The OPPO Reno series has a reputation with camera and photography functions while at the same time, being a long distance athlete, so to speak. Reno series are OPPO’s top of the line, mid to high range offerings and this new OPPO Reno6 Z is one of the phones that surprised me.
The Reno6 Z is a toned down version of the Reno6 and it comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC. Good news is that it offers 5G connectivity, bad news is that we don’t have a publicly available 5G provider in Malaysia yet. So I guess we will have to wait for any 5G connectivity reviews.
But why does the OPPO Reno6 Z surprise me? Let’s read on to find out.
First Look and Design
The new OPPO Reno6 Z comes in a rather large blue toned box (just like the Reno6). I like the soft blue pastel-ish colour on the box, very soothing to look at. In the box, there’s the phone itself and a thin box containing some user documentation and a soft silicone clear case.
Below the phone, you can find the charger brick along with the USB type-C cable for data and power, all kept and arranged neatly in their corresponding compartments in the box. It is a big box, a little odd for 2021 smartphone packaging but since this is a mid-range phone, I guess those who are transitioning to higher spec devices do need the accompanying accessories.
The review unit I received is said to be black in colour, but at most angles, it looks more like sparkling dark blue. Another colour option that’s available is Aurora, which is more like light blue. Only two colours available for the OPPO Reno6 Z with matte finish on the back panel and the best part about it is, no smudges.
The OPPO Reno6 Z comes with a bright 6.4” AMOLED display at a peak of 800 nits. It has a 1080 x 2400 pixels resolution at 20:9 screen ratio with 411 ppi density. The display is crystal clear and beautiful to look at especially for a device at this price point. The front punch hole 32MP f/2.4 wide angle selfie camera is located at the top left corner of the display. I somehow prefer it to be in the middle or on the right side. But that’s just me.
Around the back, there’s the three camera setup in a rectangular shaped deck on the top left. The LED flash sits next to the three cameras. Here we have the 64MP f/1.7 wide angle main camera, an 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide angle camera and the 2MP macro camera at the bottom. I can tell you one thing, the camera setup on this OPPO Reno6 Z is awesome. More on this in the photography section below.
Now, on the right side of the phone is where the power/standby button is located. And for most OPPO phone layouts, the volume rocker is located on the left side of the phone. It is located near the mid section where sometimes I would accidentally press the volume down button while holding it in my left hand. Above the volume rocker, you can find the SIM/MicroSD card slot.
At the top of the phone, there’s only a single microphone hole while around the bottom, there’s the 3.5mm audio jack, a USB type-C port, the bottom firing speaker and another tiny mic hole. I really appreciate that the OPPO Reno6 Z has an audio jack at the bottom as I do use it most of the time, especially while gaming. I do wish that some flagship phones still have an audio jack.
I find that the weight of this OPPO Reno6 Z is quite light, at 173g. I have held many other phones in the past, premium and entry levels alike. But this OPPO Reno6 Z felt the lightest. Probably it’s the design and material. It’s not the lightest on paper but it simply feels light.
Performance and Daily Usage
This is the first time I’m testing a phone that uses a MediaTek Dimensity series SoC. I am really excited to know how this SoC would perform on normal daily usage and for gaming. So for the duration of the review, I use the OPPO Reno6 Z as my daily driver to push the phone to its limit.
First off, the OPPO Reno6 Z is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC at 7nm processing, which is aimed at the mid-range market segment. It also comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. You can also expand the storage capacity with a MicroSD card. The review unit that I have is the 128GB version, which is more than enough storage for 2021 use.
Another cool feature of the OPPO Reno6 Z is the ability to increase the RAM on-the-go. Currently I have this OPPO Reno6 Z at 8GB of RAM (standard RAM) and an additional 3GB of extended RAM from the RAM expansion settings. There are 3 choices of RAM increments available – 2GB, 3GB and 5GB. Basically it converts part of the internal storage to be used as the additional RAM. This is useful when you need the extra memory especially while gaming.
I have no problems using the OPPO Reno6 Z all day long. It handled anything I threw at it brilliantly. As for battery usage, I am able to power through the day and still have about 30% of battery by the end of the day and into the night. The 4310mAh battery may not sound like much, but somehow it can last me a whole day without plugging in the charger. Also, charging it back up to 100% took less than an hour from about 15% with the given 30W charger brick featuring VOOC Flash Charge 4.0.
Multitasking is flawless. I can continuously chat on WhatsApp or Telegram, open up emails and browse the web while playing YouTube Music without any hiccups. 5G is also available on the OPPO Reno6 Z but alas, we don’t have publicly accessed 5G networks and services yet in Malaysia.
The OPPO Reno6 Z can be unlocked with the usual PIN or password, but you can also use the under display fingerprint sensor or face unlocking features. I prefer to use the under display fingerprint sensor as it is quick and accurate. This can be used with your banking apps that you have installed for a quick login.
OPPO Reno6 Z comes with Android 11 out-of-the-box with OPPO’s own ColorOS version 11.1. I like the customization features by ColorOS where I can easily change the font face and sizes. I can also play around with the icon sets to suit my taste. There are tons of customization features that you can try and it’s easy for you to have your own personalized UI.
When I want to push a phone’s limit, I will always test it with games that demand heavy graphic processing and overall responsiveness. My game of choice is PUBG Mobile. I play lots of PUBG Mobile games and on many reviewed devices. You can say that I’m an avid player of the game. So I have it installed on the OPPO Reno6 Z to see its true potential.
As usual, I set the graphics to the highest settings with full HDR and highest FPS with anti aliasing turned on. And it’s good to know that the OPPO Reno6 Z has its own gaming mode where I can have the performance mode turned on, which I did.
Gaming with the OPPO Reno6 Z is surprisingly good. Movements are very responsive and the graphics rendered smoothly thanks to the 8GB of available RAM. And since I have the OPPO Reno6 Z on additional 3GB of RAM from the RAM expansion setting, it does help with the overall gaming performance. But I also believe that I don’t need the additional RAM to run PUBG Mobile on the OPPO Reno6 Z.
Watch the sample gaming experience below (note: I was sleepy while doing this video sample).
At 100% battery, I can play continuously for close to 3 hours before I have to plug in the charger. And usually by then, I’ll be too tired to continue as my game time is always after 11pm. So gaming with the OPPO Reno6 Z is really fun. And it doesn’t run hot, at all. Even after long hours of gaming. This is a phone that budget and mid-range gamers should look into.
Benchmarking with Antutu is quite impressive too. It scored 365858 and placed above some of the self proclaimed budget gaming phones out there. Of course, it can’t match up to flagship devices that scored well above 800k mark but scoring above 350k is pretty good. That is one of the reasons why PUBG Mobile runs smoothly without any lag. So thumbs up to performance.
Camera and Photography
This impresses me a lot.
First of all, let’s go through the camera specifications. It comes with a triple camera setup at the back and a single selfie camera up front. I mentioned earlier that the main shooter is a 64MP wide angle camera with f/1.7 “aperture” while the ultra-wide angle camera is 8MP f/2.2. I will also tell you that the rear camera performance is good especially for a device at this price point.
The OPPO Reno series has been focusing on camera performance lately. And the OPPO Reno6 Z has the same camera sensor as the Reno6 Pro version. The only thing is that the pro version has a fourth depth camera at the back. And again, OPPO Reno6 Z also has the same 32MP selfie camera as the Pro counterpart. So you will get somewhat a pro version camera system on a mid-range budget.
And what people say, a picture speaks a thousand words. So I will let some sample pictures do the talking.
I was clearly impressed by the camera performance on the OPPO Reno6 Z. If you’re into smartphone photography, I would recommend this phone because I really liked the functions and image quality it produces. And I am also surprised at the 32MP selfie camera. The colours are on point and the post processing is done nicely. It tends to over-process the photo sometimes but the clarity is good.
So will I use the OPPO Reno6 Z for smartphone photography? Yes I would. During the review, I have used the OPPO Reno6 Z to capture lots of photos of my little boy. Those I will keep for my own personal family portrait and I do enjoy capturing family moments with the OPPO Reno6 Z.
OPPO Reno6 Z is for those who are on a budget and are willing to spend a little more for a future-proofed device. I can see that this OPPO Reno6 Z will continue to perform well for a few years. The RAM expansion feature is something that is useful to have for an additional reliability in performance. The base 128GB storage is enough to store tons of photos and videos.
Not forgetting, you will be ready to use the 5G connectivity in future when Malaysian telcos start to roll-out their respective 5G services.
If you’re a gamer or would love to start playing heavy graphic demanding games, do check this phone out. PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile run smoothly. If those two games can run smoothly, other heavy graphic games can surely run just as smooth. I’ve yet to try Genhin Impact on this but I’m pretty sure I will like it too.
The AMOLED display is simply lovely to look at. The blacks are deep to create a nice contrast between light and dark. Binge watching some videos or movies is a joy. If only it had stereo speakers, that would be the icing on the cake.
My overall experience with the OPPO Reno6 Z has been awesome. I played lots of games on it. I used it for my social media postings and took tons of photos with it. I bet you will love it too. You can purchase your own OPPO Reno6 Z 5G at OPPO’s official website and their partners now for RM1,699.00.