The Reno 8 series has been available in China for nearly two months, but this is the first time the Reno 8 and Reno 8 Pro have been released outside of China. The global versions of the handsets differ slightly from their Chinese counterparts, though the differences are minor.
The vanilla Reno 8 is the focus of this review, and it replaces the depth sensor on the Chinese version with a full-fledged camera - an 8MP ultrawide camera, to be exact. The rest of the specifications are nearly identical.
The handset has a bright 6.43-inch 90Hz OLED panel, which will most likely appeal to users looking for something more compact because, let's face it, 6.43" is in the lower size range in 2022. However, being small does not imply a lack of features. The Reno8 is powered by a powerful Dimenstiy 1300 SoC and features two standout cameras.
Oppo is especially proud of its use of Sony's 50MP IMX766 sensor as the primary shooter, which is fairly large- 1/1.56" and offers 1.0m pixels. The Reno 8 features an Oppo-exclusive 32MP IMX709 sensor with an RGBW filter for improved selfie performance. After all, it's one of the phone's selling points. It's worth noting, however, that the Reno 8 Pro has the same exact camera setup, so if camera performance is your top priority, the Reno 8 would probably suffice while being significantly less expensive than the Pro.
The vanilla option also includes lightning-fast charging. The same 4,500 mAh battery supports Oppo's 80W SuperVOOC charging protocol, but countries with 110V power grids can only get 66W from the same brick.
It's probably worth noting that the Oppo Reno 8 and the OnePlus Nord 2T are nearly identical. The main distinction between the two is the design and the operating system. OnePlus' OxygenOS is still slightly cleaner than Oppo's ColorOS, so it all comes down to personal preferences when it comes to Android skins.
As a result, this review can be used as a resource when looking for information about the OnePlus Nord 2T. Most, if not all, of our test results, would be applicable to some extent.
The Oppo Reno 8 comes in a standard box with all of the usual user manuals, an 80W SuperVOOC charger, and a USB-A to USB-C cable.
Oppo has included an extra case for the phone that is transparent so that the overall design is not obscured. And it's a great option until you find the perfect case for you.
The Reno 8 has an unconventional, slick design, as is typical. Reno phones' design is nothing out of the ordinary, but it always stands out. The Reno 8, for example, does away with the glass sandwich design in favor of a unibody chassis. However, Gorilla Glass 5 continues to protect the front.
The back panel and the side frame are made of the same material. There is also no separate camera module on the back; it is integrated with the back piece with smooth curves. There are also two metal rings protruding from the body for the main and ultrawide cameras, as well as two smaller cutouts for the macro camera and the LED flash. The latter two rest flush against the back panel.
And, despite the fact that the back panel is entirely made of plastic, the frosted finish appears to be getting close to the matte glass feel. We chose the Shimmer Black option, which appears to have a little glitter on it from certain angles. The best part is that the surface resists fingerprints. The smudges are barely visible, and only if you look closely. Keep in mind that your experience with the Shimmer Gold option may vary.
Despite its unconventional design, the Reno 8 adheres to a recent design trend by opting for a boxier feel and appearance. The side frame is flat and has sharp edges that connect to the front and back panels. The sharper edges may press against the palm of some users, which isn't ideal, but the overall feel is somewhat grippy. The back surface is still quite slippery, at least when it comes to the side frame.
We like how light and thin the Reno 8 is. The device has a thickness of 7.67mm and weighs 179 grams. Most phones nowadays are much larger than 8mm and weigh well over 200 grams.
Around the sides, we find the power button on the right, two separate volume buttons on the left, and the USB-C connector, speaker grille, and SIM card tray on the bottom. That last one has no room for a microSD card.
The button placement is good, but the under-display fingerprint reader is too close to the bottom bezel. Touching the sensor may require some finger gymnastics depending on how you hold the phone.
When it comes to bezels, the Reno 8 has some thick ones. The side ones are thin enough, but the top and bottom chins could be thinner. The bottom bezel is especially eye-catching. Many phones in the same price range have thinner frames. The good news is that the cutout for the front-facing camera is quite small and does not obstruct much UI space.
Overall, the design of the Reno 8 is a mixed bag. It's thin and lightweight, with no visible fingerprints or smudges. However, the unconventional design approach, all-plastic construction, and thick front bezels may turn off some potential buyers.
The Oppo Reno 8 5G has a fairly standard OLED panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2400px on a 6.43-inch diagonal. The screen has a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, which is lower than the average for the price range. Most competitors already use faster 120Hz panels. In addition, there is no HDR support.
The good news is that visibility in direct sunlight is excellent. The display reached 439 nits in manual mode, and 633 nits in auto mode. Even on a bright sunny day, that's plenty for comfortable outdoor use.
Color accuracy isn't great, as whites and grays appear blue, and the so-called Natural color preset doesn't seem to help. Other colors are added to the line, but whites and grays retain a noticeable blue-ish tinge.
As is customary, there are a few extra options to enhance the viewing experience. There's also the Eye comfort mode, which reduces blue light emissions and is especially useful for nighttime reading. Video color boost analyzes video content and boosts color saturation and other effects for better-looking video. It will, however, use more power.
Then there's Adaptive Sleep, which uses the front-facing camera to detect whether or not you're looking at the screen. If you are, the screen timeout is disabled and the display remains on while in use.
Except for handsets with LTPO displays, where the refresh rate control is much more granular, the refresh rate behavior is identical to that of any other Oppo smartphone running the latest ColorOS. In any case, the Reno8 has two presets: High and Standard. We recommend using the first one because it is quite capable of selecting the appropriate refresh rate based on the use case. To save power, video apps reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz. The static screens reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz. The display runs at 90Hz in all other popular apps and system menus, so there are no surprises here.
In contrast, games are a mixed bag. Only a few of them reached the maximum refresh rate of the screen, but we don't have the tools to test whether the system can maintain it at around 90fps.
Battery life is good, as it has been with previous Dimensity 1200-powered phones we've tested. Despite its lower-than-average battery capacity of 4,500 mAh, the handset achieved some impressive screen-on runtimes. However, standby and 3G call times could have been slightly better, resulting in the overall endurance score of 105 hours.
Still, we believe that the screen-on tests are the most important ones for ensuring long battery life during the day.
The Oppo Reno 8 and Reno 8 Pro share the same charging technology as well as a 4,500 mAh battery capacity via the SuperVOOC 80W charging protocol. And, as expected, charging times are identical. They also appear to be compatible with Realme's charging protocols of 65W and 80W.
The phone regained about 90% of its battery capacity in the first 30 minutes, and a full charge took only 42 minutes. That is quite impressive, and it is one of the quickest solutions in this price range.
With an "Average" loudness of -28.7 LUFS, the Oppo Reno 8 has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker. You can't expect much in terms of quality either, because single loudspeakers have insufficient bass, can't deliver that overall fullness of sound, and the highs begin to sound distorted at higher volumes.
It's a significant omission on Oppo's part, given that nearly all of its direct competitors blast stereo loudspeakers, and decent-sounding ones at that.
This isn't the first time we've seen Oppo's ColorOS 12 in action; the OS debuted alongside the Find series on top of Android 12. And it appears to be very familiar. You will definitely find your way around if you are a current or former Realme UI or ColorOS user.
And by familiar, we mean nearly identical looks to the Find N's ColorOS 12 and the recently introduced Realme UI 3.0. We're talking about everything: style, iconography, quick toggles, and so on. The majority of the features have also been translated into ColorOS 12.1. It could be part of BBK Electronic's approach to software development in an effort to make support and development for multiple brands of devices much easier to handle.
The Icon pull-down gesture is still present, and it makes it much easier to navigate an overcrowded home screen with many app icons with one hand. Simply swipe down along the display's edge to bring down the icons close to your thumb and select an app to launch. The gesture is both consistent and beneficial.
The new privacy features in Android 12 have been implemented. You get a list of all the apps that use your data, location, camera, microphone, and so on. It's called Privacy Dashboard, and it's similar to Digital Wellbeing but focuses on privacy. If you don't want certain apps to have your exact location, you could give them an approximate location instead.
The majority of ColorOS's UI elements are customizable. Deep customization of app icons, accent colors, quick toggles, their shape, font, fingerprint reader animation, Edge lighting for incoming notifications, and, of course, the Always-on display is being discussed.
Oppo also includes a slew of Always-on presets, all of which are identical to those found in Realme UI.
The granular notification customization was also appealing to us. In the drop-down menu, the system allows for advanced notification handlings, such as instant replies or other suggested actions. When the phone is in use, incoming notifications will have a quieter sound and a milder vibration. Another useful feature is notification snoozing, which allows you to attend to conversations or other apps later without having to keep them in the notification shade and cluttering up the screen.
When the front-facing camera detects someone other than you, the system will hide the contents of the notification for your privacy. This requires the facial unlocking feature to be enabled and matches your face with that data.
The operating system is also ISO, ePrivacy, and TrustArc certified for advanced privacy and security. For example, you can protect your recent app activity (which is currently supported by 800 apps) or set up a password when turning off the device.
The Smart Sidebar and Flexible Windows functions are found in the Special features tabs. They are both designed to improve multitasking. When enabled, the sidebar provides quick access to your favorite apps. The system allows you to move the sidebar, which is important because it may interfere with the back gesture if you use the standard Android gestures. Anyway, tap and hold on an app icon to enter split-screen mode, while a single tap opens the app in a floating window, or "Flexible window," as Oppo calls it. The apps that are supported can be launched in small, draggable, and size-adjustable windows.
The Quick launch function has been available on OnePlus' OxygenOS-powered phones for some time now, and it's nice to see it making its way to other BBK Electronics brands. When enabled, you can configure three apps to launch as soon as the display is unlocked. From a locked screen, tap and hold the fingerprint reader to access the Quick launch menu.
Screen-off gestures, which allow you to launch specific apps or turn on the flashlight by drawing letters on a locked screen, are here to stay.
The experimental features that Realme provides are not available here. The fingerprint cannot measure heart rate, nor can it simultaneously stream sound to connected Bluetooth and wired headsets. These are subtle features that should not be overlooked.
The phone is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset, which is nearly identical to the Dimensity 1200. In fact, those chips are, for all intents and purposes, identical. They share the same CPU configuration and clock speeds (1x3.0 GHz Cortex-A78 & 3x2.6 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55), as well as the same Mali-G77 MC9 GPU and are built on TSMC's 6nm manufacturing process. As a result, the performance difference between the two silicons is insignificant.
According to MediaTek, the improved HyperEngine 5.0 optimizes sustained load, gaming, and efficiency. It's also worth noting that the Indian market will receive the 8GB/128GB memory option, whereas the global variant will receive the 8GB/256GB memory option.
As you can see, the Dimensity 1300 performs exactly as expected, and to be fair, the chipset isn't inherently flawed. Indeed, based on our previous experience with the nearly identical Dimensity 1200, the SoC is powerful and efficient. However, because the Reno 8 must compete with more powerful alternatives in the same price range that run Snapdragon 870 or even Snapdragon 888, it makes the Dimensity 1300 look bad.
Oppo is particularly proud of the advanced cooling solution used in the Reno 8. The cooling area is 16.8 percent larger than the previous generation. It is made up of a graphene film and a large vapor chamber. Unfortunately, the CPU throttle test does not back up those claims.
Despite the fact that the Dimensity 1200 isn't the most demanding chip available, the Reno 8 struggled to maintain even remotely decent performance over extended periods of time. The system's performance dropped to around 60% of the SoC's theoretical performance after just 5 minutes, and it didn't improve until the hour mark. The CPU was throttled to 60% of its maximum performance, which is disappointing given that phones with flagship chipsets that are more difficult to cool perform better in that test.
At the very least, the device did not become unbearably hot due to plastic's poor heat conductivity.
When it came to the main camera for the Oppo Reno 8, Oppo didn't skimp. It has a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor that measures 1/1.56" and has large 1.0m pixels. The sensor also supports Omni-directional PDAF and is paired with an f/1.8 aperture, and the lens has a focal length equivalent to 23mm.
The ultrawide and macro cameras, on the other hand, are fairly basic and can be found in nearly every low- to upper-mid-range phone on the market. The Reno 8 has an 8MP IMX355, 1/4.0", 1.12m, f/2.4 ultrawide camera, and a 2MP 1/5.0", f/2.4 macro camera.
Oppo placed a premium on the selfie camera. It's made by Sony once more, but it's also an Oppo-exclusive sensor for the time being. It has a 32MP Sony IMX709, 1/2.74", 0.8m sensor, which is quite large for a front-facing camera, and an f/2.4 aperture. Unfortunately, it is still fixed-focus, but the Reno8 hopes to compensate with some extra features.
Instead of just RGB, it has an RGBW filter. The RGBW pixel arrangement allegedly provides 60% better light gathering capabilities, reducing noise and capturing sharper images.
The default Camera app is nearly identical to the one found on the latest Realme and OnePlus smartphones. Swiping on the viewfinder or the scroller below toggles between modes, with additional options available via the "More" sub-menu. It is possible to rearrange them to your liking. The General Settings menu is located in the upper-right corner of the viewfinder, beneath the three-dot menu.
Oppo provides all of the necessary toggles in Video mode, including one that enables Portrait video mode. The shutter icon is located next to the three toggles. Portrait video mode appears to be supported only by the main camera. The main camera is still used in the 2x zoom mode.
Although there is a dedicated Night mode, we discovered that it works even when using the standard Photo mode. If the lighting conditions are met, the software will shoot in Night mode automatically. Taking a shot and stacking all the frames takes no more than a second or two. Within the Night mode, there is also a tripod mode that uses longer exposure for better results. All three cameras support the Night mode.
Oppo has limited Pro mode support for the main camera. When you activate the main camera, the viewfinder will display two zoom toggles: 1x and 2x.
In any case, the Pro mode allows you to control the standard settings such as ISO, exposure, white balance, manual focus, and shutter speed. There is also focus peaking and a histogram to assist you.
Because they all use the same Sony IMX766 sensor, the main camera's performance is nearly identical to that of the Realme GT2 and Oppo Find X5. As a result, the Reno 8 main camera delivers consistent results. The daylight samples are clean, sharp, and have vibrant colors, with a good dynamic range for the most part. There are times when the shadows may be crushed, but this is highly dependent on the lighting conditions. Consider the indoor samples, for example. Some shadows may be darker than usual.
Even in more difficult situations, the Reno 8 is samples lack noise and remain fairly sharp and detailed.
Oppo decided to include the so-called Extra HD mode, which captures 50MP images and upscales them to 108MP, possibly because many of the Reno 8 is competitors use 108MP cameras. It goes without saying that the results are unimpressive, to say the least. The jagged edges, increased noise, and dramatic loss of sharpness and dynamic range don't really compensate for the extra detail, which isn't improved all that much in the first place.
Despite the lack of a true telephoto camera to take the zoom shots, the 2x zoom crop samples from the main camera look quite solid, almost indistinguishable from budget 2x telephoto shooters. The overall rendition is identical to that of the standard 1x samples, as expected, but the loss of sharpness is minimal, and there is no extra noise. Even indoor scenes come out well.
The commonly used 8MP ultrawide camera performs admirably for the price. Sharpness and dynamic range are adequate. The contrast and color reproduction are excellent.
Another common feature on today's smartphones is a 2MP macro camera with fixed focus, which produces subpar images. They are low-contrast, lack detail (it is, after all, a 2MP camera), require the best possible lighting conditions, and the colors appear undersaturated. It's difficult to recommend it unless you spend some time post-processing to make them look presentable for social media.
The software's nighttime behavior is identical to that of the Oppo Find X5 series. If the algorithm determines that it is sufficiently dark, it will automatically switch to Night mode, and there is nothing you can do about it. It only takes a second or two to take all of the necessary frames and stack them, so you won't have to wait long. More importantly, the performance at night is excellent.
The samples below are clean, have a wide dynamic range, resolve a lot of detail in the shadows, and have an impressive dynamic range. There is no noise, good contrast, and color accuracy is close to natural. Sure, there are some clipped highlights, but they are rare and usually only affect a small portion of the image. Overall, the light sources have been well-processed. After dusk, you can expect a strong performance.
In rare cases, the software may decide that the scene is sufficiently bright to use the standard Photo mode. That's why Oppo kept the Night mode separate so you could force it when necessary. Consider the following example. Although the increase in sharpness and detail in the shadows is minor, the overall clarity of the Night mode image is unmistakable. As a result, we recommend always using the dedicated Night mode after dark.
Cropping from the main camera in low-light situations is unavoidable. As objects become softer and the noise becomes more visible in the shadows, overall quality suffers significantly. Even so, you can get some decent-looking pictures on social media.
Only the automatic Night mode makes the ultrawide shots look decent. They have a good dynamic range, good contrast, vibrant colors, and a good amount of detail.
After you've finished with the real-world examples, check out our Photo compare tool to see how the Oppo Reno 8 stacks up against the competition.
Portraits are quite good, with plenty of detail, a wide dynamic range, and a sharp appearance. However, the software has a tendency to overexpose, so a little more contrast wouldn't hurt either. The third and fourth samples are noticeably brighter than they should be. However, the edge detection is quite good, and the overall faux bokeh effect is convincing.
It appears that the selfie camera's popularity isn't all for naught. Regardless of the lighting, the selfies below look pretty good. Even in dim lighting or when the sun is directly behind the subject, the camera maintains excellent dynamic range, the subject's face is always well-exposed, there is plenty of detail, little to no noise, and sharpness is excellent.
The portrait samples are not ideal, as the edge detection can be rough around the edges at times, and HDR is disabled, resulting in an overexposed subject or clipped background.
We tested some low-light scenes with and without the dedicated Night mode for selfies because the Reno 8 has advanced selfie capabilities, owing primarily to its RGBW sensor. In low-light conditions, there is, understandably, a visible deterioration in overall quality, but not nearly as much as we expected. Even without using Night mode, these selfies are aesthetically pleasing. The Night mode improves sharpness, and dynamic range, and can even preserve some fine detail.
The handset's main camera can shoot 2160p videos at 30fps, but the ultrawide camera can only shoot 1080p. Video stabilization is also available, but only at a resolution of 1080p. The same resolution mode provides advanced stabilization capabilities similar to action cameras with a framerate of 60fps.
The Reno 8 is a good all-arounder with a good chipset, a nice screen, a long battery life, lightning-fast charging, and excellent camera performance, including selfies. However, as is typical of Oppo smartphones, its pricing prevents us from recommending it outright.
The Indian pricing of around INR 30,000 makes sense (sort of), but we have reason to believe that once the device is released globally, it will be priced in the mid-€400 range. That's because the current Oppo Reno 7 (for Eastern Europe) / Find X5 Lite (for Western Europe) is priced similarly, as is the OnePlus Nord 2T, which costs €439.
This brings us to our first set of options. Surprisingly, those alternatives are produced by the same BBK Electronics company. The first thing that comes to mind is the OnePlus Nord 2T, which is essentially the same phone with a different design and software on board. OxygenOS is still one of the cleaner Android alternatives available, and the reason why many people prefer OnePlus. To be sure, things have changed in the last year or so, but that's a completely different topic. Furthermore, third-party sellers can sell the Nord 2T for as little as €370, rendering the Reno8 obsolete. In India, OnePlus' offering is also around the INR 30,000 mark.
Another option for Indian consumers is the Realme 9 Pro+, which is about INR 5,000 cheaper than the Reno 8. It provides a similar user experience and even includes stereo speakers and a bit more battery endurance. The Dimensity 920, on the other hand, isn't on par with the Dimensity 1300, and its selfie game is nowhere near that of the Reno 8.
The iQOO Neo 6 is another BBK Electronics-made option that costs around INR 30,000 and is arguably the better option. It has a more powerful chipset, a faster and brighter 120Hz screen,, and comparable battery endurance and charging speed to the Reno 8, but it lacks the Reno8's camera proficiency, at least in the main shooter.
In the European market, there is another similarly priced option in the Realme catalog. The vanilla Realme GT2 appears to have very similar features, but it is unquestionably the better of the two due to stereo speakers, a faster chipset, a larger battery, a better display, and comparable main camera performance. After all, they use the same sensor and software. The only advantage of the Reno 8 is its excellent selfie performance.
Outside of the BBK circle, Xiaomi has two very appealing alternatives. The Poco F4 and the Xiaomi 12 Lite The first may be of particular interest to those drawn to the Reno 8 is compact size. The Xiaomi 12 Lite, like the latter, has a lightweight and compact design that is better-looking, though this is highly subjective. However, it is not as powerful as the Reno 8 and does not take as good photos.
In contrast, the Poco F4 succeeds where the 12 Lite fails. It's a more powerful alternative to Oppo's offering, with a better display, stereo speakers, and the same charging speed. However, don't expect camera performance comparable to the Reno 8. However, the €400 price tag in Europe or the INR 28,000 price tag in India may persuade you.
Finally, the European market offers Samsung's popular Galaxy S21 FE for around €480, which is probably a bit more than the Reno 8 in the same region, but there's a very good reason for that. Samsung's phone is far more versatile in terms of photography (much better ultrawide camera and proper 3x telephoto camera), has a far superior display, good-sounding stereo speakers, ingress protection, and is powered by a more powerful chipset. The Reno 8 has a marginally longer battery life, slightly better selfie performance, and faster charging. It is up to you to decide whether the extra money is worthwhile, though we believe it is.
Compact design, long battery life, stellar camera performance (including the selfie camera), fast charging, bright OLED display, and powerful yet efficient SoC are all features of the OnePlus 6. On paper, it looks great, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, that's not nearly enough to distinguish itself from the competition, which frequently includes even more high-tech displays, stereo speakers, some sort of ingress protection, and even a larger battery and/or faster chipset.
Oppo's mid-range device pricing is not competitive in the mid-range market segment. Not to mention that the Reno 8 will face stiff competition from brands like Realme, OnePlus, and even iQOO. If only the Reno 8 had been less expensive, it would have outperformed its peers in terms of camera performance.