As it's usually the case, the Reno8 features an unorthodox, slick design. It's not something crazy or outside of the box, but Reno phones' design always stands out. The Reno8, for example, ditches the glass sandwich scheme and replaces the chassis with a unibody design. The front is still protected by Gorilla Glass 5, though.
The back panel and the side frame are one piece. There's no separate camera module on the back either - it's integrated with the back piece with smooth curves. There are also two metal rings for the main and ultrawide cameras sticking out and two smaller cutouts for the macro camera and the LED flash. The latter two lie flush with the back panel.
And although the back panel is made entirely out of plastic, the frosted finish seems to be getting pretty close to the matte glass feel. We got the Shimmer Black option, which looks like there's a little glitter on it at certain angles. The best part is that the surface is indeed fingerprint resistant. You can barely spot the smudges, and only if you look close enough. Your experience may vary with the Shimmer Gold option, keep that in mind.
Despite being unorthodox, the Reno8 follows a recent design trend and went for a boxier feel and look. The side frame is flat, with sharp edges connecting with the front and back panels. Some may find the sharper edges pressing against the palm, which isn't optimal, but the overall feel is somewhat grippy. At least when talking about the side frame - the back surface is still quite slippery.
We like how lightweight and thin the Reno8 feels. The device measures just 7.67mm in thickness and weighs in at 179 grams. Most phones nowadays are pushing way beyond the 8mm mark and easily go north of 200 grams.
As we go around the sides, we find the power button on the right, two separate volume buttons on the left, while the bottom is home to the USB-C connector, the speaker grille and the SIM card tray. There's no room for a microSD card in that last one.
The button positioning is quite comfortable, but the under-display fingerprint reader is too close to the bottom bezel. So depending on how you hold the phone, some finger gymnastics are needed to touch the sensor.
Speaking of bezels, the Reno8 has some thick ones. The side ones are decently thin, but the top one and the bottom chin could have been thinner. The bottom bezel is particularly distracting. There are many phones in the same price range with thinner frames. The good news is that the cutout for the front-facing camera is pretty small and doesn't take away too much UI space.
All in all, the Reno8's design is a mixed bag. It's thin and lightweight, and fingerprints and smudges aren't visible. However, the unconventional design approach, the all-plastic build and the thick front bezels might steer away some potential buyers.