OPPO Reno8 5G review: a stylish mid-ranger that won’t break the bank

Our take on OPPO's latest Reno series smartphone - the Reno8 5G

OPPO recently took the wraps off the Reno8 5G, which is a watered-down and more affordable variant of the Reno8 Pro we reviewed a while ago. Some of the key specifications of the Reno8 5G include a 90Hz AMOLED display, MediaTek’s Dimensity 1300 chipset, 50MP triple rear cameras, and 80W SuperVooc fast charging speed. Suffice it to say, the device boasts an enticing spec sheet so, let’s see if it warrants a purchase in this quick review:

Verdict

Those looking for a smartphone with a premium in-hand feel, reliable camera setup, and super-fast charging speed will find the OPPO Reno8 5G right up to their alley. However, the handset’s performance and speakers leave something to be desired.

The lowdown

  • The OPPO Reno8 5G looks unlike any other device in its price segment. The handset takes the design cues from its elder sibling, the Reno8 Pro 5G and as such, offers a unique form factor which looks premium and eye-catching at the same time. The phone has been fashioned out of a single slab of plastic that is raised slightly around the cameras. That said, it is hard to tell the phone’s plastic frame just by looking at it. There is a thick coat of paint, with a matte finish atop, which manages to conceal its identity and also, fence off stains such as fingerprints and smudges. What’s more, the handset has a gradient finish, which accentuates its good looks that much more. I was sent the Shimmer Black colourway of the Reno8 5G for the review, which shifts ever so slightly to blue when light hits it at an angle.
  • Other aspects of the phone’s design include flat edges for a good grip and a lightweight design (173 grams, to be exact). Coming to the ports, the device ships with a USB Type-C connector at the bottom, for charging. The phone also has a bottom-firing speaker, a couple of microphones, and a power button, which was within my thumb’s reach and can be found on the unit’s the right spine. The volume rocker is on the left fascia of the Reno8 5G, while the fingerprint scanner is positioned under the AMOLED screen. The only thing I didn’t like about the Reno8 5G design is the size of the camera bump – it’s ginormous and makes the device wobble quite a bit while placed on a table.
  • The OPPO Reno8 5G sports a 6.43-inch screen, with a punch-hole in the top left for the selfie camera. The panel is of the AMOLED variety and the screen bears a Full HD+ (1,080 x 2,400p) resolution and refreshes at 90Hz. The latter works fine across the interface and supported apps. That said, I noticed that some apps from Google’s suite including YouTube and Google Photos could not capitalise on the smartphone’s 90Hz refresh rate. As for the quality, the display exhibits punchy and vibrant hues and offers a high contrast ratio with deep black levels. Additionally, the screen tops out at 430 nits, making it plenty legible under direct sunlight, and the handset is Widevine L1 certified too, meaning you can stream in HD quality from OTT services. With that being said, there is no HDR support, and the display isn’t entirely bezel-less, which takes a toll on the overall viewing experience.
  • At the core of the Reno8 5G lies MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset, which is coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. While you can play around with the RAM – bump it up to 13GB with an additional 5GB of virtual memory, the storage remains fixed and there is no option to expand the handset’s ROM using a microSD card. So, I’d reckon you factor in your storage needs before buying the Reno8 5G. With that out of the way, let’s talk about performance. Despite the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC’s throttling issues in the benchmark tests, the handset didn’t bog down to any activity when I was using the phone as my daily driver. Be it multi-tasking or running power-hungry apps such as Chrome, or scrolling through an array of social media feeds, the device rarely showed any signs of struggle. Be that as it may, the chipset failed to get going with graphically-demanding games such as New State Mobile. The phone was plagued with frame drop, heating issues, and occasional lags. It also didn’t help that the phone’s refresh rate didn’t budge over 60Hz in New State Mobile, as well as other games such as Subway Surfer, Real Cricket 22, and NBA Live.
  • In terms of optics, the OPPO Reno8 5G rocks triple rear cameras comprising a 50MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP macro unit. It’s the same camera setup that can be found in the Reno8 Pro 5G, however, the pricier flagship comes with the company’s Ultra-Clear imaging processor Maricon Silicon X too. The omission of a dedicated imaging chip might affect the OPPO Reno8 5G camera performance, but only after the sun has set. Otherwise, the handset clicked some impressive images. To wit, when the sun was out, the 50MP primary sensor produced shots with adequate details and good exposure levels. The HDR helps with the dynamic range but tends to over-sharpen the image, which does impact the detailing a bit.
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  • The 8MP ultra-wide sensor offers adequate results in ideal lighting conditions, while the 2MP macro sensor is average at best. In low light scenarios, the handset clicked images with reasonable details but the photos were a bit lacking in terms of dynamic range. That said, the cameras were quick to focus and kicked in the night mode utility automatically. The latter did smoothen the details in the frame but kept the noise level to a minimum as well. As for the 32MP front camera, the selfies appeared to be very detailed and sharp. The camera managed to hold true to the subject’s facial details and skin tones, which is great. Lastly, the front camera, as well as the 50MP primary shooter click good-looking photos in portrait mode – the bokeh was mapped accurately along the subject’s edges, and the images appeared quite sharp as well.
  • The Reno8 5G packs a 4,500mAh battery, which should last you a full day off a single charge with moderate usage. I was netting around 9-10 hours of usage with the phone, which mostly included Netflix streaming, scrolling through social media, and playing a game or two on the phone. While the backup might feel a bit less, the handset makes up for it by offering 80W SuperVooc fast charging which can charge the device from zero to 100 percent in about 30 minutes. Software-wise, the Reno8 5G runs Android 12-based ColorOS 12.1 out of the box. While the company has improved the ColorOS custom skin by making it closer to stock over the years, there is still some bloatware.
  • The phone’s in-display fingerprint scanner is reliable and snappy, and so is the LTE connectivity. The handset offered decent 4G speeds on Faridabad’s Airtel network. As for the Reno8 5G’s mono bottom-firing speaker, it is average at best and the unit even crackles at loud volumes.

Final Verdict

For its asking price of Rs 29,999, the OPPO Reno8 5G could have done better in the performance department. In fact, when pit against some of its competitors including the iQOO Neo 6 5G (review), the Redmi K50i (review), and the POCO F4 5G (review), OPPO’s latest struggles to make its mark in both, synthetic and real-world tests. That being said, none of the competitors looks as good as the OPPO Reno8 5G. The handset’s design is something to write home about, while its 80W SuperVooc charging solution offers an amazingly fast wired charging speed. The 90Hz AMOLED screen and the camera setup add to the overall appeal, making the OPPO Reno8 5G a worthwhile option to consider in the segment.

Expert’s rating: 3.5/5

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Lovely screen
  • Super-fast charging speed

Cons

  • Performance could have been better
  • Macro sensor doesn’t add much value
  • Could have used stereo speakers