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OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G review: Stylish design with a quality performance

Finding the right market for a phone in such a competitive price range, is a hard ask — but one OPPO has delivered on with the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G. It’s a stunning and stylish phone that’s packed with a great sense of fun, but backed up with a solid all-round performance capable of keeping up with your day-to-day needs.

OPPO’s Reno series of phones hasn’t been much of a focus in the Australian market, but the Reno8 Lite 5G saw the return of the Reno brand in the Aussie market — and what an impact it has made.

Producing a seriously stylish looking phone, backed up with some cool extra features, OPPO has found a way to make the Reno8 Lite 5G stand out from the crowd. But is it more than just a pretty phone, and what does OPPO offer under the hood? Read on for our hands-on review of the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G.

How we tested the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G

I used the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G over the course of several weeks. I used the phone for a range of activities including social and web browsing, photo taking, gaming and video streaming, along with testing battery and charging performance.

Person holding rainbow OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G features and specs

  • $599 AUD RRP
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor and Adreno GPU
  • 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Triple rear-camera setup (64MP main + 2MP depth + 2MP macro)
  • 16MP front-facing camera
  • 4,500mAh battery
  • SUPERVOOC 33W fast charging
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage
  • Fingerprint and facial recognition unlocking
  • Cosmic Black and Rainbow Spectrum colours
OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G pros OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G cons
  • Rainbow Spectrum colourway looks absolutely stunning
  • Dual Orbit Lights a fun extra feature and adds a bit of flair
  • Great quality selfies and portrait mode
  • Built-in speaker a little flat and lacks a bass boost
  • Colours on screen can be a little dull at times
  • Adaptive brightness not particularly intuitive

Design and functionality

Back of OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G phone in rainbow colour
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue
  • Available in a stunning and unique Rainbow Spectrum colourway
  • Dual Orbit Lights around the rear cameras add fun and flair

The clear stand out with the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is the design. Not only is it a beautifully designed phone, but OPPO has released perhaps the most unique and stunning finish on a phone to date.

OPPO was kind enough to send me the Rainbow Spectrum variant of the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G, so I could see if the phone looked as stunning in reality as it does in press images — and it is. It is by far the prettiest phone I’ve reviewed, and OPPO has absolutely knocked it out of the park with the Rainbow Spectrum version of the Reno8 Lite 5G. Yes, there is a plain black option for anyone who likes their phone to be a little more boring (or to cover it up with a case), but why you would pick that variant, and not the rainbow version, is beyond me.

Not only is the colour gorgeous, but OPPO has put a lot of effort into the texture on the back. The back of the phone features OPPO’s Glow Design, which is made with three layers of texture and two layers of coating to create an iridescent yet matte finish that is fingerprint-proof and feels smooth to touch. A clear jelly case is included in the box, but there are also separate cases you can buy — OPPO supplied a partially clear black case for my review, which covered the rainbow finish rather well if you want something more subtle.

Like many of OPPO’s phones, the Reno8 Lite 5G is a reasonably big phone with a 6.4-inch display, great for watching videos and gaming. The edges are also flat and rather reminiscent of the iPhone designs from the past few years. If you prefer flat edges and that solid feel that you get with an iPhone, the Reno8 Lite 5G has that same feeling. Despite feeling, and looking, very solid and premium, it’s a surprisingly lightweight phone at 173g.

OPPO has really gone all out with the design for the Reno8 Lite, with the addition of industry-first Dual Orbit Lights. These are lights built into the rear cameras which light up when your phone is charging, when you receive certain notifications, etc, with the blue lights changing both their pattern (lighting up or blinking) and the version of blue, depending on the activity. This might seem like an odd or even unnecessary extra feature to include, but it does make this device really stand out and feel like a really special and unique phone.

Closeup of dual orbit lights OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G feature
OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G Dual Orbit Lights during charging, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

The camera setup on the top left of the back is a little bigger than what you find on some other devices, although this is likely to accommodate the Orbit Lights. Looking at the screen, you’ll find the lock button on the right side, positioned near the middle while the volume buttons are in the same position on the left.

Using the phone

I found the positioning of the side buttons were spot on — they were easy to reach one handed and I didn’t need to stretch to reach either button. While it’s a reasonably big phone, it has a very solid yet lightweight feel and is comfortable and easy to use if you have small hands — even using it one handed.

Like its more premium Find X5 counterparts, the Reno8 Lite 5G includes an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is a great inclusion for a phone at this price point. This scanner is positioned at the bottom of the screen, and I found it to be an easy position for unlocking with a thumb print. Unlocking with the fingerprint scanner is fairly seamless, and I found it was the same experience when unlocking with facial recognition.

OPPO has really hit all the right notes with the design and functionality of the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G. It’s a phone that not only looks stunning, but feels great to use. It’s comfortable, lightweight and well-designed so it’s easy to use one-handed, even if you have smaller hands. It’s clear that OPPO has designed this phone with a younger audience in mind, but if you appreciate a well-designed phone, it’s likely you’ll like what you see with the Reno8 Lite 5G.


Related: OPPO Find X5 Lite review: Striking the balance between affordable and premium


Performance

  • Fast charging compatible and 33W fast charger included in the box
  • A good, solid performance that keeps up with your needs

    OPPO branding on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G phone
    Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

For a phone at this sub-$600 price point, you’d expect a reasonably fast and reliable all round performance. Luckily that’s what you get with the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G. Under the hood, OPPO has included a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor, with an Adreno GPU and 60Hz refresh rate.

The OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G has a nice zippy performance overall. Whether you’re launching apps, navigating between apps or scrolling through social media, I found it to be a super responsive and quick phone to use. It easily kept up with my usage and I didn’t really have many instances of glitches or it struggling to load or respond.

One issue I did have was using the Disney+ app, and despite everything being up to date (app, OS, etc) , the video was rather jumpy and not very fluid (like it was constantly buffering). Looking online, I saw this was an issue some have experienced with the Disney+ app in general, but I’ve not had an issue with it on other phones, so it was a little strange. I experienced a similar issue with YouTube buffering and being slow to load, however that was only briefly on one occasion. Ultimately, I didn’t see it being an issue with the phone itself, and it didn’t detract from the overall experience.

When connecting to 5G, I was able to record speeds of up to 359Mbps using the Optus 5G network. I found social media apps were really quick to load and scroll through when taking advantage of faster 5G speeds compared to my home internet.

Viewing experience

Despite the ‘Lite’ tag to the phone name, the Reno8 Lite 5G certainly isn’t ‘lite’ on its screen specs. It’s a rather nice 6.43 inches — not too big, but big enough for a good viewing experience — and includes a FHD+ AMOLED display. It’s the exact sort of quality you would expect from a phone at this price point.

Whether you’re watching videos, playing games, or scrolling through social media, the screen has nice quality with great colours — watching HD video on this phone looks stunning. However, the adaptive brightness is a little slow and not as intuitive as on other phones. I found at times the screen was a little too dark, and I needed to manually adjust the brightness in certain environments when watching videos with a lot of darker tones (such as live music and some movies).

Watching video on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

OPPO has included a single speaker located at the bottom of the phone. It’s a decent quality speaker, although it lacks a bit of bass. It does a good job with videos that include a lot of speaking, but if you listen to a lot of music, you might prefer to use headphones to get a better audio experience.

It’s certainly not a bad phone for watching videos, gaming, etc — it does the job and the screen feels rather premium, and a great size too — it just feels just a little lacklustre at times. But, when you put it into perspective considering this is a ‘lite’ version of a Reno phone, it’s to be expected that OPPO would hold off on showcasing it’s best-of-the-best features in a phone like this.

OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G with case on
OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G with black case on (black case not included), Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Battery and charging

OPPO has packed in a 4,500mAh battery with SUPERVOOC 33W fast charging capability. Like many of its other phones with fast charging, OPPO has also included its 33W fast charger in the box, so you can really get the most of what OPPO has to offer.

The battery performance was great — it easily kept up with my day-to-day moderate usage needs (social media, web browsing, video streaming, gaming and regular idle periods), and I was able to get through a day of usage (12 hours) and only drain 19% of the battery doing so. One charge could easily stretch over a couple of days of moderate usage, and if you’re a very light phone user, you can easily get a few days of use out of the one charge.

I found that around 20 minutes of streaming video on Disney+ drained 2% of the battery, which was the same time-duration-to-battery-drain ratio that I experienced streaming HD YouTube. Gaming was reasonably similar, with a 10 minute session draining 1% of the battery, although a session of around 37 minutes drained 6% of the battery.

Not only is the Reno8 Lite 5G fast-charge compatible, but OPPO also includes this 33W charger in the box. As you would expect, this significantly reduces the charging time for the phone. I was able to charge from 0% to 22% in 11 minutes, while the full 0% to 100% charge took an hour and three minutes in total. When you’re charging the phone, the Orbit Lights will also light up, so you can know it’s charging without checking the screen.

Overall, the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is an excellent phone when it comes to its performance. I didn’t have too many issues with the performance, and certainly nothing to detract from the experience. It’s a nice phone to use and has a lot to offer if you’re after a good quality and all-round solid phone experience.

Camera app of OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Cameras

  • Built for taking great portrait photos and selfies
  • Nice depth to photos, with natural-looking background blur

The OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G includes a triple rear camera setup with 64MP main camera, 2MP depth camera and 2MP macro camera, with wide angle options noticeably absent. In the front, you’ll get a 16MP front-facing camera for all your selfie needs.

Zoom out and in of St Mary's Cathedral Sydney
Zoom out and in photos taken on OPPO Reno8Lite 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

There’s up to 6x zoom included and it does a decent job at getting in reasonably close to capture detail. However zooming in more than 2x shows some pixelation and blur to your photos, but most noticeably with closer subjects.

Side of St Mary's Cathedral Sydney
Outdoor photo taken on OPPO Reno8Lite 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue
Panorama photo of St Mary's Cathedral Sydney
Panorama photo taken on OPPO Reno8Lite 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Taking outdoor photos on the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is a joy — colours are very true to life and there’s a lot of depth to photos. When focusing on certain objects you get a really nice background blur that looks natural and helps the subject to pop. I felt that maybe the colours were a little duller, compared to what I’ve experienced from other OPPO phones, which tend to produce some more vivid shots, but it’s a very tiny difference.

Detail of rainbow quilt blanket
Indoor AI scene enhancement turned off (left), indoor AI scene enhancement turned on (right) photos taken on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Indoor photos are rather decent and have some nice depth, but I found the muted tones more pronounced on screen when taking photos indoors. The processed results turn out much more vibrant than what you’re seeing on screen while you take the photo. OPPO has also included an AI scene enhancement feature, so when taking photos inside, it detects that it’s indoors and colours get more of a boost. If you like more vibrancy, you might prefer to keep this feature switched on.

Pusheen figurine in low light
Night mode in very limited lighting (left), standard mode in low-light (middle), night mode in low-light (right) photos taken on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

As to be expected, there’s a night mode included, and it does do a decent job at taking photos in night/low-light settings. It does struggle to focus at times when the lighting is very limited, and there is a fair bit of noise, although the noise is much more noticeable on screen when you’re taking the picture and it tends to mostly disappear in processing. You will need a steady hand to get the right shot, but overall it does a decent job.

Closeup of jonquil flowers
Macro mode photo taken on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

The 2MP macro lens produces some nice detailed shots, however bright sunlight did make the subject matter prone to flaring in certain circumstances, and macro in low light tended towards a bit of blurriness and noise. Unfortunately the macro lens seems to be plagued by the same issues that many other devices suffer from: where macro is nice to have, but to get the best results, you’ll need the right conditions.

Pusheen plushie portait photo
Portrait mode photo taken on OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

It’s clear OPPO has reached for the younger market, with a big emphasis on its portrait mode and selfie features. So, if you mostly use your phone cameras for selfies and portraits, you’ll be happy with what the Reno8 Lite 5G has to offer. Portrait mode is very intuitive and the background blur is very natural. It doesn’t struggle to find the subject to focus on, and you won’t find any blurring around the edges of your subject, although you’ll need to be at a certain distance when using portrait mode with the rear camera. In addition to standard portrait mode, you can choose a range of ‘styles’ to your portrait mode, including Bokeh Flare Portrait, which gives you even more background blur to your portraits, which I found added even more depth to the photo. There’s also Selfie HDR which is automatic when your subject is backlit, and I found it did a great job at balancing the overall photo.

Filming video is overall fine, and there is a dual-view video mode included (great for vloggers), but if video is your favourite medium, you might find the Reno8 Lite 5G a little bit too basic. The quality and colours filming outdoors and in good lighting is pretty decent, and while low light/indoors filming is a bit dull and has a little bit of noise at times, it’s ok — just nothing special. It also doesn’t really adjust to changing subject either, so you’ll need to do a lot of manual focusing on screen.

Overall, the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is built for selfies and portraits, and OPPO has really delivered on this. While portraits and selfies are the standouts, the cameras do a good job overall. For the price point of the Reno8 Lite, cameras are always a little basic, and that’s what I felt in the overall performance. There was a lot to like and they’re certainly quality cameras capable of doing a good job and producing some great shots.

Note: Images taken on the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G have been digitally compressed for web.

OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G plans

You can buy the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G outright from a range of retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Officeworks and Big W.

If you’d prefer to pick it up on a plan, you can pick it up on a plan from Woolworths Mobile, with your choice of 24 or 36 month payment period. You’ll then need to pair your phone with one of Woolworths Mobile’s postpaid phone plans. If you want to take advantage of the 5G capabilities of the Reno8 Lite 5G, you can add on a Woolies 5G mobile plan, which uses parts of the Telstra 5G network.

The following table shows all published Woolworths Mobile postpaid phone plans as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.


Related: TCL 30+ review: Premium-level entertainment, affordable price


Should I buy the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G?

OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G rainbow phone being held
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

The $599 price point for the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is perhaps its biggest challenge. This mid-range market is rather competitive — even from OPPO itself — so it can be tricky to navigate. However, OPPO has done an excellent job at producing a phone that stands out from the crowd.

OPPO has packed in enough features to make this phone one offering some serious value for money. It also helps that OPPO has is a clear market in mind, actively targeting younger users looking for a stylish phone.

Knowing its market has given OPPO a direction with focus, so while the cameras were overall rather basic, the quality of its portrait mode and added ‘styles’ help it to stand out to the crowd where good selfies and portrait shots are essential.

It also helps that the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G is one of the most stylish phones on the market and the rainbow colourway is spectacular. With the addition of a fun feature in the form of its Orbit Lights, it’s just that extra attention to detail and fun that is missing from the market at times, that OPPO has delivered.

If you’re looking for a fun phone that does an all round good job and can keep up with your needs, then the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G might be a phone worth looking into.

Consider the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G if Don’t consider the OPPO Reno8 Lite 5G if
You want a phone with a stylish design that takes great selfies and portraits. You’re not much of a selfie/portrait taker and want a phone more for entertainment.

About the author

Emma-Bradstock-small

As Canstar Blue’s Telco Specialist, Emma Bradstock covers all things mobile phone and internet, which she’s focused on for the past three years. Emma has a decade of professional writing experience across print and digital media outlets and for digital agencies, and has turned her hand to multimedia content and social media management.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University. You can follow Emma on LinkedIn.


Product used for review/testing was a free sample provided by OPPO.

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