2021 has gotten off to a great start, at least as far as smartphones are concerned. Xiaomi recently launched the Mi 10i (Review), a powered-packed 5G smartphone, at a very aggressive price. Hot on its heels, we have Oppo with its brand new Reno 5 Pro 5G.
The successor to the Oppo Reno 4 Pro₹ 34,990 (Review) from 2020, the Reno 5 Pro 5G embodies the same design DNA and overarching feature-set, only this time with a more powerful 5G-capable SoC, a slightly larger battery, and some new camera tricks. This phone also happens to be the first in India to feature MediaTek’s much-hyped Dimensity 1000+ SoC. Oppo is offering all these improvements for about the same price as its predecessor at Rs. 35,990.
It’s time to see how MediaTek’s flagship SoC compares to Qualcomm’s equivalent offerings, and whether or not you should consider buying the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G over the competitors such as the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G, OnePlus 8 or the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G design and display
Having reviewed the Oppo Reno 4 Pro myself, I immediately noticed a lot of similarities between it and its successor. For starters, the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G is also very slim and light, measuring 7.6mm in thickness and weighing just 173g. This gives it an excellent in-hand feel, and it’s comfortable to hold and use even for long stretches at a time. The Astral Blue version that I have looks superb, in my opinion. The glossy frame offers decent grip and the textured glass back has a unique sheen when light hits it, along with being resilient to fingerprints. Oppo offers a Starry Black colour option too.
Similar to its predecessor, the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G features a 6.5-inch “borderless sense screen” AMOLED display with curved edges. It has a full-HD+ resolution, peak brightness of 1,100nits, touch sampling rate of 180Hz, and 90Hz refresh rate. The display has multiple certifications for low blue light emissions and is HDR10+ capable too. Oppo has used a scratch-resistant glass from Panda for the back panel (Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the black version), and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass over the display.
Overall, I really like the design of the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G, mainly due to its slimness and low weight. Build quality is also very good, despite this phone having a plastic frame, and the rear cameras barely protrude at all, making this a very comfortable phone to carry in your pocket. The box contains a 65W charger, USB Type-C cable, SIM eject tool, case, and USB Type-C headset.
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G specifications and software
One of the big upgrades in the Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G is the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, which was announced back in May last year and has only now made it to India. In fact, this is the first Dimensity SoC to debut in a smartphone in India. It competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 series and is built on a 7nm process featuring four ARM Cortex-A77 and four ARM Cortex-A55 cores. It has an integrated 5G modem and supports wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
Oppo is offering the Reno 5 Pro 5G in a single configuration, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone also has a 4,350mAh battery (which is larger than the one in the Reno 4 Pro) and the same 65W Super VOOC 2.0 fast charging tech.
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G cameras
The Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G features a 64-megapixel primary camera which is a higher resolution than the 48-megapixel sensor on the Reno 4 Pro. However, the rest of the specifications are the same – there’s an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel monochrome camera. For selfies, there’s a 32-megapixel front camera.
The Reno 5 Pro 5G’s signature camera feature is a new ‘AI Highlight Video’ mode, which either brightens footage in low light or applies an HDR effect in the day, depending on the amount of light around your subject. This works for selfie videos too. There’s also a picture-in-picture mode for videos. The rest of the features are the same as what we’ve seen on previous Oppo smartphones, and include AI Colour Portrait, Ultra Steady video, Pro mode, etc.
AI Highlight Video is worth enabling since it brightens up dark scenes (albeit, with additional noise) and helps with white balance when shooting subjects directly against sunlight. I found this particularly useful when shooting selfie videos. Keep in mind that it only works at 1080p and not 4K. Speaking of 4K, video shot in daylight is decent in terms of quality, but you don’t get stabilisation, as Ultra Steady mode is also restricted to 1080p. Videos shot in low light with stabilisation at 1080p gets a bit grainy, so it’s best to stick to 4K even if that means footage looks a bit shaky.