Oppo recently launched three smartphones as part of the Oppo Reno 2 series, the Oppo Reno 2Z, the Reno 2 and the Reno 2F. What is surprising is that these new models were launched just a few months after the original Reno series. Interestingly, Oppo has so far only announced the prices for the Oppo Reno 2 and Reno 2Z, while the Indian price for the Reno 2F will be announced later.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer has set the Reno 2Z at Rs. 29,990 in India, and the cheaper model of the two is already available in the country. The Oppo Reno 2Z is housed in a quad camera setup and is operated with the relatively new MediaTek Helio P90 SoC. Is it better than what the competition offers at this price? We put it to the test to find out.
Oppo Reno 2Z design
All three Reno 2 smartphones appear to have a similar design at first glance, and it's hard to distinguish between them. The Oppo Reno 2Z has an all-display front with thin edges on the top and sides, although the lower bezel is thicker. The AMOLED display of the Reno 2Z measures 6.5 inches diagonally and offers good viewing angles. It also includes an optical fingerprint scanner on the display that can be used to unlock the device with a fingerprint.
Oppo has arranged the selfie camera in a popup module that differs from the shark fin module that some of the other Oppo Reno devices have. This pop-up module is illuminated by lights on both sides and reminds us of what we saw on the Redmi K20 Pro (review), which has a similar selfie camera module. The Reno 2Z also offers the ability to change the light color, which is a breeze.
Oppo placed the on / off switch on the right, while the volume buttons are on the left. These are all in the middle of the frame so you can easily reach them. We also found the clicking feedback.
The Oppo Reno 2Z has a USB-C port on the bottom, a primary microphone, a speaker, and a 3.5mm audio jack, while the pop-up selfie camera and secondary microphone are on the top.
The Oppo Reno 2Z has a quad camera setup that, unlike many other newer smartphones with outstanding camera modules, is flush with the back of the device. The fourth sensor is lower than the rest and is easy to miss. All camera sensors are located under the glass panel on the back. In order to prevent the glass from being scratched around the cameras, Oppo has placed a knob over this cluster with which the phone can be lifted on a flat surface.
Oppo provides a high quality case with a pair of earphones and a 20 W charger for VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 in the package.
Oppo Reno 2Z specifications
The recently launched Oppo Reno 10X Zoom Edition (Review) was equipped with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, while the Reno 2Z is equipped with the MediaTek Helio P90 SoC. This new processor is not yet very widespread, and the Reno 2Z is one of the few phones on which it has been used so far. The Helio P90 has six ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2 GHz and two Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz. It will be interesting to see how it does against some of the other processors available in phones at this price. The Oppo Reno 2Z was launched in just one configuration with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. You can expand the storage using the dedicated microSD card slot.
With the Reno 2Z, Oppo offers dual 4G VoLTE functionality. Bluetooth 5, dual-band WiFi, four satellite navigation systems and USB OTG are also supported. The Reno 2Z also receives the standard sensors.
On the front of the Oppo Reno 2Z is dominated by an AMOLED display with 6.5 inches Full HD + (1080 x 2340 pixels), which gives the phone a screen-to-body ratio of 91.1 percent. The display is alive and you can adjust the color temperature. We found that the viewing angles are good and it gets bright enough to be visible outdoors.
Oppo ships the Reno 2Z with Color OS 6.1, which runs on Android 9 Pie, and the August security patch was carried out on our device. The user interface is similar to that of the last Oppo and Realme smartphones and we had no problems navigating. Oppo also offers gesture navigation if you don't like the traditional three-button layout. Android 9's digital feel-good feature is available, and the phone also has parental controls that let you monitor and restrict usage.
A whole range of bloatware is preinstalled on the device, including the UC Browser, NewsPoint, Dailyhunt, Helo, Paytm, Amazon and Facebook apps. We found that the user experience was good as long as we didn't open these apps, as some of them sent spam notifications to us all day. Oppo has its own Play Store alternative called App Market, which you can use to download apps. There is also the Game Center for games.
Color OS 6.1 also has a feature called Game Space that blocks notifications, turns off automatic brightness, and clears memory when a game starts. Additional functions such as Smart Driving and App Cloner are also available on the Reno 2Z.
Oppo Reno 2Z performance, battery life and cameras
Since the Oppo Reno 2Z is one of the few phones with a MediaTek Helio P90 SoC, we were excited to see how it would compare to the popular Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. No jerking or stuttering occurred while using the smartphone. Multitasking was a breeze and the 8 GB of RAM meant the Reno 2Z could run apps in the background.
The built-in fingerprint scanner of the Reno 2Z is super fast and we had no problems with it. We also set up facial recognition for the Reno 2Z. The phone quickly opens its pop-up module and searches for a registered face. It unlocks quickly in different lighting conditions and can increase screen brightness if necessary for a proper scan in poor lighting conditions.
We ran our standard benchmarks. The Oppo Reno 2Z managed to clock 162.117 in AnTuTu, which is not a lot. Even the Lenovo K10 Note (review), which is equipped with the mid-range Snapdragon 710SoC, scored 162,635 points in the same test. In PCMark Work 2.0, the smartphone achieved 8,723 points, well above the 6,487 points that the Snapdragon 710SoC had achieved in the same test.
The smartphone scored 1,189 and 24,862 points in 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL and Ice Storm Unlimited, respectively. In GFXBench, the Reno 2Z achieved 48 fps and 17 fps in GFXBench T-Rex and Manhattan 3.1 tests. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710SoC achieved 50 fps and 20 fps in the same tests.
We played PUBG Mobile on the Reno 2Z and the device was set to high by default, with the graphics set to HD and the frame rate set to high. We couldn't improve the quality any further, but the device ran the game with these settings without any problems. We played the game for 29 minutes, after which the device saw an 8 percent battery drain. It hardly felt warm even after playing.
The Oppo Reno 2Z is packaged in a 4,000 mAh battery and manages to survive more than a day and a half under normal use. We used the smartphone to play PUBG Mobile, take camera samples and surf the internet regularly. The Reno 2Z lasted 16 hours and 20 minutes in our HD video loop test. The supplied 20 W charger charged the phone to 48 percent in 30 minutes and 88 percent in one hour. It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to fully charge the device.
Oppo chose a quad camera setup for the Reno 2Z, which consists of a 48 megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of 1: 1.7. an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an aperture of 1: 2.2 and a field of view of 119 degrees; a 2 megapixel monochrome sensor; and a 2 megapixel depth sensor. The primary sensor is the high-end Sony IMX586, which was recently used for affordable devices like the Realme 5 Pro. There is no optical telephoto camera like the one we saw in the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition, and this new device uses digital zoom. On the front, the pop-up module is housed in a 16 megapixel camera.
The camera software is similar to that of the Oppo Reno series and offers several modes to choose from. In addition to the normal photo and video modes, there are night, pan, time-lapse and expert modes. There are quick switching options for HDR, Filters and Dazzle Color. Oddly enough, Oppo implemented a shift key to switch to the wide-angle camera, which isn't as intuitive as the controls we've seen on most other phones. Another curiosity was that in order to take 48 megapixel pictures with full resolution, we had to go into the camera settings and change the aspect ratio of the photo to 4: 3 (48MP). This is easy to miss, and we think the camera app could use some improvements to make it more user-friendly.
We found the Reno 2Z to lock focus quickly. This phone uses AI to set up the camera. When shooting in daylight, the Reno 2Z creates good details and the colors are also pretty accurate. The smartphone automatically activates HDR for bright scenes and manages to do a good job. The sample images here look a bit boring because they were taken with the sky overcast. In close-ups, we found that the Oppo Reno 2Z can separate the subject well from the background and achieve a good bokeh effect without the need for multiple attempts. Photos taken with the wide-angle camera had less detail than photos taken with the primary sensor. However, the software corrects the run distortion.
Photos in low light didn't have much noise. The AI recognizes weak scenes and shortens the shutter speed. These photos looked as good as they are, but we noticed a lack of detail when zooming in. The Reno 2Z also has a special night mode that further shortens the shutter speed. This resulted in lighter images with better details in the shadows.
Portraits taken with the Reno 2Z had good edge detection and enabled the blurring to be adjusted before taking the picture. We liked the output quality. The phone also managed to correctly wipe the gap between the subject's arm and body.
Selfies also had good details and in the app the embellishment is activated by default. You can change the beautification parameters before taking a picture, or turn it off entirely. Selfies taken in low-light conditions were less detailed, but screen flash can be useful when shooting in low-light environments
The maximum video recording is 4K 30fps for the primary sensor and 1080p for the wide-angle camera. Footage recorded at 1080p was stabilized, but had a jerky effect at the exit. There is an ultra steady mode, which trims the frame when activated and stabilizes the output better. Videos recorded in poor lighting conditions also had a visible shimmer and the details were poorer.
The Reno 2Z is one of the three smartphones Oppo has just launched onto the market in the new Reno 2 series. This device is well designed and includes a four camera setup. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio P90 SoC and we like the fact that it has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Color OS also offers a good experience and has features that we found useful, although it can be improved with some bloatware control.
Oppo marketed the Reno series mainly based on camera quality, and the Reno 2Z offers good photo features. However, the camera app still needs to be optimized to make it more user-friendly. The MediaTek Helio P90 SoC did not deliver the performance we had expected for the price. Other smartphones competing for this price, such as the Redmi K20 Pro (review), offer significantly better performance. When you're ready to spend a little more money, the OnePlus 7 (test) or Asus 6Z (test) offers better value for money.