Mobiles & Tablets

The Oppo Reno 6 Pro stays with the formula

Mala Bhargava | Updated on July 15, 2021

There’s no step-change with this new phone, but a few natural and welcome upgrades

Oppo’s flagship series in India, Reno, was interesting enough at the start of its life. At the time though, there weren’t dozens of phones that offered designs, features and prices that were so similar. Today we’re all but saturated with an avalanche of smartphones that one-up each other from one week to the next. Where does the Reno 6 series stand against this landscape? To sum it up, it’s a tweak here and a tweak there and we have ourselves a new phone. That doesn’t mean the Reno 6 Pro (the model reviewers are getting to see) is at all bad — just that it doesn’t break any barriers.

Although this 5G phone isn’t very different from its previous Reno 5 series and also not too different from some Vivo phones (remember they are sibling brands, though they don’t like to say so), it’s a nice looking phone. What this handset has going for it is that it’s really slim and light and great to hold in contrast with so many other phones. I typically have quite a few phones around me to check out and this one stands out because of its in-hand comfort. I was immediately suspicious about its battery being too small, but in fact its a 4,500mAh, which is more than good enough and it also has a 65W charger and fast charging, so you can top it up quite quickly or wait for the full charge in about 40 minutes or much less if you haven’t gone down to zero.

The Reno 6 Pro is very nice looking. The back is something Oppo is quite proud of: there’s a matte finish with an iridescent reflection of colours when light falls on the glass. It’s not entirely unlike a design that Vivo has been using recently. In fact, quite a few phone companies have become overly fond of this sunset-aurora-twilight kind of look. I’m not complaining too much since it’s pretty.

All the elements on the back and around — cameras, logo, buttons, etc — are just fine. There’s no 3.5 mm jack and no stereo speakers. The latter is more of a disappointment at the price.

The front shows a slightly curved glass on the two sides and a pretty good display. It’s a FullHD + AMOLED screen with a 60Hz to 90Hz refresh rate and a 120Hz touch sampling rate. It has a nice crisp screen and is pretty nice to work with, even though it’s missing the 120Hz refresh that has come down to devices half the price of this phone. But all said and done, 90Hz is fast enough, specially when you have enough other specs to make the phone feel fast.

For a change there’s just one variant of this phone, which means you get a whole 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. No complaints. You can’t add a memory card, but I’m beginning to wonder when I last saw one anyway. The processor used on this phone is a current in-the-news one: the Mediatek Dimensity 1200. It performs well and doesn’t heat up the phone. It works on Android 11 with ColorOS. Oppo’s software has improved somewhat, but there are still unwanted apps and more than that, unwanted notifications that are not easy to get rid of.

Oppo is using the camera as one of the reasons one may want to buy the phone. The specs sound entirely familiar. A primary 64MP with an 8MP ultra wide and two 2MP lenses for macro and depth. The front camera is a 32MP. The camera set performs pretty well and there wouldn’t be anything very much to say except for some software and AI tricks. The videos you shoot with this phone can give you a background blur in an imitation of what DSLRs are capable of. But to say that this device is for ‘videographers’ is a bit of a stretch. On a day-to-day basis, both photos and videos are good, but not stellar in any way. If the device were really oriented towards photographers and videographers, it would at least have optical image stabilisation.

That Oppo can be innovative when it wants to isn’t in question. I just recently checked out their amazingly rollable concept phone. If I think back to the initial Reno phones, I remember one of them had an unusual shark-fin pop-up camera. But somewhere along the line, Oppo dropped the innovations on the Reno series and this generation of the phone particularly shows that. The phone does have lightness and slimness in its favour, but needs to have been half the price for what it offers, considering the intense competition.

Price: Rs 39,999

Pros: Very light and comfortable, slim, pretty to look at, good display, nice enough cameras and supporting software

Cons: No 120Hz refresh, no stereo speakers, no water resistance, no leap in photography as such, overpriced considering the competition and minimal innovation

Published on July 15, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.