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Oppo Reno 8 Pro Review: Style With Substance?

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Oppo’s Reno 8 Pro 5G is the company’s most expensive Reno smartphone in India, yet. Priced at Rs 45,999, it surely looks the part and makes a good first impression, but a quick glance through its specifications and everything appears quite mid-range. Is the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G all about looks or does it pack enough punch with its overall performance and cameras that could warrant its high asking price?

With plenty of similarities with Realme’s GT Neo 3 and the OnePlus 10R (save for its price), does it suffer from the same setbacks as the rest of the competition? I’ve been using the Reno 8 Pro for a couple of weeks and here is everything you need to know before getting one.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G price in India

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is available in a single variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage that’s priced at Rs. 45,999. It’s available in two finishes: Glazed Green and Glazed Black. I received the Glazed Green unit for this review. Unlike its siblings, the Realme GT Neo 3 and the OnePlus 10R 5G that have lower starting prices and offer similar specifications, the lack of variants for the Reno 8 Pro 5G means that this phone will only compete with premium smartphones.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G design

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro’s design sure made a good first impression especially when compared to other smartphones available in this segment. It’s not too slim, but just slim enough with the thinnest point measuring 7.34mm. It’s also surprisingly light at 183g for a phone this big, and that’s interesting because it has a frame that is made of an aluminium alloy that not only looks good, but feels premium. Bonded to the back is a glossy glass panel made of Gorilla Glass 5, that is very good at rejecting fingerprints.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro back design ndtv OppoReno8Pro5G  Oppo

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G has a slim and stylish design made from premium materials such as glass and aluminium alloy

What makes the Reno 8 Pro’s design stand out is the placement of the cameras. The cutouts sit flush with the raised camera module that is actually an extension of the rear glass panel. The gentle curve around the camera module also let me rest my index finger below it, which offered additional grip and made it easier to handle the phone with one hand.

The Reno 8 Pro 5G’s display is flat, but has a gentle curve around the edges that meets the sharp corners of the frame. The display’s bezel is one of the thinnest I’ve come across at this price point. While the bezel around the top and bottom of the display are already quite thin, the left and right sides are even thinner (barely 1.48mm) which gives the phone a very chiselled and modern appearance compared to its competitors.

Oppo might not bring back the fancy designs of the Reno series of the past such as the shark fin selfie pop-up camera on the Reno 10X Zoom (Review), but it seems like a mature step forward because the Reno 8 Pro 5G features an official IP54 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s not as robust as the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G’s IP67 rating, offering only limited protection from dust and water, but the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is the only other smartphone in this segment that gets you something similar (IP52).

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G specifications and software

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max SoC, accompanied by the MariSilicon X NPU which according to Oppo is utilised mainly to assist in recording video. The MariSilicon X NPU isn’t new, but was first announced with the launch of the Oppo Find X5 Pro (First impressions), a premium smartphone which did not go on sale in India.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro side design ndtv OppoReno8Pro5G  Oppo

Placing my index finger below the raised camera module adds to the overall grip of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G

The Reno 8 Pro 5G does not offer expandable storage, but gets dual-5G SIM slots for two nano-SIM cards. The phone supports dual-5G standby along with various standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) 5G bands. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC. In the box, Oppo provides a USB Type-C to Type-A cable, an 80W charger and a transparent TPU case.

In terms of software, Oppo has reserved some of the special bits of ColorOS for its own smartphones. The ability to customise which colours to select from a selected wallpaper for the accent colour and theme, a unique font and Oppo’s O-Haptics (vibration system) are things I did not find on the OnePlus 10R 5G Endurance Edition or the Realme GT Neo 3 (150W), considering both these phones run on different variations of ColorOS.

The O-Haptics system in the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G uses an X-axis linear motor and is very precise with feedback and also works well when used with the phone’s 3D ringtones feature, which is again an Oppo exclusive. Oppo’s floating windows feature, which lets you open multiple apps for sharing in smaller floating windows, also worked quite well. The Reno 8 Pro 5G runs ColorOS 12.1 which is based on Android 12 and Oppo claims to offer two years of Android OS updates and four years of security updates, which is good to have.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro front notifications ndtv OppoReno8Pro5G  Oppo

Daily notifications from the Oppo Themes app can get annoying

What I did not like were the daily notifications from the Themes app that kept asking me to download a wallpaper, theme or even buy an Oppo Reno 8 Pro smartphone. For a phone priced upwards or Rs. 40,000, there’s also a lot of preinstalled third-party apps such as Dailyhunt, Josh, Moj, and PhonePe, to name a few but thankfully all of them can be uninstalled. There’s also a tonne of Oppo-branded apps such as Soloop Cut, O Relax, DocVault, etc which were useful but can still be uninstalled if needed.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G performance

In terms of benchmarks, the phone performed as expected. The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G achieved a score of 7,28,119 in AnTuTu along with 901 and 3,532 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests respectively. Graphics benchmarks were also on par with the competition.

Software performance on the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G was very good. The Dimensity 8100-Max SoC along with the LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage were quick enough to handle multitasking well, and apps were quick to launch. The 120Hz refresh rate display also made the software experience feel quite fluid. Oppo’s choice of going with a flexible AMOLED panel was a good one as it helped keep the bezels very thin.

The 6.7-inch full-HD+ display got quite bright, colours were vibrant, and viewing angles were excellent. It’s definitely a better display when compared to what’s on the similarly priced Realme GT Neo 3 (150W) and the OnePlus 10R Endurance Edition. The Reno 8 Pro 5G’s display also has an HDR10+ certification and supported content in apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video appeared as expected. The phone’s stereo speakers can get quite loud but sounded clear even when maxed-out and had a balanced output.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro front display software ndtv OppoReno8Pro5G  Oppo

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro’s display has very thin bezels on the sides

What I did not like about the Reno 8 Pro 5G’s display was the embedded fingerprint reader, which for some odd reason had trouble reading my fingerprints. These instances were quite random. After some investigation, I discovered that it just needed a bit more pressure from my finger for the scanner to register my input, after which everything worked well.

Gaming performance on the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G was quite good, overall. The phone’s graphite-based cooling system kept the phone running fairly cool both while playing games and when using the camera app. Call of Duty: Mobile performed well at the highest graphics settings possible. Asphalt:9 Legends also worked smoothly without any hiccups but strangely, did not have the 60fps mode enabled like on the Realme GT Neo 3 (150W) (Review) despite having the same core hardware. The Reno 8 Pro 5G’s touch sampling rate of 360Hz when playing fast-paced FPS games felt responsive, but could have been better.

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G’s 4,500mAh battery has not been upgraded in terms of capacity over the Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G (Review), but the 80W charger managed to charge the phone from zero to 52 percent in 15 minutes and completed the charge in just 34 minutes, which is quite fast. The Reno 8 Pro 5G lasted for 18 hours and 25 minutes in our HD video loop battery test. It easily got me a day and a half of actual usage, which is quite good for a slim device. Wireless charging is a miss here as there are smartphones in and below this segment that offer the same.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G cameras

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G has three rear cameras. There’s a 50-megapixel primary camera (Sony IMX766 sensor, but without OIS), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Selfies are handled by a 32-megapixel camera which now packs autofocus. Oppo’s camera interface will feel familiar to OnePlus and Realme users as this is where most of it currently trickles down from. The interface is minimal but advanced options for certain modes can be accessed by tapping on the ellipsis button.

Images captured in daylight from the primary camera looked sharp and clear, with good colour reproduction that was true to the actual scene. The ultra-wide-angle camera had average results with limited dynamic range, meaning there was lesser detail in the shadows.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G daylight camera samples (Top to bottom): Primary camera, ultra-wide angle camera, macro camera (tap to see full size)

It seems as though the macro camera is simply there to fill up the spec sheet as it was quite tricky to capture a usable photos due to the fixed-focus system. Unlike most phones from OnePlus and Realme, enabling the AI scene enhancement feature on the Reno 8 Pro 5G actually did come in use when shooting stills as it managed to deliver better dynamic range, especially in daylight.

Selfies looked sharp and with very good detail and dynamic range in daylight. Selfie portraits also appeared sharp but the phone wasn’t able to expose backgrounds very well. In low light, images looked decent provided there was a source of light nearby. For a 32-megapixel selfie camera with autofocus, I expected better results.

Shooting in low light using the primary camera in auto mode had good results, but the lack of OIS could be felt here as the camera was not able to pick up that granular detail from textures of objects and surfaces. I also noticed blotchy textures in the darker areas. The phone automatically took longer exposures during capture when needed (one-two seconds) and up to three seconds when using Night mode.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro low light camera samples (Top to bottom): Primary Auto mode, Primary Night mode and Night mode selfie (tap to see full size)

The camera’s Night mode is very capable of capturing details that I could not see even with my own eyes, in dimly-lit cityscapes. Still, the overly aggressive noise reduction algorithms meant it was not very useful in such scenarios as it deteriorated the image quality even further because of the longer exposure and the lack of OIS. Low-light photos shot with plenty of street lights came out sharp but with slightly flat textures.

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G’s primary camera uses a hardware-level DOL HDR video recording system that’s aided by Oppo’s MariSilicon X NPU. The system claims to deliver better dynamic range in all kinds of shooting scenarios. However, in my experience, 1080p 30fps video recordings looked average at best and were low on details. 1080p 60fps video appeared very shaky as it lacked proper stabilisation. Shooting at 4K 30fps turned out to be the sweet spot as it managed good details and sharpness along with good dynamic range.

Turning on the AI Highlight feature when shooting video resulted in an unsteady frame rate along with less detail. It also resulted in softer textures with random noise in the darker areas, even when shooting in daylight. In low light, 4K 30fps videos shot in regular mode had the best quality. I found it best to keep AI Highlight switched off even at 4K, as it only tends to ruin the quality of the video.

Verdict

Oppo’s Reno 8 Pro 5G definitely looks the part of a premium Android smartphone. It’s light, fashionable, and feels quite premium even when you consider the Rs. 45,999 asking price. It is hard to find another smartphone that comes close in terms of design and build quality at this price point. Unfortunately, you need to lower your expectations when it comes to the cameras as they aren’t the best, which is a problem given how much this phone costs.

Xiaomi’s 11T Pro 5G (Review) is a solid alternative and it manages to offer better hardware and camera performance (along with consistency), a really good macro camera at a lower price. It loses some points for its slightly chunky design but it offers incredible value with prices starting from Rs. 37,999.

Since the Reno 8 Pro 5G is priced a lot higher than its predecessor, it now goes shoulder to shoulder with smartphones from OnePlus and Motorola. There’s the OnePlus 9RT 5G (Review), which offers good camera performance, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and a 120Hz OLED panel, all in a stylish package from Rs. 42,999 (8GB RAM +128GB storage). Next in line is the Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Review), which at Rs. 44,999 offers the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, quality rear cameras, a 60-megapixel selfie camera, an IP52 rating, and a near-stock Android software experience.

The OnePlus 10R Endurance Edition (Review) and Realme’s GT Neo 3 (150W) (Review) that are priced similarly, also feature similar hardware along with 150W charging capability, if fast charging is all you seek. And lastly, there’s the Redmi K50i 5G (First Impressions) which at Rs. 25,999, offers the same processor as the Reno 8 Pro 5G but with a 144Hz display and a 5,080mAh battery that’s geared more towards gaming.

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G will mostly appeal to a niche set of buyers (or brand loyalists) who will get it probably because of the way it looks, or for its IP rating and fast charging but compared to the competition, it ends up being a bit expensive and doesn’t offer the best value for money.



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