Sunday, November 28, 2021

OPPO Reno6 5G First Impressions; Justifiable?

I know you’re here to read about the OPPO Reno6 5G. And I have a lot of words down below about it. But first let me tell you something about the Reno5, to give you an idea of what I will be talking about with the new Reno6 5G.


I don’t know if I’ve said it enough – on this site, on Twitter, on FB and IG – but I really loved the OPPO Reno5. As a reviewer, I am exposed to so many units to review and give you my thoughts on. And while that’s a good place to be – a privilege even, some of you who read my reviews might think, “Oh he’ll only say good things about the phone! Oh it’s a free review unit, he surely must say good things!”

Ah ah nope!

If something is good, it is good. If something is bad, it is bad. If something is terrible, you know…

And there are numerous reviews on this site that you should check out. I try to be as balanced and as honest as I can in all my reviews. And since phones have become so good at different price points, I find that nowadays pricing is the main problem with many phones. Like its good, shiny and spectacular but that price man! And that has been a running theme on many reviews through the past few months.

Anyways, the Reno5 was good! And up to three days ago, it was my daily driver. I always went back to using it after reviewing other phones. And my reasons remain:

  1. Good software, smooth performance
  2. Great cameras
  3. Absolutely crazy fast charging with great battery life.

That’s all for me to be honest. OPPO nailed those main features so well! You can ask other reviewers questions on the Reno5. Especially my Kenyan counterparts. Ask them why they all went back to using their Reno5 units.

While at it, ask them one thing they all disliked about the Reno5. I am sure they’ll unanimously tell you this: PRICE! 42,000 Kenyan shillings is quite steep for many. You’ll see on this article that will be the main topic we’ll centre around.

You’re here to read about the OPPO Reno6 5G so let’s go!

OPPO Reno6 5G First Impressions; Justifiable?

These are my initial thoughts on a couple of things about the phone. Of course this isn’t the full review. That will come later on, when I explore a little more on the cameras and other tiny things. There will be a video so you can see just how gorgeous the phone is with the boxy look. And camera samples for you to question the cameras OPPO is using, plus my photography skills. LOL.

I think today is the third day using the OPPO Reno6 5G. It’s quite the long name, so we’ll just call it the Reno6 going forward. The 5G part though quite important for the company, isn’t quite ready for the Kenyan market.

So if you’re here to read about my 5G experience with the phone, ah…

  1. Safaricom lied to us that they had launched 5G! But where are the 5G spots, eh? Apparently 5G is only open to fixed wireless customers (people with 5G routers). But in this tweet they promise smartphone support in the coming weeks. Promises.
  2. The Reno6 still hasn’t been activated I guess for 5G use locally? Perhaps a software update once 5G is truly available? I am saying this because under networks, the toggles only show 4G, 3G an 2G. I will ask OPPO for more information for my full review. And tweets.

Let’s quickly address pricing:

OPPO Reno6 5G First Impressions; Justifiable?

To be honest, KES 59,999 is a lot of money to ask for a phone. And everyone around might want to yap and say OPPO didn’t think this through! It’s too high! And blah blah. Yes. Yes. Yes. 60K is a lot of money! I agree. The only time I’ve spent that much money on a phone was with the OnePlus 5 many years ago. But I justified my decision.

So, let’s try to understand why the phone is priced this way. To do that, let’s start with something people are complaining about without fully grasping!

1. The Processor:

People are arguing that 60k for a Mediatek chip is wrong! But here’s the problem: the Dimensity 900 5G isn’t just any other Mediatek chip. First of all, it uses the 6nm process node from TSMC. Meaning it is supper efficient, and very battery friendly.

At the same time, it has a 5G modem fully integrated. This is something just a few years ago wasn’t capable, and when it just recently became a thing, it was a preserve of the ultra-expensive high-end phones. But here we are in 2021: a 6nm chip with 5G on an upper mid-range device.

Guys, not only is this chipset efficient, you also get support for 4K HDR Capture and Playback, but also support for something currently only in high-end devices: that’s WiFi6 Support.

At the end of last year, Mediatek had surpassed Qualcomm as the world’s largest SoC vendor. This year, they’ve widened the gap even further. And that gap is expected to grow in the coming months. Why? Because the company is doing so much more in ensuring budget and mid-range devices have powerful processors.

From my first few days of use, this is a very capable processor. It’s apparently comparable to the high-end Snapdragon 865 flagship from 2019, now with 5G, but more efficient. I believe it will handle everything I throw at it well.

RAM:

The 8GB of RAM is plenty enough. However, if you feel you need more RAM, OPPO has built-in a way to expand your RAM. You can pull up to an extra 5GB from your on-board storage and use it as Virtual RAM. So for heavy gamers, and the like you can say your phone has 13GB RAM. By default, you get 3GB of virtual RAM already allocated.

RAM Expansion OPPO Reno6

Storage:

The company is also using fast UFS 2.1 storage. Which makes sense for the virtual RAM, yes. But also improves overall performance of the device. Apps load faster, and processes are completed much quickly.

2. The Display:

The Reno6 uses a 90Hz AMOLED display. It can reach up to 750nits of peak brightness allowing for HDR content. There’s also Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Meaning you need not fear scratches from coins and keys.

I wish they went with 120Hz refresh rate. Just a higher number – though 90Hz is pretty good, and the software as you’ll see down below is also already very smooth.

OPPO said they’ve done a lot to make this a very colour accurate display. I already loved the display on the Reno5, and I cannot really tell the difference between the two side to side – apart from brightness levels.

I need to say I don’t quite like the bottom chin on the display. It is a little thicker than the one at the top of the display. It isn’t a huge issue to be honest, but it feels somewhat annoying given this is a boxy phone, where you’d want everything to be equal on all sides.

3. The Design:

This is the killer part of the phone for me. I know it looks really really good in this Reno Glow finish, but get the black version guys. A boxy phone should always come in black.

And a boxy phone should always have that premium metallic finish! So that it is cold on the hand when you pick it up. OPPO nailed it here. This phone stands out completely from other devices.

I feel like they spent quite a lot in achieving this boxy finish, the polishing of the material to ensure it feels sleek and smooth, but also avoids fingerprints and dust. And doing all that while ensuring 5G still works. No wonder you get so many antenna bands across the device.

4. The Software:

I already said OPPO has come a long way in terms of software. They have managed to make ColorOS feel so different, but also quite familiar. I like it. And I like that one is assured that they will receive the next version of Android in a timely manner.

With ColorOS 12 expected next week, I will be detailing what’s new in an article once I get an opportunity to join the beta group.

5. Fast Charging:

Have you ever used a 65W charger on a phone? OPPO’s engineering remains a marvel for me. How a 4300mAh batter charges from 0-100% in 30mins is something I cannot wrap my head around yet. I loved it in the Reno5 and I loooove it in the Reno6. A quick plug and I am ready to go.

And don’t think the battery doesn’t last. Here’s proof:

So, do these features justify the pricing?

Good question.

Before we discuss it, let’s see what’s missing from the Reno6, something we can argue should be there for phones within this pricing:

  1. IP Rating – wouldn’t it be nice to get an official IP rating to know you can dunk your phone in water? (It’s just the rating that’s missing to be honest. Because the phone is sealed with rubber so nicely around every opening).
  2. No headphone jack – But they include type-C headphones in the box. And you also get the OPPO ENCO wireless buds! So no complains.
  3. No MicroSD card slot – which I personally don’t take issue with. 128GB is enough for me, and for many people. I don’t remember the last time I saw someone with a MicroSD card tbh.
  4. No OIS – Which is quite a bummer. But there’s EIS (currently only for 1080p videos). We’ll discuss more of this in the camera review, don’t worry. (I’ve seen comments on Reno cameras being bad, I can’t agree. I have loved my Reno5 cameras, and I am expecting to see the same, if not better with the Reno6.)
OPPO Reno6 5G First Impressions; Justifiable?

Now, with all these missing features, is that pricing still justifiable? Let me give you my answer in parts:

  • First, we are living in a time where there’s a huge chip shortage thanks to the pandemic disrupting production while increasing demand. So its a struggle out here! But OPPO is here selling you a phone that came out of the factory in August (last month) with the Dimensity 900 5G.
  • Secondly, the Reno lineup has always been quite pricey, as we saw with the Reno5 and the Reno4. The premium pricing caters for a couple of things: the build quality of the phone, the premiums SoCs they always use, plus the software upgrades over time that users expect, and demand.
  • Thirdly, OPPO is bundling wired earbuds, wireless earbuds, and a smart fitness band within the deal which I would say is sweet. I don’t know about you.

So which side do you fall on? Can you justify the pricing? Or is it unforgivably, terribly priced? Before you answer me, first of all, would you ever buy a 60k phone? Let’s talk!

OPPO Reno6 5G First Impressions; Justifiable?

OPPO Reno6 5G Specifications:

PRICEKES 59,999
Buy from Jumia
Display6.43 inches 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio
AMOLED, 90Hz, 430 nits (typ), 600 nits (HBM), 750 nits (peak)
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Rear Camera64MP + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro
Front Camera32 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
ChipsetMediaTek MT6877 Dimensity 900 5G (6 nm)
RAM8GB RAM
Storage128GB
UFS 2.1 
Operating SystemAndroid 11, ColorOS 11.3
Battery4300mAh, 65W Fast Charger 
Network2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
WiFi 6 
Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
Colour optionsBlack, Blue, Aurora, Purple

3 COMMENTS

  1. Not worth the 60k that is for sure the poco F3 offers so much more than this- 120hz amoled, snapdragon 870, 1300 nits peak brightness, ufs 3.1- while fundamentally being half the price only difference between the two is the charging speed

  2. I waited for this phone for 2 months having seen its launch in India back in June, but now I’ve changed my mind. It looks great and works good, but not worth 60k.Oppo is taking us for a ride -how come it sells at 29990 INR in India (about Kes. 44,000) but here it is being sold for 60k (for a redesigned Reno 5)? That should be the price of the Reno 6 pro, which apparently is “too expensive” for the kenyan market. I won’t buy your justification of the pricing more so after watching that MKBHD x MrWhosetheBoss video. You’re clearly an Oppo ambassador or working under their embargo.

    For 60k I can get a new flagship phone right now, or a better midrange and save some coins. Some examples in this bracket include Oneplus 9R, Oneplus 8 pro (2020 flagship), OP8, Oneplus Nord (12GB,256GB), Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 pro max, Oneplus 8T, Samsung Note 10 plus (flagship), or Samsung A72.

    After a month or two, Oppo will realize that the pricing was a mistake, and relaunch the phone at a lowered price with multiple gifts, otherwise very few units will sell for that price.

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Dickson Otienohttps://tech-ish.com
I love reading emails when bored. I am joking. But do send them to editor@tech-ish.com.

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