When thinking about the next phone to buy, most would make a beeline to an Apple or Samsung store. But, what if you don’t want to spend over a thousand dollars?
Mid-range phones sometimes get a bad rep and are looked down upon for not looking luxurious or not being powerful enough, though Mamat mid-range handset makers are looking to change this, and the new Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is the latest to try.
Style-wise, the Oppo Reno5 Pro comes in two colours, starry black, and galactic silver. The latter option has an enchanting iridescent glow that sparkles in different colours when light hits the phone. This effect was attained after multiple attempts and the result is the PICASUS nano film used to create the eye-catching shine. The mineral glass matte finish will also hide any fingerprints and smudges.
The Oppo Reno5 Pro measures 159.7mm x 73.2mm x 7.6mm and weighs around 173 grams, which feels pretty lightweight for such a large device 6.4-inch? The four-lens camera in the rear top left corner protrudes but barely adds a millimetre of thickness, making the phone’s finish streamlined and compact.
Yes, the Super AMOLED screen is massive, it has an impressive 92.1% screen to phone ratio. The curved edges of the phone and screen gives the phone a modern touch, while also making it easier to hold.
With a 90Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio, along with a 420 PPI, video and photos are extra crisp and sharp. Vibrant colours pop out from this display, which makes playing games a smooth and enjoyable experience.
With any smartphone, a lot of attention is on the cameras. Oppo tries to, though you should remember that the Oppo Reno5 Pro is still a mid-range phone, so it cannot be compared to the high-end phone cameras.
The three cameras in the rear offer a mix of features, and you get the 64 MP that films at 4K resolution at 30fps, 2MP Macro at 1080p resolution at 60/30 fps, and 2MP Mono camera at 720p resolution at 60/30 fps. The three cameras are lined horizontally next to the 8MP Ultra Wide-angle camera. The front camera is a 32 MP selfie camera with a 1080p resolution at a default 30fps.
Oppo prides itself with creating its AI algorithm to recognize your subject’s light levels and apply correcting solutions to make your photos and videos as vibrant and high-quality as possible though, in reality, the AI colouring enhancement can be a tad muted as the colours in the photo are not as vibrant as expected. The green and pink colours are not as saturated as in real life and the lighting comes across as rather bland, which makes pictures less vibrant and exciting.
On the other hand, Oppo has done an applaudable effort into decreasing the grain as much as possible when zooming in. Even under maximum zoom in night time conditions, users can zoom into neon signs and make out the strokes of the Chinese characters. Predecessors of the phone would likely only be able to capture a ball of muddy light. So now you no longer have to sacrifice detail for the distance.
Interestingly, It looks like the AI colour correcting effect works better with portrait mode though, as colour in both portrait mode photos offer much more zest, even if there is no human subject in the shot. The bokeh effect gives a nice depth to the photo as well though the subject does have to be a distance away from the phone on this mode, so zoom-ins on the subjects are not possible.
Before taking the portrait photo, the blurred background may look tacky and a cheap attempt to create the effect but once the photo has been shot and rendered, the blur effect comes out much better and gives an impressive background for the subject.
Then, there is night mode. When looking at the photos below, the normal mode (left) does a perfectly fine job of taking pictures in low light, and on the right, it shows that the night mode increases the exposure of the photo. Still, it looks like Oppo took it a bit too far, as the extended exposure made the photo brighter but also lowered the clarity of the image.
Also, Oppo achieves the enhanced lighting of the photo by recording more light into the camera. The downside of this method is that the phone must be stationary, otherwise the result will be a blurry blotch of colour.
Aside from this, the phone still does a great job of enhancing the colours of the photo as seen in the colour of the clouds and shade of light emitting from the blocks.
Apart from the great camera, another great feature of the S$899 Oppo Reno5 Pro is its 5G connectivity, which is the next level of mobile connection entering the market. Added with Wi-Fi 6 support and you have a phone that’s ready for the future. Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chip, the phone comes with 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. There is a cheaper option of S$699 if you only need 128GB of storage.
Thank goodness for the Oppo Reno5 Pro’s quick charge capability, it was able to fully juice up its 4,350mAh battery with just about 30 minutes of charging. One just has to make sure to only use the 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charger that comes packed with the phone.
In terms of security, there is an in-display fingerprint scanner on top of facial recognition software. Though these days, facial recognition has been displaced by the masks everyone wears, which disables the feature. Luckily, both fingerprint and facial recognition work without a hitch.
Oh, and for those wondering, the phone does still offer a charger and cable, as well as a pair of wired earphones. It even comes with a complimentary clear case to protect your phone and show off that attractive back finish.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G is a beast in terms of camera quality and battery for a mid-range phone, it is definitely a bang for its buck.
Aesthetics - 8/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Performance - 7/10
Value - 8/10
Geek Satisfaction - 7/10