OPPO Reno8: 3 reasons to upgrade to this new Portrait Expert

OPPO makes a bold declaration for its Reno line. The brand calls it the Portrait Expert, one capable of helping you take flattering selfies of yourself or beautiful photos of your loved ones. And you don’t have to do much, at least that’s been our experience in the past. Now, does the OPPO Reno8 live up to our expectations? Yes, for the most part, it does.

And I want to dive deeper into that statement so I can share with you the primary reasons you might want to pick this smartphone up for yourself (or at least recommend it to someone who needs it).

OPPO Reno8 in a woman's hand

You care about getting flattering selfies and portraits 

…and it’s something you want easy access to at any time. That’s what the OPPO Reno8 promises with its cameras. OPPO’s been refining its selfie and portrait game for years, so I’m not surprised the Reno8 does this well.

This handset comes with a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor, 8-megapixel IMX355 wide-angle sensor, and 2-megapixel macro camera at the back. In front, there’s a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 camera.

The OPPO Reno8 has a 28% larger main sensor than the Reno7. And that allows for 64% more light and 43% image clarity/purity. With more light, the cameras can take clearer photos and videos, even in dark conditions. The sensor also gets DOL-HDR technology embedded into it, resulting in improved video dynamic range with a good balance of brightness and shadows.

What I’ve seen during my testing is the night shots turn out brighter, even making them seem at times like they were shot earlier in the day. These cameras get better portrait functionality, too, whether with the rear or front camera. And that selfie camera is just so enticing to use because of how flattering the images turn out.

Subject and background separation are generally great on the OPPO Reno8, but there are times when it can get a bit weird around stray hair. But I’m more lenient on this because this is something most smartphones still struggle with.

Taking photos or recording videos even when you’re against the light isn’t too much of a problem either. OPPO’s algorithm seems to take care of the dynamic range to ensure you or your subject are clear in the shots. And for people who love to take portraits, that is extra important. And that’s where the Reno8 excels.

Of course, your other photo- and video-taking needs are handled, too. When it comes to beautification features, OPPO takes that extra step. You get all those bells and whistles you’ll need. But, of course, tweak too much, and you’ll come out more mannequin than human. I tend to turn it off or tweak the settings to the lowest possible numbers to get enhanced, natural selfies.

Like the Reno7, you can record videos up to 4K at 30 frames per second. If you try out the features like Bokeh Flare Portrait and AI Color Portrait, you’ll get either 720p or 1080p support. We’ve dabbled with those extra video features in our Reno7 story, and not much has changed there, so I didn’t dive deep into them this time. Its standard photo and video modes are pretty great that I heavily relied on those instead.

LiTT Tip #1: If you want to try out the Bokeh Flare Portrait and AI Color Portrait, these are accessible in two modes: Portrait and Video. These are usable on both the front and rear cameras. It’s accessible through this wand-like icon on the bottom right of the display. Head into Filters to see both options.

You’re always on the go

I didn’t have any complaints about the OPPO Reno7’s performance, and that holds for the Reno8. Gaming isn’t a priority for me, so this holds up to my more casual approach to the hobby. I played tons of Too Many Cooks on this and enjoyed that experience. Everything else I do on the phone works out smoothly, whether I need it for work or casual social media browsing and some video streaming.

The OPPO Reno8 runs on a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor with an ample 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can get a memory boost via OPPO’s RAM expansion feature, but that will take up some of your storage space. If you’re a big multimedia user, you might not be too happy about this storage capacity. It’s still on the larger side, but it’s something to keep in mind if you save a lot of files, photos, and videos.

OPPO promises a 40% boost in CPU performance, a 106% GPU performance boost, an 80% AI performance improvement, and a 20% power efficiency improvement from the Dimensity 900 running on the Reno7. If you’re looking for benchmarks, you’re on the wrong website. I know it can handle my daily tasks without frustrating crashes or lags.

There isn’t any apparent change to the OPPO Reno8’s display compared to its predecessor. It still has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate. It still gets certified for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video HD streaming. On Netflix, you can stream in Full HD. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but I was hoping there was an improvement in this respect. OPPO isn’t bringing a 120Hz refresh rate yet to the Reno line, but at the same time, I understand that isn’t a priority for this smartphone series.

With an AMOLED display, it is great to watch on this phone. However, I wished it had a stereo speaker instead of its solitary bottom-firing one. It gets a bit loud and doesn’t sound too bad when you max out the volume. But it would be better with a dual-speaker setup. It’s another improvement that could’ve been added with the Reno8.

I am also missing the Background Stream option on the Reno8. That feature allowed audio from YouTube and other services to run in the background even if you swipe away from the app. I enjoyed using that on the Reno7.

One thing I’m happy to see back from the Reno7 is support for Multi-Screen Connect. With OPPO’s dedicated Connect app on the PC, you can quickly edit and add files to and from your smartphone and the PC without a wired connection. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to download the app, so I couldn’t test it this time. But it works similarly to Windows Link, which connects Android phones to Windows laptops.

Another improvement I’m happy to see is faster charging time for its 4,500mAh battery. The OPPO Reno8 supports 80W fast charging, promising to get you to 50% in 11 minutes and 100% in 28. For my actual use, I typically topped it up at around 45 minutes. Of course, charging speeds can vary depending on different factors, and in my conditions at home, this is what I get. That’s still adequately fast for when you need a quick top-up.

The battery on this phone typically lasts me a day and a half of my regular use. You can stretch that or burn through it quicker, depending on your phone use. With OPPO’s Battery Health Engine technology, the Reno8 promises extended long-term battery life and lesser battery degradation issues up to four years or so of daily use.

LiTT Tip #2: Air gestures or waving on top of the screen have been typically hit or miss on the Reno devices I’ve tested in the past. One useful addition to this feature is being able to play and pause YouTube videos without touching the phone. So, if you’re cooking and watching a YouTube tutorial, you don’t have to touch your smartphone with dirty hands. To enable the feature, head to System settings in your phone’s Settings. Tap on Gestures & motions, then head to Air Gestures. Enable Play or pause videos. This is currently only supported on YouTube videos.

LiTT Tip #3: Floating windows are pretty useful for note-taking. The easiest way to turn an app into a smaller movable window on the OPPO Reno8 is to drag up the app you have open as if you’re about to launch Recent apps. (You need to use gestures instead of buttons to navigate the interface.) The Floating Window option will appear at the top center. Just drag the app there until you see the word Release, and then it’ll turn into a mini-app on your phone.

You want a sleek-looking device

If there’s something we’re happy to see on the OPPO Reno8, it’s that unibody look the company applies to its premium line. While the OPPO Find X5 Pro almost has this futuristic, alien-like quality, the Reno8 has a sleek and sophisticated interpretation of that design. The camera module almost just meshes into the back of the phone.

@littwebsite

@LiTT Tech (mostly!) Our hands-on is coming out today, for now, here’s a better look at the OPPO Reno8! #OPPOReno8 #littwebsite #techtok #opporeno8portrait #smartphone📱

♬ original sound – SHIMA

Black or darker devices typically don’t leave me feeling particularly excited, but the Shimmer Black has enough shine to attract my eyes. The finish on the back is smooth but not slippery. It’s also not a fingerprint magnet. Unlike what OPPO said about it not attracting dust, though, unfortunately, it still can, especially if I don’t place it in the included jelly case. (You can check out what you get with the phone in our unboxing over here.)

OPPO Reno8: What’s lit and what’s not?

 What’s lit about it:

  • Generally, great portrait photo-taking capabilities, even in low light
  • Pretty versatile set of cameras and camera features
  • Capable daily driver
  • RAM expansion
  • Support for Multi-Screen Connect for easy file transfer
  • Speedy wired charging
  • Inherits its flagship design
  • The finish on the back doesn’t attract smudges

What needs the extra spark:

  • Overuse the beauty filters and you’ll look unnatural
  • No storage expansion
  • Hoping for an improved display
  • Still a single bottom-firing speaker
  • Background Stream is missing

OPPO Reno8: Final thoughts

As with many smartphones out on the market right now, the jump from the last generation to the OPPO Reno8 is going to be a bit more iterative than revolutionary. Outside of getting a good trade-in deal, I don’t recommend getting a new phone every single year. So, if you have a Reno7 and are thinking about getting the Reno8, it might not be time to make that upgrade. As Portrait Experts, both prove they can do that well.

But if you’re deciding between the OPPO Reno7 and OPPO Reno8, the latter will give you faster charging, an improved processor (though honestly not too noticeable if you aren’t a power user/gamer), and a new sleek design. And if those are important to you, then Reno8 could be your next device.

The OPPO Reno8 retails for PHP 27,999 / EUR599.

Buy the OPPO Reno8 from Lazada HERE. *

Buy the OPPO Reno8 from Shopee HERE.


Thinking of getting the Reno8? We’d love to know what you think!



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