OPPO Reno5 4G review: A more practical choice

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Early this year, OPPO updated its Reno series with the launch of the Reno5 4G and Reno5 5G smartphones. The two new models look very much alike and carry almost similar features, with the exception of a few key specs such as the processor, network capability, and of course, price.

Here we take a closer look at the OPPO Reno5 4G variant and see whether it’s the better choice in terms of price and functionality.

Design & construction

The OPPO Reno5 4G arrives in style with its sleek form factor and premium design. It’s all glass in front with only a tiny punch-hole for the selfie camera interrupting the gorgeous screen. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3+ and a pre-installed protector film. Our Starry Black variant looks elegant with its glossy black finish for its rear. It’s a great style match for serious professionals or individuals who prefer minimalist or classic-looking tech gear.

The back features a protruding, rounded rectangular camera module on the upper left corner. A simple white OPPO branding can be seen on the lower left side. It’s also slightly curved on the side, helping a bit in terms of grip. Since it has a glossy finish, the rear can be a little slippery to hold and is prone to fingerprint smudges. Take advantage of the bundled free jelly case for additional protection.

Buttons are placed ergonomically, too. The volume rocker is on the left side, while the power button is on the right. Both are easy to reach, and are firm and clicky. The SIM/microSD card slot also sits on the left edge of the device. At the bottom is the USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer.

The Reno5 4G is lightweight, meaning it’s not cumbersome to carry around with one hand. However, it may raise concerns in terms of sturdiness.

Display & multimedia

The 6.43-inch display uses an AMOLED panel, ensuring vibrant colors and deep blacks. The Full HD+ resolution at 409ppi displays sharp pictures, videos, and text. Moreover, the minimal bezels elevate the full screen experience.

A key feature of the screen is its 90Hz refresh rate, which translates to smoother transitions and seamless animations. If you like playing games, this function is surely a welcome addition. If you prefer not to have it turned on, simply select the 60Hz refresh rate in the display settings.

For audio, the Reno5 4G has a downfiring loudspeaker at the bottom. It produces decent audio that is clear but a little weak on the bass side. Good news to those who still use wired audio connection: this smartphone still comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Alternatively, wireless audio connection can also improve the listening and watching experience on this device.

Cameras

Taking care of selfies on the OPPO Reno4 4G is a 44-megapixel shooter. That high-res sensor churns out photos that are bright and full of details. The default Beauty Mode setting heavily edits self-portraits, resulting to almost unrealistic results. Good thing you can easily adjust the levels of correction, including smoothness, eye size, face shape, and more. Personally, I prefer the beautification function turned off.

Meanwhile, the main worker of the rear quad camera setup is the 64MP lens. There’s also an 8MP sensor for ultra-wide shots, a 2MP shooter for capturing macro images, and another 2MP lens that helps in taking portraits.

As expected, the resulting photos are bright, sharp, and vibrant. The colors come out a little too punchy, but nothing unrealistic. Even in low light, the images are good. There’s also a Night Mode function to better improve the pictures taken at night or in low-lit settings—just make sure that you have steady hands as it needs you to hold the phone still for a few seconds.

Video and content creators will appreciate the up to 4K at 30fps resolution on this device. Like in photos, the footage come out sharp and rich in color. The Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady Pro features help users stabilize their videos according to their needs.

Performance

An octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor powers this phone, along with an Adreno 618 GPU and 8GB of RAM. Performance-wise, the Reno5 4G is a reliable workhorse. It can handle multiple apps open and provides smooth transitions between and within the programs. It is also capable of running graphics-intensive games (medium level settings) with minimal to zero lag.

Out of the box, it already gives users 128GB of storage space, which is already a lot. But if that’s still not enough, you can pop in a microSD card via a dedicated slot in the SIM tray. Unlike its sibling, this variant only supports up to 4G network connectivity—which is still acceptable and pretty standard for now as 5G rollout in the country is still in its early stages.

Running on ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11, the OPPO Reno5 4G sports a clean user interface and smooth and buttery user experience. There’s not a lot of pre-installed apps—only the usual, like the standard Google apps, Facebook, and Netflix, among others—which we think is a good thing. Cool and helpful functions are aplenty such as system cloner, app lock, parental control, split screen, and digital wellbeing.

All-day power (or more than 12 hours of continued use) is courtesy of the 4310mAh battery. It has 50W fast-charging capabilities, and OPPO included a 50W supercharger in the bundle.

Speed says

The OPPO Reno5 4G has everything that its pricier brother offers—except for the 5G capability and higher-specced processor. But for a P5,000 price cut, those on a budget can let go of those features, especially since the performance on the 4G and 5G variant is virtually the same. On its own, the Reno5 4G offers users with modern mobile solutions and technologies that make the smartphone experience extra fun.

Words and photos Pat Calica

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