes abundantly clear when booting up the phone, the real star of the show here is ColorOS.

This particular device is running ColorOS 12 over Android 11 and outside of the “pure Android” experience you get on Nokia Mobile phones, this is one of the cleanest user interfaces we’ve encountered.

The design is both ethereal and flat, with very little in terms of necessary fluff. Navigating also feels intuitive and all elements that control the device are readily at hand.

If there was any criticism, it is the fact that Oppo preloads a bunch of superfluous apps when you first use the phone. We understand why these are present, with partnerships and deals likely inked a long time ago, but thankfully these apps can be easily removed or uninstalled.

We are also happy to report that there are no duplicated apps, which use to be a real problem for phones from Chinese vendors, but luckily that is not the case here. We fans of the fact that Google-specific apps can be made the default here.

As such, the overall functionality, look and feel of ColorOS gets a thumbs up from us.

What matters

The next area to focus on is performance. On this front Oppo has ensured the Reno7 5G is well appointed. Here an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset is present for doing the heavy lifting, as well as handling the aforementioned 5G support.

Given the current issues with 5G spectrum allocation, you could be forgiven for thinking this is not a necessary feature, but it is definitely an element to help the Reno7 stand out, along with ensuring it is slightly future-proofed longer than other similarly specced and price phones.

Shifting back to the chipset, and it keeps things purring along quite nicely on the Reno7 5G. The device does not feel sluggish at all and the addition of a generous 8GB of RAM means multitasking is a breeze and this phone never gives the impression of being under strain when doing processor heavy tasks.

For those who place value in bechmarking, the Reno7 5G performs ably on this front too. Our testing saw a single-core and multi-core score of 705 and 2 172 on GeekBench, which is a good distance more than the predecessor model, as well as similar devices like the Huawei Nova 8.

The camera performance is also solid, with a trio of lenses present – 64MP wide-angle, 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro. The middle lens is the actually primary option, so you need to select the 64MP shooter when you want more detailed or nuanced pictures.

This is a tactic that a lot of phone makers employ these days, and pictures captured on the Reno7 5G will not leave you wanting.

Final verdict

Yes, the Oppo Reno7 5G is a bit more expensive than other mid-range phones on the market at R14 999 (RRP), but the performance on offer, as well as the solid design and support of 5G mean this phone can serve as an investment.

As such it delivers flagship comparable capabilities for far less money and sits quite neatly between the mid-range and flagship spaces.

If you want something flagship level without the price tag, the Oppo Reno7 5G can deliver. It is therefore a two and zero count for Oppo in terms of how good its Reno lineup has been in SA to date.


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