REVIEW | Oppo Reno5 4G flagship smartphone

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The latest flagship device released by Oppo was officially announced in December last year and was recently released in January 2021. However, the series made its way to the local market only by late February. The Reno5 series comes in two forms – a 4G LTE variant and a 5G-capable one. The Reno5 4G version we’ll be reviewing comes in the Starry Black color option equipped with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and priced at P18,999.

Reno5 4G

When it comes to aesthetics, the Fantasy Silver version takes the cake. The Reno5 uses a more pronounced rear camera design and the back panel is not much of a fingerprint magnet. The phone is pleasant to look at, easy to hold with its rounded edges, and is manageable in one-handed mode. Luckily, the chin bezels are trimmed down to a good size. The buttons also feel tactile.

Reno5 4G
Reno5 4G

Watching videos on the Amoled display is a treat, the color reproduction is top-notch, the pixels-per-inch density is generous, but Gorilla Glass 3 protection in 2021 for a flagship device is disappointing. Despite the outdated glass protection, the 6.4” display still has good viewing angles and a very high 600 nits of brightness which means that outdoor daylight visibility won’t be an issue.  

Reno5 4G

The Reno5 4G is touted by the brand as a videography powerhouse, and although these features show promising potential in the way they harness artificial intelligence to enhance the performance of the front and rear cameras, the bells and whistles fail to meet the most basic of standards that customers seek in their next mobile photo snapper – more clarity, less grain, and a better optimized software.

Reno5 4G

Looking at its barebone shooting capabilities alone, there is nothing stellar about the Reno 5’s camera. Still, it delivers an impressive quality and crispness despite its overall middling performance. The stock camera app has a tendency to be sluggish, unresponsive, and complex for users who just need to take a snap and go. Features like AI-powered mixed portrait and live HDR can definitely lead to more creative photos in the future, but right now it struggles even in edge and shape recognition.

Reno5 4G

The same goes with AI color portrait, which only works if subjects are brightly lit. Meanwhile, dual-view video is nothing new. By enabling users to record videos taken on the rear and front cameras simultaneously, they can either present scenes as split-screen or picture-in-picture (pip) which can be handy for vloggers. This has already been implemented in other smartphones, and in the case of the Nokia 7.2, it even has three working microphones that produce 360° surround sound for more immersive content.

The raw gaming performance of the Reno5 is a mixed bag. It has no problems running heavier gaming titles, but it does tend to rise in heat quickly. Take a look at the benchmarks for the Reno5 4G.

Reno5 4G

Conclusion

The Oppo Reno5 4G is a cheaply priced flagship smartphone and it shows — suffering from lackluster performance and features. Its cameras that are supposed to make it a ‘videography powerhouse’ are mere gimmicks and not well implemented. However, the 5G variant offers a much better value-for-money preposition. The 4G variant does not simply showcase any generational upgrade to its predecessor aside from a slightly better camera, a bigger battery, and a screen with a higher refresh rate.

In a nutshell, the Reno5 4G is a good-looking decent smartphone that is competitively priced, but does not quite carry the same energy that Oppo puts into its flagship devices. Customers are better off adding P5,000 pesos for the more future-proof Reno5 5G variant that comes with 5G connectivity, better screen protection, a brighter screen, better graphics performance, and faster charging.

Pros

  • Lightweight and sleek profile
  • Simple and clean UI
  • Display has punchy colors
  • Large battery
  • Better camera sensor
  • Good display refresh rate

Cons

  • Heating issue
  • High battery consumption
  • No stereo speakers
  • Poor low-light photography performance
  • Starry Black color option is dull
  • Dual-Video needs 360° surround sound

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