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[Review] The Portrait Master: The Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G

Price TBD

OPPO has been promoting its new "bokeh video" feature in its recent models and that includes the latest Reno6 Pro 5G. Sporting the Snapdragon 870 chip, above par camera capabilities, and a gorgeous premium design, the Reno6 Pro 5G is a mid-ranged device and a more powerful variant of its predecessor, the Reno5 Pro 5G.


Unboxing and First Impressions

Within the seafoam green box, we received a 65 W charger and the corresponding USB-C to USB-C cable, a TPU case, the phone itself, a sim tray ejector, as well as some paperwork.

The Reno6 Pro model that I received was in Arctic Blue. I was actually happy when I received it because the colour is so gorgeous. At first glance, the sparkly but somewhat coarsely textured back shimmers under the light, giving it a kind of premium feel. The texture is not completely smooth and therefore, provides a good grip for users. To top that, the back is anti-fingerprint so even after hours of usage, it still looks pretty and clean even without a cover.

This unit has a lightweight build weighing only 177 g and a thin chassis of only 7.99 mm, which makes it ergonomically comfortable.

A quad-camera setup is sitting on a bump on the top left at the back while the punch-hole selfie camera is featured on the top left in front. You will notice the not-so-obvious "OPPO" logo on the bottom right of the back. On the right, you'll find the power button and the volume rocker is located on the left. The bottom houses the sim card slot, the Type-C charging port, and a mono speaker grille. Like most modern smartphones, this unit does not have a 3.55 mm headphone jack but I'm a little disappointed that OPPO didn't include a pair of Type-C earphones or at least a USB-C to 3.55 mm headphone jack adapter in the box.

Overall, I like its premium design especially the colour. It is also not heavy enough to cause wrist fatigue nor it is too light to feel cheap.


Vibrant AMOLED display, mediocre audio

The Reno6 Pro flaunts a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 resolution. It has a 92.1% screen-to-body ratio and supports a 90 Hz refresh rate as well as a 180 Hz touch sampling rate. Thanks to the rich colour reproduction, I have had an enjoyable display experience.

Additionally, it has a feature called "Edge Lighting" which lightens up the edges of the screen whenever there are new notifications. It also supports Always-on Display (AOD) and you're free to customise the AOD styles according to your preference.

As for the bezels, they are curved along all four corners. You will find the side bezels slimmer than the top and bottom ones but still, they are thin enough for you to enjoy an overall full display experience.

I have enjoyed watching movies and playing games on this phone because of the colours and the full display. However, I am not a fan of the mono audio especially when I hold the phone horizontally. It's still tolerable when I'm watching movies but when I'm playing games, my fat fingers will cover the speaker. If you prefer a better audio experience, you might want to opt to use the headphone jack or Bluetooth 5.2. Volume-wise, while it produces sound better than cheaper phones with stereo speakers, I would love it if it had a stereo setup.


The AI Portrait Master

The Reno 6 Pro features a 32 MP selfie camera on the front while the quad-camera setup on the back consists of a 50 MP main camera with IMX766 sensor, a 16 MP ultra-wide angle, a 13 MP telephoto camera, and a 2 MP macro camera.

The Reno6 Pro's primary selling points are all within its cameras. One of them is the Bokeh Flare Portrait feature which works in videos and photos by distinguishing and focusing the human subject and blurring the background.

As much as I hate taking selfies unlike anyone from Gen Z, I tested the Bokeh Flare Portrait mode. Honestly, I have to admit that the bokeh flare effect works so well that it conceals all the blemishes on my face. Then again, it's too good at its job that I look like I'm wearing heavy makeup and when I look back at myself in the mirror, reality slaps me really hard (if you know what I mean). When you enable the Bokeh Flare Portrait mode, the phone will recommend you to have a single subject for optimal effects. Similar to the Reno6 Z that we have reviewed not long ago, the bokeh level is only adjustable on the AI Color Portrait mode.

And I even tried the Bokeh Flare Portrait mode in videos. The camera was quick to identify my non-human Golden plushie and immediately defocused it when the camera shifted from me to the plushie.

However, the bokeh flare effect didn't seem to work as well (or user error) as it did during the day. Under different lighting conditions, the effect distinguished the human subject differently. That said when the background is darker, the effect can't detect the subject very well but worked fine when the background is brighter. When I tried the effect with a darker background, it blurred the model's hands.

Besides the Bokeh Flare Portrait mode, there's also an AI highlight video feature touted to improve the dynamic range, colour depth and range, and contrast to deliver an enhanced video experience under any light condition. I tried the feature at night and it would brighten the scene if there's a light source.



In terms of performance, the OPPO Reno6 Pro did pretty amazing with its Snapdragon 870 chip paired with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, the storage is not expandable since it does not have a MicroSD card slot.

So far, I haven't experienced any distinct lagging during app launching and game playing. If you're one of those who usually perform intensive tasks on your phone, this unit has the "RAM expansion" feature which lets you allocate some storage space as virtual RAM from 3 GB up to 7 GB. However, when it comes to gaming, I don't feel the need for the expansion as the original 12 GB suffices. I've tested it on Asphalt 9 at 60 FPS with maximum settings, and the game plays smoothly for hours. And even after 2 hours of play, the phone stayed within comfortable temperatures.

The phone sports a 4500 mAh battery which can last for up to a day and a half with moderate usage. I tested running it without rest on YouTube music, a couple of episodes of drama, and a few hours on Asphalt 9 with maximum settings along with some social media and text messages, it managed to last for around 13.5 hours. This model supports 65 W SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charging, which is to my delight as I'm the type of person who gets impatient rather quickly waiting for my phone to juice up. OPPO claims that you can fill up the battery in just 31 minutes. However, during my test, it took about the same period to charge from 16% to 100%.

An extra feature it has for charging is called "Optimized night charging" which is already enabled when I received the unit. The feature allows the phone to learn from your daily charging routine to control the charging speed at night to prevent overcharging. This means you don't have to worry about overcharging during your sleep hours and the battery's lifespan can last longer.


UI and User experience

The Reno6 Pro runs on the Android 11-based ColorOS 11.3 which makes it very customisable with settings that you can personalise, including themes, wallpapers, always-on display, icon styles, app layout, fingerprint style, colour schemes, font size, notification drawer, and edge lighting.

For fingerprint unlock, the sensor is located at the bottom of the screen right in the middle and I have no complaints about its sensitivity. Speaking of the lock screen, you may also choose to use the face ID feature to unlock the phone. The selfie camera does its job well recognising my face instantly. Kudos to both sensors.

For gamers who'd want to enjoy their games without any distractions, you can access several settings such as in-game message capabilities, screen recording, touch optimisation, game focus mode, and more. Enabling the game focus mode will allow you to block everything from notifications to phone calls, and even the game assistant itself.


Buy or no buy?

I have mixed feelings for the Reno Pro 5G. Overall, it handles most tasks well enough leaving me not much to scoff about. It comes with a sleek design, a clean user interface with a generous amount of settings to play with, a vibrant display, long battery life and fast-charging support. However, it does has its downsides like the mono speaker and lack of expandable storage as well as a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

If you belong to the generation who favour "unblemished" selfies and don't mind the AI-processed results of your photos or videos, you might consider this phone if it comes at a reasonable price. However, if it is above the RM1.5 - 2k range, it will face some competition from other smartphones in its class. If you're already using the Reno5 Pro model, I wouldn't recommend you this unit as both have many common specs and features. In the end, it's up to you to decide if this model is worth your money or not.


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