OPPO has just come out with its latest series of Reno smartphones aimed at the mid-range and affordable flagship segments, comprising the Reno6 Pro (review) and the regular OPPO Reno6. The latter in fact, is the first phone to be powered by the Dimensity 900 chipset in India. Packing in some of the ‘Pro’ features and priced starting at Rs 29,999, the Reno6 has a lot to prove in an overcrowded market segment. In this review let’s see how the OPPO Reno6 fares.
The OPPO Reno6 brings in a unique design to the segment. Its display and battery charging speeds are great, but are already present on cheaper options. The performance is decent enough, but again there are faster alternatives in the market with better gaming capabilities. Overall, the phone seems to be quite capable, but is priced on the higher side.
I’m really impressed with the iPhone 12-esque flat edges and matte finish on the Reno6, which give it a distinctive look amongst the phones in its category. The smartphone feel well built, and can even stand upright without support. The Reno6 is also reasonably thin with its chassis’ thickness measuring only 7.5mm. The metal build adds some weight to the Reno6 but not so much so as to cause discomfort. The glistening pearlescent Aurora colour scheme merges well with the anodised sides of the device and leaves no fingerprints or smudges. There is no headphone jack on the device but at the bottom, you get a USB-C port, a speaker grille, and a slot for the dual-SIM cards. The tactility of the buttons is above average, while the camera bump on the back protrudes just slightly. By all accounts, the OPPO Reno6’s unique design is about as premium as you can expect in the mid-range segment.
The fascia on the Reno6 sports an AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate and FHD+ resolution. OPPO has usually been solid in the display department and you get more of the same on the Reno6 as well. The punch-hole on the top left is of a very unobtrusive nature and blends in with the screen, without affecting the viewing experience. The refresh rate remains ultra-smooth, sometimes tricking me into believing that I’m operating a 120Hz panel. OPPO has made good utilisation of the OLED panel with excellent contrast ratios and pronounced blacks visible on the default colour profile. As usual, colour temperature along with eye-care and dark mode toggles are available in the settings menu. You also get the OSIE toggle for upscaling SDR content to HDR. Brightness levels are quite optimum for browsing in even the harshest of sunlight. Lastly, the presence of HDR10 and WideVine L1 allow for an enjoyable experience on OTT platforms.
In terms of optics, the 64MP primary shooter forms the basis of the Reno6’s triple camera setup. Supporting the primary snapper is an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro sensor while the selfie camera has a resolution of 32MP. OPPO has made a point to highlight its Reno phones as breakthrough image-taking devices. Let’s see how well the cameras on the Reno6 fare in real life.
- Daylight photography is something most phones nowadays are able to get right without much effort. The 64MP sensor works its magic with high dynamic range and on-point colour accuracy. In some cases, the phone prefers slightly saturated tones but the white balance always remains perfect. The merging of grey clouds with the blues of a clear sky on the horizon is outlined quite well. Turning on the UHD mode for ultra-sharp 64MP shots allows you to further crop into shots. I generally keep the AI colour enhancements turned off but if you are in the mood for a super vivid shot worthy of posting on social media, the feature is sure to help you out. Focus and shutter speeds felt fast enough for capturing moving objects. The ultra-wide lens clicks decent pictures with minimal distortion though the colour science is nowhere as good as the primary sensor. Lastly, there is the macro shooter which can be considered as average at best with its 2MP resolution and functionality that delivers if you have ample light.
- Night time photography on the Reno6 was also quite decent, but I did face issues with the amount of time the dedicated Night mode takes to capture a shot. With minimal external light, shots came out a tad hazy and lacking focus. However, where some street lighting is assisting the subject, the Reno6 captures detailed shots with good exposure handling and brings out an acceptable amount of shadows.
- The selfie shooter works quite well in the day but in low-light the viewfinder lags as the hand moves. As a result, you need to keep your hands incredibly still to capture decent photos. The Night mode takes its own sweet time to click a picture but the results are surprisingly good.
A lot of smartphone OEMs are switching to MediaTek’s new Dimensity lineup of chipsets which has been offering a great performance to cost ratio. The Dimensity 900 SoC has been used for the first time on a smartphone and it is definitely a processing workhorse. However, it would have made sense to price the Reno6 more aggressively. Benchmarks show the device gets an Antutu V9 score of 425,094 which is decent enough, but can’t match the likes of the Realme X7 Max (review) or OnePlus Nord 2 (review) which score 708,871 and 611,498 respectively. Both devices are powered by the superior Dimensity 1200 and are priced lower. The day-to-day performance of the Reno6 is quite good, fluid and responsive without any hint of lag. The 8GB RAM and 128GB variant also offers ample memory to work with for an average user. Heavy games do not show a higher frame rate setting and BGMI maxes out two levels below at High.
The fingerprint reader works as advertised as does the face unlock feature. The device misses out on stereo speakers, a feature that has become standard on mid-range smartphones. The single speaker provided at the bottom sounds tinny and doesn’t get loud enough. 5G is now standard with most mid-range phones in India but you’ll will have to wait for the proper infrastructure to be set up in the country. I did not face any issue with the phone’s 4G/LTE connectivity, and there weren’t any call drops on Jio’s Noida network either. The earpiece and microphone worked without a glitch.
On the software side of things, the Reno6 runs ColorOS 11.3 based on Android 11. The interface offers plenty of customisation options, the bloat can be uninstalled, a wealth of nifty utilities are present and regular software updates are on offer too. The 4,500mAh battery on the Reno6 is complemented by a fast 65W charging solution. With regular usage, the battery will usually last for the day with some juice left over for the next day if the correct battery management tools are used. Even so, the phone can juice up in 30 minutes flat.
The OPPO Reno6’s pricing remains its biggest bane over an otherwise well-rounded package of capable cameras, stylish design and good software. The OnePlus Nord 2 for instance, bests or equals the Reno6 in most aspects, while offering the 8GB + 128GB variant at the same Rs 29,999 price. It would be hard to find fault with the Reno6 had it been priced lower.
In sum, the phone is capable enough to get you through all your smartphone needs, and while it might not rank high on pure gaming performance, it certainly scores on looks.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Great daylight photography
- Software experience is decent
- Premium design
- Superfast 65W charging
- Night photography could be improved
- Lacks stereo speakers
- Not meant for heavy-duty gaming