If there is a smartphone company we should keep an eye on is OPPO. Their design thinking, camera performance and software overall have jumped many levels in the last couple of years.
The OPPO Reno smartphone series is not an exception. They started with a device, the Reno 10x, that although priced in the mid-tier, had everything to be a high-end device. They continue this with the launch of the OPPO Reno2 Z, which is another device that makes the case for OPPO as a quality device manufacturer.
First I noticed when getting the OPPO Reno2 Z out of the box was the design itself. The phone feels nice on the hand, with smooth edges and sides. Most importantly the black colour is striking - really nice device. All this packaged in a 3D curved body made of Gorilla Glass 5.
In terms of performance, the OPPO Reno2 Z is not a power device but it still performs really well, thanks to its MTK MT6779 processor and 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage, with smooth transitions and app starts. It also helps the brilliant screen is large enough to be comfortable to use and roomy for your apps.
With a 4000 mAh battery, the OPPO Reno2 Z is well positioned in terms of battery life, up there with other higher-end devices. Most importantly, it supports the VOOC 3.0, the super-fast charging system that OPPO is famous for. This means you can quickly recharge the OPPO Reno2 Z - up to 51% charge in 30 minutes - to a comfortable level that will give you some freedom of movement.
With a 6.5" AMOLED screen, the OPPO Reno2 Z sports a 2340 x 1080 resolution (394 ppi), and thanks to its hidden front camera, the viewable are covers a good 91.1% of the front of the device. The security fingerprint scanner is located under the screen and it's a pretty fast one at that.
The front camera is actually a 16 megapixel F2.0 pop-up device that comes up when the front-camera is activated. It does look pretty cool and it happens in under a fraction of a second. The camera is protected with a free-fall detection system so it should retract instantly if it detects you dropped it while active. Also the pop-up has LED indicators that flash a countdown timer for the perfect selfie.
The main camera has four sensors (48 megapixel & 8 megapixel & 2 megapixel & 2 megapixel) split into F1.7, wide-angle secondary camera F2.2, telephoto secondary camera F2.4 and mono F2.4. This gives you up to 10x digital zoom with support for professional mode, panorama, portrait, night scene, slow-motion and time-lapse photography. The photos taken with this smartphone are crispy and have bright colours. Even the front camera (selfie) does a great job here.
Also interesting is support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, not so common on mid tier devices, and NFC support means contactless payments via Google Pay is just a few steps away for setup.
Like many other Android-based devices, the OPPO Reno2 Z uses a custom version of Android - in this case the ColorOS 6.1, based on Android 9. The ColorOS has evolved well over the last few years, keeping up with the performance and design developments. First it is not loaded with bloatware. It does have a Theme store to help you customise your phone even more than just wallpapers and a video editing app. It does incorporate some good and interesting ideas, such as the secure keyboard, which can be used by some apps (mobile banking mainly) to prevent information leaks (like passwords being captured when typed).