If there’s one smartphone that has truly impressed us so far this year, it has got to be the Huawei P30 Pro (Review). Until now, it has been the only smartphone in the market to offer 5x optical zoom and an equally impressive 10x hybrid zoom. Then there’s its maddening 50x digital zoom capability.

However, all this breakthrough engineering comes at a rather steep price of Rs. 71,990 in India. The phone did make a good case for itself considering it was the only option out there with such camera capabilities, and we can see why Huawei was charging this premium. However, with the ongoing trade ban with the US, the future of Huawei smartphones seems murky at best. Which begs the question — does it still make sense to plonk down so much cash on a phone that has a rocky future? And are there any worthy alternatives to it?

Incidentally, Oppo has been teasing its long optical zoom technology for a few years and during the Mobile World Congress this year, finally unveiled it. Cut to a few months later and we already have the first fruits of this labour — the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom (Review). With a starting price of just Rs. 39,990, the phone features flagship-level specifications but more importantly, it has 6x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 60x digital zoom. Going by its pricing, the Reno 10x Zoom has the OnePlus 7 (Review) and OnePlus 7 Pro (Review) as direct competitors, but considering its camera capabilities, we think the Huawei P30 Pro is also a target.

So how do the cameras on the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom and Huawei P30 Pro compare against each other? We decided to find out.

    Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Huawei P30 Pro
Primary Camera Resolution 48-megapixels 40-megapixels
Sensor Sony IMX586 Sony IMX650
Aperture f/1.7 f/1.6
Autofocus PDAF PDAF
Stabilisation Optical Optical
Telephoto Camera Resolution 13-megapixels 8-megapixels
  Aperture f/3.0 f/3.4
  Stabilisation Opitcal Optical
  Optical zoom 6x 5x
  Hybrid zoom 10x 10x
  Max digital zoom 60x 50x
Wide-angle Camera Resolution 8-megapixels 20-megapixels
  Aperture f/2.2 f/2.2
  Autofocus No Yes
Additional Camera   NA Time of Flight sensor (for depth)

Selfie Camera

Resolution 16-megapixels 32-megapixels
  Aperture f/2 f/2

 

Looking at their specifications, both phones have similar camera setups, except for an additional fourth ToF sensor in the P30 Pro, for depth information. Both have impressively large apertures, optical stabilisation for both the primary and telephoto cameras, and separate wide-angle cameras. Both the primary sensors perform 4-in-1 oversampling to give you 12-megapixel and 10-megapixel images on the P30 Pro and Reno 10x Zoom respectively.

As with all our camera comparisons, the camera settings were kept at their defaults. It’s time to see if Oppo’s relatively affordable offering can upstage Huawei’s premium flagship.

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Daylight landscapes

Our first landscape test has a mix of different colours and textures, and both phones get off to a great start. They both produce a fairly neutral colour tone, details are very good even around the sides of the frame, and noise is suppressed well. The P30 Pro has a slightly higher exposure on the building in the middle and textures are mildly sharper, especially on the building to the right. Overall, we’d call this one a tie.

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Winner – Tie

 

Our second test shot features plenty of primary colours, taken on a sunny afternoon. Once again, it’s pretty neck-and-neck between the two phones, but here, we’d pick the P30 Pro as the winner because it manages noticeably better detail in background objects such as the trees.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Daylight close-ups

In our first close-up test, we picked this house fly, which is a pretty challenging subject. Both phones appeared to get the fly in focus when we were shooting it, but upon closer inspection, the P30 Pro clearly has the better shot. The focus is sharp and details are very good. We didn’t use the phone’s Super Macro mode for this, even though it automatically switches to the wide-angle sensor when you go really close to a subject.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

In our second sample, it’s the Reno 10x Zoom that pulls ahead, capturing natural colours, excellent detail, and smooth bokeh. The P30 Pro does a decent job too, but its AI tends to boost colours a bit too much and the bokeh is a bit too aggressive, blurring out portions of the petals too.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Low-light landscapes

At dusk, the Reno 10x Zoom’s AI automatically engages a low-light mode, which shoots multiple frames and combines them for the final result. The final output isn’t very pleasing though, as the details in the sky were smoothened out and the image was rather dull overall. The P30 Pro on the other hand manages excellent detail in foreground and background objects and exposes the whole scene a lot better.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Our second sample was taken at night, and here, we once again see the P30 Pro delivering a more natural-looking shot. The level of detail is not bad and the scene has good contrast. The Reno tends to brighten the image, which results in a slightly washed-out look.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Low-light close-ups

With close-ups, the Reno stays true to the lighting around and captures a more realistic shot, while the P30 Pro boosts colours and exposure for a brighter image. Looking at a 100 percent crop of the flowers, the Reno 10x Zoom produces a slightly noisy image, compared to Huawei’s cleaner output. Even though it’s not the most realistic, we’d pick the P30 Pro here simply because it looks better.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

In our second sample, the P30 Pro once again produces better exposure and detail. The white balance is corrected nicely and there’s good detail and exposure on objects in the background too. Upon zooming into the flower basket, the photo from the P30 Pro has little to no noise, compared to the Reno 10x Zoom. The later is also produces a pleasing looking shot but details are a bit soft.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Portrait

With portrait shots in daylight, the Reno 10x Zoom easily wins this test as it has better white balance and more natural skin tones. There’s also very good detail on our subject’s face and clothing. The P30 Pro captures sharper details on the background objects but its greenish colour tone doesn’t look very good.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Both phones have a ‘Portrait’ mode, but you can’t adjust the background blur before or after you’ve taken the shot on either phone. The P30 Pro has a workaround for this, called Aperture mode, which lets you make such adjustments. For this test though, we used both phones’ ‘Portrait’ shooting modes.

Here, both devices manage an uncannily similar level of background blur and edge detection is very good. Colours are rendered well too, but this round goes to the Reno 10x Zoom once again, for having a more accurate colour tone.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

With objects, both the Reno and the P30 Pro do very good job with edge detection, colours, and detail, but we still prefer the shot from the Reno as the exposure is slightly better.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Selfie

When shooting selfies under good light, the P30 Pro does a better job with exposure on our subject and the background, although the colours look a little muted. The Reno 10x Zoom produces a more vibrant image, with better skin tones, but at the cost of blowing out some of the highlights on our subject’s face and overexposing the background a bit. Since we have to pick, we’d go with the P30 Pro for its more balanced exposure.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

At night and under decent artificial lighting, both phones capture average details on our subject’s face but the P30 Pro once again does a slightly better job with the exposure. The Reno produces warmer skin tones but the highlights on our subject’s t-shirt and face are blown out.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

The P30 Pro uses the screen flash to brighten up our subject’s face, while the Reno 10x Zoom uses a fill light which is clearly not as effective. Due to this, we’re left with a deep orangish skin tone from the glow of a nearby light. The P30 Pro has better white balance and our subject is better lit, but details continue to be average.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

With Portrait mode, the P30 Pro once again has the better exposure, but it also forgets to blur a portion of the slide in the background. The Reno blurs the right objects in the background but fails to get the edge of our subject’s face very accurately. Because of the huge blunder by the P30 Pro, we have to give this round to the Reno.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Zoom

One of the primary reasons for picking up one of these phones is the zoom camera. The Reno manages a greater optical zoom compared to the P30 Pro, but both do the same 10x hybrid zoom.

The P30 Pro sharpens pictures quite a bit before saving them, which is why they look crisper and more vivid with optical zoom, compared to the Reno. The latter also manages good detail but the image is missing that same level of sharpness. With human subjects, the P30 Pro has a very heavy post-processed look due to the high contrast, while the Reno produces a more balanced shot. Overall, we’d pick the Reno, not only for its higher level of zoom but also its more natural looking photos.

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Winner – Tie

 

In low-light, the P30 Pro simply does a 5x digital zoom using its primary sensor since the f/3.4 aperture is too narrow to let enough light in. The Reno on the other hand still uses its telephoto sensor which has a slightly wider f/3 aperture. It doesn’t produce a very bright image but it stays true to the scene.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

At the 10x hybrid zoom level, once again both phones do a very good job with details. The P30 Pro produces a slightly sharper image again, but the Reno is not too far behind. The P30 Pro produces better detail on our subject’s face, clothing, and even the wall behind him. The skin tones are boosted slightly but the result still workable.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

In low light, the P30 Pro actually switched to the telephoto camera for this shot. Details are not great but it’s the same case with the Reno too.

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Winner – Tie

 

The Reno can do 60x digital zoom, compared to the 50x on the P30 Pro. However, despite OIS, it’s still very tricky to get a stable shot as even minute movements are amplified. Don’t expect great details, even when shooting in daylight. In terms of reach though, the Reno 10x Zoom does get you a bit closer to your subject, compared to the P30 Pro.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Wide-angle

A wide-angle lens lets you capture more of a scene in one frame. Here, when shooting in daylight, the Reno manages a more pleasing shot, with good colours and detail. However, in the second scene, the P30 Pro does a better job at exposing the sky in the background.

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Winner – Tie

 

At night, with Night mode enabled on both phones, it’s the P30 Pro that does a better job with colours, detail, and exposure.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Night mode

Both phones have dedicated ‘Night’ shooting modes. For the Reno, this is automatically triggered even in Auto mode, while on the P30 Pro, you’ll have to select it manually. In our first scene, the P30 Pro has a clear lead over the Reno.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

In close-up shots, the P30 Pro once again captures better colours and details compared to the Reno, which delivers washed-out results.

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Winner – Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Panorama

Panoramas are easy to capture on both phones. Unfortunately, both overexpose the sky quite bit, but the stitching is done well and colours are good. The P30 Pro has slightly better contrast.

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Winner – Huawei P30 Pro

 

Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Video

4K video is standard on both phones, but the Reno can shoot 4K at 60fps while the P30 pro tops out at 30fps. Under good light, the P30 Pro does a good job with stabilisation, and details are sharp, but colours are slightly boosted. The Reno doesn’t have very good stabilisation and detail isn’t as good as the P30 Pro, but colours are slightly more balanced. At night, the Reno delivers cleaner footage but that’s because there isn’t any stabilisation. The P30 Pro offers smoother video at the cost of slight distortion when you move about.

At 1080p, colours are a lot more balanced on both phones. Here, the Reno delivers very good stabilisation. Details are equally good across both phones so it’s really hard to pick a definitive winner. In low light, the Reno beats the P30 Pro by capturing steadier footage with little to no distortion due to the electronic stabilisation.

When using zoom for video, the Reno doesn’t switch to the telephoto camera, and instead simply does a digital zoom using the primary sensor. You can only go up to 10x. The P30 Pro on the other hand uses the telephoto camera, which is why video is a lot clearer. Here, you can zoom all the way up to 15x.

The front cameras of both phones are capable of shooting at up to 1080p resolution. In daylight, both phones produce good quality footage. The P30 Pro handles backlit scenes a lot better, however we prefer the colours from the Reno.

Winner- Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

Verdict
We were impressed with the capabilities of the P30 Pro when we reviewed it, and now, compared to the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom (Review), it still excels with its telephoto camera, selfies, night, and macro shots. However, what’s really impressive is that the Reno isn’t far behind the P30 Pro in terms of image quality and capabilities. In fact, it has greater optical zoom, produces more neutral colours, and does a better job with video in low light. The fact that Oppo is offering these features at a starting price of just Rs. 39,990 is the icing on the cake.

For all those hesitant about picking up a Huawei phone now — and we wouldn’t blame you — the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is an excellent alternative and is much more affordable.



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