The OPPO Reno 8 Pro showed up for review at Android Headlines a couple of weeks back. Last year the OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G showed up in February, and it turned out to be one of my favorite phones of 2021.
The newer version looks quite different than the previous generation device. So, let’s get the unboxing out of the way to see what sorts of improvements are packed into the latest Reno 8 Pro.
Unboxing the OPPO Reno 8 Pro
The unboxing experience has absolutely not changed since last year. The box looks the same, the insert looks the same, and there’s still a clear TPU case along with paperwork and a SIM tool. There is however a more powerful 80W SUPERVOOC charging brick (Euro version) and a hefty USB-A to USB-C cable.
The Hardware design borrows heavily from the flagship Find X5 Pro
At first glance you would think that the stellar Find X5 Pro heavily influences the back of this smartphone. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the differences such as the flat rails, flat front and back, and the corner radii are different. Overall, the differences do end up giving this device a unique personality.
The other thing that is very polarizing and unique is the ultra smooth and shiny back glass surface. Basically, you can use the back of the phone as a mirror. Keeping it clean is going to be an exercise in futility. Even the case supplied in the box is a fingerprint magnet so, if you are someone who is not a fan of fingerprints on devices, get a better case or slap a vinyl skin on the back.
Moving on to the front of the device, the flat AMOLED display with a center punch hole and minimal bezels is one of the best aspects of this smartphone. The in-display fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate, although it could be placed about half an inch higher for easier access. Haptics on the device are excellent and provide good feedback without any undue vibration.
The left-hand rail has the volume buttons and the opposite side has the power button with the trademark green line. The bottom rail features the speaker grille, USB-C port, microphone, and dual-SIM tray holder. On the top rail, we have the second microphone and an IR blaster.
The Camera module design on the back is polarizing
But the main and most love it or hate it feature is that ultra mega integrated camera module on the rear. This is probably even more outrageous than the one we recently saw on the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra. To keep things in check though, OPPO decided to use a minimal amount of branding on the back glass which I do like. In summary, some folks are going to like the device in terms of looks and some people are not going to give it a second glance.
The Display is the best part of the OPPO 8 Reno Pro
The flat 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED display is gorgeous. Specs alone don’t do justice because side-by-side comparisons with other devices sporting similar ppi displays look a bit bland compared to the vivid screen on the OPPO Reno 8 Pro.
Another thing that is great about this panel is that it decidedly looks brighter than most other devices in this price range. On paper, the spec sheet advertises 950 nits peak brightness and in real life, there are zero issues using it on a bright hot sunny day here in Southern California.
There’s 10-bit color support baked in along with a color temperature adjustment in the display settings. I didn’t have to fiddle around too much to get very good color accuracy on this display. Besides these features, there are a few things the OPPO does software-wise in the background during video playback to optimize color and clarity, and these work on 3rd party apps such as YouTube and Instagram.
OPPO Reno 8 Pro uses a custom Dimensity 8100 MAX CPU
The OPPO Reno8 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-MAX processor which is used on one other device, the OnePlus 10R. For the most part, the Dimensity 8100-MAX is identical to the Dimensity 8100 which we have seen before. So, this octa-core processor has 4x Cortex-A78 at 2.85 GHz and 4x Cortex-A55 at 2.0GHz CPU, a Mali-G610 MC6 GPU, along with a MediaTek Imagiq 780 ISP, and a MediaTek APU 580 AI processing unit, and an LPDDR5 memory controller all on a 5nm wafer fabrication process.
In layman’s terms, the Dimensity 8100 is about as powerful as last year’s Snapdragon 888 series. The MAX moniker means there are some custom improvements tacked on to the base 8100 for increased AI performance, a better gaming experience, and help with low-light videos. Although the video improvements owe a lot to the custom MariSilicon X chip onboard this device in my opinion.
Putting aside all the tech mumbo jumbo, let’s see what the Geekbench 5 scores reveal. The single-core performance is 906 and the multi-core score is 3,466 which are quite decent. I would say that the single-core score compares well with the Snapdragon 870 and the multi-core score is comparable to the Snapdragon 888 series. From a practical daily use perspective, the phone feels fast, snappy, and has zero issues during gaming. You are basically getting last year’s flagship performance at a mid-range price- not shabby at all.
ColorOS 12.1 is polished and full of useful features
My review unit of the OPPO Reno 8 Pro is running ColorOS 12.1 on top of Android 12. I find there is little difference between ColorOS and the Realme UI. First off, I like that the interface out of the box is clean and bloat-free.
For this global version, there are no duplicate apps. There are stock Google apps for Phone, Message, Browser, Contacts and even Keep for notes. A swipe left on the home screen brings up Google Discover. There are a few apps preloaded but you can pretty much uninstall every last one of them which is great.
The ColorOS launcher is simple, close to stock Android and easy to use. I am also a fan of the clean uncluttered notification and quick settings menu. There are also a lot of useful options in the settings menu for Always On Display, and Edge lighting for notifications to let you customize the phone for your personal preference. Besides these, you can also customize app icons, accent colors, and quick settings including shape, font, and even the fingerprint reader animation.
One section of the settings that is particularly useful at least for my use case are the Smart Sidebar and Flexible Windows. You can find these in the Special features menu. Both of these are useful for multitasking and are quite useful even for non-power users. Software-wise, I think you will be quite happy with the options ColorOS 12 has to offer on the OPPO Reno 8 Pro.
The Battery life is good for a full day of heavy use
There is a 4,500mAh battery inside the OPPO Reno8 Pro which is not particularly big considering there is a massive 6.7-inch display to illuminate. A larger battery would have been nice to squeeze out two days worth of use for a light user, but it would also mean a heavier device.
Between the 4,500mAh battery and the 5nm Dimensity 8100 MAX the OPPO Reno 8 Pro manages a full day of heavy use without issues. Screen-On-Time is easily close to 6 hours depending on the apps you use which in my book is good enough for a full day. When it comes to charging the battery, the 80W SUPERVOOC brick in the box along with the OEM cable will charge the device to 90% in half an hour which is pretty fast. I am guessing that this fast charging is why there is no wireless charging available on this device.
Cameras on the OPPO Reno 8 Pro are quite capable
There are three cameras on the back of the OPPO Reno8 Pro. The main camera is a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor that has been around for some time. Next, is the 8MP Ultrawide which uses a Sony IMX355 sensor. The third camera is a 2MP macro unit and, frankly speaking, this review would still be the same even if it wasn’t on the device.
On the front is a 32MP, f/2.4 aperture selfie camera based on the Sony IMX709 sensor which is the same one found on the OPPO Find X5 Pro. Another carryover from the Find X5 Pro is the custom MariSilicon X imaging chip. This chip primarily is to improve dynamic range in low light situations, especially for videos.
Great natural-looking pictures from the main and ultrawide cameras
Pictures taken in the daytime from the main and ultrawide cameras have natural colors, lots of detail, and they lack artificial sharpening. Dynamic range is excellent and true to what the human eye sees in my opinion. If you like the vibrant, sharp, contrast and punch from other smartphones you might have to apply a filter or two to the end result from these cameras.
Low-light pictures are good especially when taken using the Night mode. Take a look at the sample pictures in our Flickr Gallery. Another quick comment is that the color science between the main and ultrawide cameras is consistent which is nice to see in this price range.
Since the third camera is a macro, the zoom pictures from the camera app are taken using the main camera. One quirk is that the starting setting on the main camera is different in regular versus night mode which is a bit bizarre.
Connectivity was an issue in USA on the OPPO 8 Reno Pro
I have never had issues using OPPO devices on the T-Mobile network in the USA. But that was not the case with the Reno 8 Pro. I never got a consistent signal with data on this device. So I am guessing that maybe because of the custom Dimensity chip?
Otherwise, there were no issues with WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Screencast or Multi-Screen Connect during the review period. For regions where this device will be officially supported I do expect no issues with data/signal connectivity.
Is it worth buying the OPPO Reno 8 Pro?
The OPPO Reno 8 Pro has a list price of €550 in the markets it is currently available. For the money, you are getting a phone with a unique design and a stellar display. Besides this, you also get excellent performance, good battery life, and fairly capable cameras.
There are a few downsides though. These include no IP rating and a relatively high price. If you can get this on a deal for about €400-€450, I think it is an excellent buy. Otherwise, you may want to look at some options from Realme, OnePlus Nord series, or Xiaomi.