If you have been reading my writing here for a while, then you would have noticed I have become a bit of an Oppo fan. Setting their high-end phone at a price point of about half that of the big dogs means that their $1200 phone is as good as they can make it, as opposed to holding back features so their premium phones are more premium. This attitude of cramming as much in for the price has trickled down to their mid-range phones and the Reno2 Z is another case of this.
Now you may be wondering how the numbering and lettering works. I don’t blame you as it threw me off too but in short, the Reno and the Reno Z are the two lines of phones. The Reno 2 and the Reno2 Z are the follow ups to each in the series, meaning the Reno2 Z is the latest cheaper option, with the Reno 2 as the latest, slightly higher end option.
Now in to the nitty gritty, I got my hands on a Reno2 Z to play with and I have to say, I did not think I was playing with a $700 phone. For the new lines Oppo has done away with the tear drop bezel and given you all the screen’s real estate, which is great for gaming. The Reno 2 has taken the cheese wedge camera I loved so much on the Reno 10x Zoom, and the Reno2 Z has introduced a new automated camera, a sim card tray looking one. This one has the rectangle slide up from the top of the phone for its forward-facing camera, a.k.the selfie camera, but has the flash on the back of the phone so it only slides out for that specific purpose. This is good because the new sliding camera doesn’t tuck itself away as quickly as the shark fin did, and I am more likely to drop it when I am using it for a torch than when taking a photo. The selfie camera also has a little blue light on both sides of the tray which turns on as it is sliding in and out, which is an interesting touch of flair that I didn’t like, but I didn’t hate it either.
When it comes to cameras, we have got pretty used to seeing high end phones loaded with cameras and mid to low end phones with one. This has changed with Oppos recent offerings, and the Reno2 Z is no different. If like me, you had been ambivalent to these in the past then I highly recommend you have a second look. The phone’s smarts allow it to automatically choose the right camera for what you are trying to take a photo of, which means that without even trying your pictures start getting way better immediately. One thing I like about these phones is they take the photo as is and then they give you the option to enhance the picture quality, so you can see the colours become way more vibrant within seconds.
The Reno 2Z also packs a solid 4,000mAh battery. This may seem like numbers that make little sense but in short this is good for its price. When using the phone like my normal work phone, so calls, emails, gaming, and a lot of podcast listening, I still had 20% battery when I put it on charge at night. With battery and power optimisation when you play games using its Game Space app, the phone seemed to do well with the games I played. I never noticed any chugging when playing games like Mario Kart, which seems far too good for its price.
The phone even has a 3.5mm jack. This surprised me as the 10x Zoom didn’t, but given they are selling this at a lower end price point it seems aware of their market to include this as theoretically the people buying the cheaper phone don’t necessarily have the extra cash for an expensive pair of Bluetooth headphones as well. It sounds a little greasy to say but it feels like Oppo cares about catering to the people their phones would be priced to in the right ways.
I also got to play with the Oppo Enco Q1 Bluetooth headphones. These are the headphones that use a wrap around band that sits on your neck with little cables connecting it to the ear buds in your ears. If like me, you prefer ear buds so you can pop one out when you need to talk to someone then these are the best option to not have your earbuds tethered to your phone in your pocket. Initially I was judgmental about the look of having a band siting around your neck, but within hours of using them I stopped caring straight away as they are so damn comfortable. The noise cancelling won’t block out all sound, but it takes the edge off external sounds, so you don’t have to blast your podcasts as loudly to overcome the sounds of the road.
Surprisingly they have a decent battery as well. Using them exclusively as my earphones I found I charged them every couple of days, and even a day where I worked form home, I had plenty of battery left after spending hours on the phone. Given this, plus not having my phone yank out of my pocket because I got the cable caught on a door handle, or when I took my bag off and they somehow ended up tangled in the strap, I have yet again been converted.
If you haven’t tried out the Oppo range but want to stick to the $700 price band, I can’t recommend checking out the Oppo RenoZ 2 enough. It feels like you are playing with a high-end phone without the high-end bill. Added to the is my new love for the Enco Q1 headphones, Oppo is doing what they can with their products to turn this writer into a little fanboy.
Blair was loaned the Oppo Reno2 Z and provided a Enco Q1 for review