OPPO Reno5 First Impressions Review: Striking a Perfect Balance

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Early this week, OPPO Reno5 series was launched in Kenya. The tech giant brought the OPPO Reno5 and Reno5 F – their latest mid-range smartphones in the country to succeed the OPPO Reno 4 that launched late last year.

OPPO’s O-stars graced the YouTube livestream launch on YouTube and included Avril Nyambura, MC Jessy, Kamene Ngoro, Jalang’o, Martin Githinji, Maureen Waititu, and Pascal Tokodi.

We took the OPPO Reno5 for a spin and here’s our unboxing and first impressions review.


OPPO Reno5 packed a couple of new and improved upgrades over its sibling but first here’s what you get in the box:

  • 50W power brick
  • Type-C charging cable
  • phone itself
  • pair of earphones
  • silicone case
  • screen protector already preinstalled
  • user guide
  • warranty
  • sim-ejector tool

Design

OPPO stuck with a compact design that makes the phone thin and light even for one-handed use. the phone features the company’s Reno Glow design at the back – a colour gradient look with a matte finish to prevent fingerprint smudges.

OPPO Reno5 comes in Astral Blue and Fantastic Silver colours and attract attention whenever you pop them out especially the latter.

OPPO Reno5 back

Its buttons have been well-placed for comfortable use. we have the power button on the right and volume buttons on the left next to the dual sim and microSD card slot.

OPPO Reno5 buttons

At the bottom, we have the headphone jack, speaker grill, microphone and type-C charging port.

OPPO Reno5 Ports

Coming to the front, we have a 6.4″ AMOLED display with 1080p resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The display is bright enough to even use outdoors under direct sunlight.

OPPO Reno5 display

The phone comes with Netflix HD Streaming Certification and supports 1080P streaming, meaning you’ll enjoy your favourite Netflix shows in HD.

You’ll enjoy consuming multimedia content on this device as I did – from gaming, browsing the web, scrolling the social media thanks to that high refresh rate and high resolution screen.

We have both fast and accurate optical in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock for biometrics.

OPPO Reno5 indisplay fingerprint sensor

So far, I’m loving the design choices and upgrades the OPPO Reno5 is offering.

Software

OPPO Reno5 ships with Android 11 and ColorOS 11. These are the latest software versions from both Google and OPPO respectively.

Android 11 brings key features like Nearby Share, Notifications History, Media controls, Conversation and Bubbles, Power Button Menu, New Emojis, Temporary Permissions, ability to pin apps in share menu and scheduled dark mode.

ColorOS 11 brings new rich UI customization options, ability to select accent colours, generate wallpapers and create ringtones.

We have improved Dark Mode settings including Enhanced, Medium, and Gentle. You also get the option to adjust icons and wallpapers to dark mode. Third-party apps that don’t natively support dark mode will follow the system-wide selected dark mode.

You get even more wallpapers from world-renowned artists that includes time-lapse photographs, macro and microscope wallpapers.

Another feature is a revamped OPPO Relax 2.0 that now includes Sound Mix.

Three finger screenshot now lets you translate text on screenshot thanks to OPPO’s partnership with Google Lens.

FlexDrop is also here with ColorOS 11 for multitasking. It looks like EMUI’s smart multi-window feature.

Private System lets you create a copy of your current system that is protected by password or fingerprint.

Other features ColorOS 11 include performance improvements in AI App Preloading, Hyper Boost 3.0, the support for third-party camera apps to access video HDR.

Other nice to have features OPPO Reno 4 offers include smart-always on display, smart spying prevention, smart rotation, smart air control that lets you control the phone using gesture such as scrolling up and down on Instagram, Facebook or answering a phone call with a swiping motion with your hand.

Navigating the phone with the new user interface has been hassle-free. And for the first time, I’ve ditched using a custom launcher and custom icon pack!

The whole experience has been that good!

It’s impressive to see the forward-looking and innovative steps OPPO has made in terms of software which make the OPPO Reno5 more enticing and worth upgrading to.

Performance

Under all the gorgeous and compact desisgn of the OPPO Reno5, is 8GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage. We have Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chip and Adreno 618 GPU.

So far, the phone has handled my multitasking and gaming needs like a champ.

All this with the 90Hz refresh rate as a sweet cherry on top of the pie.

Browsing the web and going through my social media timelines was buttery smooth. Games played at their available highest settings with no lag.

And frankly, the distraction is worth it.

Graphic intense games such as PUBG, Mortal Kombat X, Call of Duty Mobile, GrimValor and Alto’s Odyssey play smoothly.

ColorOS 11 comes with an improved Game Space that not only boosts gaming performance for supported games. but also blocks notifications for distraction-free gaming.

You get to monitor GPU, CPU usage and FPS rates to optimize your gaming. You can also switch between different game modes including Competition mode, Balanced mode and Low power mode. There’s also a new Immersive mode that lets you block navigation gestures, quick settings for immersive gaming and can be selected from the quick access bubble.

For PUBG lovers, Game Space has a Quick Return Flaoting Bubble especially if you’re on other apps that lets you see important information like in-cabin time and respawn count down. Tapping on it lets you get back to PUBG if a new match is about to start.

Cameras

In terms of optics, OPPO Reno5 gets new upgrades too.

OPPO Reno5 cameras

We get a 44MP punch-hole selfie camera while the main camera is a 64MP wide camera, 8MP super wide camera, 2MP monochrome and 2MP macro camera.

OPPO Reno5 selfie camera

New features have also been included to play around with including AI Highlight Video that fuses the power Ultra Night Video and LiveHDR. AI Highlight Video uses an AI algorithm to recognize light levels, and then applies a corresponding solution to make every video clear and vibrant.

We also have

Dual-view Video where both front and rear cameras record what’s happening and how you’re reacting at the same time. With both angles on camera, your videos can capture all the excitement of your interactions.

We have AI Color Portrait an in this distinctive video mode, color keeps all eyes on your subject as they move through black-and-white scenery.

Other features include Monochrome Video, Soloop Smart Video Editor, Night Flare Portrait, Ultra-clear 108MP Image, AI Scene Enhancement, AI Mixed Portrait and Slo-Mo.

We’ll be checking out these features in the coming days for our full review.

Battery Life

Battery capacity has also been improved with the Reno5. We now have 4310mAh battery with included ultra fast charging.

For the past few days, I have been switching between heavy and light use and the OPPO Reno5 has been giving me an average of 8 hours on heavy usage with 90Hz enabled and 11 hours on light and mixed use.

Reno 5 features 50W wired fast charging that can charge the phone’s battery from 0% to up to 80% within 31 minutes and charge the device to up to 100% in just 48 minutes.

You also get nifty battery saving features including power saving mode and super-power saving mode.

Early Verdict

OPPO continues to improve its midrange Reno line and with the Reno5, they have striked a perfect balance of features and so far I’m impressed. From performance, photography, software experience, fast charging and dependable all-day battery life.

Stay tuned for our full review.

Pricing and Availability

Preorders are ongoing until 1st March. Sales go live on March 2nd.

Pre-orders will be available on all OPPO retail stores countrywide and in online retail stores including Jumia, Kilimall and Masoko.


Pre-order bundle includes OPPO’s W11 wireless earbuds, a branded bluetooth speaker, branded backpack and six month screen protection cover.

OPPO Reno 5 will start selling from Ksh 41,999.

Stay tuned for full reviews and related coverage of the OPPO Reno 5 which will be coming out very soon.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Articles in This Stream:

OPPO Reno5 Review: Basically Perfect

OPPO Reno5 vs OPPO Reno4 Comparison Review: Sibling Rivalry

OPPO Reno5 Camera Performance Review: More is Better

OPPO Reno5 First Impressions Review: Striking a Perfect Balance

OPPO Reno5 Now Available in Kenya