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OPPO Reno4 Z 5G – 5G at $599. What more do you want?
4.4Overall Score
Name: OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
Price (RRP): $599
Manufacturer: OPPO

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 Reno4 Z 5G Model CPH2065 8/128GB Dual Sim

Fast facts

  • Australian website here
  • Price: $599
  • Colours: Ink Black or Dew White
  • From: JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee and Woolworths Mobile
  • Elevator pitch: A new lower price point for 5G
  • Warranty: 2 years ACL
  • Country of Manufacture: China
  • 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.
  • Other OPPO news and reviews here

First impression – PASS

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.

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G

Overall it is nice but lacks that premium feel and excitement – but it is not bad for a $599 device.

Screen – PASS

Size6.5″
TypeLPTS with a dual camera ‘pill’ slot to left top.
Auto-select (default) or 60/90/120Hz manual select
Resolution2400 x 1080
PPI/Ratio401/20:9
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
Daylight

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
DRMThe 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
GamingAs it is a 60/90/120Hz screen, and it has 120Hz touch response
ProtectionGorilla 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.

Processor – PASS+

SoCMTK MT6873V (Dimensity 800 series) 7nm
4 x 2.0GHz A76 and 4 x 2.0Ghz A55
GPUMali-G57 MP4 Compute Open CL: 2054
Encodes H.264, H.265/HEVC
Playback H.264, H.265/HEVC, VP-9
Game useMediaTek claims best-in-class gaming experience
RAM8GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB UFS 2.1 (100GB free)
Androbench Test
Internal 952.96/201.52Mbps sequential read/write – excellent
micro-SDNo, 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.
Throttle
15-minute
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.

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G

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-FiWi-Fi 5 AC 1 x 1 MIMO
Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from ASUS AX1100 router
– 2m:  -29dBm/433Mbps
– 5m: -51dBm/433Mbps
– 10m: -62dBm/246Mbps
BluetoothBT 5.1
GPSSingle capable of <10m turn-by-turn navigation
NFCYes PayWave
USB-CUSB 2.0
SensorsBosch 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

SIMDual sim (one active at a time) carrier unlocked
1 x 5G and 1 x 4G supported
Ring toneSingle
SupportVoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes
Wi-Fi calling – Yes
DL/ULPing: 34ms, 37/9.8Mbps (good DL but average UL)
LTE Band1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26 28, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66
(a world phone)
5GSub-6Ghz nN78
Note updates may enable other bands
4G Test-103dBm/50.1fW in a 3-bar reception area (average)
Found next tower at -104dBm/25.1fW (good)
5G TestWe 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

Battery mAh2×2010=4000mAh (4020 reported)
Charger5V/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

SpeakersMono earpiece and down-firing speaker*
AMPAW87339 Mono 3W8Ω – this is an all in one chip to control speakers and mics.
BT codecsClaim: 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.
Dolby AtmosNo. It has ‘real original sound’ – smart, movie, game and music that does nothing for the speaker
Sound stageNil – it is a mono speaker
MicDual NC
3.5mmStandard 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.

Sound quality

We do not measure the frequency response as it is a mono speaker. Suffice to say it focuses on clear voice.

Build – PASS

Size/Weight163.8 x 75.5 x 8.1mm x 184g
ColoursInk Black and Dew White
BuildGlass: Gorilla Glass 3
Frame: Not determined – painted plastic
Back:  semi iridescent frosted over plastic
IPNot rated but splash proof
In the box18W 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+

AndroidGoogle Android 10
Security Patch: 5 November
UIColorOS 7.1 (7.2 coming soon)
GoogleAll standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key.
BloatwareMostly Google alternatives and utilities
Update PolicyIt will get Android 11.
Note that security updates handled by Google in Android 11
SecurityFingerprint –  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

IP RatingNot a deal-breaker – you need to spend at least $100 more
Micro-SDDitto and it can handle OTG devices to 1TB
QiSpend 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.

Camera Rear

 Camera Primary
48MP
bins to 12MP
Ultra-Wide
8MP
Monochrome
2MP
Vintage Portrait
2MP
SensorOV48BHI846GC02M0BGC02M0B
FocusPDAF   
Aperture f-stop1.72.22.42.4
Pixel size um.8 bins to 1.61.121.751.75
FOV° and cropped78 (68.4)119 (109)88.888.8
StabilisationVideo  Gyro EIS   
FlashSingle LED   
Zoom10x digital   
Video Max[email protected]   
Features    

Camera Front

CameraSelfie 1
16MP bins to 4MP

Selfie Depth
2MP
SensorS5K3P9 SP04
 Tetra RGB Bayer Pattern
GC02M0B
FocusPDAFFF
Aperture f-stop2.02.4
Pixel size um1.0 bins to 2.01.75
FOV° and cropped79.3 (68.5)78.3
StabilisationNone 
FlashScreen fill 
ZoomN/A 
Video Max[email protected] 
FeaturesScreen fill flash 

Daylight, outdoors

Details and colours are good, and lack of OIS is not an issue in daylight.

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
1X and great detail. Colours are OK but lack the OPPO punch!
OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
2X digital and post-processed colours come up
OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
5X digital – not bad at all
OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
10X digital – don’t go there

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.

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
Way too much noise
OPPO Reno4 Z 5G
Night mode is not bad

Selfie

The extra depth sensor works brilliantly for Bokeh and seems to fill in more details.

Bokeh

We are a little confused. The two x 2MP cameras are for mono effects – not so much depth measurement.

Video

[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.

Rating explanation

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.

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G – 5G at $599. What more do you want?
Name: OPPO Reno4 Z 5G Price (RRP): $599 Manufacturer: OPPO
Build quality – It is an OPPO, say no moreBattery life – it’s a 1-2 day deviceCamera – better than average performanceAndroid 11 coming
No microSDYou can get better 4G cameraphones for the price
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
4.4Overall Score