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During the last decade, many works were devoted to improving the performance of relaying techniques in ad hoc networks. One promising approach consists in allowing the relay nodes to cooperate, thus using spatial diversity to increase the capacity of the system. However, this approach introduces an overhead in terms of information exchange, increasing the complexity of the receivers. A simpler way of exploiting spatial diversity is referred to as opportunistic routing. In this scheme, a cluster of nodes still serves as relay candidates but only a single node in the cluster forwards the packet. This paper proposes a thorough analysis of opportunistic routing efficiency under different realistic radio channel conditions. The study aims at finding the best trade-off between two objectives: energy and latency minimizations, under a hard reliability constraint. We derive an optimal bound, namely, the Pareto front of the related optimization problem, which offers a good insight into the benefits of opportunistic routing compared with classical multi- hop routing.