Geek Lifestyle Review: OPPO Reno 3

It may not be the Pro model, but the base Reno 3 is just as impressive!

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OPPO’s new mid-range Reno 3 series is the latest in OPPO’s premium Reno lineup. Though unlike the previous Reno phones, the 3 series ditches the shark fin pop-up camera and instead opts for more standard notched displays. Another thing that makes the Reno 3 different is that it comes in two variants – the base Reno 3 and the Pro model.

While the Pro model is no doubt the true successor to last year’s Reno 2 (given that both phones have the same SRPs), the base Reno 3 is still very much worth considering. In my initial impressions of the phone, I found it to be quite impressive thanks to its rich feature set.

Though does the Reno 3 hold up in actual use? Find out here in our full review of the OPPO Reno 3!



The Reno 3 looks almost exactly like the Reno 3 Pro, with both phones featuring a clean and elegant design. Unlike the Reno 2, the Reno 3 phones no longer have everything at the middle; instead, the camera module and OPPO logo are now on the upper left and lower right of the back respectively. While we certainly miss the look of the Reno 2, the Reno 3’s design is still good-looking in its own right.

Moving to the front, the Reno 3 has a 6.4-inch display with thin side bezels and a waterdrop notch. While it’s not as “full-screen” as its predecessors (or even the Reno 3 Pro for that matter), the Reno 3 still offers a ton of screen real estate.


Binge-watching Factor

The Reno 3’s 6.4-inch display doesn’t just look good though, it’s also a great match for binge-watching because it uses an AMOLED panel. Thanks to this, users can enjoy movie, TV shows, and anime with vibrant colors and sharp output. It also helps that the Reno 3’s screen is quite big, making for more immersive viewing. As for brightness, the Reno 3’s display can get plenty bright, with the screen still fairly viewable even when outdoors.

While the screen is great for binge-watching, the onboard speakers are just okay. While you can definitely watch movies/shows using just the phone’s speakers, I wouldn’t recommend doing so as sound quality isn’t the best, especially at higher volumes. If you plan on having a movie marathon on the Reno 3, headphones or external speakers are highly recommended.


Gaming Prowess

The OPPO Reno 3 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P90 processor with a PowerVR GM9446 GPU; for comparison, the Reno 3 Pro packs a Helio P95 SoC. While it may seem on paper that the Reno 3 Pro has a more powerful processor, in terms of performance, the Reno 3 and 3 Pro are pretty much equal. This is because the Helio P95 doesn’t really add much power, instead it adds support for 64MP cameras and various AI features.

Given this, the Reno 3 performs just as well for gaming as the Reno 3 Pro. More demanding games such as Call of Duty Mobile will run smoothly on the phone in the medium graphic settings. As for games that are lighter on hardware such as Mobile Legends, the Reno 3 can run them at max settings. This makes the Reno 3 a pretty good phone for most mobile gamers.


Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

For its cameras, the Reno 3 packs a 48MP main shooter, a 13MP telephoto (2x optical zoom), an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP B/W depth sensor quad rear camera setup. At the front, the phone has a 44MP selfie camera. Aside from the lower megapixel count on the main camera, the Reno 3 shares the same quad camera setup as the Pro model, meaning both phones take telephoto and ultra-wide shots of the same quality.

While the 48MP main shooter has a slightly lower megapixel count compared to the Reno 3 Pro’s camera, the Reno 3 still takes great shots, especially outdoors with a good amount of light. Shots in these scenarios are of high quality, with good colors and sharp detail. Indoor shots with the main camera also come out great, that is if there’s ample lighting.

For low light photography, the 48MP shooter does pretty decently too, even without using the camera’s night mode. Though of course, night mode still makes for better low light shots, especially in much darker conditions.

As mentioned above, the Reno 3 and 3 Pro take telephoto shots of the same quality, meaning 2x zoom images see no loss in quality, except in low light conditions. Though when there’s not much light, night mode is usable with the telephoto camera which produces better images.

The same can be said for the wide-angle camera. Daytime shots are of good quality while low light images lack in detail and are a bit blurry.

Finally, the Reno 3 takes pretty good portrait shots thanks to the 2MP depth sensor, and selfies with the 44MP front snapper are of good quality as well.


Everyday Reliability

With the Reno 3 performing well for gaming, it’s no surprise that the phone also worked well as a daily driver. For general use such as email, social media, and word processing apps, the Reno 3 did not slow down one bit during my time with it. The phone also handled switching between apps smoothly.

As for battery life, the Reno 3 lasted at around a day and a half with medium use, and it lasted for about a day of intense usage – pretty good battery life overall. Plus, the Reno 3 also has 30W VOOC 4.0 fast charging support, meaning charging is quick. You can even just top it off for a couple of minutes, and it’ll get you a few hours of juice.


Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict – 8.5/10

While it may not have ‘Pro’ in its name, the OPPO Reno 3 is a great mid-range smartphone overall thanks to its good cameras, nice display, and adequate gaming performance. If you’re looking for a premium and good-looking smartphone at a sub-20k price point, it’s hard to go wrong with the Reno 3.

With its price tag of PHP 18,990, I believe that the Reno 3 offers better bang-for-buck than the Reno 3 Pro, especially as it shares most of the Pro’s features. Though if a better main camera is a must-have for you, the Reno 3 Pro might be an option worth looking at.

OPPO Reno 3 Specs:

  • Mediatek Helio P90 processor
  • PowerVR GM9446 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED Display
  • 128GB storage
  • 48MP F/1.8 + 13MP telephoto (2x optical) + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP B/W depth sensor rear camera setup
  • 44MP F/2.0 + 2MP depth sensor front camera setup
  • 3G, LTE (Dual SIM)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Fingerprint scanner (in-screen), USB Type-C
  • 4025mAh battery w/ 30W VOOC 4.0 fast charging
  • Android 10 with ColorOS 7