After checking out their mid-range flagship, the Find X5 earlier this month, OPPO then unveiled their mid-range Reno 8 lineup. Scott is checking out the Reno 8 Pro 5G, but I’m taking a look at the standard Reno 8 5G.

The Reno line-up sits in the super mid-range line-up, priced starting at $999 for the Reno8 5G, while the Pro model sits at $1,199. There’s a few differences between the Reno8 and Reno8 Pro models, with different displays, processors, memory and battery, though with the same camera system on the front and rear.

Both models include the sculpted camera island on the rear to house their shared camera system, though the Reno8 Pro is available in Glazed Green and Glazed Black, while the Reno8 5G comes in Shimmer Gold and Shimmer Black colourways, with OPPO sending over the delightfully coloured Shimmer Gold for review. 

I’ve been using the Reno8 5G for two weeks, and here’s how it went.

Hardware and Design

The Reno8 5G has a unibody design with an aluminium middle body which is squared off, yet still sits comfortably in the hand. It’s  pretty looking phone with a pearlescent sheen on the rear in the ‘Shimmer Gold’ which OPPO Australia sent for review, but if you want something a little more classic, it’s also available in ‘Shimmer Black’.

The rear is matte making it easier to grip, and it also won’t show fingerprints. Unlike the Find X series, the Reno phones do not come with a TPU case, so you’ll have to pick one up through OPPO’s retail partners.

The rest of the phone design is fairly standard, however I love the squared off look of the phone which also makes for a nice transition to the flat display.  That sculpted camera island on the rear though is very distinctively OPPO, and like the Find X5 will wobble if laid flat on a table – but I still love the sculpted look.

The buttons, like most OPPO phones, are setup with the power button (infused with a splash of green in the centre) on the right, and the volume rocker on the left. This split system makes it easy to operate either with one hand, without needing to adjust position. 

The base of the phone is where you find the dual-SIM tray, as well as the USB-C charging port and speaker grille for the down firing speaker. 

As phone designs go, this is a decent one with a solid feel in the hand which is comfortable to hold, even without a case. It’s light enough that it doesn’t feel it’s weighing down your pocket either when you’re walking about.

Performance

Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, the Reno8 5G shows no signs of sluggishness or slow response. Indeed you can load up any app or game and the phone kicks along quite nicely, showing the power of a well honed OS on finely tuned hardware.

The phone includes 256GB of UFS3.1 storage which offers plenty of room for the average user., but no microSD card expansion. I loaded the Reno8 with my usual apps and still had loads of space ree and no performace issues. Apps loaded freely, with plenty of tab switching and jumpoing back and forth between apps and even a few games, and of course some YouTube. All of this was smooth sailing showing a very nicely tuned OS.

For the stat junkies, here’s how the Reno8 5G stacks up in Geekbench:

Display

The Reno8 5G display is good, without being great. The panel itself is flat which I loved offering no curfved edges which attract often unwanted phantom touches. The display is a 6.4” FHD+ (2400×1080) AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and a max peak brightness of 800nits (430 typical). There’s also a fingerprint sensor built-in to the screen as well.

The screen is easy to see both indoors and outdoors. The screen has smooth scrilling thanks to the 90Hz screen . It also has great colour representation, and of course as it’s an AMOLED panel you get excellent blacks. You can also tune the colour options on the Reno8 5G in settings, with options for Vivid or Natural available, or you can tune warmer or colder manually.

For the butter fingers out there, the screen is well protected from every day bumps and scratches with Gorilla Glass 5 covering the AMOLED panel, though you will also find a  screen protector pre-applied when you take it out of the box to ensure it’s all good. from any mishaps.

The fingerprint sensor is fast, offering easy access to your phone with a fingerprint. You can switch on the face unlock, which is lightning fast, however I switched back to the fingerprint reader for ease of use.

Camera

The OPPO Reno8 5G camera offers a lot of grunt on paper – though it doesn’t include the MariSilicon X NPU included on the Find X5 series, or the Reno8 Pro 5G.  Nevertheless, it is a very good camera line-up on the rear headlined by the 50MP IMX766 Sony sensor as the main camera, with an 8MP Ultra-Wide camera with 112° field-of-view and a 2MP Macro sensor. The front gets a 32MP Sony IMX709 sensor, specially designed for OPPO with a dedicated RGBW pixel array for better colour representation.

The main camera on the OPPO Reno8 5G is good, with excellent quality snaps taken in good light, and even in some challenging lighting conditions. I found that there was a little less clarity in very busy shots, for example when taking pictures of animals the fur was a little less defined than I’d like. The lack of Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) can also make you take a slight bump longer to focus and nab a good shot, though it’s pretty rare this needs to be done.

The camera takes decent low-light shots, but struggles in essentially pitch black conditions which is to be expected in this category of phone. 

The selfie-camera on the front is a good option, though it has some issues when there’s a bright light source behind you.

Overall, the Reno8 5G camera setup is a good show of what OPPO is capable of. There’s the usual AI enhancements, though you don’t tend to notice them and just end up with a better pic. 

The Camera app also deserves a big thumbs up, with the ability to rearrange mode icons – so you can drag icons around to customise the look of the app and put commonly used modes into the main scroll. There’s a good range of these ‘Extra’ camera modes to choose from in the ‘More’ section of the camera app to play around with too – so make sure you check it out.


Battery

The Reno8 5G comes with a sizeable 4500 mAh, non-removable battery inside, with an 80W fast charging brick included in the box. The 80W charging is absolutely fantastic and one of the highlights of the Reno8 experience. Charging up a full charge is done in just under half an hour and if you have only 11 minutes, you can get yourself up to 50% charge.

The 4500 mAh battery will last you a full day ease offering plenty of screen on time, even if you push a few high end games or watch a few too many YouTube videos. You can even push this full day of use a fair bit with the use of the power saving modes which is handy if a charger isn;t always within range.

The only real ‘missing’ part of the charging on the Reno8 is the lack of wireless charging, however the fast charging 80W charger is simply stunning to use.

Software

The OPPO Reno8 5G runs ColorOS 12 based on Android 12, with the phone running the June 2022 security patch out of the box. There is an update ready to bring the phone up to the August 2022 security patch via Over-The-Air update as soon as you switch the phone on.

The updates will continue fairly regularly, with OPPO promising quarterly security updates over the next three years, while the Reno8 5G and Reno8 5G will also receive two major android updates – with the first update to ColorOS 13 already announced and starting to roll out this month.

For the OS, OPPO has always been relatively clean with their additional apps installed, mostly leaning towards including essential tools left out of Android by Google. Apps pre-installed include Music and Video players, audio recorder, compass and tools for Weather, but also extend to OPPO specific apps like My Opppo and O Relax – an anti-stress app which is surprisingly helpful getting you to zen out. O Relax can be uninstalled, while most of the rest can be disabled, but some are definitely stuck on there.

The ColorOS software does offer a decent, if not colourful version of Android though functionally it offers several benefits over stock Android. Their launcher for one is far more configurable, offering a decent theme store as well.

OPPO also includes more gestures than you’ll find in stock Android, and you also get their Smart Sidebar widget, a window that sits on the side of your phone display containing shortcuts that can be opened with a simple swipe in from the right. 

Should you buy this phone?

I’m a bit of a fan of the Reno8 5G. The phone has a great design with its aluminuium frame and flat display with the metal buttons which are nice and clicky and the Shimmer Gold looks amazing. The phone has all-day battery life and the SuperVOOC 80W fast charging for if you need a top up. The camera system takes some great shots as well.

I would love a case in the box and of course more feaures like wireless charging, however it’s still a great phone. At $999 the Reno8 5G is a good option, especially with some nice inclusions like the OPPO Watch and Enco X earbuds when you purchase the phone at the moment. That said OPPO itself offers a very stacked range of very nice phones at this price range.

Overall though, the Reno8 5G offers alll the right features for anyone wanting to spend a little more on their phone without going overboard into some of the extreme flagship priced devices out there.