OPPO has been in the Kenyan market for a long time now. And it is known by virtually every Kenya native because the company has done a good job selling its trade in the country.
Over the last couple of years, the phone maker has sold itself as one of the few OEMs that produce some of the best smartphone cameras.
And it has delivered.
Save for the now X series that does not ship here anymore, the Reno line has attempted to fill that space with what the company thinks is the perfect balance between the all the things that make a phone great, and an exemplary camera – for the price of about Ksh 40K.
Over the last 10 months or so, the Reno line has been given a shot in the arm based on its release cycle. The Reno3, which is still loved, and can be purchased from select outlets official or otherwise for a fraction of the price that its successors command, is a capable phone with excellent optics and an appealing hardware as a whole.
Then came the Reno4 in October 2020, and we were actually impressed that OPPO could still push the limits of what a good phone means to buyers.
In 2021, the Reno5 was released for the Kenyan market. It can be purchased now for Ksh 41K, but what if you have the Reno4? Or, what if a customer is conflicted between buying the Reno4 or Reno5? Is there something they should know?
Good questions, because this post is dedicated to addressing some of these queries.
The subtle differences
At first glance, the phones look the same, but there are some subtle and bigger differences.
Arrival. The Reno4 was announced in July 2020, and the Reno5 was only released five months later.
Body. Both have a plastic back; the Reno4’s is a glossy type (that doesn’t hide fingerprints very well), whereas the Reno5 features a frosted feel that hides fingerprint smudging.
The frame is also made from plastic.
They also weigh nearly the same at 165g and 171g for the Reno4 and Reno5, respectively.
Display. The differences start being commonplace at the front.
While the Reno5 has an AMOLED panel, the Reno4 maintains an OLED one. They measure the same (6.4” for the Reno4, and 6.43” for the Reno5). Peak brightness is also average for the price at 430 nits for both. The screens could be brighter, and we hope the Reno6 will do something about this.
However, the Reno5 screen refreshes faster at 90Hz, which means that you will notice some speediness in the manner you interact with UI elements. It’s a feature, which has been around for nearly two years, that you can’t live without once you get used to it.
And for the groups that care about screen resolution, OPPO is still stuck at 1080 x 2400 pixels, but it has been established that FHD+ screens are more than enough for all of us. Heck, even Samsung locked the screen resolution of the S21 and S21+ to 1080p+. Reason? Because it is really necessary, and helps you get longer battery life.
Lastly, the Reno5 chin has been reduced significantly from the Reno4’s, so the screen looks more immersed.
OS, Chip and Memory. The Reno4 has since been updated to Android 11 with Colour OS 11. The Reno5 comes with the same software out of the box. You get a lot of features wit Android 11, including the manner you manage notifications, media controls and permissions. It is an awesome experience, to say the least, bearing in mind that the Android version is complemented with a ton of features from the skin overlay namely ColorOS 11.
So, how about the chipset powering the devices? They are actually the same, the Snapdragon 720G. The G should not confuse you because it is still a 4G silicon, unlike others that have the same moniker, but for 5G.
Kenya, as the rest of the developing countries, is far from upgrading its telco systems to 5G. Heck, even the developed nations are yet to leverage the offerings of the technology.
But that shouldn’t stop us from informing you that there are local plans to do so, but they may have been shelved due to unforeseen changes. But not for long.
The last part of this segment is that the two phones under comparison have the same memory options; 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, both at UFS 2.1.
The Noticeable Differences
Perhaps the biggest differences between the Reno4 and the Reno5 are in the name of battery capacity and charging speeds, as well as camera metrics and performance.
Battery. The Reno4 packs a 4015 mAh cell. The Reno5 has a bigger juicer at 4310 mAh.
Whereas the Reno4 is equipped with a 30W VOOC charging technology that tops up the phone halfway through by the 20th minute mark, the Reno5 pushes the limits with a 50W charging brick that fully charges the phone for under 50 minutes.
The Reno5 5G, which is not available here, stretches the technology to 65W that is even faster.
Perhaps the only downside of these amazing charging speeds is that they are limited to OPPO devices, so they are pretty less usefully to devices that use other systems – but not for long, because OPPO is in the process of licensing the solution to other manufacturers such as Anker.
Cameras. The camera placement of the tow devices is the same, but OPPO has done something better with the main snapper.
While the Reno4’s main shooter is still very good at 48MP, OPPO deemed it fit to improve the Reno5 with a 64MP module. While a higher pixel count doesn’t mean anything on paper, we have since confirmed that the tuning under the hood has played a key role in improving photo performance. We are still testing the cameras, and are glad at what the Reno5 is churning out. Because they are more colourful, but the differences between the Reno4 aren’t that exact.
Here are some of our samples.
Others and Conclusion
It has been established that these are more or less of the same phone. Their power is mostly the same, but the differences are demonstrably evident in battery, and camera performance. Simply put, the battery here (Reno5) is bigger, lasts so much longer, and is replenishes very fast at 50W. What more can you ask for in a series that has proved that it can perform admirably, at about Ksh 40,000?
Still, we are finding out more about camera performance and overall usage, and we’ll be back with more information.