OPPO has been in the Indian market for a significant time, and many of its devices over the years have been quite impressive. Take the premium Find X for instance. It launched with triple pop-out cameras and an industry-leading screen-to-body ratio back in 2018 when bezel-less displays had just started to become a thing. It has since seen a sequel called the Find X2 Pro (review) which was also quite loaded. However, OPPO’s recent Reno series confuses me a bit, despite its unique design and features.
The first device in the Reno range was the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom (review). With its unique sharkfin pop-up camera and powerful internals, the device was a proper affordable flagship and a strong rival to the OnePlus 7 (review). The company reverted to mid-range specs on the Reno2 (review) but still kept the signature look and feel on the device. The Reno3 Pro (review) which came next was devoid of the signature shark-fin pop-out camera, had a slightly weaker chipset, and a very bland design. Seeing the diminishing identity of the Reno brand and depreciating performance, I was sceptical of the next launch. OPPO kind of regained its premium identity with the Reno4 Pro but lacked a bit in the performance department. Now with the newly announced Reno5 Pro 5G, the Chinese smartphone giant has come out with all guns blazing. It is the first phone in India launching with the 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ 5G chipset, has a really premium aesthetic and is backed by all the camera hardware that formed the hallmark of previous Reno phones. Priced at Rs 35,990, the Reno5 Pro 5G is taking a significant chunk from your wallet, but does it live up to its hype? Let’s find out in this detailed review of the phone.
The OPPO Reno5 Pro may quite possibly the most exquisite-looking phone in its price range. The MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset adds a significant performance boost from the last generation, the cameras are a work of art and the charging speeds are ridiculously fast. Apart from a slightly inflated price, there’s really no negative on the Reno5 Pro. You could also make a case around the gimmicky AI Highlight Boost video recording around which OPPO has marketed the device. However, if it’s a flagship experience on your mind, the OnePlus 8T (review) or the Galaxy S20 FE (review) would be a better choice.
Design and display
- Display: 6.5-inch FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080)
- Refresh rate: 90Hz
- Panel: OLED
- Connectivity: USB Type-C
The Reno5 Pro keeps quite a few of the design choices seen on the Reno4 Pro. OPPO has opted for a matte frosted glass finish on the back which has the added benefit of not attracting fingerprints while looking super-premium. A quad-camera housing protrudes from the chassis’ top-left making the phone wobble on a flat surface. The sides curve smoothly and the device nestles comfortably in my palm. The Reno5 Pro is also extremely light at 175gm and measures about 7.6mm in thickness, both of which amplify the in-hand feel of the phone. OPPO’s colour scheme has been dubbed as the Reno Glow process and I have received the Astral Blue variant. Now, it seems like a shame to slap a case on the device but the back, while fingerprint resistant, is not shatterproof. OPPO has been generous enough to provide a clear silicone case which should help prevent damage in case of accidental falls, while displaying the full beauty of the design.
Other aspects of the phone include slim power and volume rocker buttons thanks to a thin frame which is sandwiched between two curved panels. The bottom of the phone bears a Type-C port along with the speaker grille and a dual-SIM slot. The thin design means that there is no room for the headphone jack and it is a tradeoff that I have made my peace with. In essence, the Reno5 Pro exudes the looks of a device much more premium than what its price tag would have you believe. The glossy finish along the rails is impeccable, the matte finish feels great to the touch, the weight is feather-light and the colour goes very easy on the eye.
Coming to the front we see the 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with FHD+ (2,400×1,080) resolution and a single punch-hole for the selfie shooter. The screen bears a 90Hz refresh rate and the sides of the screen curve down slightly just like the Reno4 Pro. OPPO has also provided a fairly good 180Hz touch sampling rate as well for a smoother response. The lack of bezels around the screen provides an immersive experience and OPPO is claiming a 92.1 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The display itself shows vivid colours and variety of customisation options. The OSIE visual effect toggle amps up the saturation levels and there is the option to customise the display’s colour temperature as well. The usual dark mode, eye comfort and auto brightness toggles are also present. Then you have an option to switch between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rate, with the latter working exceedingly well. Finally, there is an option to customise the always-on display and edge lighting for notifications. The OPPO Reno5 Pro is HDR10+ certified but only Amazon Prime supports full HDR content and Netflix users will have to be content with HD for now. The screen can go up to a healthy 1100nits of brightness so sunlight legibility will not be an issue. Also, the panel is SGS Certified as an “SGS Eye Care Display” which should provide more protection to your eyes while viewing content. Amongst the horde of affordable flagship phones in the market, I really believe that the Reno5 Pro is a strong contender for having the best displays in its segment.
- Rear cameras: 64 MP, f/1.8 primary, 8 MP, f/2.4 ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 2MP mono
- Front camera: 32MP, f/2.2
- Video: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@30/60/960 fps
As I had mentioned above, the Reno5 Pro brings in most of the camera hardware from previous Reno phones. You get a quad-camera layout with a 64 MP primary sensor which has the ability to take 108MP photos like the Reno3 Pro. The other lenses are an 8MP ultra-wide shooter, along with a 2MP macro and 2MP mono sensors. Let’s talk first about daylight photography which has been central to many OPPO phones as of late. The colour reproduction on the OPPO Reno5 Pro is quite impeccable with shades of green on the trees or the blue of the sky in real life matching with the final processed shot. The primary lens employs the usual pixel-binning technology to push out highly detailed 16MP shots. You have the option to get in more details and resolution with the 64MP mode. However, the phone has an Extra HD mode which will use sub-pixel interpolation to churn out 108MP shots. For a more detailed understanding of how that happens, you can check out my Reno3 Pro review. Sure enough, pictures clicked using Extra HD show dimensions of 12,032 x 9,024 pixels which is what a 108MP sensor would generate. The advantage is that you can zoom in quite extensively with any given picture to find small details that would’ve been difficult to spot with the normal pixel-binned shots. Even so, shots only turn out great when the lighting is ample. For most users, regular pixel-binned shots are going to work out well with the dynamic range and exposure handling being on point. Also, there is the AI Scene Enhancement which works exactly like advertised, although I’m not always a fan of its over the top colour enrichment in several scenes. Even without the AI optimisations, Reno5 Pro can produce breathtaking shots in almost all lighting conditions.
The ultra-wide sensor has a 120-degree field of view but the shots can get slightly warped at the sides. The overall detailing and focus are generally quite good around the centre but they starts going soft at the edges. Colour temperatures are maintained but the sensor loses a lot of exposure in shots when the lighting drops. As for the macro shooter, I didn’t hold a lot of expectations from the 2MP sensor but I was surprised at how good the colour reproduction and fine details were. A lot also depends on the amount of light falling on the subject, but in general, you will be pleased with the results. The mono lens is there to add a proper monochrome filter to your portrait and regular shots but otherwise serves no practical purpose other than to pad up the camera system. Night photography with the primary lens has me impressed with shadows and detailing being drawn out amicably. OPPO is also bragging about its new Ultra Dark Mode which is said to “capture what is almost invisible to the naked eye”. However, during my time with the phone at night, I saw that the phone’s automatic scene detection did a better job at preserving details, keeping noise low and controlling the exposure than what the dedicated Night Mode could do.
The highlight of the Reno5 Pro is improvements in the video department, particularly something that OPPO is calling AI Highlight Video. Much like AI Scene Enhancement, the phone will pump up colours and saturation in your video while at night the device will amp up the exposure. The results are mostly a mixed bag. On one hand, the sensor is extremely quick while detecting the scene you are shooting (buildings, landscape, foliage and more) but the colour boost is not always to my taste. It is, however, the kind of feature that will definitely appeal to viewers on social media, which I believe is the intention. The night time videos are definitely much better with AI Highlight turned on and the exposure calibration works quite well but noise still manages to creep in. Overall I would say not to put too much faith around AI Highlight video as I prefer more realistic colours while shooting. However, I do believe that this being a software feature, future updates are surely going to improve it. You can check out a sample video of AI Highlight over here – Daytime and Nighttime
Other features include the Dual Video Mode which will allow you to simultaneously shoot from the front and rear cameras in a split window on the screen. The phone can record a maximum of 4K video but only at 30 fps. 1080p videos can be recorded on 30 and 60fps while 720p can go up to 960fps for slow-mo shots. For stabilised shooting, the Reno5 Pro also supports Ultra Steady Video 3.0 which works again works well only with significant lighting and you can only shoot 1080p videos with it.
On the front of the phone is a 32MP sensor which is housed in the punch-hole. Selfies are quite detailed with facial features not being as oversharpened as I’m used to seeing on OPPO devices. Skin tones also match up with real-life although the horde of AI modifications in real-time can dramatically change your face. Perhaps something that will help today’s Instagram generation. The exposure and dynamic range are also up to the mark while the background separation for the portrait mode is exceptional. You can also shoot up to 240fps for a front-facing slow-mo video.
Performance and Software
- Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 1000+
- RAM and storage: 8GB + 128GB
- Software: ColorOS 11 based on Android 11
The 7nm based MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC has been out for a while and now finally it has made an appearance in the Indian market. While not a flagship-level chipset like the Snapdragon 865 or the Exynos 990, the Dimensity 1000+ is certainly a cut above any mid-range offering from Qualcomm or Samsung. I ran a couple of benchmarks on the Reno5 Pro 5G and came out pretty impressed. On Geekbench single-core and multi-core, the device scored 717 and 3053 while on AnTuTu the overall score on the device was 444,951. For a bit of context the Galaxy S20 Plus (review), a full-fledged 2020 flagship device running on the Exynos 990, had Geekbench scores of 867 and 2,667 and AnTuTu showed 492,438. Near flagship-tier performance aside, the Dimensity 1000+ also boasts additional features such as the HyperEngine 2.0 for improved gaming capabilities and MiraVision for enhanced HDR10+ content. Regular tasks on the Reno5 Pro were performed effortlessly and the feeling of smoothness is amplified with the 90Hz panel. I have the 8GB LPDDR4 RAM + 128GB UFS 2.1 storage version of the phone which is the only one available. Suffice to say multi-tasking, keeping apps open in the background and launching from standby happen quickly and work smoothly.
Gaming-wise, while everyone is hoping for a quick return for PUBG Mobile in India, heavy-duty titles like Call Of Duty: Mobile, Shadow Legends, Asphalt 9 and more ran at nearly the highest graphics and frame rate settings. Call of Duty didn’t allow Max frame rate options to go along with Very High graphics. However, the fact that Max frame rate options are allowed already makes the Dimensity 1000+ a better SoC than the Snapdragon 765G. The power efficiency of the 7nm manufacturing process also means that games draw less battery and heating is mostly under control. As far as running low-end games such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush or Subway Surfer is concerned, there will be zero hiccups.
For authentication purposes, you are getting an in-display fingerprint sensor of the optical variety which works reasonably well as does the face authentication. I had no issues with microphone quality and the single bottom-firing speaker is pretty loud with good depth to it. Lastly, the phone also packs in 5G capabilities as well but given the current 5G infrastructure in the country or lack thereof, I wouldn’t make it a top priority while purchasing. 4G/LTE works well with my test being conducted on Jio’s Noida network and there were no call drops to report.
OPPO’s ColorOS 11 interface has evolved a lot over the years and is also largely free from bloatware which helps in a smooth experience. I mean I still have no love for the icon pack and irritating prompts to sign up for an OPPO ID, but navigation options have improved dramatically. There’s a new FlexDrop feature which lets you multitask easily with a resizable, floating window of the secondary app while the primary app is open. For gamers, there is the Game Space feature which, among other things, will skip the launch animation for any title, shaving off about 15 seconds or so OPPO claims. In my usage, the launch skip didn’t drastically improve the launch time. You are also getting the latest Android 11 and OPPO should provide up to 2 years of Android updates as well. While ColorOS 11 is not the most user-friendly skin, the transition towards a more stock Android-like approach works in favour of the Reno5 Pro.
- Capacity: 4,350mAh
- Charging speeds: 65W SuperVOOC 3.0
- 0-50 percent: 13 minutes
A thin design has not impeded OPPO from packing a relatively good 4,350mAh battery which can easily push the Reno5 Pro for a day on moderate usage. On top of that, the phone also supports the ultra-fast 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 which will do 0-100 percent in 30 minutes and half the battery in about 13 minutes. The phone supports some of the new AI charging features such as optimised night charging. The phone will learn about your charging habits at night and will optimise power input so that your battery doesn’t overcharge and therefore doesn’t age quickly. You can also optimise power consumption while the phone is in sleep mode. I ran PCMark 2.0’s test that returned a score of 11h 23min, which is slightly on the lower side. However, my real-world usage generally pushed the phone to about 6 hours of screen on time which is more than acceptable.
The OPPO Reno5 Pro’s design aesthetic is very much unmatched in the segment. From the premium in-hand feel to the build materials, the Reno5 Pro has all the traits of a much more expensive flagship phone. The Dimensity 1000+ fuels all the performance needs one can ask for except heavy gaming. The software has become more refined with new tricks up its sleeves. The charging speeds are amazing, while the battery capacity is enough to see out your day’s work. The Reno5 Pro is priced a bit lower than what I expected at Rs 35,990. However, if you stretch your budget a bit, you have the option of buying a proper budget flagship like the OnePlus 8T, Mi 10T Pro (review) or Galaxy S20 FE. Yes, the Reno5 Pro banks on some good AI-based photography, a really good design but will somewhat lag behind in performance when pitted against highe-end flagship processors. If you crave a premium-ness in design, combined with reasonably high-level performance and Instagram-able photos and videos, the Reno5 Pro is the perfect option.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Excellent display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Best-in-class design
- Superb photography
- Fast 65W charging
- AI Highlight Video seems gimmicky