OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G review: Another impressive release from OPPO
OPPO has rolled out the last in his Reno line in the form of the Reno8 Pro 5G, which offers a tempting upgrade path for those who have used previous iterations, especially this reviewer who had the OPPO Reno5 5G as a daily driver for several years.
Yes, this review will not only be a look at the Reno8 Pro 5G alone, but also how it compares to its older sibling and the upgrade experience for a loyal OPPO who wants a new phone while staying with this manufacturer.
As always, we start with the unboxing and we’re a bit shocked to see that it hasn’t really changed at all over the years. The box and packaging are nearly identical to the Reno5, which isn’t a bad thing, especially with the awesome inclusions in the box.
The Reno8 Pro 5G comes with a factory pre-applied screen protector and a clear plastic cover. We’ve talked for years about how much we love these accessories included in the base package and we’ll continue to do so here.
For an OPPO product, where finding accessories like screen protectors and cases will be difficult in South Africa is even more appreciated. While we’ll cover some advancements later, we still sadly point out that these types of products are still hard to find locally and you’ll need to seek them out if you want to replace one or the other in the future.
Also in the box is a USB Type-A to USB Type-C charging cable that connects to the frankly huge power adapter. This size is justified as it’s a beast of a thing offering 80W charging. yes you read that right, 80 watts. This facilitates continuous SuperVOOC fast charging offered by OPPO, with more on this and battery capacity later.
Besides the SIM card removal tool and documentation, there’s one massive exclusion: a pair of headphones. Indeed, the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G unfortunately falls into the trap of removing the headphone jack, a decision we absolutely hate on this phone and all other phones. With devices only getting bigger every year, we see no reason for this to continue.
In exchange, however, you now have stereo speakers on offer, which is a breath of fresh air compared to the OPPO Reno5 5G which lacked this feature. It’s a massive improvement for consuming all kinds of content and we’re glad to have it.
With the phone finally in our hands, we can appreciate the build quality that has remained high at OPPO over these years. Our review copy came in an Ice Green colorway which we don’t mind, but we can see most people preferring the Ice Black option instead.
Aside from the feel of quality in your hand, the next big find is just how huge that camera bump is. The top corner of the phone’s rear is entirely dominated by the camera cluster housing the main shooter – a Sony IMX766 50MP case – along with an ultra-wide camera, macro camera, flash and sensors .
In hand, the size of the bump is rather shocking, and even with the included cover, you never forget it’s there.
It can get irritating at times, but after a while you’ll forget it’s there, thankfully. Like the notches on the front camera, it seems like a huge annoyance at first, but eventually your brain turns it off.
Speaking of front notches, the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G is more of a mid-screen mounted front camera in the form of a 32MP Sony IMX709 shooter. OPPO is not trying to make this a feature like Apple recently did with Dynamic Island…it’s just a front camera that hides mostly in the top notification screen and only stands out when you maximize content in horizontal mode.
With first impressions aside, we’ve been using this phone for a few weeks now and can report that it’s been an almost flawless experience. There’s nothing we tried to do with the phone that it couldn’t keep up with, which isn’t surprising given its hardware with the Dimensity 8100-Max Octa-Core SoC and an NPU imagining MariSilicon X .
This is combined with 256GB of storage on our model (not expandable) and 8GB of RAM. It should be noted that RAM is the ability to expand it using free system storage as RAM. 2GB, 3GB, and 5GB expansions are all available with 3GB expansion enabled by default. This RAM flexibility is very important and is another feedback from other OPPO phones.
The 4,500mAh can get you through a real world day where you use your phone a decent amount, but we think more capacity could have been packed into a device of this size and weight. The rather insane 80W charging fills that battery in less time than it takes to make a coffee though, which continues to be impressive.
In this regard, we can also report on experiences with older OPPO products. When we first started using the old Reno5 5G, we were worried that SuperVOOC fast charging would negatively impact battery life over time, especially since it can’t be turned off. While we can’t speak for the new Reno8 Pro 5G, the older Reno5 5G didn’t experience massive battery degradation after years of fast charging, so we have no reason to expect anything. different this time.
These specs hold up when you look at the synthetic benchmarks with GeekBench reporting a single-core performance number of 899 and a multi-core score of 3,547.
GeekBench offers similar devices for comparison, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G as the top contender posting a single-core score of 924 and a multi-core score of 3,085.
As of this writing, the price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is rather close to the South African RRP of the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G at R19,999.
As always, benchmarks don’t give you the full picture, but again we have to point out that the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G did everything we asked of it with just one to highlight.
The first is internet performance which wasn’t great. We noticed lots of connection dropouts and intermittent issues with Wi-Fi. It’s not a problem with Wi-Fi, other devices worked perfectly – including the old OPPO Reno5 5G – so the problem must be with this new phone. We don’t know what the exact problem is, but a restart of the phone (which happens extremely quickly, we have to mention) usually fixes things.
We don’t see any other outlets or individual users reporting the same issue, but we’re leaving this mention in case anyone in the future encounters the same issue.
The problem could also stem from a mismatch between the phone and the network which is very insular, but again other devices on the same connection had no problems.
And, of course, we have to talk about that camera. It’s one of the biggest selling points and literally, physically, one of the biggest parts of the phone.
The camera results of the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G are extremely impressive and can capture even the smallest details. We particularly enjoyed taking photos of pets where the camera does a great job of capturing individual hair strands and tiny pores.
Inanimate objects are also captured well and there are plenty of options to tinker with for photographers who want to maximize their results.
The question must be asked though: is the camera performance good enough to justify the huge camera bump? We are not so sure even if we are satisfied with the photos and videos we have captured. Some shots that include plenty of natural light were truly stunning, while others indoors with less light failed to impress.
As with most cameras, the time you take to light and position will make the biggest difference, so don’t expect this phone’s massive camera array to magically up your photography game. .
Overall, the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G did absolutely everything we wanted but, in that way, it is a victim of its own success. The experience was so good that small issues like network issues, lack of a headphone jack, and the occasional extra processing time on the camera stand out even more.
At R19,999, this phone falls into what many would call ‘premium mid-range’, but it can still get tangled up with more expensive offerings from other companies. You get everything you need right out of the box, but you may feel frustrated when looking for accessories in South Africa, an issue we hoped OPPO would have worked on over the years it’s been locally active.
A rock-solid option, the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G should be on your radar if you’re shopping at this price range or looking for its specific specs.