Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Review: Looks great, works great

By Swapnil Mathur | Updated 13-Feb-2021

Digit Rating

75/100
Design 70
performance 75
value for money 75
features 72
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Verdict

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is the company's latest smartphone, packing some very impressive features on paper. this includes things like an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, a 64MP primary camera alongside three others and of course, that gorgeous, fingerprint-resistant finish on the back. In our testing, the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G managed to clock very impressive numbers, going right up against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 powered devices. The camera stack offers excellent photo output from the main camera, while the macro lens leaves a little to be desired. The real highlight  when it comes to the camera is the new Full Dimension Fusion Portrait Video system is a combination of AI technologies which work to enhance low light video, improve day-time video thanks to Live HDR and also brings portrait mode to video. While the feature most works well, there are definitely areas where it could do with some improvement. The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G overall makes for a good value for money proposition, thanks to its good performance, reliable cameras and a stunning design.

Buy Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Available ₹ 35990

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is the latest to launch from Oppo’s stables, packing the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC. This particular chipset is rather special, as it brings MediaTek into the 7nm fabrication space. The smartphone also comes with Oppo’s latest Full Dimension Fusion Portrait Video System, a combination of AI-based algorithms design to improve low light video, day time video and even bring portrait mode to video. There’s also the new Reno Glow treatment which gives the back of the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G a gorgeous look. But the answer we set out to seek is, whether this is a phone is worth your time and money. You can skip reading the review and watch the video below instead.

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Performance

The Dimensity chipsets from MediaTek mark the company’s entry into the flagship SoC segment. The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset which comes with 4 Cortex A77 cores and 4 Cortex A55 which, in our testing, helped the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G deliver some very impressive numbers. You can see the performance metrics of the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G below.

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Addressing concerns over Cheating

In our testing, we tried to verify if the SoC was being clocked to its maximum, ignoring thermal constraints. MediaTek processors in the past have been caught doing this, with MediaTek denying any wrongdoing, and stating that this kind of behaviour was well within the use-cases laid out. However, most of the benchmarking community considered it cheating, since that kind of performance was never seen in real-world use-cases. In order to verify CPU state, we use GameBench, our tool for measuring gaming performance. This tool records the state of each CPU Core, allowing us to verify if the Dimensity 1000+ was being clocked up to max when it detected a benchmark running. Long story short, the cores do not clock up, and in fact, run in accordance with the load they’re put under. This reflects the usage of the phone as well, where we note excellent results, free from stutters and freezes.

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Camera Performance

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G features a quad-camera setup on the back, with the 64MP primary camera being at the heart of it. The 8MP ultra-wide camera doesn’t feature auto-focus, which is a missed opportunity for Oppo. The Macro lens, while allowing you to get close to a subject, is incredibly difficult to get usable results out of because of a lack of AF or focus peaking to help confirm whether the subject is in focus. You can see the image samples below for a better understanding.

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Do note that all samples below have been resized for web. In order to see the original, straight out of camera JPG, head over to our Flickr Gallery.


The main highlight of the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G’s camera stack isn’t the still capabilities, but more important the videos. The Full Dimension Fusion Portrait Video system is an AI tool that once turned on, dynamically adjusts the algorithms to result in better photos. During the day, it will apply an HDR tone-map to the videos to incorporate better colours and dynamic range than standard video, and at night, it will automatically turn on ultra-low light mode to enhance the brightness of the shots. Interestingly, when shooting at a brightly lit venue at night, we discovered that the AI would switch between Live HDR and Ultra-Low Light mode on the fly while recording, depending on where the camera was pointed. While having this kind of AI takes the guess work out of good quality videos, the results though can be hit or miss. While shooting in low light, there’s a lot of noise in the videos, irrespective of whether its shot using the Ultra-Low light mode or not. However, videos shot indoors in a decently lit living room turn out fine. With Live HDR, the results aren’t as dramatic as the HDR effect in photos, but we did see better colours and somewhat better dynamic range in some of the shots. However, there wre instances where the video looked the same, irrespective of whether it was shot using the Live HDR mode or not. We’re inclined to believe that the system still needs improvement and while it’s a huge convenience, Oppo may need to fine-tune the quality of algorithm to improve the output.

Display and Sound

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G features a 6.5 inch AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 1100 nits when playing back HDR content, and a regular peak brightness of 660-nits as measured by us. 660 nits is plenty bright to make outdoor use a breeze and we didn’t face any issues with reflections either. The 90Hz refresh rate definitely helps improve the experience by making all animations and transitions a lot smoother. The Reno5 Pro 5G’s display is also HDR10+ certified, with Netflix HDR certification on the way and YouTube HDR support being available right out of the box.

Oppo is doubling down on the curved screens on its premium smartphones, and on the Reno5 Pro 5G, the curvature doesn’t really lead to a lot of ghost touches. In our time using the phone, there were actually no instances of this, leading us to believe that Oppo has the rejection algorithms pretty well sorted. For all intents and purposes, this display leaves very little room for complaints.

Where we do have complaints, however, is the sound. The phone has a single bottom-firing speaker and doesn’t provide the wholesome sound you’d expect from a smartphone that feels so premium. Watching movies on the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is a visually rich experience, but the sound leaves a lot to be desired. The sound coming out the mono speaker is rather small and well, begs you to just use the supplied earphones or a nicer pair of wireless headphones.  

Build and Design

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is in every way an absolutely gorgeous smartphone. The Astral Blue colour utilises a unique treatment process called Reno Glow. This process involves Oppo’s R&D team figuring out how to grow crystals on AG Glass in a manner that makes the back glisten like nothing else before it. The additional advantage is that it is resistant to fingerprints as well, even if you’ve just eaten some oily food. The frame that binds the rear and the back together is a premium metal frame. The top of the frame carries the “Designed for Reno” insignia, adding a more premium touch to the device. The SIM card tray sits at the bottom, next to the USB-C port while the volume and power buttons reside on the left and right sides of the frame respectively. Overall, the design of the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is definitely its bigger standout feature, as long as you go for the Astral Blue variant.

Conclusion

The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G makes a compelling case for you to spend money on it. It might sport a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, but make no mistake, this chip goes toe-to-toe with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. The device outperforms most of its competitors, especially those that cost less than it, and comes very close to that of the OnePlus 8T, that costs far more. The display on this phone, besides being a 90Hz refresh rate panel, is also HDR certified to ensure the best entertainment experience. However, the device falls short of being perfect, on account of the use of a mono speaker with poor sound output. For the price of Rs 35,990, the Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G does offer a fairly wholesome package and makes sense for those who put a lot of emphasis on style, as they do on performance and imaging.

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Price:
Rs. 35990
Release Date: 18 Jan 2021
Variant: 128 GB/8 GB RAM , 256 GB/12 GB RAM
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size
    6.55" (1080 x 2340)
  • Camera
    64 + 8 + 2 + 2 | 32 MP
  • Memory
    128 GB/8 GB
  • Battery
    4350 mAh

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Swapnil Mathur
Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor

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