OPPO Reno5 5G Review - Does OPPO's midrange value-packed phone score a perfect five? 1

The OPPO Reno 5G is the slightly more affordable sibling of the Reno Pro 5G which debuted at the same time in Malaysia. Here’s our review of the Reno 5G where we put it through its paces.

Intended as a midrange 5G-capable phone, the Reno 5G combines a variety of interesting features, some of which are now omitted on high end flagship phones while attempting to keep the price north of what a midrange phone costs. 

OPPO Reno5 5G Review box

What’s in the Box

In keeping with OPPO’s predilection for completeness, the box comes with a comprehensive array of goodies. You get the following:

 

1 x OPPO Reno5 5G

1 x Soft TPU protective case

1 x hard 3.5mm wired earbuds

1 x 65W VOOC 2.0 fast charger

1 x SIM eject pin

1 x USB C cable

 

The addition of the 65W VOOC 2.0 fast charger is a very pleasant bonus indeed and lets you take advantage of the phone’s fast charging capabilities straight out of the box.

OPPO Reno5 5G Review contents

The phone also has a screen protector pre-applied onto the display to keep the screen nick free until you opt for your own. Including the cost of accessories thrown into the mix, the phone makes for a pretty value oriented buy.

OPPO Reno5 5G Design

The OPPO Reno5 5G ticks all the checkmarks for contemporary smartphone design. You have a polycarbonate chassis that is about 7.9mm thick and weighing about 172g done up in a reflective shade of black that they’ve dubbed as Moonlight Black. 

OPPO Reno5 5G rear

OPPO’s mastery of faux finishes is on full display here and at first blush, the phone looks like it’s made of glass and metal. When held in your hand though, it’s plasticky nature is apparent but being made primarily of polycarbonate is a good thing as it also makes it more resilient to drops and scratches. While it’s aesthetically pleasing, the shiny finish is also a fingerprint magnet.

In terms of smartphone design, OPPO plays it safe here and refines a proven template. You have the aforementioned mirrored backplate on the rear with a quad camera housing on the upper left corner and the OPPO logo emblazoned on the side.

The left side of the phone hosts a volume rocker and a dual SIM card slot. Unfortunately, the phone lacks expandable storage so you have to make do with what you have.

OPPO Reno5 5G left side

On the right, you have a power button while the top is otherwise bare. The base of the phone hosts a single mono speaker grille, a USB-C port for charging and – surprise- a 3.5mm audio jack.

OPPO Reno5 5G left side

Up front, you have one of OPPO’s best AMOLED displays currently available with extremely thin side and top bezels, a slightly thicker bottom chin and a tiny punch hole for the 32MP selfie camera in the corner. The Reno5 5G’s touchscreen is better than the mainstream schlock out there as it has a 90Hz refresh rate while the addition of an under-glass fingerprint reader is a welcome bonus.

Overall build quality is sturdy and competent but the phone doesn’t break any new ground in terms of design.

OPPO Reno5 5G Review base

OPPO Reno5 5G and Reno5 Pro 5G differences

When compared side by side, the Reno 5G for Malaysia has a slightly smaller 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED versus the larger and curved 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED touchscreen in the Reno 5G Pro.

Other differences include a different chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G versus the Dimensity 1000+ from MediaTek in the Reno 5G Pro as well as having less storage and less RAM.

The cheaper Reno5 5G packs just 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage while the Reno5 Pro 5G has 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. Both phones lack microSD card slots so you’re stuck with what you have.

Both Reno5 series phones have the same rear quad camera and selfie camera setups, roughly similar battery sizes and 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charging though the Reno5 Pro 5G edges out with the addition of WiFi 6 support.

Configurations typically vary slightly between regions but for Malaysia, you’re looking at paying RM2,599 for the Reno5 Pro 5G which has a larger better quality display, more RAM, more storage and WiFi 6 support.

The Reno5 5G is a good deal cheaper at RM1,899 though this is still higher than what a midrange phone costs and is just shy of flagship phone territory.

OPPO Reno5 5G Specifications

In Malaysia, the OPPO Reno5 5G is otherwise similar to units in other regions with the same Snapdragon 765G processor and a 5G modem with sub-6 and mmWave support baked in and 8GB RAM with 128GB of non-expandable storage available.

The existing 128GB can tide you over for a while but you’ll have to do regular house keeping lest you run out of storage space.

Price RM1,899
Display 6.43-inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 90Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 2.4GHz
OS Android 11 w/ ColorOS 11.1
Memory 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage (non expandable)
Camera 64MP F/1.7 w/ PDAF + 8MP F/2.2 ultrawide angle + 2MP macro + 2MP depth [rear] | 32MP [front]
Battery 4,300mAh w/ 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charging
Size/Weight 159.1 x 73.4 x 7.9 mm / 172g
OPPO Reno5 5G Specifications

OPPO Reno5 5G Performance

When put through synthetic benchmarks, the OPPO Reno5 5G got the following scores

Geekbench 5 CPU Single Core Score 604
Geekbench 5 CPU Multi Core Score 1,802
3DMark SlingShot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 3,198
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Unlimited OpenGL ES 3.1 3,387
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Vulkan 3,025
3DMark Wild Life 1,652
PCMark Work 2.0 Performance Score  8,230
PCMark Battery Life 12 hours 5 minutes
OPPO Reno5 5G Benchmarks

To offer a bit of perspective, the OPPO Reno5 5G’s Snapdragon 765G is a mid-tier chipset chipset that also sees service in several other mid-tier phones in the upper end of the midrange scale like the OnePlus Nord. 

The Snapdragon 765G is built on a 7nm FinFET process and uses a 1/1/6 chip configuration with a primary 2.3GHz Cortex A76 and a slightly slower clocked 2.2GHz Cortex A76 processor for intensive tasks,and six 1.8GHz Cortex A55 processors for basic work along with Adreno 620 graphics. 

In terms of performance, it won’t beat any of the latest processors like the new Exynos 2100 or the Snapdragon 888 in the latest 2021 flagships even by a longshot but it will give older phones, even flagships from a couple of years back a run for their money.

It’s also still quite aways behind the Snapdragon 845 in the OPPO Find X but the fact that the new 765G SoC is built on a more power efficient process and is a good deal cheaper works in its favour.

The phone runs Android 11 overlaid with OPPO’s own Color OS 11.1 user interface. They’ve listened to feedback this time around and Color OS 11.1 has much less bloatware shoved into it and even a few useful apps too. 

There’s OPPO’s own Phone Manager that helps to clean up memory and malicious malware using Avast’s algorithms, OPPO’s own theme store to tweak the aesthetics and wallpaper on your phone and their OPPO Relax app that is perhaps the most useful app out of the bunch that plays ambient sounds on demand to relax you.

The overall user interface is clean, inoffensive and snappy while the Snapdragon 865G and 8GB RAM are able to comfortably handle most mainstream tasks asked of a smartphone including gaming with current titles like Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9 and the like.

Battery life on the Snapdragon 765G with screen brightness set to auto is exceptional with a PCMark battery life test obtaining 12 hours and 5 minutes of active screen time. Under practical field tests, we easily got enough battery life to last through an entire day with modest gaming, web browsing, emails, calls and an episode or two of the Mandalorian. You’re effectively looking at over a day of usage and if you use the provided 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charger, you’re able to top it up to full in under an hour.

As far as effectiveness is concerned, the Reno5 5G has enough performance to tackle day to day concerns and enough extra to still be relevant as a daily driver until 5G rolls around.

Seeing as Malaysia isn’t slated to see 5G deployment yet anytime soon, we weren’t able to test the phone’s 5G capabilities as yet but it’s a modest bit of future proofing. 

OPPO Reno5 5G top cover

OPPO Reno5 5G Display and Speaker

The biggest draw to the Reno5 5G is its 6.43-inch AMOLED Full HD+ display that has a fast 90Hz refresh rate. You can also manually dial it down to 60Hz to save on battery life more but that’s kind of like driving a sports car only in second gear.

Colours onscreen were vibrant and detailed with the option to enable either a Light or Dark mode in the menus depending on personal preferences. The 90Hz refresh rate isn’t dynamic so there’s an increase in battery drain unlike the dynamic displays seen in other competing phones  but it’s a modest price to pay. Animations and scrolling are silky smooth and games are a pleasant delight to play. 

Unfortunately, you can’t quite tweak the colours to taste but you can use a slider to opt for either warmer or cooler colour rendition and either a Vivid or Gentle palette onscreen. The provided mono speaker is serviceable with decent volume and clarity but is unremarkable at best.

OPPO Reno5 5G Review screen

OPPO Reno5 5G Cameras

The OPPO Reno5 5G has a rear quad camera array built around a large primary 64MP F/1.7 camera with PDAF and autofocus. This is complemented by an 8MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle camera and two 2MP cameras, one for macro work and another as a depth sensor. Combined, this setup allows the phone to take up to 4K@30fps video with up to 10x digital zoom.

OPPO Reno5 5G Review rear cameras

For stills, you’re able to take images at up to 64MP resolution in 4:3 aspect ratio with up 20x digital zoom and preset 1x, 2x and 5x zoom increments. The front selfie camera has a 32MP fixed focus sensor with commensurately sized stills and the ability to capture up to 1080P@30fps video.

OPPO Reno5 5G Review front

One thing to note is that the Reno5 5G doesn’t have any optical image stabilisation (OIS) for any of its cameras nor does it have any actual optical zoom. Instead, it relies on cropping the image on the main sensor to digitally simulate zoom while relying in large on AI and machine learning to compensate for handshake. To be fair, it’s something that OPPO’s hardware does very well indeed as we’ve seen in previous outings on their other phones like the A92 and A93.

This time around, OPPO has added a few refinements to the AI and several new features like a Dual View video mode that combines the feed from both the front and rear camera into one combined video.

 Another feature of note is their AI Highlight Video mode that applies HDR effects for enhanced dynamic range or which brightens up videos for both the front and rear camera when you leave AI mode on. There’s no way to directly manipulate or toggle this feature save for turning AI mode on or off.

OPPO Reno5 5G colours

Colour rendition on the main 64MP camera proves to be accurate. This shot was taken at dusk with a setting sun.

Shots under daylight conditions offer pretty good colour accuracy and consistency between the ultra wide angle camera and the main camera. If you’re taking ultra wide angle shots, you default to the 8MP camera but otherwise rely on the main 64MP when you’re shooting for anything else unless you use Macro mode. where it swaps to the 2MP macro camera.

Details with the primary and ultra wide angle camera offer good detail and dynamic range for what a midrange phone and the AI is able to capture a relatively steady shot even at 20x digital zoom under daylight conditions. At maximum 20x digital zoom, shots still look noticeably soft when you pixel peep but it’s still an achievement seeing the lack of OIS and actual zoom lenses on the phone.

Like other pixel binned 64MP cameras in OPPO’s stable of phones, night shots on auto mode for the primary camera are a bit soft but have good noise control with AI on, offering fairly good colour saturation and dynamic range but results are somewhat poorer and softer from the ultra wide angle camera.

OPPO Reno5 5G 20x

Auto mode at 20x digital zoom with the rear camera. It’s soft but details are still legible on the sign and fair dynamic range

Fortunately, the provided Night mode does help to salvage shots at dusk with noticeably brighter results though the ultra wide angle camera still fares poorer.

Macro shots with the rear dedicated macro camera are noticeably dimmer and softer regardless of lighting conditions. Captured front selfies use the front display as an ersatz flash with generally fair results. Even with beauty mode on it still takes a fairly restrained hand in correcting masculine portraits.

Videos are good with the AI helping to appreciably handle light hand judder when capturing 1080P video and also helping to slightly brighten up night videos by intelligently brightening footage, reducing noise and enhancing dynamic range but you will still need a modest amount of light for it to work and daytime footage isn’t appreciably improved.

OPPO Reno5 5G selfie

The front facing camera is able to retain rear details while retaining foreground colours with an appreciably restrained beauty mode for selfies

The provided Dual View mode has been done before by different manufacturers and OPPO’s take on it doesn’t add anything new to the mix. It  has some applications but is otherwise unremarkable.

Verdict

The OPPO Reno5 5G is a competently made phone with contemporary design, a decent set of cameras and performance. It also appeals on account of a generous set of accessories that include a bundled charger, earbuds and a screen protector. 

Unfortunately, the lack of expandable memory and somewhat high price tag makes it fall short of what would be an excellent midrange phone. 

Review unit courtesy of OPPO Malaysia. Available for purchase online at their official e-store here.

OPPO Reno5 5G top cover

OPPO Reno5 5G
3.7
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Cameras
  • Battery Life
  • Value

OPPO Reno5 5G

The OPPO Reno5 5G is a competently made phone with contemporary design, a decent set of cameras, an excellent 90Hz AMOLED display as well as a generous set of accessories but the lack of expandable memory makes it fall short of what would be an decent , if pricey midrange phone.

Pros

Has 5G

65W SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charging

Still has 3.5mm jack

65W fast charger bundled with phone 

Cons

 Finish is a fingerprint magnet

Non-expandable storage

No water resistance

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