OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G review: Samsung should be worried

Reno 5 Pro 5G review
(Image: © Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: The Reno 5 Pro 5G absolutely nails the basics: you get a stunning 90Hz AMOLED screen, a gorgeous design with a slim 7.6mm chassis, reliable battery life with 65W fast charging, and cameras that take great photos. Combine that with a clean interface that runs Android 11 out of the box, and you get a great overall package in the mid-range segment.


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    Incredible performance

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    Gorgeous design

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    All-day battery life with 65W charging

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    Reliable cameras

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    ColorOS 11 is great to use


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    Dual-curved panel

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    Costlier than its rivals

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OPPO introduced the first model in the Reno series two years ago, and while that particular phone — the Reno 10X Zoom — was aimed at the flagship segment, the Chinese manufacturer switched focus to the mid-tier market with subsequent launches.

While OPPO delivered exciting phones with features carried over from its flagship Find X series, the Reno series didn't quite pass muster against the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi. Last year's Reno 4 Pro featured a svelte design, exciting cameras, and 65W fast charging, but it was ultimately limited because of the underwhelming Snapdragon 720G chipset.

With the Reno 5 series, OPPO fixing its past mistakes. The Reno 5 Pro 5G doesn't deviate too much in terms of the design from its predecessor, retaining the same 6.5-inch AMOLED dual-curved screen. But it is picking up considerable changes under the hood: the phone is the first to be powered by MediaTek's new Dimensity 1000+ chipset, delivering significant performance gains.

There's also a 64MP lens at the back, and OPPO somehow managed to cram a larger 4350mAh battery into the chassis while bringing the thickness down to 7.6mm. You'll also find 65W fast charging, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and the phone runs ColorOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box.

Combine it all and you get one of the best Android phones around in this segment. OPPO finally nailed the hardware and software, and that makes the Reno 5 Pro a truly standout choice in 2021.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Design

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Most phones these days have a metal-and-glass design, and the Reno 5 Pro does not deviate too much from that aesthetic. Its differentiating feature is the sleek profile — with a thickness of just 7.6mm, it is the thinnest phone I've used in a long time. Even the Pixel 4a with its diminutive size comes in at 8.2mm, just like the OnePlus Nord.

The Reno 5 Pro has a gorgeous Astral Blue design and a svelte 7.6mm profile.

So if you're looking for a phone with a svelte profile, you will love what the Reno 5 Pro offers. Then there's the design at the back — the phone is available in Astral Blue and Starry Black, and the former option in particular looks downright stunning.

There's a reflective finish underneath the glass layer that's quite striking to look at, with OPPO noting that it conducted extensive tests to fine-tune the pattern at the back. The Reno 5 Pro also has a matte finish that ensures it doesn't pick up fingerprint smudges. The texture makes it more conducive to use the phone one-handed, and I would have liked a similar finish on the mid-frame as well; you get a glossy coating there instead.

The phone has a slender mid-frame because of the screen; unlike most devices in this segment, the Reno 5 Pro has a dual-curved panel, and the curvature of the screen combined with the 7.6mm profile means there's just a tiny sliver of mid-frame around the sides to rest your fingers.

The phone has ultra-thin bezels, and you'll find a hole-punch cutout that's located on the left. The power button is on the right, the volume rocker to the left, and the primary speaker is located at the bottom. The SIM card tray sits to the left of the USB-C charging port, and up top you'll find a "Designed for Reno" moniker.

Overall, there is plenty to like with the design of the Reno 5 Pro. The Astral Blue color option is pretty distinctive, and while the sleek design isn't to my particular tastes, there is clearly a market for a thin phone.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Display

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Not much has changed in this area from the Reno 4 series, and that's a good thing. The Reno 5 Pro comes with a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate and FHD+ resolution, and you get vibrant colors with excellent saturation levels.

There's a gorgeous 90Hz AMOLED panel, but the dual-curved design isn't conducive to usage.

The 90Hz refresh rate means day-to-day activities like scrolling through social media or reading long-form content are smooth and lag-free. We've had phones with 90Hz refresh for nearly two years now, but most games are still locked to 60Hz — and that needs to change soon.

My main issue with the screen is not the color vibrancy, but the fact that it is a dual-curved panel. A flat panel would have made much more sense given the 7.6mm chassis, but it's clear that OPPO wanted to differentiate the display, and an easy way to do that is to add curves.

Barring the issues with the curved design, the Reno 5 Pro is a great option for streaming movies and playing games. There's no stereo sound here, but the single speaker is plenty loud and doesn't get distorted at high volume.

The panel itself goes up to 1100nits, has HDR10+, and comes with a suite of customization options that let you adjust the color profile, adjust the intensity of dark mode (there are three modes to choose from), and so much more. A particularly nifty addition is the always-on display; you get an exhaustive list of options to choose from, or you can make a custom pattern and tweak the text style and layout.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Performance

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

My main issue with the Reno 4 Pro was the hardware on offer. The Snapdragon 720G just didn't cut it in this category, ultimately letting down the phone. Well, that particular issue has been fixed with the Reno 5 Pro 5G. The phone is the first to be powered by MediaTek's latest Dimensity 1000+ chipset, and the performance that you get here is incredible.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SpecsOPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G
SoftwareColorOS 11 Android 11
Display6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED
Chipset2.60GHz Dimensity 1000+
Rear Camera 164MP ƒ/1.7 (primary)
Rear Camera 28MP ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle)
Rear Camera 32MP ƒ/2.4 (macro)
Rear Camera 42MP ƒ/2.4 (mono)
Front Camera32MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, BT 5.1, NFC
Battery4350mAh, 65W
SecurityIn-screen fingerprint
ColorsAstral Blue, Starry Black
Dimensions159.7 x 73.2 x 7.6mm

The Dimensity 1000+ is built on the 7nm node, and it comes with an eight-core design with four Cortex A77 cores at up to 2.60GHz and four energy-efficient A55 cores that go up to 2.0GHz. For gaming, you'll find Arm's Mali-G77 that has nine shader cores.

In day-to-day use, there are no issues whatsoever with the Dimensity 1000+. It is just as fluid as the Snapdragon chipsets you'll find in this category, and I didn't see any lag or slowdowns in the two weeks I used the Reno 5 Pro.

There's also an integrated 5G modem this time around, but you won't be able to use that particular feature in India for some time. There's no 3.5mm jack here, but the built-in speaker sounds good in its own right. The in-screen fingerprint sensor is fast to authenticate, and you also get a face unlock feature that is just as fast as what you'll find on OnePlus phones.

As for connectivity, you'll find Wi-Fi 6 along with Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC. The key highlight of the phone is 65W fast charging — the same as last year. You'll find a 4350mAh battery under the hood, and the phone lasts all day without any issues.

While there's no wireless charging, with 65W wired charging it takes just 30 minutes to fully charge the battery. You didn't read that wrong; a full charge from zero to 100% takes just 30 minutes on this phone. The only downside is that unlike the OnePlus 8T 65W charger — which works over USB PD and charges other devices — the charger that you get with this phone only works with OPPO's phones.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Cameras

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The Reno 5 Pro 5G features a 64MP camera at the back along with an 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP macro module, and 2MP mono lens. There is a 32MP camera at the front. The brand is highlighting a lot of video-focused innovations, including better video stabilization and an AI-assisted mode with night video algorithms and HDR video.

The AI-based features — dubbed Full Dimension Fusion Portrait Video System — make a lot of difference when shooting video, particularly at night. The video engine automatically selects the right highlights and color vibrancy, and ensures that objects in focus are correctly exposed.

The interface itself for the camera hasn't changed too much, and you'll find the shooting modes as well as toggles for the various lenses, AI features, and timer, flash, and more.

Photos taken with the 64MP primary lens have plenty of detail, with saturated colors, excellent dynamic range, and great contrast levels. The Reno 5 Pro does a decent job in low-light scenarios as well, and while the resultant shots are too saturated for my preferences, they do look good when shared on social media platforms.

The 8MP wide-angle lens also does a decent job, as does the 32MP selfie module at the front. As always, you're better off ignoring the 2MP macro. You do get a few interesting effects with the monochrome module, and you can use the feature with video as well. While the Reno 5 Pro has a strong showing in terms of video recording, it is missing the ability to record 4K video at 60fps. If you don't mind that particular omission, there is a lot to like here.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Software

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

At the end of last year, OPPO committed to delivering faster updates and ensuring its latest devices feature the latest version of Android. That is indeed the case with the Reno 5 Pro; the phone runs ColorOS 11 based on Android 11, and there are a lot of exciting additions here.

ColorOS 11 has a clean UI with plenty of customizability, and feels similar to OxygenOS 11.

In a lot of ways, ColorOS 11 feels similar to OxygenOS 11. There is a lot of customizability here — you have granular control over icons, tweak the accent colors, change the font, and even add unique always-on styles to customize the phone to your liking.

The best part about ColorOS 11 is the clean interface. OPPO overhauled its custom skin and made a lot of changes to bring the UI in line with the likes of OxygenOS 11 and One UI 3.0, and that is immediately evident once you start using the Reno 5 Pro. There's an easy way to instantly translate text — powered by Google Lens — and you'll find a battery saver mode that limits background usage to extend battery life considerably.

Overall, I like the direction OPPO is taking with ColorOS. The UI finally feels fresh and modern, you will find more customization options than you'll end up using (you can make your own ringtones), and with Android 11 under the hood, you are getting the latest Android features out of the box.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G The competition

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Over the last six months, all the attention in the mid-range segment has been focused on the OnePlus Nord. The phone is the best-selling device in this category in India, and it's easy to see why: it delivers incredible value, top-tier hardware, and a software interface that's one of the best you'll find.

The Nord isn't as fast as the Reno 5 Pro and it doesn't measure up in terms of the cameras either, but its selling point is that it is available for just ₹27,999 ($382).

Then there's the Galaxy A71. Samsung's 2020 mid-range phone is still going strong, and is now selling for just ₹27,999 ($382), making it a decent option in the mid-range segment. The A71 has a large AMOLED screen, reliable cameras, excellent battery life, and will get three years of Android updates. The screen is limited to 60Hz, but as an overall package, the A71 has plenty to offer.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G Should you buy?

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

You should buy this if ...

You want a phone with a sleek design

With a thickness of just 7.6mm and weighing in at 173g, the Reno 5 Pro is one of the thinnest and lightest devices in this segment. Then there's the design, with the Astral Blue color allowing the phone to stand out.

You need powerful hardware

OPPO thankfully fixed the hardware issues with this generation, and the Dimensity 1000+ delivers excellent performance for day-to-day tasks as well as gaming. You won't see any slowdowns here, and the software is optimized to take full advantage of the power on offer. Then there's a 4350mAh battery that lasts all day, and when you need to charge it, you get 65W wired charging.

You want refined software

Yes, ColorOS 11 is polished and looks a lot like OxygenOS 11 now, and that means software is no longer a drawback on OPPO phones. With Android 11 out of the box and plenty of customization options, you won't have any issues in this particular area.

You should not buy this if ...

You want the best value

The Reno 5 Pro has all the hardware you could ask for in this segment, but it doesn't deliver the same amount of value as its Chinese rivals. You are still getting a great product here, and if you don't mind paying a little more, it is a great overall option.

Reno 5 Pro 5G review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The most noteworthy thing about the Reno 5 Pro 5G is that it doesn't have any clear drawbacks. Previous launches in the Reno series were either too costly or under-powered, and that prevented the brand from mounting a challenge in this segment.

But the Reno 5 Pro doesn't have those problems. The phone features a great 90Hz AMOLED panel, stellar internal hardware in the form of the Dimensity 1000+, standout cameras, 65W fast charging, and clean software with Android 11 out of the box.

4 out of 5

Sure, the phone doesn't deliver quite the same value as you'd get with the Nord, but the phone isn't going up against OnePlus. OPPO is instead targeting Samsung, and against the Galaxy A51 or the beefier A71, the Reno 5 Pro holds its own.

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G

OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G

Bottom line: The Reno 5 Pro 5G is a refined mid-range phone that has a gorgeous design, vibrant 90Hz AMOLED screen, standout cameras, all-day battery life, and 65W fast charging. You also get Android 11 with a modern UI out of the box, and there really isn't anything missing here.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.