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OPPO Reno 6 review: a stylish, well-rounded mid-ranger

OPPO recently refreshed its Reno series with the launch of the Reno6 Pro 5G and Reno6 5G. I reviewed the Pro variant earlier this month and was quite impressed with the overall package but not so much with the pricing. What I liked the most was the striking design of the Reno6 Pro, powerful cameras and performance. After using the standard Reno6 5G for over a week now, I am experiencing a sense of deja vu.

Also Read: OPPO Reno 6 Pro 5G review: pro features, premium price

The vanilla Reno6 5G is around Rs 10,000 cheaper than the Pro variant and continues the trend of offering an easy on the eyes design accompanied by good performance. At this price point, the Reno6 goes straight up against the heavyweights like POCO F3 GT and OnePlus Nord 2. Let’s find out if the Reno6 has what it takes to compete with these solid contenders.

Design and display

  • 156.8 x 72.1 x 7.59mm, 182g
  • 6.41-inch AMOLED, Full HD+, 90Hz refresh rate, 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio, 93.28 percent DCI-P3 coverage, 600nits

OPPO calls the design of Reno6 5G an ultra-slim retro design, which is exactly what it is. My first impressions after unboxing the Reno6 was that it feels a lot like the latest iPhone 12 in terms of design. It has the same boxy build with metal chassis and a glass back panel with the brand’s proprietary Reno Glow finish. I received the Aurora colourway, which gives off an iridescent glow with changing colours when light hits it.

Additionally, the matte finish on the back is fingerprint resistant, which means I could rock it au naturale and not worry about it getting dirty. The smartphone is slightly slimmer and heavier than the Pro variant, but I could use it for longer without experiencing any wrist fatigue. Apart from the industrial, boxy design the rest of the aesthetics is the same as the Pro variant.

You get the same rectangular camera island on the back with large lens rings but with one less camera. At the bottom, you will find the Type-C charging port, a single speaker, and a SIM tray. The top edge is bare except for a single noise-cancelling mic. On the right is the power button with a green accent and the left side has volume buttons. For security, there’s an in-display fingerprint scanner, which has a slight delay but is pretty accurate.

Coming to the front, the OPPO Reno6 5G sports a 6.43-inch display. The AMOLED panel offers full HD+ screen resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. There is no adaptive refresh rate, which is a bummer considering cheaper smartphones have this feature. You are stuck with either 90Hz or 60Hz. During my stint with the phone, I had it set to 90Hz and the experience was smooth.

I have no qualms regarding the brightness, colours, and viewing angles on the display. OPPO has highlighted the MiraVision HDR Video Playback & Display technology facilitated by the Dimensity 900 SoC. There is also support for HDR10 and HLG for HD streaming on supported OTT platforms. I watched Blood Red Sky on Netflix and the viewing experience was on par with the Reno6 Pro 5G.

Cameras

  • Rear: 64-megapixel sensor (main), 8-megapixel sensor (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel sensor (macro)
  • Front: 32-megapixel sensor

The OPPO Reno6 5G lives up to the brand’s reputation when it comes to cameras. It features the same setup as the OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G minus the 2-megapixel mono lens. The primary camera is a 64-megapixel unit, accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. There’s a 32-megapixel camera on the front for selfies and video calling.

The camera UI is typical of ColorOS. You’ll be able to swipe between portrait, night, video and photo modes on the viewfinder. Under the ‘More’ section, you’ll find some more options including dual-view video, slo-mo, timelapse, extra HD, movie, pro, macro, and SOLOOP templates. Just like the Pro variant, the highlight is the Cinematic Bokeh Flare Portrait in photos and video.

The primary 64-megapixel camera performed just as I expected it to since it’s the same as the Reno6 Pro. The daylight pictures were detailed with vibrant colours and a balanced dynamic range. The macro camera lets you go up to 4cm close to the object and clicks passable images with decent colour and details. As for the ultra-wide lens, there’s minimal distortion around the edges and colours are vibrant, however, I found details to be slightly softer. The portrait mode works well but edge detection sometimes falters, especially around stray hairs. The AI Colour Portrait and Bokeh Flare Portrait mode are a delight to use.

As the sun goes down, the camera produces decent shots but I often found the pictures to be noise-laden and soft on details. Turn on the dedicated night mode and most of these issues are taken care of. Pictures shot using the night mode have sharper details, good exposure, and very little noise. However, there is a considerable delay in the focus.

Coming to selfies, the 32-megapixel shooter on the front is no slouch. The camera clicks great daylight selfies with high details and accurate colours. However, remember to turn off the beautification mode, which is quite aggressive and turned on by default. In the beautification mode, the camera will brush off most details on your face and make you look like a porcelain doll.

As for videos, the OPPO Reno6 5G is missing OIS and offers EIS only at 1080p with 60fps. Users can shoot up to 4K videos at 30fps but the videos are a little shaky. The headlining AI portrait and Bokeh Flare mode in videos work really well, but the resolution will be capped at 720p and 30fps.

Performance, software, and battery

  • Android 11 with ColorOS 11.3
  • MediaTek Dimensity 900 with ARM Mali-G68
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 4,300mAh battery, 65W SuperVOOC2.0 fast charging

The OPPO Reno6 5G is the first smartphone in India to feature the new MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset. OPPO highlights that the processor features HSR (High-Speed Rail) mode, which helps it to connect to the lowest latency tower to minimise ping for gaming. The chipset is mated to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Thanks to the 8GB RAM and further expandable virtual RAM up to 3GB, the smartphone handles day to day usages and multitasking like a champ. The 90Hz refresh rate further helps by offering smooth scrolling and quick app switching.

As for gaming, I played Battlegrounds Mobile India and Forza Street on the smartphone. BGMI launches with Balanced graphics and Medium frame rate by default, which can be changed to HD and High settings. In Battlegrounds Mobile India, the smartphone performed adequately with smooth graphics but I did experience some frame drops when playing longer sessions. The phone does get a little warm with over 30 minutes of gameplay but it’s not a dealbreaker. Forza Street plays extremely smooth on this smartphone. In short, the phone will serve casual gamers quite well. There’s a Game Toolkit, which can be accessed by swiping in from the top left corner. It lets you see the FPS in real time, turn off notifications, lets you chat in floating windows, and record gameplay, among other features.

Coming to the software, the OPPO Reno6 5G comes with Android 11 garnished with ColorOS 11.3. It comes with a lot of goodies like Google Discover integration on the homescreen, near-stock interface, Always-On Display, enhanced dark mode, and more. However, I was put off by the amount of bloatware present. These include Soloop, FinShell Pay, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Snapchat, Daily Hunt, Josh, and PhonePe, to name a few. Moreover, the ad issue from Theme Store that I experienced on the Pro variant is present on the vanilla Reno6 as well.

In the battery department, the Reno6 5G offers a 4,300mAh unit with support for OPPO’s 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charging. Thanks to the brilliant display, I binge-watched a lot of shows and YouTube videos on the smartphone during my stint and with this usage, I had to plug it in around late evening. With moderate usage including social media, an hour of gaming, browsing, and instant messaging will easily see you through a full day. As for charging,  the 65W charger provided with the smartphone was able to charge from zero to 100 percent in around 30-35 minutes, which is impressive. I particularly liked the optimised night charging features, which is crucial when you are using such fast charging tech and keeps your battery healthy.

Bottomline

The OPPO Reno6 5G is priced at Rs 29,990 in India and for this price, the smartphone is a good mix of looks and performance. You get a stunning AMOLED display with HDR, impressive cameras on the back and front, and a classic retro design. A casual user willing to spend Rs 30,000 will find Reno6 5G quite commendable. That being said, there are better-specced smartphones in this price range for power users or those who prefer raw performance over looks.

The OPPO Reno6 5G will face a lot of heat from the OnePlus Nord 2, which starts at Rs 29,999 for the base 8GB + 128GB variant and goes up to Rs 34,999 for the 12GB + 256GB. The India-exclusive Green Woods variant of the Nord 2 can give serious competition to the Reno6 5G in terms of looks. The smartphone also offers a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate and a 32MP selfie camera. Apart from this the Nord 2 is better in every aspect. You get a 50MP Sony IMX766 primary lens with OIS on the back, powerful MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI SoC, up to 12GB RAM, 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging, and last but not the least, the cleaner OxygenOS 11.3 based on Android 11. While the Codebase is the same as the ColorOS, the interface remains classic OxygenOS, which gives Nord 2 an upper hand.

The next contender is the Realme X7 Max 5G (review), which is priced at Rs 26,999, Rs 3,000 less. You get a smoother 120Hz AMOLED display, Dimensity 1200 chipset, and similar software (Realme UI = revamped ColorOS). The Realme offering does miss out in terms of selfies since it has a 16-megapixel unit on the front compared to the 32-megapixel of Reno6 5G. But thanks to post-processing and saturation, the selfie from X7 Max 5G click visibly aesthetic selfies, which many might prefer. The 4,500mAh battery comes with support for slightly slower 50W fast charging.

In case you’re looking for a gaming device, the recently launched POCO F3 GT starting at Rs 26,999 is a good option. You’ll get a snappier Dimensity 1200 SoC, 6.7-inch 120Hz, FHD+ AMOLED display, similar 64-megapixel triple rear cameras, and a 5,065mAh battery unit with support for a 67W charger. The POCO offering misses out in the selfie department as it comes with a 16-megapixel unit compared to 32-megapixel on Reno6.

Essentially, the Reno6 5G is a much better value offering compared to the Pro variant and will serve average users beyond expectations. The stylish look and impressive cameras are the main draws here with a good processor being the cherry on the top. However, smartphones like Nord 2 and Realme X7 Max have an upper hand in terms of offering a more well-rounded package.

Pricebaba’s rating: 7.5 / 10

What works

  • Gorgeous design
  • Good performance
  • Stunning display
  • Good selfie camera
  • 65W fast charging

What doesn’t

  • Bloatware in ColorOS
  • No expandable storage
  • No stereo speakers
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.