OPPO Reno 6 Pro 5G Review: Giving Flagships a Good Fight
Updated: Jul 12
Launched alongside the Reno6 5G in July 2021, the Reno6 Pro 5G was viewed as the "bigger brother", with a bigger screen and a faster chipset. All of which seemed to play out well in how this phone performs overall, especially when it comes to its cameras.
With a glass front and glass back construction and colour options of Artic Blue and Lunar Grey, it's pleasing to the eyes and comfortable in the hand even without a phone cover, weighing only 177 grams. It manages to hide fingerprints well with a unique texture at the back; not exactly a matte finish but certainly feels similar to the touch.
Wrapped with a 6.55-inch AMOLED HDR10+ display which tops out at a 90hz refresh rate, it has very bright output even at 60% brightness, which we found slightly glaring when used in darker environments. So keeping that adaptive brightness turned on is recommended, as well as switching on Video Color Enhancer within the display settings, which is not enabled out of the box. It enhances the visual experience from SDR-to-HDR, but that would increase battery consumption with it turned on. If you enjoy watching videos online though, you wouldn't want to miss out on this feature.
It has an Under Display Optical Fingerprint sensor as well, which we found to be accurate and snappy.
Utilising the earpiece for a second audio output for its speakers, it gets decently loud with clean vocals and lower mid-tones, most enjoyable when watching videos with dialogue-driven content such as podcasts and even tech reviews such as our own.
As for cameras, it comes with a quad array construction consisting of a 64MP wide lens, 8MP Ultra-wide lens, 2MP Macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. We found that it resembled the likes of the Huawei Nova 8 which came with similar specifications, but manages much better in its image quality.
This could be the result of powerful processing power from the Mediatek M6893 chipset, considering how it processes images much cleaner and optimises important data that comes from the large 64MP sensor even without the assistance of the AI or HDR functions.
Colours are true-toned in contrast and vibrance, with very sharp detail in textures on certain surfaces and clothing. It’s usually an issue for some phones with the same specs, but notably a huge difference in image quality with the Reno6 Pro 5G. With a low aperture of f/1.7, it creates a natural shallow depth of field for close-up subjects and deals well with noise in low light.
HDR function, however, is not consistent with colour or exposure outputs. It somehow tends to overexpose highlights and blur out detail. We found that we got better results when HDR is fully turned off. We speculate the reason for this is to provide further post-editing control but it's unclear for now and we do hope for it to improve in newer models.
Shooting up to 4K 60fps and with a slight crop at 4K 30fps, low light performance is great with the AI function turned on that is available for video mode to help process out noise and grain. We found tap-to-focus and manual exposure control is recommended to manage highlights to get the best results. Stabilisation with gyro-EIS smoothes out footsteps or jitter well when using handheld.
A dedicated Movie mode is available for further manual control, which allows you to rack focus, adjust white balance, ISO, shutter speeds and even lock exposure stops. Truly suitable for camera nerds looking to create videos alongside their DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.
We would love to see more companies implementing this feature in their camera UI, as camera tech within phones has been a primary focus which has been on the rise in popularity. It’s something that Sony has been catering to their customers such as the Xperia 1 models, expanding the capabilities in their video department while creating an ecosystem to enhance seamless image quality across its devices. This is still very much a niche market for everyday users, but seems to be a trend that has been catching on every year.
Running on 12GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 870 MediaTek MT6893 chipset and Android 11, it scored a 1008 Geekbench test for Single-Core test, and 3093 for its Multi-Core test, outperforming most Samsung flagships such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra with an Exynos 2100. Its performance is 10% above average for all devices tested in Q3 2021 according to the performance snapshot sourced from 3D Mark, putting the Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G in clear competition against other flagship phones.
ColorOS 11.3 has convenient gesture controls such as Icon pull-down gesture which allows you to open apps easier on the Home screen with one hand and screen-off gestures such as Double-tap screen to turn it on/off, draw an O to open the camera, draw a V to turn on/off flashlight as well as music controls by using two fingers to stop or resume music playback. We would love to see how the Reno6 Pro 5G performs with ColorOS 12 given some newly updated accessibility features, UI and animation upgrades.
As for the battery, it comes with a 4,500 mAh battery and a 65W SuperVOOC fast charger in the box that gets you from 0 to 75% in less than 20 minutes.
There's no expandable storage available here but does come with an option of 128GB or 256GB respectively in selected stores.
The Reno6 Pro 5G is priced at RM2,999 or S$949.
In the sphere of flagships released in Q3 2021, the Reno6 Pro 5G has some impressive specs to match the chatter, beating some of its rivals with powerful chipsets alongside big camera sensors and AI functions to finesse the job in picture and footage quality for a tasteful mix to surprise the shinier and more praised phones that made the headlines this year, and inevitably a charge to the top when things go well in OPPO's favour. Who knows? We'll just have to wait and see.
Written by Fitri Aiyub