Oppo

OPPO Reno5 5G impressions

Gelo Gonzales
OPPO Reno5 5G impressions

RENO 5G

Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

The phone will be launched on February 10 on OPPO Philippines' Facebook page

OPPO’s new Reno5 5G will be launching on Wednesday, February 10, with the event to be livestreamed on the OPPO Philippines Facebook page at 7 pm. 

The Reno5 5G is set to be a mid-range device with, as the name states, 5G capabilities, and camera features that enhance the dynamic range of images. The back of the device is distinctive as well, with a matte glittery finish that has this eye-catching gradient effect. It’s quite youthful, packaged in a lively blue box. 

Officially, OPPO calls the color “Iconic Fantasy Silver” made with a “Diamond Spectrum” process. It’s nice to the touch, and more importantly fingerprint-resistant. It’s a plus that the phone looks good without having to constantly wipe off smudges. There’s virtually no smudging here. It’s attractively thin (said to be at 7.8 millimeters) and with just the right amount of weight. 

The punch hole for the front camera is on the upper left corner of the screen, and there’s this nice little halo effect circling the front camera when you switch from the rear to the front unit. 

Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

For its camera features, OPPO says that the phone takes still images and videos with an improved dynamic range, and better portrait shots. 

For the former, OPPO has what it calls “AI Highlight Video.” The feature has situations where the software and AI-based feature can benefit the user. In low-light scenes, the phone processes images to make sure that the image is still properly exposed, bringing up the exposure in the dark parts without overexposing the other areas. 

It’s also good for shooting backlit scenes as the phone can detect these, and is especially optimized to generate the proper exposure for such a scene, meaning both the background and the subject are properly exposed.

Usually, in such a situation, the subject will be dark because the device is lowering the exposure for the light coming from the background. With the Reno5, the hope is you won’t have to ask your subject to transfer to the other side of the light source. 

In our time with the Reno5, what’s good is that the effect isn’t overly pronounced. Sometimes, with digital and AI processing, the end result can look unnatural. Here, you can see the device attempting for a nice balance in exposure, saturation and sharpness. 

Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

AI processing isn’t unique to the Reno5. Every other phone maker uses AI imaging one way or another nowadays, so sometimes it boils down to what situations the phone maker wants to “fix,” which in this case are lowlight images that suffer from a flat dynamic range, and backlit images.

The AI assistance really brings a liveliness to the images, and would be great for taking shots at a bar with friends (whenever that becomes possible again without the virus fears) and taking shots at travel spots where you don’t always have the time or luxury to move to a non-backlit spot. 

One other cool video feature is dual-view video, which lets you shoot with both the front and the back camera simultaneously. I first saw this in the Samsung S21 line, but it’s great that the feature is coming to a more affordable phone. There are 3 layout options available: a split-screen mode, and a picture-in-picture mode with a rectangular frame or one with a circular frame. It works as advertised. 

There are other tricks as well that the Reno5 is capable of: a double-exposure mode that lets you superimpose one shot on another, which OPPO says, is the first time a phone can do this; “AI Color Portrait” which lets you keep the color of the subject while making everything else black and white; and “Monochrome Video” where everything else is black and white except for reds, greens, and, blues, whichever is dominant.

Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

But while these are limited-use tricks, the cameras’ ability to retain dynamic range even in challenging situations – in both the front and rear cameras – is the real appeal.

You get a nice 90Hz screen as well, smoother than your usual 60Hz display, but more importantly, it comes with a new 50-watt fast charging feature, a step up from the previous 30-watt charging. This juices the phone from zero to 80% in 31 minutes and, and up to 100% in 48 minutes. Inside the unit is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 5G, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.