Camera - Daylight Evaluation

We’ve had the Reno 10x in past camera hands-on and other device reviews, but since then the phone has had numerous software updates which may have altered the results. Of course, key aspects of the phone are its triple-camera setup with a wide, ultra-wide and the unusual periscope telephoto module. The “periscope” name refers to the fact that the sensor lies at a 90° angle to the body of the phone with its lenses, and “looks out” the phone via mirror/prism.

Click for full image
[ Reno 10x ] - [ S10+ (E) ] - [ S10+ (S) ]
[ Xperia 1 ] - [ P30 Pro ] - [ Mi9 ] - [ G8 ]
[ BlackShark 2 ] - [ RedMagic 3 ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

In the first shot here in the forest, I noticed that a lot of phones have issues with colour temperatures, and the Reno 10x is amongst those devices. The main problem here is that it’s veering off to a too blue colour temperature, resulting in quite a lot of greyness of the picture. Phones such as the Mi9 with the same sensor or Samsung’s S10’s have a more accurate representation of the colours relative to the actual scene.

In terms of exposure and HDR, the Reno 10x does well. It still maintains highlights such as seen in the sky – which in this scenario is the correct processing choice. Dynamic range towards the shadows lacks a bit and that’s something typical of the IMX586 that we’ve encountered on almost every phone that employs the sensor.

The ultra-wide angle does slightly better on the colour temperature. Exposure and HDR are quite good in my view. Detail is also adequate, although not quite the best in class.

The phone doesn’t have a dedicated 2x zoom camera, however the phone still offers this discrete magnification step. The camera here uses the main camera sensor, however it’s not a crop of the 12MP shot but rather a crop of the 48MP native resolution of the sensor. I actually like that Oppo chose to expose this mode as a dedicated zoom button, and it does close the gap towards its 5x optical zoom module.

Click for full image
[ Reno 10x ] [ S10+ (E) ] - [ S10+ (S) ]
[ Xperia 1 ] - [ P30 Pro ] - [ Mi9 ] - [ G8 ]
[ BlackShark 2 ] - [ RedMagic 3 ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

In the next scene, the Reno 10x does well on its main camera and wide angle.

It’s in zoom scenarios like this one where the 5x optics of the Reno 10x make sense. The problem however is that when comparing the shot to Huawei’s P30 Pro 5x zoom module, the Reno just looks blurry. Rather than the optics being out of focus, to me it looks like the camera is employing excessive noise reduction – either that or the OIS isn’t nearly as performant as what we see on the P30 Pro.

Click for full image
[ Reno 10x ] - [ S10+ (E) ] - [ S10+ (S) ]
[ Xperia 1 ] - [ P30 Pro ] - [ Mi9 ] - [G8 ]
[ BlackShark 2 ] - [ RedMagic 3 ] - [ Pixel 3 ]

On the main and wide sensors, the Oppo are a bit lacking in colour. The sensors also don’t have sufficient dynamic range and DTI to properly capture the petal detail of the flowers. On the zoom lens, although differentiating itself to other phones, it largely lags behind the P30 Pro when it comes to exposure, colour as well as detail.

Click for full image
[ Reno 10x ] - [ S10+ (E) ] - [ S10+ (S) ]
[ Xperia 1 ] - [ P30 Pro ] - [ Mi9 ] - [G8 ]
[ BlackShark 2 ] - [ RedMagic 3 ] - [ Pixel 3 ] [ iPhone XS ]

Even in more friendly scenarios such as this one, the telephoto lens of the Reno doesn’t match up to Huawei’s implementation. The result is just blurry and lacks sharpness.

Click for full image
[ Reno 10x ] - [ S10+ (E) ] - [ S10+ (S) ] - [ Xperia 1 ] - [ P30 Pro ]
[ Mi9 ] - [ G8 ] - [ BlackShark 2 ] - [ RedMagic 3 ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

In indoor shots, the Reno 10x does ok, although we’re again seeing some dynamic range limitation of the IMX586 such as clipped blacks.

Daylight Camera Conclusion

The OPPO Reno 10x daylight camera performance doesn’t particularly stand out much compared to the competition. It’s got the same IMX586 camera sensor as many other phones we’ve tested in the past, however I feel that Oppo’s post-processing calibration isn’t quite the best out there. I vastly prefer Xiaomi’s Mi9 results in terms of colours and HDR, albeit Oppo has the hardware advantage of having OIS on the main sensor. The processing differences also translate to the wide-angle lens, it’s a good unit and behaves relatively well, it’s quite good but also doesn’t particularly stand out too much.

The periscope telephoto lens of the phone has disadvantages. The first aspect is the same I’ve encountered on the P30 Pro a few months ago – and that’s the question of exactly how useful 5x optical magnification is. The problem isn’t the magnification itself but rather levels before it, there’s a notable quality gap between 3x and 5x that isn’t covered well by the hardware. The other disadvantage is that this is meant to be a selling point of the phone and is the very namesake of the device, yet Oppo very much lags behind Huawei and the P30 Pro in the quality of the shots that the module is able to product. The P30 Pro just has significantly better results in terms of sharpness, colour and exposure.

Overall, the Reno 10x is a relatively non-eventful camera experience in daylight. It’s not bad, but it’s also not great. For a camera focused phone I had expected a bit more out of the unit.

Battery Life Camera - Low Light Evaluation
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  • Alistair - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    Everytime I get excited by new phones I check the weight and am shocked at how heavy they are. The iPhone XR is very wide and heavy also, all these phones are 190g to 250g.

    I'll take the LG G8 or Samsung S10 just for the weight savings (150-160g), I'll keep the notch or hole instead.
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    Wholeheartedly agree. Reply
  • close - Saturday, September 21, 2019 - link

    Phones get bigger and the weight scale of phone materials tends to follow the famed "premium feel" scale (polycarbonate<aluminum<glass<ceramic<steel) promoted for years.

    This is larger than an S10+ or a G8 but other than that is there anything in particular that would make it heavier than any other phone with Gorilla Glass front and back and steel frame? Wonder if the mechanical motorized slide-out camera is a major contributor.
    Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    Wow, the thing that matters the absolute least out of every aspect of a phone.. Reply
  • Alistair - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    If you use it a lot and you feel fatigued because it is too heavy or hard to hold, that is the most important aspect of a "mobile" phone. Reply
  • Alistair - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    Like how people don't care about the weight of their laptop, unless their use case is carrying it around in their backpack all day. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    It's not the end of the world.
    250g isn't significant, I work out... If it's an issue for you, perhaps you should too?
    Reply
  • antifocus - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    It's about the perception of the weight, the extra 250g can very well make you uncomfortable during travel. Reply
  • nils_ - Sunday, September 22, 2019 - link

    That's the part where I care about it the least, though I generally don't care as much about the weight or height. If the compromise is between weight/height and performance/cooling, I'd rather have more performance. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, October 6, 2019 - link

    Whimp. Reply

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