Oppo has a new Reno device out for 2021. The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is the latest mid-range flagship from Oppo. The Reno series is known for providing superb specs for a decent price.
Last year I used the Oppo Reno 2 quite a bit including taking a picture of the Comet NEOWISE. So I am really looking forward to testing the newest Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G. Let’s get the unboxing out of the way to see how the newest iteration performs.
Unboxing the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G
The box contains an insert at the top with a clear TPU case, SIM tool, and paperwork. Once you get past the insert, then inside the box is the Galactic Silver phone which looks absolutely gorgeous. Underneath the phone, we have the 65W charging brick and a hefty USB-C cable.
Hardware Design is simply superb
The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is an absolute stunner of a device. Oppo employs a ‘Diamond Spectrum’ process which creates a magical effect of the back showing multiple colors. When you look at the phone in different lighting or ranges you can see the phone is a completely different color. Oppo also uses ‘Reno Glow’ process to create a matte finish with a subtle glitter finish. This textured finish gives a clean look free of fingerprint smudges. Despite not having a glass or metal finish the back surface on this device screams premium at any angle.
It is just fun to place the phone in front of a mirror or around different colored backgrounds. There’s plenty of YouTube videos showing this effect off and it is really a great differentiating feature of this device. Compared to a glass back device the Galactic Silver looks a lot better in my opinion.
While we are looking at the rear of the device, the clean logo, and an equally clean-looking camera module mean the device looks extremely chic and modern. The lack of extra branding on the rear cover is a definite plus in my book.
The power button has a distinguishing green line across it which is a simple but elegant detail. The bottom of the phone has the SIM tray, microphone, USB-C port, and a speaker grille. The left-hand side rail has the volume buttons in the perfect location for one-hand use. The top has a color-shifting finish plate with ‘Designed for Reno’ and a second microphone.
On the front, we have a large 6.5 inch 3D curved Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The selfie camera punch hole is in the top left corner. There’s a fingerprint scanner underneath the front glass. The bezels are thin all around with a slightly large but not egregious chin at the bottom. Overall a nice clean look once you tap the power button.
Okay besides being a great-looking device, the overall weight distribution and in-hand ergonomics are also superb! I just can’t get over the fact that a large screen phone with a fairly large battery weighs so little! With so much hardware packed inside the phone is only 7.6mm thick and weighs only 173 grams. As far as colors go, Oppo is offering the Astral Blue and Starry Black as other color options although my favorite is the Galactic Silver.
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G sports a stunning Super AMOLED display
The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G has a 6.5 inch 3D curved Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate ensures a smooth user experience while the 180Hz touch sampling rate supports a faster response time. The display has an HDR10+ certification which means an enjoyable viewing experience for entertainment consumption on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
With a 402 PPI pixel density and 1100 nit partial peak brightness, you can count on a great viewing experience in any lighting condition. On top of it, the screen to body ratio is a whopping 92.1% thanks to the slim bezels all around.
The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and as usual, Oppo applies an HD film screen protector from the factory which is a nice bonus.
Additionally, for further customization, you get a lot of options in the Display Settings. For my review, I used Dark mode, Auto brightness, and Default Screen Color Temperature. To reduce eye strain there is a special Eye comfort mode as well. Oppo also has additional Dark mode settings too which you can tweak to your liking.
Last but not least let’s talk about OSIE or OPPO Screen Image Engine setting which uses AI to track eye movement. Apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, TikTok, Instagram all support this mode. I left the setting off since I find that it increases power consumption and also a bit distracting. However, it is always nice to have options for those who may want them.
Performance is almost flagship level
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ processor. The Mediatek Dimensity 1000+ is a high-end SoC with an integrated 5G modem. It includes four fast ARM Cortex-A77 cores at up to 2.6 GHz and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores at up to 2 GHz (Octa-Core with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing).
Furthermore, the chip integrates a 9 core ARM Mali-G77 MC9 GPU, a Wi-fi 5 modem, an LPDDR4x memory controller, an AI processing unit, and video de- and encoding. As one of the first SoCs, the Dimensity 1000 series offers AV1 hardware decoding. The 7nm processor is also very power efficient.
Benchmark scores place it right around the Snapdragon 865 performance. So while not quite 2021 flagship-level performance it should still be just as fast and fluid as the Note 20 series from last year.
In everyday use, there are absolutely no issues with any task – surfing, streaming, or gaming with the Dimensity 1000+. I could not find any difference between the Oppo Reno5 Pro and my S20 FE during my review period. Of course, the 12GB RAM on my review unit didn’t hurt performance either. For gaming, Game Space allows you to further tweak settings to maximize performance or battery life based on the game you are playing.
The bottom line is that this is a snappy device with excellent performance and will not struggle even a year or two down the line.
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G software is Android 11 with some great improvements
Oppo has really cleaned up ColorOS with their latest version. The Reno5 Pro 5G is running ColorOS v11.1 which is based on Android 11 with the December 2020 security patch. Also unlike prior years, Oppo continues to provide timely updates on a regular basis of late which is a good sign.
What I like about ColorOS 11 is that the interface is now much cleaner compared to prior versions. Now, this does not mean that there aren’t a huge gamut of options to tweak and customize the settings. The flexibility to tweak and customize is still there. However, Oppo has fixed the issues of the past to bring ColorOS closer to One UI 3.0 and perhaps a bit closer to Oxygen OS as well. Just like Samsung they now include items from other menus in the submenu at the bottom. Also, the search function has substantial improvements in locating certain settings and is much better than Xiaomi in my opinion.
Another huge improvement is the ability to use Google’s Phone and Messaging apps as default if you so choose. And in certain regions of the world, these are default rather than Oppo’s own apps for the basic call and text functions which is great. And then there’s an easy way to instantly translate text powered by Google Lens. Again this is a good sign of Oppo leaning more on Google’s great apps to do the heavy lifting rather than giving us a secondary Oppo app to deal with.
In summary, I am quite happy with what Oppo has done with Color OS 11. The UI feels fresh and modern, while still giving you more customization options than you’ll end up using. Best part of the software is Android 11 out of the box and regular updates going forward.
Great Battery Life and Ultra-Fast 65W Charging
One thing Oppo did better compared to the predecessor is to bump up the battery capacity to 4350 mAh. So on a full charge, it easily lasts from sunrise to bedtime. Screen-on-time is roughly 5+ hours on average during the review period. Of course, you can stretch the battery life even more by toggling on Super power-saving mode in the Battery settings.
And in the more battery settings, you can choose Optimized night charging which further helps battery longevity. Sleep standby optimization however does delay notifications but they pop right up when you wake up in the morning.
One area where Oppo excels is ultra-fast charging. And Oppo has the 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charging on the Reno5 Pro which will get the battery to full charge in 30 minutes flat. Even a 15 minute charge with the 65W power brick will get you 70% charge which should be enough for a full day’s use.
So in terms of battery life and charging, I definitely think Oppo is still way ahead of the competition.
Audio quality on the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is great!
As far as onboard audio is concerned you get dual speakers which result in stereo output. Although the bottom-firing speaker seems to do most of the heavy lifting here. The audio is loud and clear but falls just short of what you would get from a flagship Samsung device. However, for everyday general videos on YouTube or Facebook/Instagram, the audio quality is quite good.
Since there is no headphone jack I paired my Enacfire E90 earbuds via Bluetooth 5.1 to the Reno5 Pro. The audio output via BT is excellent. One thing to note is that Oppo does include USB-C earbuds in the box and these are some of the best wired USB-C ones out there. So you are covered adequately when it comes to audio as far as the Reno5 Pro is concerned.
And lest I forget, the Oppo Reno5 Pro has Dolby Atmos support which I used all the time during my review period. So in summary, the Reno5 Pro is definitely at the the top end in terms of audio output quality compared to devices it competes against in this price range.
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Camera Performance is quite good
So let’s talk about the cameras on the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G. The Reno 5 Pro 5G has a 64MP main camera at the back along with an 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP macro module, and 2MP monochrome lens. On the front is a 32MP selfie camera.
For the Reno5 Pro launch, Oppo is touting a bunch of video-focused innovations. These include Full Dimension Fusion (FDF) portrait video system. Then there’s AI Highlight video which applies preset algorithms based on light conditions. Oppo claims these to apply to both rear and front cameras. Oppo claims that FDF and AI Highlight settings allow for granular control in dark, dim light conditions and also in bright backlit and high contrast scenarios. The AI algorithm automatically selects the correct highlights and color vibrancy, ensuring that objects in focus are exposed correctly.
The list continues with Ultra Steady Video, Dual-view Video which allows users to make creative videos to share on social media. One additional feature is AI Color Portrait where users can apply a black and white filter to the background while keeping the portrait in natural color. There’s also monochrome video via preset filters in the camera app which can come in handy in certain situations. This feature is available only on the rear camera though.
The rear main camera can capture slow motion at 960fps while the selfie camera can do slow-motion videos up to 240fps. Also, the included SOLOOP app which can be accessed from the camera app allows users to auto-generate a video with music and filters from a preset list. Alternately you can use a SOLOOP template to create a custom video to share on social media as well. The only downside here is that video capture is capped at 4K 30fps, other than that no glaring drawbacks in terms of capturing video.
The camera app interface is clean and has the modes at the bottom and within each mode various options to toggle on or off at the top. Unlike some other reviewers, I don’t find the app to be that complicated and found it easy to use during my review period.
Pictures taken with the 64MP primary lens have plenty of detail, with saturated colors, excellent dynamic range, and great contrast levels. The Reno 5 Pro also does a decent job in low-light conditions. While in some situations the pictures can be a bit too saturated, they meet the criteria of sharing these pictures on social media platforms. Oppo claims there’s built-in AI for aiding picture taking of moving subjects including AI scene optimization. For nighttime photography, there’s Ultra Night Selfie Mode, Ultra Dark Mode, Tripod Mode, and Night Flare Portrait.
Take a look at our Flickr Gallery with photos taken in daylight, lowlight, and nighttime to see the results for yourself.
The 8MP wide-angle lens also does a decent job as well. For best results though stick with the main camera. The 32MP selfie camera tends to blow out the background but if you manually correct the exposure the results are surprisingly quite good. I would skip the 2MP macro camera and use the 8MP lens to get good macro results.
So the main camera performance for stills is quite good, the camera does well in dark lighting situations as well and for video, it offers plenty of options to get creative. Overall there are no glaring drawbacks as far as camera performance is concerned.
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G only gets 4G LTE in the USA
The Reno5 Pro has dual SIM and 5G support. However, in Southern California on T-Mobile, I mostly got 4G LTE with about 2-5 Mbps download speeds. So here in the USA, we will not get 5G support on GSM networks. Other than that for LTE the data speeds on the Reno5 Pro mimick what I get on my Pixel 4a. So, I would consider the data speeds to be quite good.
Another issue is that there is no support for VoLTE or Wi-Fi calling at least on T-Mobile. I believe this is carrier dependent and I hope this is not the case with the carriers elsewhere in Asia where this device is predominantly sold.
Call quality was excellent via handset or speakerphone modes. Every day calls, texts, downloading apps, watching YouTube videos, or streaming music via Spotify is seamless. My Enacfire E90 earbuds paired seamlessly via Bluetooth 5.1. Wi-Fi connectivity is excellent as the phone has support for Wi-Fi6 standard.
For contactless payments, the Reno5 Pro has NFC support which should make life a bit easy in this COVID-19 era. Additionally, you can also use this feature for file sharing via Android Beam. The quick settings menu has Oppo Share, Nearby Share, and Screen Cast so pretty much all bases covered from a connectivity standpoint.
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Verdict
I think with the Reno5 Pro the company seems to have found the correct combination for an excellent mid-range phone. Usually, people skip the Reno series because compared to offerings from Xiaomi or OnePlus they are priced a bit high.
However, this time around the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is priced competitively between the OnePlus Nord and Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G. And the phone checks all the boxes in terms of hardware design, performance, display, audio, and charging categories. The main camera performance is great and the camera app offers tons of options for creating social media videos.
With the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G, you are getting great hardware for a slight premium and no obvious flaws.