Oppo Reno 4Z 5G, analysis and opinion

This is our analysis of the Oppo Reno 4Z 5G, a mobile of the most interesting that arrives to complete a Reno 4 family that has devices for all kinds of users. It's the simplest, in some respects, of the family, but it has features as interesting as 5G support, a 120 Hz display and a more than interesting MediaTek SoC.



Oppo is one of those companies that are increasingly attracting attention in the West, and it's no less. Interestingly, it is one of the 'powerful' of the BBK group to which Vivo, OnePlus or realme belongs, but by different factors, until not long ago it was a brand that went unnoticed and that was behind Huawei and Xiaomi in this medium or medium-premium range.

The Chinese company has been doing things very well for years, but it has been with the Reno family that it has started to sneak more into Western markets... and in our pockets. A few weeks ago they launched the three members of the Reno 4 family and, after talking about the flagship of it, the Oppo Reno 4 Pro-analysis - it's time to see how the little brother is doing.

Below, we tell you our opinion of the Oppo Reno 4Z in an analysis in which we review all the strengths that the terminal has... and in which we see some small detail that would have to be improved for the next generation.



Elegance by a flag in the mid-range

You can make thin phones that weigh 'little' in the mid-range. That's the first thing I thought when I first picked up the terminal that surprised me, and a lot, because of a design that's not conventional.

Oppo is one of the companies that care most about the design aspect and this Reno 4Z is no exception, although it was is true that accustomed to mobiles with unibody (or almost unibody) designs, the 'part' design of the Oppo Reno 4Z can collide a bit.

And that is, we have three clearly differentiated elements. On the one hand, there is the back apart with a glossy polycarbonate finish in which the footprints stay that gives a taste. It's not too thick a polycarbonate and you can tell why we can 'sink' the rear a little bit if we squeeze, something that, I imagine, has been done on purpose to reduce the weight as much as possible.

The camera module is at the top left in a rather peculiar square. The flash is in the centre and quite markedly we have the main sensor and the wide-angle, as raised in front of the two secondary sensors (monochromes both). It's like Oppo wants to tell us that those two are 'the good guys' and the ones we're going to use on day-to-day life.

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We also find the company logo and, interestingly, we don't have the 5G logo anywhere. I like that manufacturers think that being in the name of the phone, we don't have to see the logo at all times.

Our colour is the 'Ink black', a kind of very dark blue almost black that also turns purple depending on how the light influences. It's a pretty nice colour, in my opinion, and the other option is the 'Dew white'. I'm left with the one who touched us, really, although it's indeed a magnet for the prints and at the end of the day if we don't use the supplied case, it's going to be pretty dirty.

That back has a very lightly curved finish that joins the frame of the sides. This frame is plastic, but somewhat harder and gives the feeling of being also more resistant. The finish is matte and the touch is pleasant, although I'm not used to a separation between the side and the back and it's something that hits at first, but you end up getting used to it.

However, in the palm of your hand, you can see the small division between the back and the side and some users may be disturbed. That said, on the right side we have the lock button that carries the fingerprint reader and on the right, we find the volume buttons and the slot for the double SIM 5G. No, it cannot be extended by microSD.

At the top, we only have one microphone and inside we find the only speaker, another microphone, the USB Type-C and the headphone jack, something that is appreciated.

If we move to the front, we find a panel of 6.57" that, with the 163.8 mm high and the 75.5 wide, leaves us a total of 84.3% screen/body percentage. It is a panel that has a double hole for the camera on one side and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3+.

It may not be the most modern protection, but it's the one I like the most. The panel is not as elastic as the latest models and it can indeed crack more 'easily', but it is also more resistant to scratches and everyday marks.

Completing the measurements we find a thickness of 8.1 millimetres, which is not bad at all, and a weight of 184 grams. That is something that surprises considering the dimensions of the terminal and that we explain with the choice of materials.



A good IPS that shines thanks to the 120 Hz soft drink

Los tres Reno 4 montan paneles diferentes. El 4 Pro tiene un panel SuperAMOLED a 90 Hz. El Reno 4, que también estamos analizando y cuyo texto os ofreceremos en unos días, tiene un panel OLED a 60 Hz y este Reno 4Z monta un IPS a una frecuencia de 120 Hz.

If you ask me which panel I prefer, I have it very clear: SuperAMOLED at 90 Hz, but the answer is conditioned by the on-screen fingerprint reader, by the null shadows on the sides and because I like that type of panels better.

Now, the Reno 4Z has a good IPS panel with correct colour calibration and that 120 Hz are a real one enjoyed in both compatible and day-to-day games.

Let's start with pure and hard technical characteristics. The screen has a diagonal of 6.57", a size that we are already getting used to. It is not the most comfortable size to use with one hand, but thanks to the 20:9 format and the help of one-handed control mode, we arrive with our thumbs from side to side and have practically everything within reach when we go down the street.

The resolution is 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, which leaves us with a density of 401 pixels per inch. You won't be able to distinguish pixels and it's a density that allows there to be no visual fatigue.

As I say, the colour is well calibrated at the factory and although it is not the most advanced IPS that has passed through our hands, the truth is that it is attractive to watch videos and play video games.

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By software, we have several settings that we can make such as turning the dark mode on/off (which is an IPS panel is not suitable for saving battery) and the visual comfort mode that adjusts the colour temperature depending on the room, we have an adaptive sleep mode, we can configure the colour temperature and the OSIE effect.

This OSIE thing is a technology that we've seen on some realme mobiles and it's quite interesting. It is an artificial intelligence technology called 'Object & Semantic Images & Eye-tracking' that basically enhances the colour of images incompatible applications to make them more attractive.

If you ask me, I've left it on, but it's not something that affects all apps because they have to be compatible and, as you imagine, not all of them are.

We can also customize the frequency and we have modes at 60 Hz, 90 Hz, 120 Hz or an adaptive mode that you choose according to the needs of each application. This is the one I would recommend.

As I say, it is a good panel for all kinds of situations, but it is not the best IPS nor does it have the best software. For example, the typical brightness is 480 nits and, indeed, I have not had problems, but in very sunny situations outdoors I miss a little more not because you do not see the screen, but because you would appreciate a little more power.

The software is good, but I would have liked to have a colour mode selector like the one we see in so many mobiles to be able to have a more natural or saturated palette. In my case, I like the default calibration, but another type of user may want more colour or less.

And by ending with the panel, the viewing angles are correct with a logical loss of brightness on the X and Y axes when we look at the mobile from a 45o angle and a shadow that, at least in my unit, is only around the generous front camera module.



MediaTek is putting on its batteries and the Density 800 is the size

I wanted to get to this point of the analysis of the Oppo Reno 4Z because, really, I like to talk about the things that surprise me, and the MediaTek that gives life to this terminal... he's done it.

The Density 800 is similar, but somewhat less powerful if we cater only to specifications than the 800U that mounts the Redmi Note 9T that we just analyzed. It is an SoC that has an eight-core CPU in which four are Cortex A77 at 2 GHz and the other four are Cortex A55 also at 2 GHz.

It may be ColorOS optimization over MIUI, but cold numbers play on GPU tasks in favour of the Oppo chip. You may also have to see that the GPU has more RAM to access.

Whatever it is, it's a chip that competes from you to you against Qualcomm's 720G and that in tasks of both days today and games has left us very good taste in the mouth.



We have been able to play all kinds of games without any problem and also edit large photos in RAW and some video in a very satisfactory way. However, in these more demanding tasks or games like Genshin Impact, you can see that both the GPU and the CPU go full and the mobile heats up a little on the top back. It's not alarming at all, but there it is.

The management of multitasking is good and I have not noticed strangulation of any kind at any time. Now, I would have liked the memory to be a little faster.

We have 128 GB of memory, which is not bad at all, but UFS 2.1. It is a technology that we continue to see on mid-range mobiles, but considering that cheaper terminals have opted for the UFS 2.2 that offers a little more speed, especially in these 128 GB modules, we would have appreciated having that latest technology.

It's not a mobile that feels slow about this aspect, but exporting photos to Snapseed, for example, would have been a little smoother. The truth is that the Density 800 has surprised us and MediaTek is catching up on Qualcomm.



ColorOS is a very unique system, although we are still on Android 10

And that great performance is due to both hardware and communion with software. In this sense, we have Android 10 with ColorOS 7.2 running over it and putting the colour note to Google's system.

We would have liked it to arrive with Android 11, but companies still find it hard to keep up with updates although, that's true, in some details and functions, these layers tend to go even ahead of Google itself. Even if we don't have Android 11, we do have the latest security patches, and in the end, that's the important thing.

That said, the customization layers are very personal, worth the redundancy. Some users prefer Huawei exclusively by EMUI, others prefer Xiaomi for MIUI and others are fascinated by OnePlus OxygenOS.

ColorOS is a layer that, really, I didn't like too much until the seventh version arrived. I noticed that it was heavy, too colourful and really brought me almost nothing in my day-to-day use. However, with ColorOS 7 things have changed.

It is a very fast, fluid layer, without hang-ups and with animations that take full advantage of the screens with 90 or 120 Hz of soda. The gestures work perfectly, the menus are clear (although they could always be something else) and we have some freedom when it comes to customizing virtually any element of the terminal.



I especially like both the shortcut sidebar and how easy it is to move various icons around the dash. I am a person who from time to time rearranges the dash and I like to be able to do everything in a few gestures.

It is, as I say, a very good experience with fast multitasking and, also, we have Discover on the left side, so there is no glue to the system in this regard.

We do not want to dismiss this section without praise the unlocking systems. The Reno 4Z features a dual system consisting of a fingerprint reader on the right side and a real facial recognition system, not the typical Android photo, thanks to its dual front camera system.

What we have to say is that it works great both one module and another, since they are very, very fast and reliable systems.

Capacitive fingerprint sensors are, in almost all cases, the most reliable and fast, but unlocking this terminal with your face is very comfortable.



Good 48 Mpx main sensor and two strange monochrome cameras

So far, we're seeing that the Reno 4Z is a pretty round terminal. Cameras are one of the most important elements in a smartphone of this segment because we are finding exponents that, really, allow us to take very good photos without having to go to a mid-premium range or higher segments.

We find a mobile with six cameras (two front and four behind), but there are some that we cannot use or that are directly expendable. We're going to go in parts and the first one in importance is the 48-megapixel sensor, the main one.

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This is the Sony IMX 586, which has a pixel size of 0.8 m and has pixel binning technology to join four pixels and create a larger virtual pixel. The result is 12-megapixel photos (although we will be able to capture images at full resolution) with an f/1.7 aperture and a focal equivalence to a 26-millimetre lens.

It is a typical sensor in this range that allows us to take pictures... Correct. It is not the best of its segment, but it does not fail either and the truth is that with good light conditions we will take images quite faithful to reality.



The processing does not go over the line and the truth is that we miss some contrast, but as I always say when this happens, better less native contrast and be able to fix it in an editing app... that images so processed that they are unrecoverable,

Outdoors, as I say, the results are good with the native focal. We also have a digital 2x and 5x and accessible from a button in the app that... well, here comes down a little the list because the textures are excessively washed and, in fact, they seem to have a touch of watercolour.

Indoors or when light falls, the Reno 4Z follows the dynamics of daytime photos: good and 'usable' photos, but not spectacular. You notice the noise more and there are times when unwanted flashes occur, but, again, they are photos that we will be able to use on social networks without problem.



4,000mAh with 18W charge, we get a little short

We liked the MediaTek Dimensity 800 and, as we've seen in the tests, it's really good. Now, a mantra that the Mediatek drags is how energy efficient they are in terms of consumption, needing more power from the battery than the Snapdragon to do the same.

Although the SoC is built in a 7-nanometer lithograph, we see that the 4,000 mAh is not enough for a day of intensive use if we have 120 Hz activated on the panel. In our tests, with automatic brightness, 5G connection, Bluetooth always on and 120 Hz we have 6 hours 54 minutes screen.

With the same settings, but with the 60 Hz refresh, we have seven and a half hours of screen. Because of the difference between one mode and another at both the level of autonomy and user experience, I prefer to always leave the 120 Hz active that allows me to reach the end of the day something fair, but with a very, very good experience.

If you want to stretch the autonomy a little more, there is available an energy-saving mode that 'goes down' the processor, something that we will not notice in the applications of the day today, as well as a mode that delays the update of notifications at night, but you will arrive at the end of the day without problems, and without many boasts.



The protagonist is the 5G, but the party is not missing e-screen NFC or headphone jack

And, of course, one of the star features of this terminal is that it supports 5G networks. In fact, the MediaTek Dimensity 800 has an integrated modem that supports both SA (the 'real' 5G) and NSA 5G networks (which we currently have due to the type of antennas in our cities and which feeds on the 4G network).

We have already mentioned that it is a DualSIM terminal and both, as in the Redmi Note 9T, can be 5G. It is one of the few DualSIM mobiles on which we can have two 'real' 5G cards operating at once. This isn't for everyone, but well, there it is and it's appreciated that there are companies that are taking those steps in the mid-range.

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Also, we have NFC for mobile payments and it is also most useful for pairing devices, as well as Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 5 at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. We would have liked to have Wi-Fi 6, all to be said, but the truth is that, in wireless connectivity, it is armed to the teeth.

In physical connectivity, it is also not barefoot thanks to the USB Type-C 2.0 and the 3.5 mm jack. Yes, manufacturers, you can make thin mobiles with headphone port. In this range, we still appreciate you being because in the high ranges we understand that users opt for Bluetooth headphones, but in the input range and the medium is not so common high.

Now, is the sound as round as the other sections? The answer is... No. We have only one speaker and this is something that we would have found normal until not long ago, but seeing that Xiaomi has presented these last few weeks devices that offer stereo sound for less than 200 euros, it is something that we miss.



The sound of the speaker, located at the bottom, is correct. It has a good volume and does not squeak too much in the treble unless we exceed 80%, but we lack some bluntness in the bass.

However, to watch videos, play music when we are showering or enjoy video games, it serves, although we recommend using headphones to enjoy better quality.

Regarding the software, we do not have an equalizer as such, but we do have a system called 'Real Sound' that recognizes the situation and adapts the sound both automatically and to pleasure (depending on whether we are watching a movie, a game or listening to music). It is most noticeable with headphones and, by the way, there is a pair included in the box, something that is usually not usual at the moment.

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