OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G review: a stylish mid-ranger with a price tag to match

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OPPO wants you to have everything but the kitchen sink with its latest flagship, the Reno6 Pro. The smartphone is exquisitely sleek, is backed by a fairly powerful chip and as per the company, shoots stunning videos that would make you want to toss your DSLR in the bin. Of course, brands tend to make tall claims when announcing a new product but I genuinely think that OPPO is onto something here. That said, is the phone a little too expensive and a tad too late to the party? Well, read on to find out.

Verdict

The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G checks most of the right boxes, scoring high on aspects like design, performance, cameras and charging speeds. However, the smartphone’s price might sway buyers over to the competitor’s doorsteps. 

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Design

OPPO is no stranger to designing good-looking phones but it seems like the company is going all out with the Reno6 Pro 5G. The back of the phone, for instance, makes use of the brand’s Reno Glow design language which apparently fuses millions of pyramid-shaped crystal structures at a microscopic level. The resulting finish, aptly dubbed the ‘diamond spectrum body’ doesn’t just offer a matte texture, but it also sparkles and changes its colour as light impacts the back of the phone.

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Marketing fluff aside, the Reno6 Pro 5G is truly a stunning handset. I sit and work in front of a big window at my place and I’ll admit, it’s quite tantalising to see the phone’s back change colours as the day progresses. It also helps that the phone offers a remarkably sleek chassis and the device tips the scales at just 177 grams. So, if you, like me, were using a phone that weighs well over 200g, then you’re in for a treat. What’s more, despite its slender frame, OPPO has deployed AG glass for enhanced durability and has even layered the display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass v5. And, sure enough, the Reno6 Pro 5G’s chassis feels sturdy and the phone’s frame doesn’t squeak or bend under pressure.

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The downside, however, is that the phone’s razor-thin frame makes it a tad difficult to grip. Factoring in its slippery back, I wouldn’t recommend you use the device with just one hand. What’s more, even though the company has employed a multi-cooling solution, the phone does heat up, especially when you’re pushing the CPU to its limits – blame it on boxing a high-performance chip in a slender frame. Oh and while I am all for the phone’s unique, gradient back, it’s hard to look past the design (and spec) similarities between the Reno6 Pro 5G and the Realme X7 Max 5G. More on that later, though.

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Moving on, the Reno6 Pro 5G offers clicky buttons as well as a snappy in-display fingerprint reader. The handset’s facial recognition tech is among the quickest in the business – so much so, the device registered my face before I could even fix my hair. Rest assured, you shouldn’t find the Reno6 Pro 5G lacking in the biometrics department. The same is true for the phone’s haptics too and the device’s tactile feedback will certainly be appreciated by folks who are big on texting.

Display

The Reno6 Pro5G ships with a 6-5inch, FHD+, curved AMOLED display that refreshes at 90Hz. The panel features a tiny punch hole notch positioned towards the top left and the screen canvases over 92 percent of the phone’s frame. Ipso facto, the Reno6 Pro’s display offers a near-bezel less experience. It should come as no surprise then that I thoroughly enjoyed consuming media on the phone’s screen – the text appeared crisp, the screen offered wide viewing angles and the panel was extremely responsive too, thanks to its 180Hz touch sampling rate.

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With that said, despite shipping with HDR 10+ accreditation, the smartphone cannot play HDR media from OTT services like Netflix. I did inquire about the same to which, the company said that the phone did support HDR playback from both Netflix as well as Prime Video. Well, try as I might, I couldn’t get the phone to output HDR streams on either.

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Credit where credit’s due, the Prime Video app doesn’t let me stream in HDR on any phone. Be that as it may, the Reno6 Pro’s inability to relay HDR streams via OTT services might make binge-watchers second guess their purchase decision.

Cameras

The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G brings a slew of photography and videography features to the table. But, before I get into that, let’s get the camera specs out of the way first. To that note, the smartphone features a quad-camera setup at the back comprising a 64MP OmniVision OV64B imaging sensor that works alongside an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP mono sensor. For selfies, the device gets a 32MP front-facing camera.

I am sure some of you got a feeling of Deja Vu as you read the specs. After all, we’ve seen a similar camera setup on Realme’s X7 Max 5G too. So, how does the pricier Reno6 Pro 5G fare against it? Well, I will have a detailed camera comparison between the two devices up shortly but, for the time being, you should know that the Realme X7 Max 5G outputs equally detailed photos as the Reno6 Pro 5G.

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As an example, if you look at the slider attached above, then you will notice that the photo shot from the OPPO and the Realme phone draw parallels in terms of the details, as well as the exposure control. What’s more, both the images offer good dynamic range too and you can see the same level of detail in the shadows in the two shots. That being said, OPPO’s offering clicks slightly saturated images, which is evident from the colour of the leaves in the photo. On the flip side, the noise control is better on the Reno6 Pro 5G too. Other than that, the two shots are neck and neck.

Comparison aside, the Reno6 Pro 5G is a capable camera phone. Here’s a summary of its photography chops.

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  • The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G clicks stellar images during the day. I noticed that the phone’s colour processing isn’t too over the top and the device would only elevate the greens and the reds in a shot. So, you need not worry about the handset painting the sky a different shade of blue. That said, you can introduce more flair in your shots by turning on the AI Scene Enhancement. As an example, in the slider below, you will notice that the green in the leaves as well as the generator, along with the colour of the building in the background appear richer with AI Scene Enhancement enabled.

  • I don’t have any qualms with the details in the images shot during the day either. What’s more, at a closer crop, the photos don’t look grossly oversharpened, which is great. If anything, I would’ve liked to see more details in the shadows or the darker parts of a composition. As things stand, the Reno6 Pro 5G introduces a lot of noise in darkened areas.
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  • The images shot with the phone’s ultra-wide angle sensor are average, at best. The photos lack satisfactory corner details and the smartphone doesn’t bring in any lens-correction features either. That being said, the smartphone’s macro sensor can click gorgeous closeups. The good thing is that the company allows users to tap and focus on the subject in macro mode too.
  • The 32MP front camera clicks fantastic photos as well. The selfies boast ample sharpness, exhibit natural skin tones and the smartphone has excellent highlight control too. As an example, the phone exposed the light coming in from the open window behind me admirably, whilst retaining excellent details elsewhere too. That said, the blur effect generated when clicking selfies in portrait mode struggled to map its way around my unruly hair.

  • The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G brings a truckload of video modes, chief among them being the company’s AI Highlight Video mode. In essence, AI Highlight video allows users to shoot fantastic videos, irrespective of the lighting conditions. Honestly, I didn’t notice a lot of difference in the footage shot with and without the feature enabled, at least during the day. However, at night, the video shot with the feature enabled turned out to be a tad brighter. Other than that, you can shoot videos up to 4K 30fps on the phone and experiment with some other fun utilities like Bokeh Flair mode, which mimics professional cameras and adds bokeh light spots in the footage.
  • The lowlight images from the OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G were on par with the competition too. With the night mode enabled, the handset can squeeze out a lot of details from a scene, which is great. That said, I noticed the phone took a second or two before latching focus on the subject. Regardless, night owls will find plenty to like here too.

Performance, Battery life and Software

The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G is the latest phone to ship with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC. The chipset works alongside 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of built-in UFS 3.1 storage. Now, I recently compared the Dimensity 1200 SoC to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 860 and 870 chipsets and concluded that MediaTek’s offering could do with a beefier GPU. The same was evident when I was testing OPPO’s Reno6 Pro 5G too. While the handset netted compelling numbers in synthetic benchmarks like Antutu and GeekBench, the device couldn’t run popular games like BGMI and Call of Duty at max graphics and frame rate settings.

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To give you a better picture, the smartphone scored 6,74,766 points in Antutu, which is in the vicinity of the number outputted by the Snapdragon 870-toting iQOO 7 (review). I was just as impressed with the Reno6 Pro 5G’s AndroBench score wherein, the phone yielded blazing fast sequential read and write speeds amounting to 1,950MB/s and 1,270MB/s respectively. However, unlike its Snapdragon counterparts, the Reno6 Pro 5G’s Dimensity 1200 SoC could not run BGMI at the ‘Extreme’ frame rate preset with the graphics set to ‘HDR’. So, if you want to play the game at 60fps on the phone, you’ll have to drop down the graphics setting to HD or lower. Moreover, I couldn’t download the 4K UHD texture pack on the phone either.

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Don’t get me wrong, the smartphone performs well and I didn’t run into any instances of lag or stutter whilst using the device day in and day out. What’s more, the handset managed to output consistent frame rates for the entirety of a battle royale match too. But, the fact remains that the Reno6 Pro 5G isn’t the fastest phone in its segment or even one that offers the most bang for your buck.

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Moving on, I’ve come to enjoy phones running OPPO’s ColorOS v11 quite a bit. The Reno6 Pro too, boots the company’s proprietary skin on top of Android 11 and I am all for it. For one, the interface offers plenty of customisation options and even supports third-party icon packs. You can read more about how you can best customise your OPPO phone in my in-depth, ultimate smartphone customisation guide.

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Furthermore, while the custom skin comes laden with bloat, you can uninstall almost all unnecessary apps and even disable system apps (like the theme store) that are notorious for spamming users with notifications. Lest I forget, the UI comes with a wealth of nifty utilities, including a private space, oodles of screen on and off gestures and the ability to take freeform screenshots as well.

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As for the battery backup, the OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G is fuelled by a 4,500mAh cell which barely scraped through a full day of usage. Thankfully, you do get OPPO’s blazing fast 65W charger with the phone which managed to charge the handset from 0-100 percent in just 40 minutes. So, unless you’re using the phone extensively when you’re out and about, you shouldn’t face any issues with the device in the battery department.

Audio and Connectivity

The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G’s sleek chassis comes at a cost and the smartphone doesn’t ship with a headphone jack. Thankfully, OPPO has been kind enough to furnish a pair of Type-C earphones with the Reno6 Pro 5G’s retail packaging that should suffice for most buyers. What’s more, the device also ships with a loud mono-speaker. Although, the positioning of the downward-firing speaker makes it so that it gets muffled quite easily. 

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You’ll also get support for both, 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks with the Reno6 Pro 5G. The device supports NFC too and I didn’t run into any connectivity issues when using my Airtel Postpaid SIM on the phone. As for 5G, the device supports a slew of sub-6GHz 5G bands including n1, n3, n5, n7, n28, etc.

Final Verdict

The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G is undoubtedly a compelling handset and the device will surely ruffle feathers in the mid-range segment. For its price, the Reno6 Pro 5G brings a treasure trove of interesting features but the smartphone doesn’t quite get the value proposition right.

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You see, buyers interested in the phone can instead pick up the Realme X7 Max 5G which ships with very similar specs, albeit costs significantly less. Similarly, those not in a rush can also wait for the upcoming OnePlus Nord 2, which per the teasers, also employs MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 chipset. Lest I forget, there is no shortage of Snapdragon 870/888 phones in the market which not only offer better performance but cost the same or less. At the end of the day, buyers looking for a stylish, camera-centric phone will find plenty to like about the Reno6 Pro 5G. On the other hand, those seeking the most bang for their buck should look elsewhere.

Update: The OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G has been launched at a price of Rs 39,990 in India. 

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Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros:

  • Capable performer
  • Sleek and gorgeous design
  • Stunning display
  • Good camera features
  • 65W fast charging

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support HDR streaming
  • Heat dissipation is not the best
  • Ultra-wide angle camera clicks sub-par photos
  • Expensive

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