The Oppo Reno 8 offers fair specs for its price, with a good-looking screen and quick charging, while also undercutting plenty of other phones with its low mid-range price tag. However, there are a few issues, like Oppo’s lack of consideration for phone ‘hand-feel’ and underwhelming cameras.
Relatively fast charging
Powerful for price point
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Oppo's Reno series of mid-range Android phones might not be flashy like the Find X5 Pro or affordable like an A series device, but the useful specs and competitive pricing definitely hold appeal for many. Launched alongside the Oppo Reno 8 Pro, this ‘vanilla’ model marries a relatively affordable price tag with a few key specs.
First off, it has 80W charging, which is pretty fast for a mid-range phone. Sure, some of the fastest mobiles currently available top out at 150W, but 80W is fast enough to feel impressive without ruining a phone’s battery straightaway.
The MediaTek chipset here is powerful enough for most tasks — including games if you don’t need the fanciest graphics — and makes navigating the phone feel pretty snappy.
The display is also good-looking, and big enough for comfortable use without requiring you to overstretch your hand just to pick up the phone. While it misses on one or two top-end features, for a phone at this price, you really can’t complain.
There are some things to really like about this phone, though it’s certainly not perfect. The angular and iPhone-inspired design makes the handset uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time, and the device won’t set the world on fire from a photography perspective, though its capabilities really aren't that bad for its price point.
We also predict some will be annoyed by the appearance — the Shimmer Gold is certainly eye-catching, reflecting light rays to show the color spectrum at certain angles — but some people just prefer plain-looking phones. There’s also a black option available, but judging by images we've seen (we didn't get one to test), that version still seems quite reflective.
Perhaps the biggest issue with the Oppo Reno 8 is its competition. Even looking outside Oppo’s handsets, at options like the Google Pixel 6a, Samsung Galaxy A53 or iPhone SE (2022), the Oppo Find X5 Lite offers pretty similar specs at a lower price.
That is to say, while the Reno is fine for its price, it’s not exactly eye-catching or flashy in any way that makes it stand out. So if you buy this phone, you won’t really be disappointed, but the grass may really be greener somewhere else.
Oppo Reno 8 price and availability
With a £419 / AU$999 price tag for its 256GB storage option, the Reno 8 is one of the cheapest phones you can get if you want a large amount of storage.
At that price, it undercuts its Pro sibling by £180 / AU$200, and also costs you less than the iPhone SE (2022) or the Google Pixel 6a, two big-name rivals.
The handset went on sale in late September 2022, though only in Europe and Australia — if you live in the US, you’ll find yourself unable to buy any handset from Oppo.
Oppo Reno 8 design
While the Oppo Reno 8 is a pint-sized version of its Pro sibling, ‘pint-sized’ in the context of smartphones doesn’t mean small — just smaller.
Measuring 160.6 x 73.4 x 7.7 mm, it’s just a hair smaller than its relative, despite having a much smaller screen, and this is because of its thicker bezel. Weighing 179g, it’s pretty light in the hand.
Talking about ‘pretty light’, you’ll likely have noticed the radiant design of the Reno, with a shiny, silvery pearl color on the back that shows the different colors of the light spectrum as you move it around. This is the Shimmer Gold version that we tested, but a nondescript black version is also available.
The Reno isn’t too comfortable to hold in the hand, and that’s thanks to its design. Oppo is one of many companies following Apple in giving its phones flat edges and, therefore, angular corners, and it means that when you’re holding the phone, these are digging into your palm. Not pleasant.
Unlike some phones at this price point, the Reno has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which worked fairly well — you won’t be relying on a temperamental side-mounted version here.
Another oddity for the price tag is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack; while top-end phones have nearly all ditched the design feature, for the most part, it remains alive and well amongst budget mobiles. Not here, though, as the only port is the USB-C one.
Oppo Reno 8 display
The Oppo Reno 8 has a 6.4-inch display, which is a little on the smaller side compared to many other same-priced devices (though it is bigger than those on the Pixel 6a or the iPhone SE).
It’s a FHD+ screen, which means its resolution is 1080 x 2400. It should be noted that that’s by far the most common resolution for smartphones, with many devices from cheap to premium phones possessing the same. That means you’re seeing streamed movies and games with the same number of pixels as someone who paid twice as much — something to take into consideration.
The screen uses OLED, which means the color contrast is crisp and the brightness can go fairly high; plus blacks look darker than they would on an LCD panel.
One thing worth pointing out is that the refresh rate is ‘only’ 90Hz, so the image refreshes 90 times per second. That’s better than the old standard of 60Hz, which some affordable mobiles still use, but many devices in 2022, including low-end ones, use 120Hz, which makes motion look very smooth.
Oppo Reno 8 cameras
The selling point of the Oppo Reno 8’s camera array is its 50MP main camera.
If you’ve read a review of a mid-range or budget phone in 2022, you’ve probably heard of the Sony IMX766 — even some premium mobiles, like the OnePlus 10T, have launched with it. This is a 50MP sensor that’s fairly large, so it ‘sees’ lots of color and works well in low-light conditions, but doesn’t cost too much, which is why so many phone manufacturers have leapt upon it.
On the Reno 8, the IMX766 works just as well as it does on any other phone boasting it. We took fairly good-looking pictures in dark lighting conditions, and managed to make colorful shots look even bolder.
Pictures taken on this are actually 12.5MP, thanks to pixel binning, which combines pixels to make a larger one. You can shoot 50MP if you prefer.
But the Oppo’s two other cameras don’t provide anything to write home about. There’s an 8MP ultra-wide snapper and a 2MP macro one. While the former does offer the ability to take wider-angle pictures — if you don’t mind the low resolution, and a rather dull image — the latter doesn’t really contribute anything at all.
There’s no optical zoom, but you can use digital zoom (cropping) up to a surprisingly far, but predictably grainy, 20x.
On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie camera, and it won’t really disappoint. Pictures we took were fairly crisp and bright, though there isn’t the range of effects that you’d find on an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
Video recording goes up to 4K 30fps, which is about average for a phone at this price, or up to 120fps if you’re happy to record at 1080p.
We should point out that the Oppo Reno 8’s camera array is identical to that on the Pro model, save for the MariSilicon X neural processing chip for AI. We were down on that phone’s photography performance, but thanks to this device being a lot cheaper, it’s easier to look past the generally middling performance.
Oppo Reno 8 performance and specs
The Reno uses the Dimensity 1300 chipset, a mid-range processor by a company called MediaTek, and while it’s not the most powerful chip you’ll find on a mobile, it’s appropriate for the price and totally fit for purpose.
All but the most demanding games ran well on the phone, with issues only arising when we bumped the graphics on Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG Mobile up to their limits.
The phone also boasts 8GB RAM, which helps for when you’re jumping between loads of different apps on the fly.
In the UK, the phone comes with 256GB storage — that’s double what most mid-range phones get, so you can download loads of apps, videos or photos without having to rely on cloud storage (or deleting older files). There is a 128GB version in some countries, but instead of trying to seek that out, we’d recommend you just enjoy your extra storage.
Oppo Reno 8 software
The Oppo Reno 8 runs Android 12, with Oppo’s ColorOS user interface laid over the top. The main difference between this and stock Android is its appearance — its wallpapers and app icons employ much brighter colors.
Annoyingly, there’s a lot of bloatware — sorry, pre-installed apps, to give them the technical name — on the phone when it’s first booted up. We had to go on a deleting spree through TikTok, Lords Mobile, Amazon Shopping, Facebook and some games we’d never heard of like Tile Master 3D and Bubble Boxes : Match 3D.
One thing we do like about ColorOS is that the quick-setting menu — which you find by swiping down from the top of the screen, to bring up options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — has one of the most logical and easily-scannable designs of any Android fork. As sad as this sounds, it was noticeably quicker to tweak settings than on other devices.
Oppo Reno 8 battery life
From our testing, we’d say the Oppo Reno 8 has a solid battery life — this won’t blow you away with multi-day lasting power, but almost no phone will. Instead, it will reliably see you through a day of use, whether that’s just checking the odd message here and there, or powering through hours of gaming and photo-taking.
It’s a 4,500mAh battery, which is fairly average for a phone with this size of display; any bigger would've resulted in an unwieldy and chunky mobile.
An impressive spec is the phone’s 80W charging, which powers the device from empty to full in just [TIME]. Budget phones rarely get fast charging, and the Reno charges ahead of the competition (pun intended) with this spec.
There’s no wireless charging — that’s an incredibly rare feature in phones at this price.
Should you buy the Oppo Reno 8?
Buy it if…
You like quick charging
With its 80W charging and 4,500mAh battery, the Oppo Reno 8 charges up in roughly thirty minutes, making it great for people who don’t like keeping their mobile plugged in for too long.
You don’t want a massive mobile
You’d be surprised by how many low-end and mid-range phones are absolutely massive these days; while the Reno isn’t a small phone, it’s not as big as lots of similarly priced rivals.
You’re on a medium budget
While the Oppo Reno isn’t the cheapest phone on the market, it’s on that side of the spectrum, with a price we’d roughly categorize as ‘low mid-range’. It’s good for people who don’t want to shell out iPhone prices for their device.
Don't buy it if...
You’re a passionate mobile photographer
This certainly isn’t the best budget camera phone out there, and that likely isn’t Oppo’s focus in the phone. The camera is fine for everyday use but won’t give you artistic results.
You’re not going to buy a case
The phone is straight-up uncomfortable to hold. Buying a case will mitigate this issue, so we’d really recommend that if you’re considering buying it.
You can buy the Find X5 Lite
The Oppo Find X5 Lite has an overall similar experience, with some weaker specs and many similar features, but it’s also cheaper than the Reno, making it a better deal.
iPhone SE (2022)
If you want an Apple phone, and don't want to spend too much, the newest iPhone SE is basically the only option you've got. Its screen and cameras don't match the Oppo, but it's more powerful and has cleaner software.
Check out our full iPhone SE (2022) review
Oppo Reno 8 Pro
The Reno 8 Pro has a bigger screen, a more powerful chipset and a higher price, but it's similar in more ways than it's different. The improved specs don't quite justify the price hike though.
Check out our full Oppo Reno 8 Pro review
Oppo Find X5 Lite
This Oppo is cheaper than the Reno 8 and has the same screen and battery. Its cameras, charging and chipset are slightly worse, but the lower cost means you really might not mind.
Check out our Oppo Find X5 Lite review
- First reviewed October 2022
Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.