The Oppo Reno 6 Pro was a decent upgrade to its predecessor, the Reno 5 Pro, but its new features didn't quite justify the jump in price, in my opinion. The good news is that Oppo has also launched a more affordable non-Pro version, and comparing the two models, it might just be the more sensible choice of the two. The Oppo Reno 6 shares a lot of features with the Pro model, such as the Bokeh Flare Portrait filter in the camera app, 65W fast charging, and a high refresh rate AMOLED display. On the other hand, the Reno 6 is a bit less powerful and you don't get the fancy curved-edge display. However, at Rs. 29,990, are these things really dealbreakers?
The Oppo Reno 6 faces stiff competition from recent launches such as the OnePlus Nord 2 and Poco F3 GT, which are priced similarly. Does it still make sense to go with Oppo's smartphone? Time to find out.
The Oppo Reno 6 is only available in a single configuration, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter is not expandable as there's no microSD slot, but two Nano-SIMs are supported. It's available in the same Aurora trim that we first saw on our Reno 6 Pro review unit, and also in Stellar Black.
The first noticeable difference between the Oppo Reno 6 and it's Pro sibling is the design. The curved-edge display and glossy frame have been traded in for flat edges and a matte finished metal frame with exposed antenna bands. This design gives off strong iPhone 12 vibes, but it really seems to work in the Reno 6's favour. This phone feels premium, and the Aurora colour looks really good. The Oppo Reno 6 is just as slim as the Reno 6 Pro (7.59mm) but slightly heavier at 182g. I still found the phone to be comfortable to hold and use.
The buttons feel clicky. At the bottom, you'll find the SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and single loudspeaker. There's no headphone jack on this model, and you don't get stereo speakers either. The texture of the glass back feels great and doesn't attract any fingerprints. The camera cluster looks neat and matches the overall aesthetic of the phone.
The 6.42-inch AMOLED display looks very good. It has a full-HD+ resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 90Hz refresh rate, and a claimed peak brightness rating of up to 700nits. The bezels are fairly slim which gives this phone a premium appearance. In the box, you get a USB Type-C headset, USB cable, SIM eject tool, and 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 adapter.
The second big difference between the Oppo Reno 6 and its sibling is the SoC. Oppo says this is India's first phone to sport the MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC, which is a fairly recent launch. Just like the Dimensity 1200 in the Reno 6 Pro, the Dimensity 900 is built on a 6nm fabrication process but has a different CPU cluster configuration and GPU. You get two ARM Cortex-A78 cores and six ARM Cortex-A55 cores, while the GPU is an ARM Mali-G68 MC4. Performance-wise, we're looking at lower benchmark numbers compared to the Dimensity 1200, but let's see if this impacts actual usage in any way.
The Oppo Reno 6 also has NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, and all the expected sensors and satellite navigations systems. You'll also be happy to note that the Reno 6 supports a total of 13 5G bands, which means it should be ready for whatever network operators end up using in India. The Oppo Reno 6 also has an in-display fingerprint sensor, which works very well.
As for software, you get ColorOS 11.3 which runs smoothly and offers very good functionality. Some little features and apps from OxygenOS can be found on the Reno 6 too. Unfortunately, you'll also have to deal with some annoying spam from a few of the stock apps, which cannot be uninstalled.
Despite the drop in power compared to the Reno 6 Pro, the SoC in the Oppo Reno 6 is still powerful enough to handle daily tasks and games at the full-HD+ resolution. I never noticed any slowdowns during multitasking, and the 90Hz refresh rate ensured smooth scrolling in menus and apps. Benchmark scores were pretty solid too. The Reno 6 returned 4,26,495 points in AnTuTu and managed very respectable Geekbench scores of 728 and 2,085 points in the single- and multi-core tests respectively. The phone barely got warm during regular use, which in my case, included using social apps and video watching.
Speaking of which, videos look sharp and crisp, and HDR content is rendered pretty well too. Games were also particularly fun to play on the Reno 6. The usual suspects such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends ran just fine. Visuals were also good thanks to the bright and vivid colours, and since the display is flat, there's no issue of any accidental presses or on-screen content getting obscured. Media would have been more enjoyable with stereo speakers.
The 4,300mAh battery capacity might not sound too impressive, but with day-to-day usage, I was easily averaging more than a full day on single charge. The Reno 6 performed well in our HD video loop test too, running for a total of 16 hours and 49 minutes. The best part is that you can charge the battery almost completely in half an hour. In case you don't have Oppo's fast charger with you, the Reno 6 also supports other fast charging standards such as USB-PD (18W).
The Oppo Reno 6 misses out on the rear depth camera that the Reno 6 Pro has, but apart from this, it has the same set of sensors on the front and back. These include a 64-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel macro camera, and in the front, a 32-megapixel camera for selfies. The photography and videography features are also the same as with the Reno 6 Pro.
Daylight photos had very good details and colours. The ultra-wide camera had a cooler colour tone compared to the main one, and details were a bit weaker, especially along the edges of the frame. Close-up shots taken with the main camera had rich details and pleasing colours. Even without a depth sensor, portraits generally turned out pretty well.
Landscapes and close-ups in low light were also above average. Night mode did a good job in cleaning up the noise in darker regions of images, and it even made shots taken with the ultra-wide camera usable.
Selfies captured under natural light looked good once I turned off the face smoothing filter. Low-light selfies were also manageable, and the screen flash coupled with Night mode offered decent illumination even when shooting in the dark.
The Oppo Reno 6 can record up to 4K 30fps videos, but just like the Pro model, videos shot at this resolution aren't stabilised. You'll have to drop to 1080p if you want stabilised videos, and with that, the quality dips a bit too. The Reno 6 also supports the Bokeh Flare Portrait filter, just like the Pro model, which can be fun to play around with.
The Oppo Reno 6 lacks the sleek design and brute force of the flagship MediaTek SoC in the Reno 6 Pro, however for nearly Rs. 10,000 less, it offers much better value, and this is the one I'd choose between the two. I think the new design looks and feels premium, and this phone should be powerful enough for most apps and games. The battery life is also very good, it charges really quickly, the display is vibrant, and the cameras are very capable for stills. My criticisms for this phone would be that recorded videos could be better, stereo speakers are missing, and ColorOS can be a spammy nightmare at times. Also, expandable storage would have been nice to have, but I don't think it's a dealbreaker.
While the Reno 6 is definitely better value than the Pro model, it might be hard to justify buying it after comparing it to the OnePlus Nord 2 and the Poco F3 GT. The latter two phones offer better features and more powerful SoCs, at lower starting prices, which could tempt prospective buyers away from the Reno 6.