At the moment, the Reno2 line from the OPPO brand has three smartphones. These are Reno2, Reno2 Z and Reno2 F. In today’s review I will talk about OPPO Reno2 Z. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the “lesser” version of the flagship?
OPPO Reno2 Z specs
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Status||Available. Released 2019, September|
|BODY||Dimensions||162.4 x 75.8 x 8.7 mm (6.39 x 2.98 x 0.34 in)|
|Weight||195 g (6.88 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.53 inches, 104.7 cm2 (~85.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6.1|
|Chipset||Mediatek MT6779 Helio P90 (12 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Quad||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
2 MP B/W, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm, depth sensor
|Features||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS); video rec. only with main camera|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm|
|Features||LED flash, HDR|
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Dolby Atmos sound
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|USB||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast battery charging 20W (VOOC Flash Charge 3.0)|
|MISC||Colors||Sky White, Luminous Black|
What’s in the box
OPPO Reno2 Z comes in a white cardboard box, unusually elongated in height. Inside, you can find a smartphone, a large power adaptor (20 W), a USB/Type-C cable, white wired headphones with a headset function, a custom protective cover, a key for removing the card slot and a set of accompanying documentation.
In addition, a protective glass is immediately glued to the smartphone from the box. This nice case is silicone, dark blue and with an interesting feature, where the back part imitates leather with decorative stitching. The cutouts for the elements are large, the control buttons are duplicated. In the corners there are bumpers. In general, this is a very pleasant case.
The headset is exactly the same as the one bundled with OPPO A9 2020. Only the packaging is better. The sound is relatively good, and if the earbuds are right for you, then you can use them. Plus, it’s nice that it is bundled with a smartphone.
Design, materials and build quality
I liked the design of OPPO Reno2 Z. It is slightly different from the more expensive representatives of the series, but in general the devices are similar. The bezels on the left and on the right are quite thin, the top will be a little thicker, but at the bottom is a big indent. It is about the same as in the mid-budget A9 2020. To be honest, here I would the field to be thinner. The model will be more expensive.
On the other hand, there is no front camera on the front panel; it pops out. It’s great to see a large display without a drop-shaped notch. Under glued protective glass is Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The frame around the perimeter, unfortunately, is made of plastic. Also a bit strange move, considering the price tag. It was possible to make it aluminum. Although it is made soundly: not glossy or matte – something in between. In our case, it’s silver color.
Behind is a solid glass panel, which is slightly curved at the edges, only the model of glass is not specified. Of the protruding elements, there is only a tiny, barely towering rounded hump. It is needed so that the glass covering the cameras will not scratched. And this could happen, because the glass at the back, I repeat, is solid. But whatever one may say, this hump will not save it if the smartphone drops down.
Almost all the elements are centered, only the flash is to the right of the camera unit. The design is also extraordinary, there is an oblong strip with a logo and the inscription “Designed for Reno”.
And of course, the color. I have on my test a white version – Sky White. But in fact, it shines beautifully in the light. A similar effect can be found in Samsung Galaxy S10e or in Xiaomi smartphones like Mi A3 and Mi 9 Lite.
Stains and fingerprints on the back may remain, but because of the color they are not very noticeable. Of course, no moisture protection has been announced – a pop-up camera prevents this. But the build quality is great.
The second available option is stricter, but still stylish – Luminous Black, black with blue accents.
Above the display there is a wide notch with a multimedia speaker, and elements such as light and proximity sensors are hidden under the screen, closer to the center. Below there is nothing, not even an LED for notifications.
On the right side is a full-fledged slot for two nanoSIM and a microSD. There is also a metal power button with a thin green slot. On the left are separate volume control keys.
At the bottom there are cutouts for the speaker, a microphone, 3.5-mm port and Type-C connector. At the top there is a second microphone and a unit with a front camera and diodes on the sides.
Behind is a protruding rounded hump, cameras, flash, inscription, logo and other uninteresting markings.
OPPO Reno2 Z Ergonomics
Despite the large diagonal (6.53″), the smartphone is not very large in size – 161.8 × 75.8 × 8.7 mm and 195 grams. It means that it’s not very comfortable for using with one hand, but you can manage. Buttons in their places, their height is comfortable.
OPPO Reno2 Z Display
The display diagonal is 6.53″, the matrix is made using AMOLED technology. Resolution – Full HD+ (2340 × 1080 pixels), aspect ratio is 19.5:9 and pixel density is 395 ppi.
In general, the screen is good – bright, traditionally saturated, with the deepest black color. Saturation is not excessive, but I would like to be able to correct it. In short, it’s fine.
Only green-pink overflows characteristic of such matrices are noticeable.
Of the standard tools, it is possible to adjust the color temperature of the screen, force full-screen mode for non-optimized applications, or use the finely tuned night mode with the ability to select the operating time and color temperature. In addition, there is an option to reduce flicker to protect the eyes (DC Dimming).
On the deactivated screen, you can display the time, date, day of the week and battery level. In essence, this is Always-On, but the problem is that from the settings there is only a choice of the display period. Notification icons from third-party applications are not shown, I noticed only the icon about the incoming SMS. I would like to have more customization options and at least display the icons of all applications.
I also encountered a faulty auto brightness feature. At some point, the smartphone began to sharply lower the brightness of the screen. Even after I pulled the slider and continued to use the device, the brightness still decreased after a couple of seconds. But in fairness, it happened only once.
OPPO Reno2 Z Performance
In this smartphone, the manufacturer decided to use the platform from Mediatek. Specifically – Mediatek Helio P90 (MT6779), which is built on a 12-nm process technology. There are 8 cores divided into two clusters: two Cortex-A75 cores with a maximum clock frequency of up to 2.2 GHz and 6 Cortex-A55 cores with a clock frequency of up to 2 GHz. Graphic tasks assigned to the PowerVR GM9446 accelerator. In the power mode, the difference in benchmarks is not significant, but it’s present.
The manufacturer installed impressive 8 GB of RAM. This is more than enough for absolutely all tasks, especially with a non-flagship chipset. Don’t worry, it’s enough for everything and probably not for one year.
There is 128 GB of storage and 107.87 GB of them are free, although in some countries there is an option for 256 GB. In general, this is also enough, considering the microSD card slot up to 256 GB. And no one forces you to choose between the second SIM and the memory extension.
The main question is the system actually works. The OS is not bad, pretty fast and smooth. Seldom there can be small slowdowns during animations, and once there was a serious freeze for several minutes. I just turned off PUBG and the smartphone froze, did not respond to any actions, and even with a long press of the power button it could not be turned off. After two or three minutes it came back to life.
OPPO Reno2 Z can run any games you might want. Gamebench:
- PUBG Mobile – high graphics settings with smoothing and shadows, an average of 29 FPS
- Shadowgun Legends – ultra-graphics, an average of 27 FPS
- Call of Duty Mobile – high, all effects are included in addition to blur, the “Battlefront” mode is ~ 59 FPS; Battle Royale – ~ 40 FPS
You need to lower some settings to achieve stable 30+ FPS. But Call of Duty Mobile surprised me, it runs really well on this smartphone.
OPPO Reno2 Z cameras
As in the original OPPO Reno2, there are four cameras in the main unit. However, their set is different, plus there are simplifications, even of the lenses look identical.
|Cameras||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
2 MP B/W, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm, depth sensor
Instead of a full-fledged telephoto module, we have a useless auxiliary sensor that’s here mainly to boost the quantity of cameras, I guess. In general, the situation here is the same as in OPPO A9 2020 – two 2 megapixel sensors, which, as they say, are needed for portrait mode.
As for the main module, it is the same – IMX586 from Sony, but in this smartphone the camera is devoid of optical stabilization. The ultra-wide-angle module is also a bit simpler, without autofocus.
The main module makes good quality shots both outdoors and indoors with good lighting. Detailing is not bad, the dynamic range is all right and the colors are natural. In mild conditions or at night I highly recommend using the night mode – it copes well, the photo becomes brighter and generally better. Using a maximum resolution of 48 megapixels makes sense if it is important for you to get a very sharp photo. The portrait mode is present, it works fine.
About the night mode. There is one interesting button here for the tripod mode. And if you have the opportunity to somehow fix the smartphone for 40 seconds, you can get an excellent result. Yes, it will be a little unnatural, but compare the three pictures below in order: tripod-night-auto. In my opinion, this is very good.
Reno2 Z doesn’t have optical zoom, but added buttons for 2x and 5x digital zoom to the application. The second mode is very weak, but 2x with plenty of light can bring in decent results. A couple of examples are in the gallery below. But it’s not worth broadcasting and viewing these pictures on the big screen, they look adequate only on the screens of smartphones.
An ultra-wide-angle lens is traditionally simpler, but it copes with its main tasks. The difference in white balance and color reproduction between it and the main module is not too striking. In the dark, I would not use it, due to the low detail and the amount of noise. Although again – the night tripod mode also works on this module, so you can experiment.
Reno2 Z video can shoot in maximum resolution of 4K and 30 FPS. In general, it manages fine, it seems that there is even something similar to electronic stabilization, but … the shaking almost does not decrease. Another thing is the activation of the ultra-stabilization mode, where there is a noticeable crop of the picture and the resolution decreases, but the smoothness when walking is simply excellent. So the situation is this: if you shoot from a place without movement (at least without sharp), better choose 4K resolution. Active walking is better captured in 1080p and 60 FPS, but with excellent stabilization.
There is slow and fast recording, as well as video with a bokeh effect and the ability to change the degree of blur. One caveat – it works only when there is at least one person in the frame, but the accuracy of separating the background from it leaves much to be desired.
A pop-up selfie camera has the following characteristics: 16 MP, f/2.0, 26 mm, 1/3.1″1.0µm. A pretty good camera with detailed shots and normal colors, albeit without autofocus. The video shoots in Full HD and also knows how to blur the background – both in photo and video mode.
The camera application contains everything that an ordinary user may need, including manual adjustment of parameters, filters, stickers, bokeh and the like.
OPPO Reno2 Z has an in-screen optical fingerprint scanner. And it performed well over the entire period of using the smartphone. Fast and fairly stable. Of course, there are misfires, but mostly if you misplace the area of scanning. Overall, it’s fine.
The settings are as follows: displaying an icon in place of the scanner when the screen is deactivated and animation when scanning/unlocking.
A second popular method is face recognition, despite a motorized unit. I used it less often than a scanner, but it worked quite fine. Of course, in addition to complete darkness, where the method did not work without increasing the brightness of the display.
It can be widely customized. For example, to increase the service life of the mechanism, make it so that to activate you need to do a swipe on the screen. Or vice versa – so that it is activated immediately by pressing the power button. Additionally, it is possible to prohibit unlocking with closed eyes and turn on the screen backlight in low light.
Since the camera is “wrapped” in a translucent area where the backlight is hidden, you can adjust its color and even choose a sound effect. At the same time, they are used not only to directly unlock, but also when you switch to the front camera to take a selfie.
OPPO Reno2 Z battery life
A built-in 4000 mAh battery lasts all day with active use or one and a half with moderate, but no more. For 38 hours of overall work under my scenario, OPPO Reno2 Z survived for 5 hours 20 minutes of display operation. It seems to me there could have been more, with such battery capacity. In the PCMark 2.0 test with maximum backlight brightness, the results are also not record-breaking – 5 hours 16 minutes.
However, there is support for VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. This slightly improves the mediocre battery life, because you can quickly charge (or recharge) Reno2 Z with a regular charger:
- 00:00 — 13%
- 00:30 — 59%
- 01:00 — 90%
- 01:15 — 97%
Sound and communication
The speaker in OPPO Reno2 Z is great and well suited for conversations. But it does not play along with the multimedia speaker, which is a bit strange, because even in the mid-range A9 2020 there is stereo. A little sad, of course. The speaker at the bottom end is loud and quite good, if you do not twist the volume to maximum.
In wireless headphones, everything is fine – both the volume margin and the overall sound quality. In wired, everything is no less decent, and even in a sense better, because Dolby Atmos effects become available.
From the point of view of wireless modules, everything is wonderful – the fifth Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), the Bluetooth 5.0 (A2DP, LE) and accurate GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS), coupled with the popular NFC.
Firmware and software
The proprietary shell is ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie. It has many additional options and features, including several predefined themes (but there is no theme store). The home screen can be either with applications on the desktop, or with a separate menu. There is a dock to the left of the home screen with widgets, a step tracker, and so on. There are three ways to navigate, gestures also work on the deactivated screen. Game Wizard optimizes supported games for better performance, you can clone some popular applications for multiple accounts.
OPPO Reno2 Z is a nice smartphone, but not without its share of flaws. I liked the package contents, the design and the build quality, as well as ergonomics and the screen. Yet, nothing is perfect. 8 GB of RAM sounds great, but the Helio P90 chip is far from what you can find in similarly priced devices. Its competitors boast very capable Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 855 which offer twice the FPS in games.
Cameras? They are good for a mid-ranger, but not for this price tag. Although I liked the night mode. From the battery I also expected a little more. When the price eventually drops, will become a more competitive device. At the moment, this smartphone is more suitable for people who do not play mobile games, do not use cameras very actively, and who simply want something new and original.
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