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Oppo Reno 8 Pro Review

by George Mensah
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Oppo hit the jackpot earlier this year when it released the Find X5 Pro. With its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic, Oppo’s flagship stood out in a sea of smartphones with obnoxiously large camera bumps and nearly identical designs. The unibody construction hasn’t been seen in the smartphone market in a long time, and the Find X5 Pro provided a much-needed reprieve from the market’s dominant design trends. Unsurprisingly, it won numerous design awards, but it wasn’t all about looks. The Oppo Find X5 Pro was a true flagship in every way, and its new MariSilicon X imaging chip stood up to bigger and older brands.

However, as with any successful new product, the second generation is just as important as the first. This is especially true when you have multiple lines with family ties but distinct goals. Oppo’s challenge was to ensure that even its mid-tier Reno series could keep up with its newfound prestige, which is why the Oppo Reno 8 Pro’s success is crucial. At first glance, it appears that the newest Reno family member shares the Find X5 Pro DNA, but appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to smartphone designs. We put the latest model through its paces to see if it has what it takes to compete with its forefather.

Design and display

Right away, the Oppo Reno 8 Pro distinguishes itself from other smartphones, even among its older siblings. If you haven’t seen the Oppo Find X5 Pro before, you’d think it’s a completely new design. It is in some ways, because it isn’t a carbon copy of the company’s flagship smartphone. Regrettably, this is not always for the best.

The Reno 8 Pro brings that stunning unibody design to the mid-tier smartphone market, seamlessly blending the camera bump with the rest of the back in a smooth contour reminiscent of a soft sand dune. That camera bump, on the other hand, is massive, taking up more than half the width of the phone. It also slopes down only on the inner edges, with a harder chamfered design on the top and left edge. The resulting design appears to be a cross between the Contour Cut Camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the gentler curves on the Find X5 Pro.

The phone’s flat edges are also more pronounced, reminiscent of older iPhone designs. This gives the Reno 8 Pro a distinct appearance that appears to shift between soft and hard, curved and straight. Those flat edges at least aid in obtaining a more solid grip on the phone, which is useful given its size. Despite the aluminum frame, the phone feels light in the hand. The glass-covered back is less slippery, but it attracts fingerprints. For your peace of mind, Oppo includes a TPU case in the box.

The 6.7-inch FHD+ display is bright, vibrant, quick, and responsive. Other than having only two refresh rate options of 60Hz and 120Hz, it’s difficult to find any flaws with the AMOLED screen. After a while, the punch-hole cutout for the 32MP selfie camera isn’t distracting, and the thin bezels leave plenty of room for important content. The OPPO Reno 8 Pro is up to the task of playing fast-paced games or watching HDR10+ videos.

Performance and battery

The global Reno 8 Pro, unlike its China-only counterpart, replaces the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 5G. MediaTek is often chastised for its lower-cost chipsets, but this is not the case. The Dimensity 8100 has enough power for both standard apps and heavy-hitters like mobile games. For example, “Fortnite” runs smoothly with no lag caused by hardware. After an hour of intensive use, the phone becomes noticeably warm, but it also cools quickly. Benchmarks place the phone almost on par with last year’s high-end flagships, which isn’t surprising, but numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt.

The Reno 8 Pro includes stereo speakers, with the earpiece serving as the secondary output. At maximum volume, the sound is plenty loud, with minimal distortion. There is definitely enough bass to give heavier sounds some much-needed punch, and you won’t feel compelled to plug in your earphones just to get clearer sounds. Because there is no headphone jack, you must rely on wireless headphones.

The 4,500mAh battery doesn’t sound particularly impressive, and it actually has the same capacity as last year’s Reno 7 Pro. The difference between the two is the faster 80W charging, which charges the Oppo Reno 8 Pro from zero to full in just over half an hour if you use the included charger. While the battery performance is actually quite good, with a good eight or so hours of continuous use, Oppo’s lack of wireless charging capability is disappointing. Even though all of the other pieces are in place, it doesn’t appear to be ready to adopt that now-standard feature, like many mid-range phones.

Cameras

The Reno was designed to be Oppo’s camera-focused line, at least for the mid-range market. Naturally, it lacks all of the hardware and features that the Find X5 Pro has to offer, which adds to its excellent performance. That is most likely due to the Oppo MariSilicon X NPU, the company’s premier AI-powered imaging silicon; it gives the phone an advantage over its competitors, particularly in processing and low-light photography.

The main attraction of the phone is the market-leading 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor. This sensor is already used in many mid-range phones, and the Reno 8 Pro’s higher-quality output confirms the MariSilicon X’s capabilities. The photos it takes with natural lighting are clear, crisp, color accurate, and detailed. Perhaps it’s because of that dedicated imaging chip that you won’t even notice the lack of optical image stabilization, which is still a rarity at this price point. The camera struggles a little indoors, but not to the point where the photo is unusable.

When you switch to the 8MP ultra-wide camera, the quality suffers. It’s not a huge drop, thankfully, but the loss of detail is still noticeable when comparing the two outputs. The 2MP macro camera, on the other hand, is almost comical, and one has to wonder why phone manufacturers continue to include such hardware. There is also no telephoto camera, as is common with smartphones in this price range.

Software

Previously, all but the largest smartphone brands would release new phones running the most recent Android version. Those days, thankfully, are long gone, and Oppo has been working hard to improve its track record in that area. The Oppo Reno 8 Pro ships with ColorOS 12.1, which, thankfully, keeps up with Android updates. That means it’s already running Android 12 and, according to Oppo’s promises, will be upgraded to Android 14 or even 15. Security updates, on the other hand, will be available for four years.

ColorOS, as the name suggests, is one of the more colorful Android variants on the market. It cleaned up its act a while ago, but it hasn’t gone completely clean. For those who enjoy customizing every aspect of their phone’s appearance, the UI provides a plethora of customization options. Even animations are smooth and fluid, and don’t feel like they’re bogging down the phone, thanks to a combination of the beautiful display and the capable processor.

ColorOS, in addition to theming, has a plethora of features to keep users of all skill levels happy. RAM Expansion, as previously stated, allows you to take some internal storage and use it for memory. Sidebars are becoming more common on custom Android experiences, and they’re now available here. You could easily become overwhelmed by the number of features Oppo offers. Unfortunately, it also includes a large number of pre-installed apps, both its own and those of third-party partners. They can be removed, of course, but it would be preferable if they didn’t exist at all. A single checkbox during the setup process could be a good middle ground between providing a blank slate and inundating a new owner with icons.

Verdict

The Oppo Reno 8 Pro clearly stands out from the crowd. Despite its obscenely large camera, it is easily masked and forgotten due to its novel and beautiful minimalist design. The phone has plenty of power, both in terms of raw performance and battery life. Despite a mediocre ultra-wide camera and a poor macro shooter, the 50MP main sensor performs admirably, especially with some assistance from the MariSilicon X NPU. The Reno 8 Pro unquestionably sets the standard for mid-range phones this year, thanks to its adequate performance on almost all fronts and its elegant design, which lends it a more luxurious appearance.

Of course, it has flaws, particularly given its high price. At around $580, it exceeds what people might expect to pay for a mid-range handset. One could always choose a cheaper mid-range phone or a cleaner Android experience, such as a OnePlus 10R or similar, but it would be difficult to find a phone that combines all of these features in a single package. With smartphone prices rising across the board, there will always be options that are less expensive but come with their own set of compromises. Although it is more expensive, the Oppo Reno 8 Pro offers some of the best in this price range, making it a better choice.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Oppo Reno 8
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Oppo Reno 8 pro
Price
USD 499
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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