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Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G review: Design on point, but what about its fancy camera system?

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is currently the most expensive smartphone from Oppo India. Priced at Rs 45,999, it promises to be the best camera system in this segment. You can ask how. Not only does it get a powerful MediaTek processor and Sony camera sensors, but there’s also a dedicated chip called MariSilicon X that handles camera performance exclusively. Oppo says this snazzy hardware will offer great detail in both bright and low light conditions. Apart from that, the smartphone has most of the features that you would expect in this class. There’s 5G connectivity, fast charging support, and a large display with a high refresh rate.

As such, the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G looks really good on paper, but the biggest issue here is pricing. In this space, some will be tempted to opt for the latest Google Pixel 6a, which costs Rs 43,999 in the country. There is also the iPhone SE 3 (128GB) for Rs 46,900. And if you want a smartphone with the latest processor, there’s the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Motorola Edge 30 Pro for Rs 42,999.

However, I would say up front that the Oppo Reno 8 Pro is a good smartphone and outperforms its competitors in a few key areas. But like all phones, it’s not perfect, and the MariSilicon X chip is slightly overrated. I’ll cover all of that in this long-term review.

Design and display of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G

Let’s start with the basic – design.

Oppo claims that the Reno 8 Pro 5G is its thinnest smartphone, measuring just under 7.4mm thick. It might be true, but regardless of the claims, I really like the unibody design. Oppo sent a mint green color variant, but customers have the option to opt for the traditional black as well. I would suggest going for the mint green model as the hue brings freshness to the overall design. If I have to explain the feeling, it’s kind of like going for slim-frame glasses as they maintain an elegant look without making you look too old or too young.

Otherwise, the Oppo Reno 8 Pro looks almost the same as the regular Oppo Reno 8, but this variant gets a glass back and metal frame. As expected, the glossy glass back attracts a lot of fingerprints. In this case, users can use the included transparent silicone case. I find it much better than regular clear cases as it has a touch of neon blue which complements the mint green color.

If I have any concerns about the design, it would be that the camera hump is significant. Still, it blends in completely with the rest of the body if you use a cover, which I assume most users will.

On the front, the Oppo Reno 8 Pro has a large 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,412 pixels, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, HDR10+ support and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

I compared the display to an OLED panel on the more expensive iPhone 12 by playing 4K videos on YouTube and Hotstar.

The Reno 8 Pro prioritizes colors by keeping the display on the warmer side. That means the colors are a bit saturated, but the phone offers the option to tweak the display settings. The iPhone 12 also prioritizes saturated tones, but tries to preserve white balance for a more natural viewing experience. Overall, the content doesn’t look bad on the screen, which is what matters most to customers.

Another nice addition is that there’s support for an always-on display, but I wish the options were as extensive as what sister brand OnePlus offers on their smartphones. Videos on Netflix and Amazon Prime look great, but I’m really hoping Oppo has added support for Dolby Vision to make the content more immersive. This feature is available on the much cheaper Poco F4 5G.

Performance and software of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro comes with MediaTek’s powerful Dimensity 8100 Max chipset, which also powers the OnePlus 10R 5G. The chipset is paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS3.1 storage, which can meet most customers’ needs.

During my long test, I didn’t notice any lag or stuttering when switching between apps.

For number-oriented readers, the phone scored 898 and 3565 in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests — a few points higher than the OnePlus 10R. In terms of GPU, the Reno 8 Pro 5G scored 5,591 with an average of 33 fps in 3D Mark’s one-minute Wild Life test, which is brilliant compared to the competition. Numbers aside, the phone was able to run multiple games like Asphalt 9 and Apex Legends without any sign of heating.

What I don’t like is that the Android 12-based Color 12.1 is cluttered with unnecessary third-party apps that a smartphone of this class should avoid. Some of them can be deleted, but the amount of internal apps makes the whole interface cluttered. Oppo also claims to offer two years of Android OS updates and four years of security updates, which is good to have.

Oppo needs to up its game by promising more years of Android OS updates, something some brands like Nothing and Samsung are already doing.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G camera performance

Oppo has made high claims about the camera capabilities of the Reno 8 Pro 5G. On the back is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 camera sensor with omnidirectional PDAF, an 8-megapixel IMX355 ultra-wide-angle camera with a 112-degree field of view, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The smartphone includes a dedicated MariSilicon X NPU to boost camera performance. Just think of it as an Nvidia graphics card for this phone’s cameras. In Oppo’s words, the dedicated chip improves day and night compute photography.

To a certain extent, Reno 8 Pro 5G lives up to the hype. Still images with the Oppo Reno 8 Pro’s primary camera are brilliant, and the Reno 8 Pro 5G’s dedicated MariSilicon NPU helps significantly to reduce noise and enhance detail. However, the sound is a bit exposed, but details in the background are not neglected.

The ultra-wide camera offers similar performance. In terms of details and colors, it is on par with the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, which comes with a 50 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera. Photos taken with the ultra-wide camera are saturated with a slight loss of detail. The 2-megapixel macro sensor is practically useless, as the camera often fails to recognize the subject and details are patchy.

The 32MP front camera lightens the skin tone, which some conscious users might prefer. The same results were obtained in low light, but performance is inconsistent.

I wish Oppo had added OIS for videos. The MariSilicon X does a good job of making the videos look stable. Scene recognition isn’t smooth and the phone lacks a cinema mode that we see on high-end iPhones. In this respect, the MariSilicon X videography on the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is good, if not the best. The good thing is that the camera app comes with a lot of filters and camera options.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G battery

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is very reliable in terms of battery backup and fast charging. It packs a 4,500mAh battery unit that takes around 30 minutes to fully charge. Best of all, the phone can be charged to around 45 percent in just 10 minutes using the included 80W adapter.

During my testing, the Reno 8 Pro 5G lasted almost a day with Dark Mode, AOD (Always-On Display) enabled, mild gaming, and a high refresh rate.

In my video loop test, the Reno 8 Pro 5G captured a roughly 1 hour and 40 minute time-lapse clip (at 12x speed) that took over seven hours to capture. I find this pressure test helpful as it constantly pressurizes the battery, display and processor (also 4G enabled). The Reno 8 Pro performs well when we compare it to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Xiaomi 12 Pro, which only lasted an hour and offered around 25 minutes of time-lapse video.

On the other hand, the less expensive Poco F4 5G survived for just over two hours because the phone stopped recording the time-lapse video in between to avoid overheating.

Unfortunately, there is no support for wireless charging on this smartphone, which is a must if you’re losing over Rs 40,000.

Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G verdict

I started this review by saying that the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is a good smartphone and outperforms the competition in a few areas. In terms of design, I think it’s the best looking smartphone in this range. It also offers good battery backup and 80W fast charge support, which is better than most of the competition in this segment.

In terms of cameras, the phone can capture sharp video and stills, and the MariSilcon X chip makes a difference to some degree, but the Google Pixel 6a is much better at detecting skin tones. If selfies are your priority, you can opt for the latter. The Pixel 6a only has a 6.1-inch, 60Hz display, though, so keep that in mind.

If a clean Android interface is your priority, you can also check out the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Motorola Edge 30 Pro alongside the Google Pixel 6a, although both phones offer up to 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

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Oppo Reno 8 Pro review 8.5/10

advantages

  • Stunning design with IP52 protection
  • Reliable Cameras
  • fast charging support
  • 120Hz display with HDR 10+ support

Disadvantages

  • No wireless charging
  • Lots of bloatware

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