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Oppo Reno 6 5G review, Pros, Cons, Should you buy it?

Oppo's duo of Reno 6 series phones have something for everything. The two phones, Reno 6 Pro 5G and the Reno 6 5G, aim to shake up the mid-end market. When I reviewed the Reno 6 Pro 5G a while back, even though I was impressed by how beautiful the phone looks, I did not find the Reno 6 Pro 5G value for money. But I have hopes that the Reno 6 5G will come across as a more viable option between the two. That is because the Reno 6 5G specifications are more or less the same as the Reno 6 Pro 5G, but the price is much lower.

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The Oppo Reno 6 5G comes with the same design as the Reno 6 Pro 5G. I would say it is even better. And when you move beyond the design, Oppo has in no way tried to make the Reno 6 5G any less capable, even though there are some trade-offs. For Rs 29,990, the Oppo Reno 6 5G comes as an affordable Reno phone, and I think it makes more sense to go for this phone. I have some reasons behind that.

Oppo Reno 6 5G review: Looks like an iPhone with a rainbow pallet that feels good

When I took the Reno 6 5G out of the box, I felt as if I had taken out a new iPhone. That is because this phone is an uncanny copy of the iPhone 12 Pro, except for that rainbow design that you get on the Aurora colourway. Don't get me wrong. This is a good and attractive copy of the iPhone 12 Pro. However, what you see is a premium design for a phone that costs less than half the iPhone 12 Pro's price. The metal frame on the phone has antenna bands, and it kind of feels posh to be holding this sort of design in your hands. The Reno 6 5G comes in a Stellar Black colour option, but I think it is the Aurora that most people would go for.

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I have talked about how Reno phones stand out in the crowd design-wise, and the Reno 6 5G is no exception. Because the phone is also very slim -- with a thickness of 7.59mm -- it is easy to hold. The grip of the phone is also good, but I started feeling some pinching against the edge of the phone. The edge is not very sharp but sharp enough to cause some pressure if you hold the phone tight. I would say using a mobile case is a solution, but that defies the purpose of buying this phone for its beauty. But the fact that the backside does not catch fingerprints is a saving grace.

Oppo has switched to the modern smartphone design already, and Reno 6 5G just follows that. You have no 3.5mm headphone jack on this phone, but you should not worry much because the phone comes with USB-C earphones. Most people now prefer using wireless earphones, so not having a 3.5mm jack should not be much of a concern. The phone's buttons feel satisfactory to press, especially with that metal design and iPhone-like accent.

The camera island on the back juts out very visibly. While this is a good design element, it is not very utilitarian. When not using a mobile case to fill the cavity on the rest of the phone and to protect your phone, you end up getting a phone that will always wobble when kept on a plain surface. And when you do cover it up with a case, you risk hiding an otherwise immensely beautiful phone. Oppo could have found a middle ground for this dilemma.

Oppo's Reno 6 5G comes with a 6.42-inch Full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection and a peak brightness of 600 nits. It is a beautiful display that makes scrolling, swiping, and watching animation look super smooth. This necessarily shows when you play games on the phone. I will talk about the gaming experience a bit later. The brightness of the display is good even under direct sunlight. The display does not support HDR10, but despite that, the colours look amazing. I watched Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on the Reno 6 5G, and this experience was enjoyable. The phone can stream 1080p videos on all your streaming platforms.

While I am talking about my movie-watching experience, I have a gripe. The phone lacks stereo speakers, so you end up listening to sound from just one speaker. It is underwhelming, to say the least. A phone that costs around Rs 30,000 should not lack stereo speakers, even if it is a trade-off.

Oppo Reno 6 5G review: Works fast with decent battery life

I have mainly found that the Reno phones are not as aggressive as other phones. They cannot even compete specifications-wise with phones from sister brands, let alone their rivals. The Oppo Reno 6 5G kind of fits right into this argument. It is India's first phone with a MediaTek Dimensity 900 processor. I have no doubts about the processor, but the fact that you are getting this processor for around Rs 30,000 puts me off a bit. Anyway, let us talk about how good this processor is.

The Dimensity 900 processor is fast. It can handle multiple apps at once easily. I could easily juggle between apps. Having games in the background is not a problem either, thanks to up to 12GB of RAM. While everyday tasks feel like a breeze, I was impressed by how well games run. Playing Battlegrounds Mobile India and Call of Duty Mobile on the Reno 6 5G was an enjoyable affair. Mind you, you need to be careful about the graphics settings of the games because the default ones are moderate. Cranking up these settings results in jitters and frame drops. I also noticed that playing for more than 25 minutes causes the metal frame to heat up, so much so that you will notice and divert your attention from the game to this discomfort.

What I mean is that this phone cannot give you the flagship gaming experience, but it is going to be good enough for playing games. Gamers will not like this phone.

Things like calls and texting are all fine. Since the grip is good, I managed to hold the phone for extended usage when texting. The ColorOS 11.3 works well and is very responsive, but it can become a nightmare once you open the browser and set it up. The browser will not stop spamming your notification centre unless you block them. And believe me, doing that is not an easy job.

The battery on the Reno 6 5G lasts for about a day. There is a 4300mAh battery on the phone that the company claims can continuously play over 4 hours of HD videos. For me, the phone lasted a day with a single charge. And even though your way of using the phone might bring down this time, the 65W fast charging technology is your saviour. The bundled charger takes a little more than half an hour to fully charge the phone.

Oppo Reno 6 5G review: Appealing photos

Apart from the signature design, Reno phones are also famous for their camera skills. I took the Reno 6 5G out for a spin to check how well its cameras do. The phone has a 64-megapixel wide sensor on the backside, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. The depth camera is missing here when comparing it with the Reno 6 Pro 5G, but it hardly makes a difference. On the front, you have a 32-megapixel camera inside the punch-hole.

Look at the photo of those oranges and apples. I used the primary camera to click this photo, and I was instantly pleased by how natural the colours look. The sharpness is on point. Since there was enough brightness at the shopping store, the camera managed to capture a good level of detail in the photo. The best thing is that there is no over saturation happening in these photos, so what you see is very close in terms of colour chemistry.

Since you do not have a dedicated camera for portrait mode, you may think the portrait mode is just a facade here. No, it is not. I think even without the depth camera, the Reno 6 5G can give you portraits that are as good. Night mode also works well by brightening photos in low light conditions. It is reliable for occasions when the camera normally cannot click good images. There will be some photos that will look grainy, but I think that is a cool effect to have in some photos.

The ultra-wide-angle camera clicks average photos that have fewer details in them. There is barrel distortion, as well, in pictures from this camera. The macro camera, on the other hand, clicks appealing photos. Although these photos lack the sharpness that I had expected, the kind of details they retain is excellent.

The Reno 6 5G clicks good selfies, but there is a lot of smoothness in them. The AI Beauty mode is turned on by default, but you can turn it off. However, there is not much difference between the photos taken with and without beautification. The front camera supports portrait and night modes, as well. They just do their job. One of the biggest complaints that I had with the Reno 6 Pro was its inability to capture 60fps videos at 4K resolution. That inability has trickled down to the Reno 6 5G, as well, but because the price is much lower, it is not much of a problem here. Apart from 4K 30fps videos, you can shoot 1080p videos when using stabilisation.

Oppo Reno 6 5G review: Should you buy?

The Oppo Reno 6 5G gets most things right, I think. The design of the phone is a blend of what the Reno 6 Pro 5G brings and that of the iPhone 12 Pro. And this is a terrific combination because this phone looks premium and beautiful. There is a small confusion with this design -- whether you should use a cover or shouldn't -- but that is going to be doable for most people who are not quite finicky. The display, performance, battery, and camera are all good and fit the idea of the phone that values beauty more than cutting-edge performance.

Of course, there are a few trade-offs here. For example, the phone lacks stereo speakers. Plus, the software sometimes gets a bit pesky and begins to bombard you with unwanted notifications. For this price, I will not entertain advertisements even though it is my phone's browser that is hurling them. And so shouldn't you. For Rs 29,990, the Oppo Reno 6 5G may come as a better deal than the Reno 6 Pro 5G, but because of the competition -- and this is a brutal one that includes the OnePlus Nord 2 -- I find it hard to pass the Reno 6 5G as an outright recommendation. However, if you want a beautiful phone without much focus on features, the Reno 6 5G is a decent choice.

Oppo Reno 6 Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Bright display
  • Good cameras
  • Fast-charging battery

Oppo Reno 6 Cons

  • No stereo speakers
  • Software needs a refresh

Conclusion

  • Oppo Reno 6 5G has a design that will remind you of the iPhone 12 Pro.
  • The AMOLED display is good for watching movies, but speakers are not.
  • The cameras are good, and the battery charges in under 40 minutes.

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