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Oppo Reno6 Pro Review: Chipset-Driven Upgrade Boosts Core Performance
Oppo is back with another Reno-series flagship smartphone in a span of just five months. The new Reno6 Pro replaces the Reno5 Pro, which was launched in February 2021 in India at Rs. 35,990. The new smartphone improves on the underlying chipset and also adds some cool new camera tricks, which can come in handy if you are a content creator and mostly use your smartphone as a sole photography device.
- Sleek & Premium Design
- Crisp & Fluid Curved AMOLED Display
- Innovative & Useful Camera Modes
- Smooth Performer
- Addictive 65W Fast-Charging
- Good Haptic Feedback
- Not A Big Generational Upgrade
- No microSD Card Expansion
- Only Splash Proof (Cannot Withstand Water & Dust)
- No Stereo Speakers
- No Sensible Camera Hardware Upgrades
The Reno6 Pro is powered by the latest MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC and comes in the lone 12GB + 256GB variant. Priced at Rs. , the Reno6 Pro goes head-to-head with OnePlus 9R, Vivo X60, and other sub-40K smartphones. How much Oppo has improved in the last six months and should you buy the Reno6 Pro 5G at Rs., Let's find out in our Oppo Reno6 Pro review.
Design- Good Ergonomics And Stylish Looks
Not much has changed in terms of design and display. Similar to the Reno5 Pro, the Reno6 Pro also measures a mere 7.6 mm and weighs less than 180 grams. The battery capacity is increased by 150mAh; however, the overall weight (177g) has increased by just 3g, which is no less than a feat.
Resultantly, the phone feels very lightweight and easy to use even with one hand. Also, the full-screen curved OLED is a joy to use. Needless to say, the Reno6 Pro is for users who prefer handy phones and want to stay away from big and bulky smartphones.
Stunning Or Too Much Sparkle?
The Reno6 Pro's back panel has a unique shimmering texture that reflects an Aurora (Northern Lights) of colors when light falls on it. Developed using myriad design techniques (crystal drilling, AG glass, etc.), the diamond spectrum body looks unique but the shiny sparkly design theme might not please everyone.
If you prefer subtle and slightly understated looks, I would recommend going for the Stellar Black option. While it still has the matte-shimmering effect, the whole black feel makes it very impactful. Also, the top of the handset has a radium layer that glows in the absence of light and looks pretty cool.
How Durable And Practical Is The Reno6 Pro?
I was expecting Oppo to improve the durability standards for the new flagship Reno device but sadly, the Reno6 Pro's body can only withstand water splashes. The handset is IPX4 certified which means it cannot resist water and dust damage.
Since the Reno6 Pro is a premium camera-centric device, an effective IP rating would have made more sense to its use cases. Moreover, the device lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. If these features matter to you in 2021, the Reno6 Pro will disappoint you.
6.5-inch 3D Curved 90Hz HDR10+ Display
The Reno 6 Pro flaunts a 6.5-inch 3D curved Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. If you recall, this is the same screen that the brand offered with the Reno5 Pro. It's an excellent panel for multimedia consumption and gameplay; however, we were expecting Oppo to bump the refresh rate to 120Hz with the new upgrade. Nevertheless, the 90Hz refresh rate on this top-of-the-line OLED offers buttery-smooth UI navigation and scrolling experience.
The OLED panel's color reproduction is impressive and the graphics look immersive. You will enjoy playing graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9 and Battlegrounds Mobile. The screen also gets fairly bright, offering a comfortable viewing experience outdoors. The panel is also HDR10+ certified and ensures crisp video playback on popular streaming platforms.
The camera setup on the Reno6 Pro hasn't received any major hardware changes. Similar to the Reno5 Pro, the camera module on the Reno 6 Pro comprises four sensors featuring a 64MP main camera + 8MP wide-angle camera + 2MP macro camera + 2MP mono camera with a color temperature sensor.
This is a pretty ordinary camera setup but what makes it interesting is the set of AI-enabled features, modes, and filters. These include the newly added Cinematic Bokeh Flare Portrait mode and effective focus tracking mechanism.
Exclusive AI-Enabled Video Recording Features
You can shoot cinematic quality bokeh videos with flares effect and the results are shown in real-time. Since the mode uses complex AI algorithms, thanks to the Dimensity 1200 AI SoC, the output isn't always impressive and largely depends on the subject's alignment in the frame and the background type.
If you get these two things right, the results can be pretty good. Thankfully, the focus tracking is very effective on the Reno6 Pro and the camera is capable of maintaining pin-sharp focus on more than one subject in the frame.
Good Camera Smartphone For Content Creators
Similar to the Reno5 Pro, the Reno6 Pro is also a better video recording device than a still camera. Besides the aforementioned features, the suite of camera modes and filters is largely unchanged. You still get the AI Highlight video feature that improves the colors, exposure, and backlight in complex lighting.
Besides, there are plenty of interesting and useful camera modes and filters that will keep you busy all day long. If you like experimenting with smartphone photography, the Reno6 Pro is a good investment.
No Major Upgrade In Picture/Video Quality
AI features aside, the picture and video quality are largely unchanged. I did notice some improvements in the color accuracy though. Cameras on the Reno6 Pro do not over-saturate or animate colors, provided that you haven't enabled the AI mode or have applied any filter.
Even with the AI mode enabled, the colors are represented well in pictures and videos. The phones still ship with the same old 8MP wide-angle and gimmicky 2MP macro cameras that could have been replaced with bigger and better sensors for better overall clarity and details.
Moreover, the biggest disappointment is the lack of optical image stabilization on the main camera. Since Oppo is projecting the Reno6 Pro as a video recording device, the lack of stabilization is a big miss. It wasn't there on the Reno5 Pro and still hasn't been offered on the successor. You have to rely on software-coded stability in third-party apps if you plan to shoot vlogs on the handset.
Underwhelming Night Time Camera
Moreover, the nighttime photography experience is pretty underwhelming even while clicking pictures using the tripod mode, which is essentially a long-exposure mode to capture better details. The 32MP front-facing camera captures crisp selfies and offers all trending features to enhance the image output.
Overall, the Reno6 Pro is a good everyday camera device and can be quite resourceful for content creators and avid photographers. However, don't expect the handset to ace every picture you click. If you have a knack for photography, you can also consider the Vivo X60. The smartphone offers better picture/video quality than the Reno6 Pro but it might not offer the myriad of exclusive camera modes and filters that the Oppo handset comes equipped with.
Hardware Performance Improvements- MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC + 12GB RAM
The biggest upgrade comes in the form of the new MediaTek chipset. The Reno6 Pro is powered by the latest Dimensity 1200 SoC, which is fabricated on a sophisticated 6nm process and has an Arm Cortex-A78 cluster with a maximum clock frequency of up to 3GHz.
The new chipset comes with a promise of 22% performance improvements and is also said to be 25% more power-efficient than the Dimensity 1000 SoC. We are testing the 12GB RAM variant which offers 256GB built-in storage.
The powerful internals, fluid 90Hz display, and well-optimized software ensure smooth performance all day long. The Reno6 Pro feels blazing fast and executes all tasks without any performance issues. We did not come across any lag or performance drops even while running the most demanding apps and games. Importantly, the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC enables some complex camera features including the real-time cinematic bokeh flare portrait effect while shooting videos.
Moving on, heat-dissipation is effective and the most widely used apps such as camera, Google Maps, etc. do not stop working if the device's core temperature rises with prolonged usage. OnePlus should take some tips from its parent company to better optimize its flagship devices. Or it can be the new chipset, which is keeping everything in check even when you push the handset to its limits.
We also ran our usual benchmarks to evaluate the CPU's performance. The Dimensity 1200 SoC scored 610829 in Antutu, which is much higher than what the Dimesnity 1000 scored (420884) in the same test. The handset scored 804 in the Geekbench's single-core test and 2,633 in the multi-core test. The single core performance is better but the multi-core results are lower than what the Reno5 Pro had achieved.
In the PC Mark's Work 3.0 benchmark, the Reno6 Pro scored 7,987, which again is better than the predecessor. Lastly, the handset scored 1286 (Best loop score) in the 3D Mark's wildlife extreme stress test with stability of 73.2%. These are pretty good scores are reflect the Reno6 Pro's smooth day-to-day performance.
Software Performance- ColorOS
The Reno6 Pro 5G runs on the ColorOS 11.3 based on Android 11, which is surprisingly good. Oppo's in-house custom Android skin is visually pleasing, offers plenty of customization features, and comes loaded with useful software tweaks. It performs even better than OxygenOS in terms of app stability and user response.
To start with customization and visuals, you can tweak icons size and design, apply visually pleasing live wallpapers, change app layout and apply intuitive themes. The software also lets you change the text color scheme and look and feel of the notification drawer.
Useful Software Features
There are various AOD (Always-On-Display) widgets and styles to choose from and you can also customize the in-screen fingerprint animation. Additionally, there are several software features to enhance your user experience.
- The side floating bar comes in handy to quickly open favorite apps and functions such as screenshot, screen translate, screen recorder, etc.
- Assistive Ball and Quick launch are some more useful features to navigate the UI.
- You can enable data usage metrics in the notification bar to keep a tab on your internet usage.
- The newly added freeform screenshot feature allows you to capture the on-screen content of any shape and size.
- Notification feedback can be reduced/soften while you are watching videos or playing games in the full-screen mode.
- You can select audio profiles from a variety of options for the type of content streaming on the device.
- The ColorOS offers a built-in app lock system, a private safe, and has a kid space feature that allows you to restrict phone's usage by kids.
Oppo Reno6 Pro Battery Life
The battery life has improved marginally over the predecessor. The Reno6 Pro's 4,500 mAh battery can last one full day if used judiciously. For avid gamers or users who stream videos on a loop, the Reno6 Pro would need a refuel by the end of the day.
Thankfully, the 65W fast-charger takes less than 35-minutes to recharge the moderately sized battery cell from flat to 100%, which is extremely handy. Would you prefer a bulky device with a bigger battery cell and slower fast charging or the kind of specs that the Reno6 Pro brings to the table? Let us know in the comments. I liked this combination of a sleek device with a decent-sized battery coupled with a super-fast charger.
Oppo Reno6 Pro Connectivity
Moving on, the Reno6 Pro comes equipped with two nano-SIM card slots, supports Dual-mode 5G, and has Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and NFC.
The Reno6 Pro is essentially the Reno5 Pro with the all-new MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset. The new SoC improves the core performance and also adds useful camera upgrades. The handset ensures smooth performance all day long no matter how far you push it with heavy apps or games.
The camera might lack those fancy hardware features such as far-field zoom or 8K video recording but the AI-enabled features and plethora of modes and filters can come in handy useful for avid photographers and content creators.
The premium design and the crisp 90Hz AMOLED display are excellent but a more durable form-factor with an effective IP rating and a 120Hz panel would have made things better from a price perspective. Also, the battery life isn't class-leading but the 65W fast-charger comes to the rescue.
Despite some of its shortcomings, the Reno6 Pro is a decent package in the sub-40K price bracket if your priority is a lightweight and good-looking handset with good day-to-day camera performance. If you are already using the Reno5 Pro, it makes very little sense to upgrade to the new device. We would also recommend checking out the OnePlus 9R and the Vivo X60 in the same price bracket.