Oppo Reno 8 Pro: key specifications
chipset: MediaTek Dimension 8100 Max
R.A.M: 8GB (12GB version available)
Operating system: Android 12, ColorOS 12.1
Screen: AMOLED, 6.7 inches, 1080×2412 pixels
cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (main); 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultra wide); 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro); 32 MP, f/2.4, 22mm (front)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, USB Type-C
Dimensions: 161.2 x 74.2 x 7.3 mm (6.35 x 2.92 x 0.29 in)
Weight: 183 g (6.46 ounces)
Manufacturers are constantly tossing new phones, like the Oppo Reno 8 Pro, into the £600-ish price bracket with obvious delight. This is generally fine as it leads to a lot of choice for users, but also too much head-scratching and comparing specs. Everyone wants to get the best bang for their buck, but what do you do in a world where you can get a Google Pixel or an iPhone SE for similar money? We call these things mid-range phones, but a few years ago they would have been incredibly powerful.
The Oppo Reno 8 Pro clearly wants to fulfill your customer wishes. It looks striking, has a decent chipset in the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-MAX and is perfectly capable of capturing a 50MP image or recording a stabilized 4K video. However, there is a risk that it’s too expensive at this price point to be considered one of the best budget camera phones (opens in new tab)and at the same time not quite “premium” enough to be among the best camera phones (opens in new tab) total. So which side of the fence does the Oppo Reno 8 Pro fall on?
Oppo Reno 8 Pro review: Design
What immediately strikes you about the Oppo Pro 8 is how reflective it is. If you’re used to touching up your makeup on the train, you might no longer need to carry a mirror with you. The back of the cell phone is silver-plated and glass-coated and also an absolute swipe and fingerprint magnet. However, it’s great for taking selfies or signaling help when you’re trapped on a mountain in the desert.
The phone’s camera bulge, adopting the suddenly re-popular plate-side iPhone 4 look, marks it, as does the glossy back cover. Covering more than half of the handset’s rear, it features four circles, two of which are camera lenses (the actual glass is much smaller than the surrounding black disk), it’s an imposing addition to an already sizable phone. Fortunately, the results are more than decent.
However, these slab sides lead to a small problem with the phone. Like many cell phones that enthusiastically approach their own squareness, it can be uncomfortable to hold. When you get a mirrored phone, you might not want to put it in a case and cover up all the shine to let the sharp angles of the edges dig into your hand. Add to that the fact that it’s about the max size for one-handed use and it’s definitely worth trying it out first to see if holding it to your ear for half an hour while talking to your mom becomes unbearable .
There’s no headphone jack, just a USB-C port and a small speaker grille to break up the phone’s smooth edge, with a SIM tray at the bottom, a volume rocker on the left and a lock button on the right. This lock button glows green even when the phone is turned off – which can be tricky since, by default, holding the button longer brings up the Google Assistant. A quick exchange in the Settings app and you can turn the phone off again.
Oppo 8 Pro review: features
The 8 Pro runs Android 12 and comes with Oppo’s ColorOS 12.1 on top, which is a generally pleasant environment in which to get phone stuff done with a bright and bold color scheme and some larger-than-usual icons. We also particularly liked how the lock screen image changed every time we woke the phone, leading to us locking and unlocking it multiple times to figure it out. We never did, although it certainly adds to the data the phone is downloading and impacts battery life.
The fingerprint reader is located under the screen, which is a 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2412 pixels, 120Hz, 20:9 ratio, 394 PPI density, Gorilla Glass AMOLED with a peak brightness of up to 950 nits. It looks good and we found the thumb-based unlock to be fast and accurate.
You get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, which is plenty these days of streaming anything, and the CPU has eight cores: four 2.85GHz Cortex-A78s and four 2.0GHz Cortex-A78s. A55. The GPU is a Mali G610. While this combination might not quite reach the heights of some Snapdragon options, it’s perfectly respectable and enough to keep the phone responsive.
Most interesting is the presence of an NPU, a neural processing unit, the MariSilicon X, which enables 4K night mode video and real-time processing and noise reduction of the camera feed with its fearsome approach to algorithms. It was first seen on the longest-range Oppo Find X5 earlier this year, and the low-light shots from the phone’s camera appear superb, as we’ll see. It is not included in the standard Oppo Reno 8, only in the Pro version.
Oppo Reno 8 Pro review: Camera
The Sony IMX766 sensor behind the main camera holds 50.3 million pixels, a resolution you can switch to (from 12.6MP in bins) with just a tap of a button at the top of the camera app. It was considered a decent low-light sensor even before Oppo slapped its NPU on the back, but now it’s even better. Images don’t show much speckle from noise, even when shot at sunset or at ISOs above 4000, and the 24mm-equivalent lens is wide enough for everyday use.
It’s by no means a magic wand and can’t salvage images marred by camera shake (that’s the job of image stabilization, which the main camera also does) or motion blur. But it helps with both, allowing for higher ISOs and therefore shutter speeds without fear of too much noise, and photos taken at night look remarkable considering they’re from a mid-range Android smartphone.
The other camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide with a 16mm equivalent view and a maximum aperture of f/2.2, is a bit disappointing in contrast. It’s okay, especially in daylight, but doesn’t offer anywhere near the same quality. There’s a 2MP macro camera, which is hardly worth mentioning, and a 32MP selfie camera on the front, which is also better than it should be as it’s so small and like a single hole through it peeks the screen. It has autofocus, which many don’t have, and delivers decent shots without much smearing. There’s also a telephoto setting, but it crops the feed from the main camera rather than switching to a dedicated lens.
Similarly, video benefits greatly from the NPU, especially if you want to shoot in less than perfect lighting. Resolution is 4K/30, while downsizing to 720p allows for a very fast 960fps for great slow-mo effects.
Oppo Reno 8 Pro review: performance
The dimensity chipset in the 8 Pro doesn’t do justice to this world’s Snapdragon 8s or anything recently produced by Apple, but it really isn’t that bad. It’s certainly powerful enough to play games, run apps, record 4K videos, and pretty much anything else you’d want to do with a smartphone. The main thing that slows down the phone is the amount of bloatware it comes with. Spend a few minutes getting rid of apps like Joom – a Latvian fashion company – Oppo’s relaxation app and lots of games, and you’ll find that the app drawer is less cluttered. It’s also the first time we’ve seen a phone with TikTok pre-installed, possibly indicative of the expected demographic of users.
In the Geekbench 5 benchmark app, the phone scored 891 for single-core performance and 3695 for multi-core. This places it above the OnePlus Nord 2 5G, but slightly below the Google Pixel 6 in single-core. Multi-core is another story, with the Reno 8 Pro beating the Pixel 6 and sitting near the top of the chart with Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices.
The 4,500mAh battery gives about a day and a half of mixed use before reaching for the charger. Longer if you just leave it on standby. 80W fast charging is offered, which can top up the battery in around half an hour, and Oppo is kind enough to include a charger in the box.
Should I buy the Oppo Reno 8 Pro?
If you don’t mind a big phone with fingerprints and low light photos are important to you, then by all means go for it. It’s powerful, well-equipped, has decent battery life and charges extremely quickly. A few niggles aside and the disappointment that the ultra-wide camera doesn’t live up to the main camera’s capabilities, you’ve got a budget phone that does a lot of things right. The main problem is that this can be said about many phones in this segment of the market.