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Oppo Reno 6 Pro Review: Can Good Looks Alone Make it the Best Phone Under Rs 40,000?

Oppo Reno 6 Pro Review: Can Good Looks Alone Make it the Best Phone Under Rs 40,000?

The Oppo Reno 6 Pro is a good phone that does most things without much of a fuss, but better software still keeps the OnePlus 9R at the helm here.

The Oppo Reno 6 Pro is here, and has been launched in India at Rs 39,990. While a Rs 40,000 price point is understandably not the highest grosser in terms of sales volumes, it has seen a clear uptick in terms of how brands are approaching it. Today, for Rs 40,000, buyers can choose from between the iQoo 7 Legend, the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (4G), the Vivo X60 and the OnePlus 9R as very reliable choices. Joining this now is the Oppo Reno 6 Pro, hence proving that the overall order isn’t a short one to climb. Does it succeed, though?

On paper, the Oppo Reno 6 Pro is as packed as you’d expect any phone to be. You get the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 5G SoC, 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, a dual-curved 6.55-inch AMOLED 90Hz display, a 64MP quad rear camera setup, a 32MP front camera, under-display fingerprint sensor, a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging and the usual connectivity chops. It comes a little over six months after the Reno 5 Pro, so clearly, it’s not meant to be an upgrade over its predecessor. Where, then, does it stand? Does it have enough to out-gun the above-mentioned competitors, or is it only an also-ran?

Build, design and ergonomics: Fairly impressive

The one thing that strikes immediately about the Oppo Reno 6 Pro 5G is its overall design, which screams of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. It looks premium right from the onset, and undoubtedly feels premium as well. The curved glass on the display doesn’t quite sit flush with the metal side frame, and while this may break design continuity, it does create a crease that makes the phone easier to grip. Oppo has taken into account that while metal and glass phone builds do look very premium, they often compromise on grip.

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The rear panel of the Oppo Reno 6 Pro looks super premium and adds to its appeal. (Image: Shouvik Das/News18.com)

Addressing this is also a rough textured, frosted glass rear panel that isn’t extremely slippery to hold. This adds a shimmery effect to the rear panel of the phone, and whether you like this or not will purely depend on your sense of aesthetics. The volume buttons to the left and the power button to the right are all fairly easy and convenient to reach, and with 7.6mm thickness and 177g weight, the sleek build of the Oppo Reno 6 Pro makes for an undoubtedly premium experience. This helps the phone offer an ergonomic typing experience, as well as one-handed usage when you are lying down.

To sum up, the Oppo Reno 6 Pro does strike an impressive first impression with its design, and build quality is at par, too. The only complaint one can have here is the generous amount of shimmer on the rear panel, which is a touch too much for generally bling-averse people such as I.

Display and software: Not much to complain here, either

The display on the Oppo Reno 6 Pro is suitably bright enough for viewing under direct sunlight, and can get dim enough to not hurt your eyes when using at night. The dual curved edges look premium for sure, and it comes with HDR10+ certification as well. Colours look vibrant and punchy, and viewing angles are great, too – no undue colour shift if you view the display from various angles. The 90Hz refresh rate keeps things smooth, and touch response is suitably accurate. In short, there’s nothing really to complain, here.

The display of the Oppo Reno 6 Pro is as good as you’d expect from a premium phone. (Image: Shouvik Das/News18.com)

In terms of software, the Oppo Reno 6 Pro does come with quite a few preinstalled apps, but thankfully, most of them can be uninstalled. Thankfully, Oppo’s ColorOS allows you to turn off notifications for many of its system apps as well, which FunTouch OS on iQoo’s phones do not allow. Auto brightness adjustment isn’t a strong suit of the Reno 6 Pro, so you should rather control the brightness by yourself. It gives you access to privacy settings as (in)conveniently as any other Android phone, so there isn’t a lot to penalise.

Performance and battery life: Good, but not the best

The Oppo Reno 6 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC, which is good enough for all average workloads. For instance, you can actively switch between two browsers with 15 tabs each, four messaging apps, two mail apps, a music streaming app, a cloud storage app and two social media apps, without making the phone feel sluggish. This suggests that for the most part, the Oppo Reno 6 Pro will suit most users’ average work days without much of a stutter.

Also Read: OnePlus 9R Review: This Android Phone Is Flawless And You Better Believe It

However, there is a discernible difference between the general levels of smoothness between the Oppo Reno 6 Pro and devices powered by flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, such as the Xiaomi Mi 11X, the OnePlus 9R and even the Vivo X60. This difference clearly comes through in gaming, where the peak graphics levels do not quite sustain at high frame rates. On this note, devices powered by the Snapdragon 870 do exceptionally well by striking an adequate balance of performance, heat management and graphics fidelity. This, though, won’t be particularly noticeable for you, unless you are really into gaming. If that’s who you are – the Asus ROG Phone 5 is only Rs 10,000 away, and you’d do well to wait and save up the extra bucks and go for it, than buy the Reno 6 Pro for gaming.

Battery life is decent on the Oppo Reno 6 Pro, and on overall terms, you can get well more than an average work day’s worth of battery life out of it. You get roughly 15 hours of usage time with the Reno 6 Pro per charge cycle, which essentially means plugging it in before going to sleep will be enough to power you through the day – no lugging around the fat 65W charger with you. If you leave it without charging, the Reno 6 Pro discharges by 8 percent on average through an 8-hour overnight idle period, and one hour of video streaming with 60 percent power left eats up 6 percent of the battery. Just like performance, then, the battery life here is also good – but not the best.

Cameras: Decent, but more gimmicky

It is actually about time that phone makers start rolling back the years and consider the fact that stuffing in more camera units for the sake of it may not exactly fool anyone, any longer. While it does have four rear cameras, the fixed focus 8MP ultra-wide, fixed focus 2MP macro and the 2MP depth assistance units are largely space fillers. The 64MP main unit is reportedly an Omnivision sensor, and for what it’s worth, does an acceptable job in both details and colour reproduction.

The ultra-wide camera on the Oppo Reno 6 Pro (left) is a letdown, but the Bokeh Flare mode (right) is good fun to play with, albeit gimmicky.

It is not a dynamic range champion, but colours are sufficiently vivid and saturated, although the colour details clearly drop when in ultra-wide mode. Shadows are acceptable with the main camera but lack details in ultra-wide mode and night mode as well. The software enhancements, in particular the Bokeh Flare mode, do make for interesting gimmicks that you would enjoy playing around with for the initial few days of owning the phone, but the moment you settle in, you’d realise that it is largely just that – a gimmick.

On overall terms, then, the Oppo Reno 6 Pro offers a rear camera that can be decent at its best, and simply too gimmicky at all other times. Videography is reliable, and does well to avoid screen tear at 1080p60. Selfies carry a clear tinge of skin tone correction and texture refinement, but there’s nothing to raise an alarm about – as long as you’d be using your selfies to post on Instagram Stories and Twitter Fleets, it’s all good enough.

Verdict: A good phone, just not the very best

There isn’t really a lot to dislike about the Oppo Reno 6 Pro. In fact, it looks really good, has a premium build quality, is good to use with one hand, offers good performance and an enjoyable display, adequate battery life, and finally, usable cameras as well. However, the biggest problem that it faces is that all of its rivals can also do all of the above mentioned things – and then some more. When it comes to performance, the iQoo 7 Legend and Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro fare far better, and even the OnePlus 9R and Vivo X60 do better at peak performance.

Each of the other best phones under Rs 40,000 in India also have good enough cameras and vibrant displays, which makes the Reno 6 Pro a very mid-table phone. If you’re in this budget segment looking for a phone, the Reno 6 Pro is a device that you must consider for sure, but whether it can make it to your final shortlist will depend on whether you like its design enough.

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first published:July 14, 2021, 17:31 IST