OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: More Than Just a Camera Phone

Can the OPPO Reno 8 5G stand out in a sea of competition in the Rs 30,000 price segment?

OPPO recently launched its Reno 8-series in India, including the Reno 8 5G and the Reno 8 Pro 5G. We reviewed the latter and enjoyed its long-lasting battery and the overall package.

On the other hand, the OPPO Reno 8 5G finds itself fending off a barrage of smartphones. The Poco F4 5G, Motorola Edge 30, iQOO Neo 6, and the OnePlus Nord 2T are among the devices that have been launched under the Rs. 30,000 price segment. So can the OPPO Reno 8 5G, with its camera and design beauties, fare well against this lot? Find out in our review.

OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: A good set of cameras

Since OPPO takes so much pride in advertising the cameras on their smartphones, we’ll start with that. The camera cavalry consists of a 50-megapixel primary camera which uses a Sony IMX766 sensor, which can be seen in many devices in this price range, including the recently launched Nothing Phone (1) and the OnePlus 10T. It also features an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. This camera setup is somewhat similar to that of the Reno 8 Pro, except for the 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera on the older sibling and the sensor on the 2-megapixel macro camera.

 

OPPO calls the Reno 8-series ‘Portrait Expert’, and the Reno 8 5G delivers on that front with decent details and good edge detection, as you can see in the images attached. It manages to mask out the gaps between the body and the hands, as well as a small window near the cap. Portrait shots at night are okay at best, and pictures are slightly softened in pursuit of the ‘bokeh effect’.

Photos taken during the daytime consisted of good details and a decent dynamic range. Images had good contrast as well and were fairly neutral, with little emphasis on the reds. Text at farther distances was still readable after zooming in.

Switching to the ultra-wide angle camera messes with the colour consistency. It lowers the contrast levels and goes for a warmer tone. There’s also a slight distortion at the edges of these shots. The lower resolution macro camera takes digestible photos but does not have adequate details. The camera app has a bunch of options to tweak the photos. For instance, AI enhancement bumps up the saturation and the vibrance of the images. If you are into that, this mode can help you. It also has an HDR mode which tends to boost the greens slightly.

Low-light photos taken with the OPPO Reno 8 5G came out okay. In dim conditions, the device turns on night mode automatically. Night mode helped brighten up the images, but photos had a watercolour look on them due to the lack of details.

Selfies taken with the 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 sensor were detailed and good overall with natural colours. It enabled beauty modes by default, and we could switch them off within the camera app. Selfies taken against the light came out with overexposed background and a weird yellow tint on the photos. Selfie portraits shot on the device were accurate with very good edge detection and overall excellent captures. Photos taken with the front camera at night were also good and usable.

Videos on the OPPO Reno 8 5G go up to 4K 30fps, but 60fps is unavailable. OnePlus Nord 2T, on the other hand, does offer that in this price segment. Footages recorded by the device had decent stabilisation at 1080p, but all this went out the window when we switched to 4K.

OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: Minimalistic Beauty

For the past few years, the OPPO Reno series has been eye-candy. The Reno 8 5G is no exception to that. The device is available in two colour variants: Shimmer Gold and Shimmer Black. We got the former for this review.

It attracted a lot of attention from people in trains, partially because of its colour-shifting capabilities. But there’s also a possibility that it might have blinded some for a split second. It can change colour depending on the angle of the light hitting the rear, which we also saw on the Vivo V23 Pro a couple of months ago. This unibody design is a first for the Reno series, as it was preserved for its flagship devices in the past.

 

The back panel has a rough finish to it which feels good to the touch. Another advantage that comes with it is that it does not attract any smudges or dust.

The OPPO Reno 8 5G flattened sides felt slightly sharp in everyday use. The curved edges are a bit blunt, but this seems like a trend that was kickstarted with the iPhone 12-series — and has been continued for a long time. Ergonomically, we feel this is not ideal, so if this is a deal breaker for you, slapping on a case should do the trick. The camera module has a slight bump to distinguish it from the rest of the body. This protrusion makes the device wobble when kept on a flat surface.

To the right side of the device is a power button. The top sees the secondary microphone while the volume rockers are placed on the left. The USB Type-C port, primary microphone, SIM slot, and speaker grille are placed at the bottom of the device. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. The tactile feedback of the buttons is also good.

The OPPO Reno 8 5G measures 7.67mm in thickness and weighs 179 grams. The weight feels well-balanced, and one-handed usage was also possible, albeit with a bit of struggle, thanks to the tall display. Talking about the screen, the Reno 8 5G sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display that refreshes at 90Hz. As for the competition, the iQOO Neo 6 and the OnePlus Nord 2T both offer a 90Hz refresh rate panel, while the Motorola Edge 30 features a 144Hz panel.

The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, so minor drops and scratches should be handled by the device. It claims a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio, and watching content on it is an immersive experience, except for the bottom chin, which can be distracting. On the other hand, the display has a slot for a hole punch camera at the top-left corner of the screen and a black outer ring that wasn’t that distracting while watching videos on the device.

OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: Good for gaming, suitable for viewing

The OPPO Reno 8 5G retails for a price tag of Rs. 29,999 for the lone 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. The device is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC clocked at 3GHz. The MediaTek processor goes up against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC — both based on the 6nm fabrication process — that can be found in the Motorola Edge 30 and the Nothing Phone (1). The device lets you enable RAM expansion, which slots an amount of storage to be used as RAM. You can extend it up to 5GB. Although, we did not experience a major change with and without it.

We would suggest using only up to 3GB if need be, as there’s no option to expand storage using a microSD card. But if you have a lot of unused space, go nuts. As for connectivity, the device supports 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and support for WiFi 6. You get slots for two Nano SIM cards, with a red rubber seal wrapped around it to avoid dust and water from entering the device. Unfortunately, that’s the only protection you get as the device does not have any IP rating.

 

The AMOLED display on the OPPO Reno 8 5G had good colours and contrast. It tends to slightly favour the reds, even in the ‘Natural’ video colour preset. But this was not something we had an issue with. It allows you to choose between Natural and Vivid presets, so if you want vibrant colours, the latter can be selected. We enjoyed watching our favourite shows and movies on display, thanks to the AMOLED panel, the blacks were deep, and the details on the images looked good. The device comes with just a bottom-firing speaker. A stereo speaker setup would have improved the viewing experience, but the single speaker was loud enough.

It also has a ‘Video Colour Boost’ feature, which uses AI to optimise the colours in different scenarios. But, unfortunately, this also consumes more battery. So we didn’t find it useful in our usage and always kept it disabled.

We ran the OPPO Reno 8 5G through some synthetic benchmarks. Starting with AnTuTu 9 — the device registered a score of 562205, which is lower than that of the OnePlus Nord 2T. Geekbench 5 yielded a score of 452 and 2539 in single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. These are the scores on paper; we also tested the device in real-world scenarios, including some gaming sessions.

Apex Legends Mobile could shell out constant 40fps in ‘HD’ graphic and ‘High’ frame rate settings with just a 4 per cent battery drop after 15 minutes of continuous gameplay. The phone did not heat up during this session. We then switched to Call of Duty: Mobile on ‘Very High’ graphic settings and ‘Max’ frame rates. We did not face any frame drops or stutters and had a smooth overall experience. We also managed to top the leaderboard, so yay! Asphalt 9: Legends also worked well with the ‘High Quality’ graphic preset without any issues. So overall, the gaming experience with the OPPO Reno 8 5G was good, and gamers should be happily spending hours tapping away. The device hardly warmed up during our gaming sessions. The company boasts of its cooling system, which seems to be working well for the smartphone.

We used the OPPO Reno 8 5G for well over a week, and the device performed well in our time. Switching between apps and scrolling through the UI was a breeze for the device, as you would expect from a smartphone at this price. RAM management of the phone is also good. The device runs on ColorOS 12.1 based on Android 12. Unfortunately, the software experience was mediocre. It comes pre-installed with a lot of bloatware. Apps like Byju’s, Dailyhunt, Finshell Pay, Josh, O Relax, Snapchat, and more can be seen. While these can be deleted, it’s not an ideal situation to force these apps down the gullet. OPPO has integrated some fancy features such as ‘Air Gestures’, which let you control certain aspects of the device by just waving your hands at them.

This sounds like an interesting feature. However, it is not very practical in real usage. We enabled the play/pause feature from the gestures tab and found that it was very inconsistent. While screen-off gestures such as double-tap to wake, drawing a certain alphabet to open up an app, and more work like a charm. As for biometric options on the OPPO Reno 8 5G, the device features an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a face unlock. Both of these features are blazing fast and work every time without fail.

OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: Super fast charging thanks to SuperVOOC

The OPPO Reno 8 5G packs in a 4,500mAh battery, easily pulling off two days on a single charge. We travelled with the device for an outing, and the device lasted the entire day with us using the phone for music sessions for around three hours. The rest of the day was spent on Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. We managed to get a screen-on time of more than seven hours on the device, which is good. During this, we spent most of our time on Netflix, Hotstar and YouTube watching our favourite content. We also pulled off a gaming session and a camera testing session.

OPPO includes an 80W SuperVOOC charger inside the box. This thing gets the Reno 8 5G to 100 per cent from dead in 34 minutes, which is crazy good. Even better, the device doesn’t heat when it’s charging.

OPPO Reno 8 5G Review: Verdict

The Rs. 30,000 price segment is filled with capable smartphones. The Reno 8 5G is a decent device that performs well and is on par with what the competition offers. Cameras on the device are capable of good photos in decent lighting, and portrait images with the front camera are excellent and social media ready. Gaming on the Reno 8 5G is also a good experience with decent cooling. Battery life and the included fast charger make it a decent package.

The Reno 8 5G and OnePlus Nord 2T are somewhat similar in terms of hardware. We reviewed the latter and had this to say, “This is the phone for the office-goers living in expensive cities, who spend half their salary on rent, but want something that looks and feels upmarket in corporate meetings.”

Our only gripe with the Reno 8 5G is its bloat-filled software, and if that is an issue for you, the Motorola Edge 30 is another device available at a starting price of Rs. 27,999. It offers Motorola’s typical design with a 144Hz refresh rate display and a smooth UI experience, which is very close to Stock Android. The iQOO Neo 6 and Poco F4 5G are good alternatives if you are looking for sheer performance.

Overall, if you do not mind the bloatware and are looking for a device that can perform well, charge fast and take good photos with its selfie camera, go with the OPPO Reno 8 5G.

 

OPPO Reno 8 5G

₹29,999
7.7

DESIGN & BUILD

7.8/10

DISPLAY

8.0/10

PERFORMANCE

8.0/10

BATTERY LIFE

9.0/10

CAMERA QUALITY

7.5/10

UI EXPERIENCE

6.5/10

AUDIO

7.5/10

DAY-TO-DAY USE

7.8/10

VALUE FOR MONEY

7.5/10

What Is Good?

  • Good battery life
  • 80W fast charging
  • Excellent front camera
  • Decent performance
  • Attractive design

What Is Bad?

  • Bloatware
  • Only one RAM and storage variant on offer
  • No slot for microSD card
  • No 4K 60fps

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Robin is a reviewer at MySmartPrice who fiddles with everything tech and gaming. In the past, he has worked in the video field with some of the known names in the industry including NDTV Gadgets 360, Dhananjay Tech, and more. Besides gawking at newly launched smartphones, you can find Robin spend his free time playing first-person shooter games or FIFA. Spoiler alert: he's a noob at both. He's also an avid football fan and will be friends with anyone who loves Real Madrid.