Oppo Reno 12 series brings telephoto and AI for less than $1,000

Oppo Reno 12 series launch
Image: Oppo.
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Two new phones and a smartwatch join the Oppo range, as the brand launches the Reno 12 series in Australia alongside a suite of generative AI features.

Including the Reno 12 and Reno 12 Pro, both phones drive a MediaTek Dimensity 7300-Energy processor built using four-nanometre technology, and 12GB of RAM. They also have 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED displays that support up to 1.07 billion colours.

As has become a staple of Oppo phones, the new Reno handsets support the brand’s SUPERVOOC fast charging technology, supplying 80W output. You should get decent use out of the 5,000mAh batteries too, with Oppo claiming “up to four years of optimal battery lifespan”.

After launching the mid-range Oppo Reno 11 F 5G earlier this year, the new devices harken back to the more premium approach of 2023’s Reno 10. Edging closer to the $1,000 mark, the 12 series favours more processing power and premium features.

Photography is the main differentiator between the Oppo Reno 12 and the Reno 12 Pro. The Pro model wields a 50MP telephoto lens that provides 2x optical zoom – a rarity for phones under $1,000. It also has a 50MP selfie lens, while the base model’s front camera is 32MP.

Instead of a telephoto sensor, the base Reno 12 gets a 2MP macro lens for up-close photography. Otherwise, both phones have a 50MP main camera powered by a Sony LYT-600 sensor, and a 112-degree wide-angle lens.

At first glance, the only main omission is eSIM technology, which is supported by increasingly more mid-range phones.

Joining the AI trend

Adding to the hardware, Oppo’s big play is its rollout of generative AI features. Its new phones ship with ColorOS 14.1, the brand’s version of Android 14. This operating system comes with similar AI tools to other Android handsets, in addition to the recently announced Apple Intelligence.

Many of the AI features revolve around photo editing and text recognition. For example, AI Eraser removes unwanted subjects from photos, like Google’s Magic Eraser, and a group photo feature reminiscent of Best Take. Oppo’s spin on generative image creation comes in the form of AI Studio, transforming your photos into stylised digital avatars.

For writing, the Oppo phones tap into Google Gemini to provide assistance and also summarise web pages for you. Arguably the best feature from an accessibility viewpoint is AI Speak. It functions like a screen reader, speaking web browser text aloud. There’s also an AI recording summary feature that produces a written summary of audio files.

However, the catch appears to be limited local functionality. As alluded to by the mention of Google Gemini, you need to have an internet connection to use the AI features.

Oppo Watch X

Joining the phones is the Oppo Watch X, a smart wearable using Google’s Wear OS platform. Said to last up to 100 hours on a single charge, the watch works with Oppo and Android phones alike.

Oppo Watch X Mars Brown
Image: Oppo.

Equipped with GPS and various health sensors, Oppo positions its new smartwatch as a fitness companion. Interestingly, the Oppo Watch X includes two chipsets: a Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 processor plus the BES2700 MCU chip. This reportedly helps drive a mix of performance and efficiency, with the long battery life a clear point of difference.

Other key specs of the watch include a 1.43-inch AMOLED screen – which peaks at 1,000 nits brightness – a 500mAh battery, and an IP68 dust and water resistance rating.

Oppo Reno 12 series price and release date

Arriving on local shores on 11 July, pre-orders start for the upcoming phones next week on 27 June. The base Oppo Reno 12 model – available in Astro Silver and Black Brown – costs $799, while the Pro model – available in Nebula Silver and Nebula Black – attracts a $999 price tag.

By itself, the Oppo Watch X costs $699 starting on 20 June, but a launch promotion means you can get one for free. Between 27 June and 25 July 2024, the watch comes included at no extra cost when buying the Reno 12 Pro. If you opt for the base model, you receive an Oppo Pad Neo tablet instead, valued at $449.

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