When it comes to investing in a flagship smartphone, you’re talking big money and long commitments. You either need to part with upwards of R18,000 cash for the pleasure of high-end features, or you need to commit to a lengthy contract with a local network provider and pay a pretty penny each month. But now, one smartphone brand in South Africa is making it more affordable than ever before to own a flagship device that rivals that of the big name brands.
Coming in at sub-R15,000 the Oppo Reno 7 5G has come out of the gate swinging, with plans to take on the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and Apple with its super impressive flagship device. With highlights of the Reno7 5G including fast-charging capability (getting to 100% in under 35 minutes), a 64 MP rear camera, and some powerful hardware under the hood; this device is certain to excite local consumers who want top-notch features with a price tag that is a little easier to stomach.
I’ve spent a few weeks putting the device to the test to see if it lives up to its flagship title and if it is truly a contender to the more well-known smartphone manufacturers available in South Africa.
If the design is important to you, then you’ll be glad to know that the Oppo Reno 7 5G has all the luxury design features you have come to expect from a flagship device. The Oppo device features a new, industry-first application of Laser Direct Imaging (LDI) on its exterior, that comes in two eye-catching colour options, Startrails Blue and Starry Black. The Startrails Blue version I’ve been reviewing features a stunning light-reflective back cover that delights the eye every time you reach for it. The device is packaged with a see-through rubber cover so, you’ll never have to cover it up or hide the beauty of the sleek, visually beautiful design.
On the phone’s front, you’ll find a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with 90 Hz refresh rate and 180 Hz touch sampling rate. The screen is also SGS Eye Care Display Certified as a low-blue light screen, which can help to reduce eye strain during extended use. The Reno7 5G is Netflix HD and Amazon Prime Video Certified, ensuring a more vivid and high-quality streaming experience.
While powerful and sizable, the device is only 7.81mm thick and weighs in at just about 173g. It feels very light in your hand and the screen is bright and super responsive, with no lag. Video content and images appear crisp and bright, giving you a brilliant viewing experience on the Reno 7 5G.
When it comes to hardware, the Oppo Reno 7 5G does not disappoint. The device features 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard. What’s more, with Oppo-developed RAM Expansion Technology an additional 2GB, 3GB or 5GB of temporary RAM allocated from unused ROM can supplement storage space. Basically, if the phone runs out of usable RAM space, users can choose to convert part of the available ROM to virtual RAM by enabling the function when they need it.
Over the last few weeks of using the Reno 7 5G, I haven’t experienced any lag when using apps and switching between windows, while performing multiple tasks is an absolute breeze. This phone is built with power users in mind, and while I haven’t yet had to use the RAM Expansion Technology, it does give me peace of mind knowing that I have access to more power when, and if, I need it.
At the heart of Reno7 5G is an integrated MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G SoC chipset, which includes support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6. A 4,500mAh battery combines with 65W Supervooc charging to allow a full charge in about 35 minutes, while just five minutes of charging will give you enough battery for two hours of gaming or four hours of streaming.
The fast-charging feature of this phone has been an absolute game-changer for me. I charge my phone every morning before I head out the door and in a quick 15 minutes, it goes from 30% battery to fully charged. What’s more, fully charged, this device has enough juice to keep up with me all day. Whether I am on video calls, watching video content, snapping and editing images, or chatting on Whatsapp. I have yet to run out of power with the Reno 7 5G, even after a full day of using battery-hungry apps with my screen on full brightness.
The device also uses Android 11 (and is Android 12 ready) as its operating system, while ColorOS 12 is synced as an overlay to allow for a personalised experience.
Of course, these days, a smartphone’s onboard camera is arguably one of the most important features for most people. The Reno7 5G aims to tackle the high-end competitors who battle it out for the best smartphone snapper on the market. Featuring a 64MP rear camera, Sony-powered 32MP front camera, 118° Ultra Wide-Angle Camera, and 4CM Macro Camera, combined with Oppo’s AI algorithms, the device uses the latest technology to mimic the optical properties of high-end cameras.
This helps create bokeh light spots of different sizes, colours, and brightness according to distance and depth of field. Users can choose from 25 adjustment levels to change the virtual aperture size and the corresponding size of the bokeh light spots on the background to create stunning portrait photos.
The Reno7 Pro 5G’s suite of imaging tools also includes AI Highlight Video, Focus Tracking, Dual-View Video, Flash Snapshot and other features.
The camera setup on the Reno 7 5G is indeed impressive. I’ve been snapping everything from adventures with friends to product shots for work using the device, and it does not disappoint. Shots are clear, crisp and look super professional with almost no effort at all. I’m using my photography editing apps a whole lot less since I’ve been shooting with the Oppo Reno 7, and it has been a game-changer when I need to take pictures on the go for work. With every snap, you get an ultra-clear 108MP image, giving you the power to crop the image into whatever you need it to be while still maintaining impressive clarity and detail.
Shooting video is also ultra-smooth and easy with the Oppo Reno 7 5G. I don’t have to fiddle too much with settings to ensure I get footage that is well lit, steady and detailed. If you’re a content creator, then you can’t go wrong with investing in this device. It makes creating content incredibly easy and gives you the confidence to shoot and snap away anywhere, any time.
The Oppo Reno7 5G is available now and retails at R14,999. The price includes a pair of Enco Buds, a 65W SuperVOOC charger and Oppo care that includes one free screen repair in the first six months.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.