It's a jack of all trades but, judging from my week with it, master of none. Macro photos on fine details and close-ups are often washed out, forcing you to tweak exposure on every photo, which isn't great. The results aren't particularly wow, either. The ultra-wide lens gives nice results in cramped settings, like this pinball arcade. It still manages to pull in a lot of light and detail here.
How about that zoom function? You won't get the impressive 10x zoom seen on the pricier, imaginatively titled Reno 10x Zoom, sadly. And you don't get a default 6x zoom either. Instead, there's a 2x optical zoom (par for the course now), and a 5x Hybrid zoom. Because it's hybrid, combining several camera sensors with some cropping and clever image processing, results can be mixed -- I've seen great and terrible applications of it. When it does work in perfect conditions, it's amazing. Sometimes it's fuzzy and pointless.
Perhaps because it's combining images, shutter speed seems to take the hit -- the coffee shop stand here seems pin-sharp, but the pedestrians are a blur. They weren't walking that fast -- it was a Sunday. Colors and low-light performance are strong, a testament to the advances we've seen in smartphone cameras, but if you're already using a flagship Galaxy, Pixel or iPhone, your shots might appear a little foggy and less punchy. That's the experience I had -- especially with the hybrid zoom. Note the color temperature differences between the zoom modes too.
So while the Reno 2 won't give you a top-class camera experience, it gives you latitude and flexibility to frame shots, to avoid elbowing crowds to get a decent photo at a concert or live event. The Pixel 3 (now supplanted) didn't have any optical zoom, let alone hybrid zoom features. The Reno 2 bests our pick of 2018's camera phones, at least in the telephoto stakes. The Reno 2 also has a new video stabilizing feature that smooths out wobbly footage. It keeps your footage while walking or running pretty smooth, but there's a fair degree of pixel blur too. I don't want to critique the feature too much, however. Whatever Oppo is doing here makes your handheld video much better -- and you're more likely to share or rewatch it.
On the front, the sharkfin pop-up selfie camera still looks cool, but I found the 16-megapixel camera itself was so far away from the screen that the direction of my eyes was, well, off. They were looking at the screen, while the camera floated above it. The screen is a 6.5-inch Full HD Plus (2,340 x 1,080) AMOLED display and takes pride of place on the Reno 2. Thanks to the pop-up camera, it takes up 93.6 percent of the front, with no notch or hole-punch to ruin the effect.