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Oppo Reno 11 Pro Review: Striking a balance

The Oppo Reno 11 Pro, has competent performance and a good display. Where it stands out is its focus on portrait images and sleek, unconventional design

Oppo Reno 11 Pro back

Launched just months after the Reno 10 Series, the Oppo Reno 11 and Reno 11 Pro introduce themselves amidst fierce competition. Despite the close succession, Oppo asserts these models deliver an enhanced user experience. The transition to a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC from the previous Qualcomm chipset, alongside a more striking design, stand out as the primary upgrades. Oppo has also focused on software improvements, particularly in the camera’s Portrait mode, suggesting a significant leap in photography prowess. To evaluate these claims, we thoroughly tested the new models, including a detailed camera assessment under the bright skies of Goa.

Design and build of the Oppo Reno 11 Pro

Oppo Reno 11 Pro Display

The Oppo Reno 11 Pro stands out in the crowded mid-range smartphone market with its sleek and lightweight design. Weighing just 181 grams and measuring a mere 7.66mm in thickness, it combines visual appeal with ergonomic comfort. The model I reviewed came in a glimmery grey shade, though Oppo also offers an exquisite white marble-like finish that catches the eye. The phone’s design is further enhanced by its curved front and back, which not only add to its aesthetic but also make it more comfortable to hold.

The choice of materials for the Reno 11 Pro’s construction is particularly noteworthy. It uses a mix of polycarbonate and glass on the back panel, providing a tactile experience that’s both pleasing and practical. Unlike many smartphones that tend to become slippery or smudge-prone, the Reno 11 Pro’s finishes in both colorways manage to avoid these pitfalls. This is a significant advantage for users who prioritize maintaining a pristine look for their devices.

One area where the Reno 11 Pro may raise eyebrows is its lack of an IP rating for water and dust resistance. Despite appearing to have the necessary seals, particularly around the SIM tray, Oppo has chosen not to seek certification. This decision is somewhat puzzling, especially considering that many of its competitors offer this assurance.

However, the Reno 11 Pro’s build quality speaks for itself. Despite its slender profile, the phone feels robust and well-constructed. This was unintentionally tested when I dropped it twice onto my wooden desk, and it survived without a scratch.

Display and performance of the Oppo Reno 11 Pro

The Oppo Reno 11 Pro sports a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel that shines with vivid colors and brightness levels of up to 950 nits, making for an engaging viewing experience in various lighting conditions. The curved screen, while stylish and modern, may occasionally register unintended touches, a minor inconvenience that is not unique to this device but rather a characteristic of curved displays in general.

One of the standout features of the Reno 11 Pro’s display is its support for HDR10+ on streaming apps, enhancing the viewing experience with superior contrast and color accuracy. However, the device’s refresh rate, which is capable of reaching 120Hz, tends to hover between 60 and 90Hz in daily use. Audio output on the Reno 11 Pro comes from a mono speaker that, despite its sufficient loudness, lacks the depth and separation achieved by stereo setups. This aspect could detract from the experience during media consumption, particularly for users who value sound quality.

Under the hood, the Oppo Reno 11 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC, a significant upgrade over the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G found in its predecessor. This chipset provides a smooth and efficient performance across a wide range of applications, from everyday tasks to more demanding gaming sessions. The inclusion of 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM further enhances the device’s multitasking capabilities and responsiveness.

Concerns about potential overheating, especially given the phone’s slim profile, are quickly dispelled upon use. The Reno 11 Pro manages its thermals exceptionally well, even during extended gaming sessions, showing no signs of significant throttling. Battery life is another strong suit, with the device lasting a full day on a single charge under typical usage patterns.

Cameras on the Oppo Reno 11 Pro

The device boasts a versatile triple camera setup, headlined by a 50MP primary sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), complemented by a 32MP telephoto lens and an 8MP ultrawide sensor. This ensemble aims to cater to a wide array of photographic needs, from detailed landscapes to intimate portraits.

The primary camera is the jewel in the crown, capturing images with remarkable vibrancy and clarity. Thanks to Oppo’s HyperTone Imaging Engine, it manages to maintain color accuracy and detail without the common pitfall of oversaturation. This prowess is especially evident in well-lit environments, where the camera’s performance shines brightest.

Oppo Reno 11 Pro camera sample
Camera sample Prince Namdev in the frame of this black and white image

The telephoto lens, with its 2x optical and 5x digital zoom capabilities, is a significant addition, allowing users to capture detailed images from a distance. It excels in portrait photography, creating images with beautiful bokeh effects and true-to-life skin tones. However, its aggressive edge-detection sometimes mishandles complex hair textures, leading to less than perfect cutouts.

Camera sample from the Oppo Reno 11 Pro
Camera sample Ankita Garg in the frame of this portrait shot

On the other hand, the ultrawide sensor, while adequate for most shots, falls short in color fidelity compared to its counterparts. Despite this, the declining relevance of ultrawide sensors in favor of telephoto lenses in smartphone photography lessens the impact of this limitation.

The front-facing 32MP selfie camera mirrors the telephoto lens’s capabilities, delivering sharp and colorful selfies, particularly under good lighting conditions. Nonetheless, it struggles in low-light scenarios and exhibits similar edge-detection issues in portrait mode.

Video recording on the Reno 11 Pro offers resolutions up to 4K at 30fps, alongside 1080p at both 30 and 60fps. An ultra-steady mode is available for enhanced stabilization, although video output sometimes suffers from faded colors and insufficient contrast, indicating room for improvement in video stabilization and color reproduction.

Verdict

In conclusion, the Oppo Reno 11 Pro makes a compelling case for itself as a formidable contender in the mid-range market, primarily through its photographic capabilities. While it excels in still photography, particularly with its advanced portrait mode, it faces challenges in video stability and low-light performance.

At Rs. 39,999, the Oppo Reno 11 Pro presents a compelling package that blends performance, photography, and design into a device that demands attention in the competitive mid-range smartphone market. The shift to a MediaTek processor not only elevates its performance but also ensures that the device remains a strong contender, especially with its camera capabilities that continue to impress. Its distinctive design further sets it apart, offering aesthetic appeal alongside functionality.

However, the Reno 11 Pro does face stiff competition, particularly in the realm of camera technology, where rivals are constantly pushing the boundaries, something that must have pushed Oppo to launch an update to their Reno Series so soon after the Reno 10. Still, the Oppo Reno 11 Pro deserves serious consideration. Its price point positions it as an attractive option for those who value both form and function, and particularly enjoy taking portrait pictures.

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