The OPPO Reno2 Z is the $599 smartphone you have been waiting
for – a massive 6.5-inch AMOLED; tonnes of power with an MT Helio P90 and 8/128/micro-SD;
4000mAh VOOC 3.0 fast charge battery; and a 48MP quad rear camera.
Add to that the impeccable OPPO quality and the OPPO Reno2 Z
offers some of the best features and
value we have seen at that price.
And if you don’t want to spend $599 on the OPPO Reno2 Z then the $499 OPPO Reno Z scored 4.9-out-of-5 in GadgetGuy’s review ‘OPPO Reno Z – as satisfying and cheap as hot chips – mmmm’. This review has one of our highest readerships ever, and OPPO says it has been Australia’s most popular mass-market phone.
So what more does the Reno2 Z have over the Reno Z? In the camera department, it has the same 48MP, Sony IMX586 primary camera replete with gyro/electronic stabilisation. It ups the 5MP camera to 8MP, 119° wide-angle and adds 2 x 2MP cameras – one a mono and one a portrait lens (bokeh). The Selfie camera becomes a pop-up and drops from 32MP (pixel binned to 8MP) to 16MP (not binned).
Oh, and it adds the much-missed micro-SD
slot (to 256GB).
OPPO Reno2 Z CPH1951, 8/128GB/microSD, Dual Sim, Piano Black
Price: $599 from JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks and
Woolworths Mobile. Avoid online merchants as you generally get a version not
certified for Australia.
In the box
OPPO Reno2 Z
VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 5V/4A (20W)
OPPO Cable type (USB-C to a special cable with a green USB-A insert)
3.5 mm earbuds and mic
Faux leather Bumper case
Pre-fitted screen protector
Mobile Muster recycle information
The first impression – OPPO Reno2 Z is elegant
If the ‘OPPOulent’ box is anything to go by – then it is a perfect ‘under the Xmas tree’ gift.
OPPO has been a little boring this time offering Luminous Black and Sky White. But in true OPPO style call this a “Twilight Mist’ finish, and it is elegant, rather than outrageous. And you probably should use the faux leather bumper case anyway.
The 6.5-inch AMOLED screen is gorgeous with a 91.1% STBR (huge)
and an under-glass fingerprint sensor – so it is uninterrupted by a notch or O-hole.
The selfie camera is a popup with illumination lights either side! On the rear,
the now famous ‘nub’ (perfect for obsessive fidgeters) protects the four camera
And the words ‘OPPO – Designed for Reno’ in a gentle swipe
at ‘Leica designed for Huawei’. I like it.
This is an amazing screen for the price – we can only assume
that because OPPO buys so many from Samsung, it gets mates rates!
It has Auto brightness that works well so leave it on (most
are too aggressive towards battery saving, but AMOLED is energy efficient to
start with). Colours can be adjusted from cool to warm – default produces the best
Summary: AMOLED is the king, and this notch-less display
beats all comers at this price.
8GB LPDDR4X and 128GB UFS 2.1 (104GB free) and micro-SD to
The MT Helio P90 12nm is a good chip for mid-market smartphones. The closest rival is the Qualcomm SD730 or SD710 that the OPPO R17 Pro uses.
The GPU’s forte is low power use, AI photo rendering and
video compression – it can encode/decode MP4 and decode HEVC H.265. It also
supports Google’s AR extensions.
Game use: OPPO has a Game Boost 2.0 mode with Frame Boost
and Touch Boost. It should play most FHD mobile games. However, MediaTek has
just released its games focused, Helio G90, and it uses the Mali G76 MP4.
GeekBench 5 gives it a single/multi score of 393/1473 which
puts in the same performance class as the Huawei P20 (Kirin 970) or Samsung
Galaxy/Note8 (SD835) – both of these phones sold for over $1000!
We loaded the phone with multiple apps and browser tabs – it
was silky smooth.
A 15-minute test at 100% load started at 134,126GIPS and
averaged 131,175GPS for 15 minutes – no CPU throttling. There are no heating issue
at all. Impressive.
Wi-Fi 5 AC, 2 x 2 MIMO, Wi-Di, Hotspot
BT 5.0 SBC
OTG to 2TB
GPS and e-Compass
Cell Info reports that the 5GHz Signal strength at 2 meters from our reference NETGEAR AX12 router is –32dBm and 866Mbps. It also supports VHT80 aggregation and is theoretically capable of up to 1.2Gbps – excellent
GPS has fast satellite acquisition
and more than enough speed for turn-by-turn navigation and recalculations.
Dual sim (plus
micro-SD), VoLTE and both are active
Signal strength is excellent at -87dBm (this is in a weak
reception area), but better still it found the next tower at -91dBM (slightly better
than the Reno Z). Here download speeds reached 78/45Mbps. At a Telstra 4GX location
it reached 386/50Mbps.
3.5mm jack and buds
Earpiece speaker and down-firing bottom speaker
Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res audio (24-bit/192kHz)
Volume: Ringer 87dB, music 79dB and voice 76dB
We tested the 3.5mm buds, and the sound was reasonable – limited bass, but mid and treble were fine.
It uses BT 5.0 SBC codec and sound is as good as this
allows. Using our reference Sony WH-1000XM3 Dobly Atmos really came into play –
the sound stage was excellent. Volume was good.
Dolby Atmos means it can accept up
to 5.1.2 or 7.1.4 Atmos content and downmix a simulation to the 2.0 speakers or
headphones/buds. Atmos settings are Smart, Movie, Gaming and Music. It is more
about a sound stage where the sound comes from above and the sides.
The earpiece and the bottom speaker match for frequency response, the different volume from each was noticeable. The Gold line in the bottom speaker and the white line is the earpiece.
Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – none
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – none
High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – starting at 100Hz
Low-mids: 200-400Hz – building
Mids: 400-1000Hz – flat
High-mids: 1-2kHz – flat
Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
Treble:4-6kHz – flat
High Treble: 6-10kHz – flat
Dog whistle: 10-20 – off the cliff
Technically, it is a warm and sweet (good for music) but for
the most part, is it mid-centric for clear voice.
OPPO has a headphone monitor setting that allows you to hear
the smartphone mic via the headphones. Karaoke anyone?
VOOC 3.0 20W fast charge
The battery is large for this class of device.
OPPO VOOC uses 2 x 2000mAh batteries in parallel. The unique
‘green’ cable delivers two channels of 5V/2A (10W) for a total of 20W.
Our battery test software shows a linear charge over 1.5 hours
– about 33% per 30 minutes. But best of all it shows a constant 25° – VOOC is
very safe and does not stress the battery like some flood charging methods.
1080p Video loop: 50% brightness, Airplane mode –
Heavy use: 50% screen on time – 11 hours
Under 100% load: maximum brightness and everything on it empties
in 3 hours
Given typical use we
expect this to run for 24-36+ hours between charges.
x 75.8 x 8.76mm x 195g
2nd-generation ink-ribbon printing technology, which uses a seven-layer ribbon,
Gorilla Glass 5, Alloy frame
OPPO build quality is excellent, and the phone is quite
solid at 195g.
Underglass ultrasonic fingerprint sensor 3.0
This has one of the best under glass scanners I have used. It is fast, but not quite as fast as the Reno 5G which is blazing – blame the lower-powered Helio 90 SoC.
Face recognition is also excellent and quick, and the pop-up
camera was always there when I needed it. I tended to use this for convenience
over the fingerprint system.
Android 9 with OPPO UI Color OS 6.1
All Google apps
Some ‘bloatware’ (mainly OPPO versions of Google
apps) that you can remove
Phone Clone for an easy switch from iOS or Android
Android users will love the added functionality of ColorOS 6.1. It adds Ultra Dark Mode, Ultra Steady Mode (EIS and Gyroscope to video), SOLOOP video editor, Dual Wi-Fi (VHT80 aggregates both bands for up to 1.8Gbps with a compatible router) and increased security.
BTW – you can set the home key
layout to Android 9, Apple or Android 8 styles.
What is missing
IP Rating but that is unusual in this price bracket
48MP (bins to 12MP but can shoot at 48MP in good light)
Sensor: Sony Exmor IMX586
Pixel Size: .8um bins to 1.6um equivalent
Stabilisation: Gyro and EIS for 1080@30fps video
Focus type: PDAF
Zoom: 5x Digital
AI: scene recognition
Flash type: dual temperature LED
Images: RAW or JPEG
Video:4K@30fps (no stabilisation), 1080@30fps (EIS), HDR10 with stereo
Google Lens: Yes
AI: Low-light Shot, Ultra Night Mode 2.0, Backlit
Selfie, AI scene recognition, Photo, Portrait, Video, Night, Pano, Expert,
Time-lapse, and Slo-mo
SOLOOP: A smart video editor that automatically adds music to match
with the timing and transitions of your footage
Where OPPO shines is in making a ‘camera phone’. This is a quad camera. I had a lot of fun playing with the new features the 2 x 2MP lenses enable. For example, you can take mono/sepia and other shots, vary bokeh and the Night Model turns dark into the day – well almost.
Before you get excited, it uses a 48MP Sony IMX586 that
pixel bins (combines the best pixels over a bracket of shots) to 12MP. But it
can shoot at 48MP in good light, and the matching with the 2 x 2MP for depth
and mono (detail) enhancement and an ultrawide angle lens makes this a great
Tests – all auto
Natural colour, perfect tone, excellent detail and one of the best shots I have taken (I use this standard vista for all tests).
Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)
Dog never looked so good with great detail, natural/accurate
colours and even brightness.
Low light (room
with less than 100 lumens)
16MP detail, 79° FOV, f/1.0, 1um pixels. It’s an excellent
Samsung sensor, and you will find it in the Galaxy S10 series. Unlike most
selfies, this has PDAF – not fixed focus, so the results are clear and detailed.
Add OPPO’s famous beautification mode, and that is all you need.
The 2MP lens means it provides more depth data than a ToF
sensor giving a good foreground and background separation as well as leaving
some ‘structure’ in the background. The Selfie supports bokeh in video.
OPPO call it Ultra Steady Mode that uses gyro assisted EIS
to 4K@30fps or lower. Colours and detail are excellent. Its competent down to
GadgetGuy’s take – OPPO Reno2 Z – you have done it again
The OPPO Reno Z was
our favourite $499 phone if you overlooked the lack of a microSD card. The OPPO
Reno2 Z looks like our favourite $599 phone, and it has microSD. Apart from a
quad versus a dual camera and the pop-up selfie, the innards are virtually the
same. So it depends if you have $499 or $599 to spend.
For the typical user,
you cannot fault this device (nor the Reno). Terrific notch-less screen, good
SoC (no throttling), battery life up to two days, a camera that takes great
shots in most conditions, and its made by OPPO with great support in Australia.
We are not saying it is the class leader in every respect, but at this price, you can’t do better. It is either a new Reno2 Z or an old, yawn, Apple iPhone SE (3/128GB) or Google Pixel 2 XL (3/64GB). If you want to spend $50 more then the Google Pixel 3a (4/64GB) and Samsung Galaxy A70 (6/128GB) should be considered.
At 2 November JB Hi-Fi has the OPPO Reno 10x lossless zoom on sale at $799 (8/256GB usually $999). This has a faster Qualcomm SD855 processor and the 48MP triple camera with the innovative periscope zoom. It is very tempting but you might be hard-pressed to convince yourself to spend $200 more.
It looks and feels impressive – a winner.
Yet another reason
why you don’t have to spend over $1000!
YouTube OPPO Reno2 Z
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Build quality and elegant finishes
Very good battery life
A vibrant OLED display
None at this price
Think of the Quad camera as a dual camera with extra portrait features