OPPO Reno 5G – and 4G variant
4.9Overall Score
Name: OPPO Reno 5G
Price (RRP): $1499 (4G for $1199)
Manufacturer: OPPO

The OPPO Reno 5G is a true flagship class smartphone from one of the world’s largest mass-and-mid-market Chinese phone makers.

Perhaps, more importantly, the OPPO Reno 5G is one of three handsets available from Telstra that operate on its embryonic 5G network. We will cover that later.

If you have not heard of OPPO, click on this link for GadgetGuy’s coverage. No, they do not pay us, and every review is independent and well researched. This brand has been in Australia for about five years; it has a considerable local presence with offices and support here. Its budget A-series and mid-market R series punch well above their weight. Canstar has awarded OPPO its most satisfied customers gong for two years in a row.

The OPPO Reno 5G (pronounced Re-No like OPPO is Oh-Po) is leading edge – from its Qualcomm SD855 engine to its amazing camera setup. It is the best value choice of a 5G phone for us all. Although I think its 4G OPPO Reno 10X Zoom version is the one we should all buy.

How we rate smartphones

We develop paradigms to measure performance against and then slot them into market segments.

Our original four categories have grown to seven, and we review against different paradigms for each category.

  1. Foldable $2500+
  2. Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
  3. Flagship $1000-1599 (account for about 10% of sales)
  4. Premium mid-market $800-999 (10% and often last year’s flagship at run-out price)
  5. Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
  6. Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
  7. Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the market – good for pre-paid and children)

The OPPO Reno 5G sells for $1499 from JB Hi-Fi or a plan from Telstra. The 4G variety sells for $1199 from JB Hi-Fi and major retailers – it is identical except for the 5G modem chip and is not locked to Telstra.

Buy here – or you will regret it

We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware to work on Telstra’s 5G and 4G network. Also, it can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. These also have Google Pay that works with Australian PayWave readers.

The 5G Model is CPH1921AU, and the 4G Model is CPH919AU have the word/image Australian C-tick under ‘Settings, About phone, Regulatory’. Importantly reject any phone that does not come with an Australian VOOC 3.0 wall charger  (does not use a plug adaptor).

International models from AliExpress, GearBest, Banggood, Mobicity, Allphones – in fact almost any online source – are usually not for Australia.

Telstra 5G network

Telstra is an early 5G adopter. Its network is embryonic – Telstra admits this. There are currently 125 small cells over ten cities. You can read more here. You can also read GadgetGuy’s 5G guide here and why we say its better to buy a 4G handset in 2019/20/21 and save money now – at least until the network has grown and you have a use case for it.

We have valiantly tried to get a 5G signal in spots on Telstra’s coverage maps but have been less than successful. The one signal we got in Surry Hills was very erratic and nowhere near the 2Gbps nirvana that Telstra obtained at the OPPO Reno launch.

We are not knocking the Telstra 5G network nor discouraging you from buying a 5G phone – it is just that for most of us it will be a very expensive 4G phone. Perhaps your next phone in 2022 will be 5G.

Review: OPPO Reno Model CPH1921

Australian Website here.

Telstra’s OPPO Reno 5G page is here