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News: Technology

Oppo Reno Ace is a $420 phone with a beautiful 90Hz display

CNET logo CNET 11/16/2019 Daniel Van Boom

a hand holding a cellphone: The Reno Ace truly succeeds the Reno 5G. Ian Knighton/CNET

The Reno Ace truly succeeds the Reno 5G. Ian Knighton/CNET
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Oppo's Reno 10x Zoom and Reno 5G phones showed a company angling to escape from the midrange category and establish itself as a maker of ultrafast, fully featured luxury devices. Last month Oppo launched the Reno2 and Reno2 Z but, with both aimed at conscious buyers, neither was a true successor to the flagship Reno 5G. But Oppo changes that with the Reno Ace.

Here's the good news: It's got a beautiful 90Hz display, four cameras and a top-of-the-line processor. Here's the bad news: Right now, it's only available in China.

For 2,999 yuan, which is about $420 (£330, AU$629), the Oppo Reno Ace has impressive specs. The 6.5-inch phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus, an upgraded version of the processor you'll find in phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10  that are twice the Reno Ace's price.

There's also a quad-camera setup that combines a 48-megapixel primary camera with a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle shooter and a 2-megapixel black-and-white camera. There's a night mode, but the phone struggles to deal well with light sources like lamps. That said, the ultrawide-angle lens works well and the Reno Ace shoots fantastic photos during daytime hours.

The star feature may be that 90Hz display.

Most phones have a 60Hz refresh rate, meaning the image on the screen is refreshed 60 times per second. A higher refresh rate means a smoother scrolling experience, and it's something you'll notice immediately on the Reno Ace. The Google Pixel 4 also has a 90Hz refresh rate, but the phone only turns it on sporadically -- when it senses you doing heavy scrolling -- for the purpose of saving battery life.

Importing the phone from China means getting a device with no Google services. Oppo usually releases its key phones in Australia and the UK, however, so stay tuned for news on those announcements.

Key specs

  • 6.5-inch, 2,400x1,080-pixel AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor
  • 90Hz display
  • Quad camera setup: 48-megapixel, 13-megapixel telephoto, 8-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel black and white 
  • 16-megapixel selfie camera
  • Up to 12GB RAM, 256GB storage
  • ColorOS 6.1, based on Android 9.0
  • Headphone jack
  • 4,000-mAh battery
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