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OPPO Reno4 Lite review: Fantastic Design, Good Cameras, Average Performance

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Today we’ll talk about the new OPPO Reno4 Lite. The smartphone offers a myriad of features, a good quad camera, fantastic design and great battery life. But it’s processor leaves much to be desired.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

OPPO is another Chinese brand that has firmly established itself on European markets. The competition between manufacturers of mobile devices is becoming more intense, and it’s the consumer who is winning. To get the attention of a new customer, smartphone manufacturers have to offer something the others don’t have.

OPPO is aggressively marketing its devices in an effort to shape the premium brand image it enjoys in China. One thing I can say for sure: testing the devices of this company is always interesting.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

Until recently, Oppo’s Reno line was mostly associated with the distinctive shark-fin pop-up front-facing camera. But times have changed, and the Oppo Reno 4 Lite has lost the fin, and its body became too thin and light. I am not a big supporter of the “Lite” versions, because more often then not they allow the manufacturers to save money on features.

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What’s so interesting about OPPO Reno4 Lite

OPPO Reno4 Lite is the cheapest of the four in the current fourth edition of the Reno series. Yes, it costs about $430, and the price is quite high for this price segment, but in return we get, among other things, a fantastic AMOLED screen, great photos, very good overall performance and ColorOS 11 based on Android 11.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

Obviously, however, the manufacturer had to save on something, which is why there’s no increased screen refresh rate, inductive charging, water resistance, or 5G, which is hot this year. The price is steep for this segment, but take a closer look, and the phone will win you over. Does OPPO have an ace up its sleeve? Let’s check!

But first about its technical characteristics.

OPPO Reno4 Lite full specifications

NETWORK Technology GSM/HSPA/LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2020, September 28
Status Available. Released 2020, September 28
BODY Dimensions 160.1 x 73.7 x 7.4 mm (6.30 x 2.90 x 0.29 in)
Weight 164 g (5.78 oz)
Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic back
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED, 430 nits (typ)
Size 6.43 inches, 99.8 cm2 (~84.6% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
PLATFORM OS Android 10, ColorOS 7.2
Chipset Mediatek MT6779V Helio P95 (12 nm)
CPU Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU PowerVR GM9446
MEMORY Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
Internal 128GB 8GB RAM
UFS 2.1
MAIN CAMERA Quad 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video [email protected], [email protected]/120fps, gyro-EIS
SELFIE CAMERA Dual 16 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1/3″, 1.0µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Features HDR
Video [email protected]
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
NFC Yes
Radio FM radio
USB USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERY Type Li-Po 4015 mAh, non-removable
Charging Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min, 100% in 53 min (advertised)
VOOC 4.0
MISC Colors Magic Blue, Matte Black

What’s in the box

The smartphone came to me in a secure, carefully packed box. Inside, apart from the Reno4 Lite itself with a protective glass on the display, I found:

  • transparent protective case
  • 18 W charger with cable
  • headphones
  • manual, quick reference guide (with information on how to transfer contacts from your old phone)
  • a SIM card eject tool

OPPO Reno4 Lite

So, the set is decent. The cover and the protective glass deserve special praise, because they reduce the additional costs of protecting the smartphone, and, secondly, they demonstrate that the company does care about its customers.

I’d like to add that the more expensive Oppo Reno4Pro had almost identical set, so we can assume that it’s normal for the brand.

How does OPPO Reno4 Lite look?

The first minutes of using a smartphone are always important to me. Sometimes they are critical. But in this case, the first impression wasn’t exactly fantastic. Reno4 Lite looks the same as many other smartphones. But it is quite lightweight and convenient, although relatively large. The back of the case is made of high-quality and durable plastic. I know people who hate phones with plastic bodies, but don’t forget than even more expensive smartphones often have a plastic backplate.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

If the front panel does not particularly stand out, except for the presence of two selfie lenses, then there has been a small revolution on the back, at least with respect to the Reno3. And since in the previous generation model, three lenses required a sizable island that clearly protruded beyond the body, we could only assume that the Reno4 Lite with four lenses would require an entire continent.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

A square-shaped island with rounded corners is really not that big. It also protrudes outside the body, but only slightly. A vertical flash was placed next to the island of cameras.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The back is quite expressive thanks to two shades of black (gray), located vertically and asymmetrically. As I mentioned earlier, I liked the color of the smartphone, also because it is almost matte, so it does not collect stains, fingerprints and dirt.

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OPPO Reno 4 Lite: Thin, light and stylish

The first thing that catches your eye after taking the smartphone in your hand is its gracefulness and low weight – it’s 7.48 mm thick and only 164 g, so Reno4 Lite is quite thin and relatively light smartphone. It is these two features that give a twofold impression at the beginning. The smartphone is lightweight, it lies well in the hand and can be easily operated with one hand. This is a plus. But, sometimes it feels like a toy. I think I’m just used to heavier phones.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

Plus, the phone’s plastic doesn’t collect fingerprints thanks to the matte finish. You will also not complain about the excessive slipperiness of the case. And the protective case from the box completely eliminates the risk of dropping the smartphone on the floor.

Of course, there are also downsides. The smartphone is not waterproof and feels quite fragile. Some sources claim that the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3+, but neither the manufacturer on their website nor the manufacturer of this glass, Corning, confirmed this. In addition, the main camera module not only protrudes from the structure, but also individual camera lenses protrude above it. It is not very pleasant to the touch and will probably lead to scratches on the lens.

The placement of buttons and ports is usual for modern smartphones. Let’s start with the left edge. It has two volume buttons, as well as a combined tray for two SIM cards or a microSD memory card.

There is only a power button on the opposite side. At the bottom edge, you can see a headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, a microphone and a speaker.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

On the top edge there’s a second microphone.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The buttons are made of plastic and work flawlessly. Each action is accompanied by a characteristic click. However, the location of the buttons sometimes leads to random screenshots when picking up the smartphone (pressing volume and power).

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The design itself is not a breakthrough, but it’s fine. Using the phone is quite comfortable. One-handed operation is not a problem, and the relatively light weight adds comfort when reading or watching TV in bed. Summing up, I will say that in this aspect, Reno4 Lite does not disappoint.

Super AMOLED 60 Hz screen

We are gradually starting to get used to the fact that even a mid-range smartphone has to offer the whole package. And it is almost impossible to win the hearts of fans without a good screen.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

OPPO Reno4 Lite boasts a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen with 2400×1080 resolution and 20:9 aspect ratio, with rounded corners. And it does make a very good impression. There is a large enough notch with the cameras in the upper left corner. Unfortunately, the screen refresh rate is only 60 Hz. Today, even much cheaper smartphones have 90 or even 120 Hz.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

To be honest, the OPPO Reno4 Lite screen surprised me, in a good way. Some may complain about the standard refresh rate. But if you have a well-optimized and efficient system such as an AMOLED screen, then you won’t feel this disadvantage. Moreover, we are dealing with a very high-quality display, despite the fact that this is a mid-range smartphone.

The screen was very pleasant to use, especially since I love AMOLED. All the main parameters worked fine here too. You get pleasant, natural colors as well as perfect black balance. Of course, the image parameters can be adjusted if necessary according to your preferences.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The auto backlight worked well and the display was still readable in bright sunlight. The colors are rich, the viewing angles are perfect, and the individual pixels are invisible. Image is smooth, but of course it cannot compete with panels that have a higher refresh rate, but this does not interfere with the comfortable use of the smartphone.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The sensitivity is high. It is also worth adding that here you will find a fingerprint scanner built into the screen. It works surprisingly well. It is not the fastest reader on the market, but it is very efficient and I don’t remember the scanner ever making a mistake, which makes it comfortable for everyday use. Plus, you can always turn on face recognition, which also works fine.

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And what about performance?

This question is posed by almost everyone who wants to buy a smartphone in the mid-range segment. After all, by now even the affordable devices usually can run even demanding titles. And what about this model?

Oppo Reno 4 Lite is powered by MediaTek Helio P95 processor. It is complemented by an IMG 9XM-HP8 graphics chip and 8GB of RAM. For files, 128 GB of storage is allocated with the possibility of expanding it using an external microSD memory card.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The MediaTek Helio P95 processor was introduced in February 2020. It was created as a solution for mid-range smartphones. But in reality, this is just an updated and improved analogue of the Helio P90. Of course, it is worth noting that the processor also supports HyperEngine technology, which is responsible for intelligent resource management.

In theory, this should lead to better performance of particularly difficult tasks. The graphics chip has also received an upgrade to improve efficiency; thanks to the increased clock speeds, it should achieve 10% higher performance than the Helio P90.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The smartphone is quite efficient and fast. It’s more than capable, as for the mid-price segment. This is thanks to both by the proprietary ColorOS shell and powerful components. It’s not super-fast by any means, but I did not notice any major problems in my daily work and during tests. There is also a large amount of RAM, which also improves the performance. It also allows you to multitask comfortably.

Also, OPPO Reno4 Lite easily runs even heavy mobile games. Effortlessly, even. The experience is also positive thanks to the high quality AMOLED sceen. Only the most demanding games experience frame rate drops.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

However, it is enough to change the game settings to slightly less demanding ones, and you can enjoy the game in full. There’s also no overheating this time. In this respect, OPPO Reno4 Lite is fine. Even while charging, the smartphone does not heat up excessively.

There is not much to say about synthetic tests. These are average figures, which is predictable given the processor and the price. There is definitely nothing surprising here.

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ColorOS 7.2, soon to become ColorOS 11

OPPO Reno4 Lite runs on ColorOS 7.2 based on Android 10. It is no different from other OPPO smartphones, but there is one thing that makes it stand out. It has received air gesture support that recognizes the position of your fingers, allowing you to accept or reject a call. If you think you’ve heard of this technology before, it’s because the Pixel 4 supports it, but thanks to the very advanced hardware of this extremely expensive smartphone. Unlike the Soli chip in the Pixel 4, the Reno4 Lite uses a conventional proximity sensor to detect motion, which is enough for limited use of air gestures. I loved doing this trick to accept or reject calls, but I didn’t use it very often. This doesn’t look like a very useful function; you will probably use at first, but forget about it later. For now, air gestures only work with calls, but OPPO may add more functionality later.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

More details about ColorOS 7.2 can be found in the OPPO Reno4 Pro review. Some users have already started updating to the new ColorOS 11, which is based on Android 11. I will definitely tell you about it in a separate review.

Communication (forget about 5G)

OPPO Reno4 Lite has a dual SIM slot, but unfortunately it does not have support for the next generation of 5G networks. However, in LTE mode, communication and Internet access work fine. To be honest, for most countries the availability of 5G support is not critical right now. Although in the future it is possible. One way or another, we have what we have.

On the other hand, the Wi-Fi connection was stable throughout all tests, both in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. That is, you will definitely not have any problems with Internet access and mobile communications.

On board there was a place for NFC and Bluetooth 5.1 modules, USB Type-C and GPS ports, Galileo, GLONASS and QZSS navigation modules. Everything worked flawlessly during testing.

OPPO Reno4 Lite sound quality

The Reno4 Lite’s Achilles’ heel is definitely its sound system. The built-in mono speaker is mediocre. There is almost no reproduction of low frequencies, sometimes the sound is hollow, and at higher volume levels it is distorted altogether.

The 3.5mm headphone jack saves the day. You can connect the bundled wired headphones, or any others, and enjoy high-quality sound. In the settings, we can enable Real Sound technology, which should improve the sound quality. Does the sound improve? It all depends on which settings you choose. This undoubtedly reduces the maximum volume level and allows manual tone correction.

Security

The biometric system here is basically an optical fingerprint reader located in the screen. The icon displayed at the bottom of the screen informs the user of the location of the scanner. Here I should note that in my opinion the scanner itself is placed too low. Unlocking the phone is accompanied by an animation around the finger on the screen, which we can select in the settings.

The scanner is fast and accurate enough. The process takes about a second, but the animation of the icons is not displayed. We are transferred directly to the main screen, which happens literally instantly. The reader is very reliable, I never had any problems.

OPPO Reno4 Lite also has options to unlock the smartphone using a face scan. The process itself is very fast, but it sometimes doesn’t work if you don’t hold the phone properly.

It is also possible to use biometrics to encrypt applications and create so-called safes.

Battery life and charging

The manufacturer has placed a 4015 mAh battery in the device. This will guarantee you 1-2 days of battery life on a single charge with normal use. During the test, the smartphone rarely lost power in one day, most often I charged it every other day. One charge was enough to chat on social networks, watch YouTube videos, use the camera and all the basic functions of the phone on a daily basis.

How does the charging process take place? With the 18W charger, you can charge the phone from 0 to 100% in just over an hour. An expected, and yet quite good result.

Charge % Time to charge, min
  10% █ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░  9
  20% █ █ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ 15
  30% █ █ █ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ 23
  40% █ █ █ █ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ 30
  50% █ █ █ █ █ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ 38
  60% █ █ █ █ █ █ ░ ░ ░ ░ 46
  70% █ █ █ █ █ █ █ ░ ░ ░ 57
  80% █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ ░ ░ 65
  90% █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ ░ 72
100% █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ 84

Charging speed is good enough, although I’ve tested smartphones in a similar price range that did better.

How good are the cameras in the OPPO Reno4 Lite?

The cameras are very good, regardless of the price of the smartphone. OPPO Reno4 Lite has four on the back and two on the front. On the back, the smartphone has a 48MP main camera, which is accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera; there is also a 2MP mono camera for close-up shots and a 2MP mono sensor for portrait mode. In front, located in the two holes in the screen, are a 16-megapixel main selfie camera and a 2-megapixel secondary camera.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

In daylight, you will get amazing and detailed photos from the main camera. Focusing on objects is very fast. Pictures retain natural colors and have a good dynamic range. This means that the subject between the camera and the light will still have enough brightness to bring out all the details.

Wide-angle shots are also quite good, but the detail suffers a little. The cameras are capable of taking photographs with 10x zoom. These shots are quite acceptable, but they look grainy.

PHOTO AND VIDEO IN ORIGINAL QUALITY

OPPO Reno4 Lite

Photos taken with the Reno4 Lite’s wide-angle lens look pretty decent. Compared to the main lens, there is less detail and a weaker tonal range, but the reward is a broader perspective.

With OPPO Reno4 Lite, you can take decent close-ups. For best results, I recommend using Professional Mode and a tripod.

The device also has a dedicated night mode with which you can take pretty good photos with the main camera. Although the details aren’t always perfect, the end effect is quite positive. The results are understated, which is why I liked using it, although photos taken at night with the ultra wide angle lens will be slightly worse.

The Oppo Reno 4 Lite is a near-perfect smartphone for selfie addicts. Photos from the front-facing cam come out detailed and clear. Special effects are also available in portrait mode. It is possible to adjust the intensity of the blur in the process.

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By default, the cam sets this value to 60 percent, although you can use the slider to select a value between 0 and 100. The function may not always perfectly distinguish both shots, so errors can appear on the outline of objects, but only when the background has a more complex texture.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The smartphone allows you to shoot video in 4K, 1080p and 720p quality at 30 frames per second. The quality of the recorded clips is quite alright. I recommend using Full HD though.

PHOTO AND VIDEO IN ORIGINAL QUALITY

Is the OPPO Reno4 Lite perfect?

Of course, the OPPO Reno4 Lite I tested is not a perfect device, if such a thing exists.

The Oppo Reno 4 Lite is a well-made, beautifully crafted smartphone with a few compromises that can be easily accepted.

Its advantages are a nice screen, a fairly good battery, a slim body and a competent main camera. The phone also has NFC, an efficient fingerprint scanner and a mini-jack for wired headphones. These are exactly the features that might convince some of you to purchase the OPPO Reno4 Lite.

OPPO Reno4 Lite

The disadvantages include the lack of water resistance, a plastic cover, poor audio, lack of stereo, and an unusually designed camera system consisting of two identical eyelets.

Pros:

  • general comfort of use (although not premium level)
  • quality AMOLED display
  • photos and videos are above average in their class in good lighting
  • high-quality selfies
  • enough power for most games
  • proprietary ColorOS 7.2 shell based on Android 10
  • decent battery life, thanks to the 4015 mAh battery
  • in-sceen fingerprint scanner
  • acceptable price

Cons:

  • plastic case
  • no wireless and inductive charging
  • MediaTek Helio P95 is not as powerful as we would like
  • no high refresh rate (90/120Hz)
  • lack of water and dust protection

If you are looking for a mid-ranger with a good screen, an efficient battery, high performance and good camera, the OPPO Reno4 Lite might be right up your alley.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
8
Materials
7
Build quality
9
Ergonomics
9
Display
9
Performance
8
Cameras
8
Battery life
9
Sound
7
Software
9
Price
8
If you are looking for a mid-ranger with a good screen, an efficient battery, high performance and good camera, the OPPO Reno4 Lite might be right up your alley.
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