The OPPO Reno4 Z 5G is part of the Reno mid-range value line that gives all you need for a reasonable price. In this case, it uses a new MediaTek Dimensity 800 SoC to bring in at $599 – a new low price point for the 5G market.
Now we have to make it clear that the OPPO Reno4 Z 5G may share the Reno brand, but it is an entirely different device to the OPPO Reno4 5G (review here 4.5/5). We are keen to assess the MediaTek Dimensity Chip and see if there are any compromises from the Reno4 5G Qualcomm SoC.
As such, we will assess this as a separate device.
OPPO (Est 2001) is a privately-owned Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communications company headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong. It is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics Corporation (Est 1995) along with OnePlus, Vivo, and Realme (and other brands including VSun, XTC, and IMOO). Its executives and long-term staff own many of the shares. BBK is currently the second-largest smartphone maker in the world (Source CounterPoint February 2020). It is most definitely not part of the Huawei/ZTE/China spying debate.
As much as this is a Reno4 series, it is not quite as elegant as the Reno4 5G.
It has a large flat screen, thicker bezels and chin, chrome-like plastic frame, and a glass-like back in Dew White. There is a 3.5mm combo audio port at the bottom.
The quad-camera block is a square at the right top. But as you will find later it is really a dual camera with a 2MP portrait monochrome and a 2MP vintage portrait monochrome sensor.
Overall it is nice but lacks that premium feel and excitement – but it is not bad for a $599 device.
Screen – PASS
LPTS with a dual camera ‘pill’ slot to left top. Auto-select (default) or 60/90/120Hz manual select
2400 x 1080
Colour Brightness Contrast Gamut White HDR
1.07 billion (8+2-bit FRC) Claim: 480 typical – measured 400 typical and 430 max Claim: 1500:1, Measured 1100:1 typical 81.5% NTSC (measured 99% sRGB Delta E 4.2) Slider from cooler to warmer GPU will decode and play up to HDR10
AOD Dark mode Blue light
Average for an LTPS screen but needs brightness turned fully up No Yes Called Eye Comfort and goes from cool white to paperwhite but not low Blue Light
The GPU will decode HDR10 and play content to the screen. DRMInfo finds Widevine L1 and the HDCP 2.2, so it should play SDR and HD/HDR streaming content
As it is a 60/90/120Hz screen, and it has 120Hz touch response
Gorilla Glass 3 and pre-fitted screen protector
Let’s get something clear about higher screen refresh rates as it applies to all screens (and OPPO tells us this)
The Adaptive refresh setting (default) means it chooses the right refresh.
120Hz mode only works for some OPPO OS apps and animations. Very few games support it.
90Hz mode supports about 50 external apps including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram
The vast majority of the time it will be 60Hz
NTSC is an odd way to describe colour gamut. In simple terms, if something can produce 72% NTSC, then it should be able to reproduce 100% sRGB.
We measured 99% sRGB, 400 nits (typical) and 1100:1 contrast which is not bad for a screen. But it is not as bright screen as we expect from LTPS and has a cool blue default.
No, but supports OTG to 1TB (must enable OTG) External device Tests Flash 128GB USB 3.0 44/40Mbps SSD 256GB USB 3.1 Gen 1 43.99/43.6MBps SSD 1TB USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 40/40MBps
Geek Bench 5
Single: 515 Multi: 2162 It similar to an SD730 but multicore performance brings it closer to between an SD845 and SD855.
Max: 207,151GIPS, Average: 195,964 – 11% loss over 15 minutes CPU temp reached 50° Terrific thermal management as we have come to expect from OPPO designs
MediaTek provides a range of lower-cost SoCs. We are unfamiliar with this SoC. On paper, it seems impressive with GIPS (Giga-Instructions per Second) well over the SD765G. GeekBench 5 Multi-core and Compute Open CL performance are higher. Also, it has minimal throttling.
We experienced quite smooth response, no lag and good multitasking speeds.
There is no stigma with buying a Helio processor. Time will tell if this is a good or great processor.
Comms – PASS
Wi-Fi 5 AC 1 x 1 MIMO Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from ASUS AX1100 router – 2m: -29dBm/433Mbps – 5m: -51dBm/433Mbps – 10m: -62dBm/246Mbps
Single capable of <10m turn-by-turn navigation
Bosch BMI160 triaxial Accelerometer/Gyroscope and step/motion detector gives a total of 9-axis detection used for Gyro-EIS Magmetometer eCompass Ambient Light sensor Proximity sensor
Maximum data transfer rate is 433Mbps (half-duplex), and the signal strength is average to good.
LTE and 5G – PASS
Dual sim (one active at a time) carrier unlocked 1 x 5G and 1 x 4G supported
VoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes Wi-Fi calling – Yes
-103dBm/50.1fW in a 3-bar reception area (average) Found next tower at -104dBm/25.1fW (good)
We are unable to provide reliable results
It is a city/suburbs phone although you should have no issues in regional cities. It is not for rural use.
Battery – PASS+ for battery life
2×2010=4000mAh (4020 reported)
5V/2A/10W and 9V/2A/18W Also, PD and QWC 18W compatible Charge Test 0-100% – under 2 hours
Tests Adaptive mode
Video Loop test: 1080p/50%/aeroplane mode – 18 hrs Typical use 4G, Wi-Fi Test – 12 hrs MP3 music test: 50% volume played from storage – 24+ 100% load Battery drain – 10 hrs T-Rex – 466.8m (7.78hrs), 3349 frames Drain screen off: 250mA (about 15-20 days)
This is the same battery setup as the Reno4 5G except that this comes with the 18W charger instead of the 65W one. And it must drive a 120Hz screen (all tests in auto-select mode).
We wanted to see if the MediaTek processor used more battery. In this case, it has a higher battery drain (250mA versus 91mA) at idle.
Sound – PASS
Mono earpiece and down-firing speaker*
AW87339 Mono 3W8Ω – this is an all in one chip to control speakers and mics.
Claim: Codecs are SBC (standard), LDAC (Sony), aptX/HD/ (Qualcomm), FLAC, ACC (Apple) etc. Note: We were unable to use the aptX/HD Codecs and suspect these are a specification mistake as they are for Qualcomm SoCs.
No. It has ‘real original sound’ – smart, movie, game and music that does nothing for the speaker
Nil – it is a mono speaker
Standard USB-C earphone/mic supplied
Tests dB Anything over 80dB is excellent
Media – 70 Ring – 80 Alarm – 72 Earpiece – no setting Handsfree – adequate volume and mic sensitivity
* It is not fair to measure the sound signature on a mono speaker system. The primary use is for clear voice. It is not for music or movies with no bass or mid before 1000Hz and no treble after 10kHz.
BT headphones – EXCEED
The BT 5.1 drove our reference Sony WH-1000xM4 in SBC, AAC, and LDAC modes and provided good clear sound and plenty of volume. Despite claims, it does not have aptX or aptX HD.
And if you use a 3.5mm cabled headphones an EQ appears as well to adjust the DAC.
We do not measure the frequency response as it is a mono speaker. Suffice to say it focuses on clear voice.
Build – PASS
163.8 x 75.5 x 8.1mm x 184g
Ink Black and Dew White
Glass: Gorilla Glass 3 Frame: Not determined – painted plastic Back: semi iridescent frosted over plastic
Not rated but splash proof
In the box
18W charger USB-A to USB-C 3.5mm standard buds TPU bumper cover
OPPO build quality and finish is superb, and it has a two-year warranty and excellent local service. To earn extra points here, it would have required an IP rating.
Android 10 – PASS+
Google Android 10 Security Patch: 5 November
ColorOS 7.1 (7.2 coming soon)
All standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key.
Mostly Google alternatives and utilities
It will get Android 11. Note that security updates handled by Google in Android 11
Fingerprint – under glass Goodix optical 9/10 tests FaceID – 4/10 – worse in poor light
I like ColorOS and its direction. It is like the oil on the wheels that makes Pure Android more usable.
Missing – PASS
Not a deal-breaker – you need to spend at least $100 more
Ditto and it can handle OTG devices to 1TB
Spend another $100 more
OPPO Reno4 Z 5G camera – PASS
OPPO has some of the best camera tech with periscope zoom, gimbal lens mounts, AI etc.
This is a fairly standard rear quad-camera setup. The 48MP Omnivision sensor is perhaps not as good as a Samsung or Sony (the Chinese model gets a Sony IMX586), but it produces reasonable quality.
The dual selfie is interesting. The depth sensor really gives good bokeh.
Overall its is a great performer, but you can buy better cameraphones from its BBK siblings.
And this is the first time we have seen the MediaTek Dimensity 800 AI, and while it performs reasonably well, it is not quite up to the Reno4 SD765G post-processing standards.
Details and colours are good, and lack of OIS is not an issue in daylight.
Indoors Office Light (400 lumen)
Slightly over sharpened
Low light (room <40 lumen)
Major noise in standard shots taken at 1/50 second and ISO806. The Night mode took 11 shots at 1/10second and ISO 345 and post-processed them.
The extra depth sensor works brilliantly for Bokeh and seems to fill in more details.
We are a little confused. The two x 2MP cameras are for mono effects – not so much depth measurement.
[email protected] with Gyro-EIS is very good – pans are smooth and even. Colours are accurate and it is quite competent at low light video without too much post-processing noise.
Sound is stereo recorded, but there is no beamforming, so if you are trying to capture sound, then a USB-C mic is best.
GadgetGuy’s take – OPPO Reno4 Z 5G lowers the 5G cost barrier
I have to admit that I am not as impressed with this as the Reno4 5G. These are brothers from a different mother. Where the Reno4 excels is in usability. There are a few rough edges still to be polished off the Reno4 Z.
The screen is good, but 120Hz knocks battery life around. I suspect that gamers will look to 4G devices with even better screens.
The battery life is good, but 18W versus 65W on the Reno4 is like chalk and cheese.
Rear camera is OK but nothing outstanding. Selfie camera is quite good.
If you don’t really need 5G (and that is most of us) then the Google Pixel 4a 128GB ($599 review 4.6/5) or Realme 7 Pro 128GB $599 (review 4.9/5) would be my pick.
As you know a PASS on all tests earn 4/5. Then we add points for EXCEED and deduct points for FAIL.
Where the Reno4 5G scored 4.5/5, it did so for its AMOLED screen, 65W battery charger and a better camera. But that is $799 versus $599. The OPPO Reno4 Z 5G passed all tests but was not outstanding in any particular area – a good all-around phone offering 5G at a lower price.
Grey market – no Australian warranty
We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Telco carrier 4 and 5G bands and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. As it is 5G capable the IMEI is initially locked to Australian Telcos – international models will not work here.
We have named and shamed the major grey marketers here. If you are going to spend this much money, get a genuine ‘Made for Australia’ model.