When I reviewed the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom this was my first experience with the Oppo brand, and I was blown away. This premium phone that comes in at half the price of other brands top phones was truly extraordinary, so when given the chance to check out the Oppo Reno Z, their new mid-tier phone, I was keen to see what this brand could do with $700.
One of the things I thought was bizarre amd then endearing about the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom was that Shark Fin/Cheese Wedge that rises out of the top of the phone for the front facing camera and flash. This has been axed for the mid-range phone meaning it has the teardrop notch in the bezel, which because of its shape only takes up a teeny bit of screen space. I won’t lie, it had me missing the neat little wedge but when you are looking at mid-range phones, sacrifices must be made.
One area that has not had a major sacrifice is with the battery life. The Reno 10x Zoom had a 4065 mAh battery, and the Reno Z has a 4035 mAh battery which is a tiny variance. When I tested the Reno 10x Zoom I intentionally played more power intensive games on it to see how it went but with the Reno Z I thought I would treat it like I normally do a phone, and it surpassed my expectations. Playing hours of podcasts in a day while playing around two to three hours of Fire Emblem: Heroes and Pokémon Masters, I only managed to drop the battery below 70% once. My less than two-year-old phone that I bought for its battery life dies before bedtime every night.
The cameras have taken a hit for the price, which is reasonable, but the photos are still surprisingly good. Without the multiple lenses providing the best one for the distance you are capturing, it is limited to digital zoom for those far away snaps. Photos from close range, however, are significantly better than I would have expected for a $700 phone.
The screen is a Full HD+, which means videos and games on the phone looks stunning. When using the Reno Z, it never crossed my mind that this was the screen of a lesser phone at all. Even comparing videos with better screens, unless it is side by side with another phone, you would struggle to notice a difference.
One thing I had noticed with my not so old phone was with the newly released Pokémon Masters, it struggles a lot. I can play the game, but it chugs way more than a $800 one and a half-year-old phone should, the Oppo Reno Z though runs it like a dream. I didn’t notice chugging animations or overly long load times, which has meant I have played way more of it in the last week than I had days prior. Considering it is sitting in the same price range, albeit newer, I didn’t have high hopes, but I could not have been happier.
One thing I have come to expect of mid-tier phones is the sometimes-arbitrary feeling features that get axed. I was not expecting facial unlocking or anything like that, and until I encountered the feature, I didn’t realise how much I love it. No more swiping my pattern every time I want to change a song or podcast at the gym, now I look at it and it unlocks. If that fails because it’s dark, or my son stuck his face in the way too quickly, I stick my thumb on the screen, and if that fails because my thumb is too dirty then I can swipe in my pattern. The latter only happened once in a week.
If you are looking for that midrange phone because the $1200 Reno 10x Zoom is out of your price range, you would do well to look at the Oppo Reno Z. It’s a phone that feels and performs like it should be in a higher price bracket, but with some small setback like the cameras only being good as opposed to amazing, you will comfortably get your money’s worth here.
Blair as loaned an Oppo Reno Z for review