If the OPPO Reno7 feels a bit out of your price range, OPPO is offering a “Z” version of its camera-centric handset. It gives the basics you’ve come to expect from a Reno device: a versatile camera set paired with an eye-catching design.
What else does the Reno7 Z offer, and is it for you? Read on to learn more.
Excellent build and design
OPPO’s Reno line has some of my recent favorite smartphone designs and builds. I’m still raving about the fantastic look and feel of the Reno6, which we see hints of in the Reno7 Z. I’ve mentioned this before, but let me repeat it here. OPPO seems to be experimenting with swapping the looks of the Reno7 and the Reno7 Z if you base it on last year’s design.
The Reno7 Z gets that boxier, “Ultra-Slim Retro” look that is a look I prefer because it has a flat display with right-angled bezels and a C-shaped frame. It feels good to hold in hand, even if it’s still a two-handed device. (Most phones with 6-inch plus screen sizes are two-handed devices for me anyway.)
I like that OPPO’s gotten experimental with its camera module design. It looks like the typical camera bump. In its place, two of the lenses are elevated a bit like mini silos. That is already unique, but OPPO opts to add notification lights to the base called “Dual Orbit Lights.” The blue lights blink or light up in different shades of blue to tell you whether you got a notification or if your phone is charging or done charging and more. You can customize which apps you want to get alerted to, which is also a nifty productivity tool.
I’ve mentioned this before in the Instagram post below, but I like having my phone face down while I work. And customizing the “Breathing Lights” (as it’s called in the settings) to only light up for essential apps or calls means I’m less inclined to pick it up.
The finish on this phone is also one of my favorite ones from the recent devices I’ve tested. I have the Rainbow Spectrum variant, which does show a variety of colors like mint green, yellow, pink, purple, etc., depending on how light hits it. The finish also doesn’t appear to retain smudges or at least keeps those at bay. So, if you’d prefer not to use the jelly case with the phone, you won’t be annoyed by smudges or fingerprints on the back of the phone. There’s nothing much I can say about wiping down the display, though. That’s inevitable.
LiTT Tip #1: If you want to customize the Breathing Lights on the back, head to Settings > Personalizations. Scroll down to Other and tap on Breathing Light. You get options there like disabling the feature if you’re using a power-saving mode or having it only be activated during work hours, so you won’t be disturbed by a blinking light at night. As mentioned, you can select which apps can alert you when a notification comes in.
Flattering portrait photography & more camera features
If you’re unfamiliar with the OPPO Reno line, this is the company’s series that focuses on offering camera features, especially those you can use to take self-portraits or portraits of other people. And the Reno7 Z is another representative of this series. It comes equipped with a 64-megapixel main and 2-megapixel depth and macro lenses at the back. And in front, it has a 16-megapixel sensor.
You can get up to 108-megapixel resolution photos with the rear camera, thanks to the help of some software magic. As for videos, you can record up to 1080p at 30 frames per second for both the front and back of the phone. So, if you vlog, you can get the same resolution from the front and back. It doesn’t get as many video-related portrait features as the more expensive Reno7. However, you can still get some great shareable footage.
Here’s an Instagram Reels sample if you want to check that out. These are all videos shot within the Instagram and TikTok apps. If you wish to see videos recorded using the phone’s cameras, here are some samples we’ve uploaded (and a version of it on TikTok, too). This phone can record up to 1080p.
Portraits make the OPPO Reno series unique, so the Reno7 Z unsurprisingly offers some great features on this front. It doesn’t get as extensive a list of options as the Reno7, but it gets the basics of Reno’s best offerings. You get an adjustable blur for the camera’s Portrait mode, which you’ll see while you shoot. But you have to make sure you have the blur level you want because you can’t adjust that after taking the photo.
If you want the effect of sparkling, out-of-focus lights in your portraits, you can try out the Bokeh Flare Portrait. This feature copies the DSLR’s abilities to create these light spots with the help of its algorithm. This option is available for both the front and rear cameras when taking photos.
Now, if you want to achieve the effect of your subject being the only one in color, that AI Color Portrait is only available with the selfie camera. There aren’t any preset makeup filter options here. You get filters and Portrait Retouching, but sometimes you just want the phone to do the work for you. Portrait Retouching lets you get into the nitty-gritty of what you want to improve. But, as we’ve mentioned here before, you want to use this feature to enhance what you have. It’s not meant to mask who you are. I use it to look a bit more put together or when I can’t be bothered to put on makeup but need to record something quickly.
OPPO’s great at getting you flattering selfies, and it shows here. But one of the best things on Reno7 Z is its Selfie HDR option. I’ve seen this at work on the Reno7, and it does its magic here, too. It works best when you take selfies against the light or in a low light area. This will balance out the highlights and shadows so you look great and your background doesn’t just look like a blown-out mess. It’s come in so handy with me when taking photos with loved ones who are posed against the light.
The rear camera also has an HDR mode, so you can take advantage of that. And then you get AI Scene Enhancement, too, which will tweak the settings automatically to suit what you’re shooting.
If you want to check out more photo samples, you can see this carousel we have up on Instagram:
LiTT Tip #2: Here’s a photo tip that’s also a feature tip on this phone. To take properly aligned pictures and videos, enable Levels. It’ll be your visual aid to show you a straightened scene, and it works on both photos and videos. To enable it, head to the camera’s Settings. Tap on the two dots on the top right. Tap on Composition and then turn on Level.
LiTT Tip #3: To check if you have Selfie HDR enabled, tap on the HDR icon on the top and make sure On or Auto is enabled.
A stable daily driver
For the past month that the OPPO Reno7 Z has been with me, I haven’t had any trouble with this handset as I get through my daily tasks. As a refresh, this handset comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. I’ve already heard a few complaints about OPPO’s pricing for this particular phone being on the higher side than others that get similar specs. Of course, you don’t get the same look and features that the OPPO offers, so that may or may not be something you’ll need to consider. Like everything I’ve shared so far about the phone, if those things are essential to you, you might be willing to pay for this phone.
Performance-wise, the Reno7 Z handles quick app switches between different apps. I can edit the vertical videos I shoot on it with ease. I can pull up the camera when I need test photos or just capture cute moments of my niece. And when I want to wind down for the day, I can just pull up Netflix or YouTube or Viu and watch some things on it. There haven’t been any slowdowns or unexpected crashes during testing.
The punch hole on the 6.4-inch AMOLED display basically stays out of the way on the top left when I’m watching shows. And yes, this phone supports Full HD playback on services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. My biggest gripe with it is that I find the volume on the bottom-firing speaker to be softer. This could definitely benefit from a dual speaker setup, but even the Reno7 only had one speaker.
This phone can be pretty efficient with its battery, even if it has a slightly smaller 4,500mAh battery. I could get over a day and a half’s use when I wasn’t glued to it. On a busy day, though, I could drain it by the night’s end. It really depends on how much you use the phone. Of course, it has power-saving modes if you really want to lengthen the time between charges.
Charging time isn’t the fastest, but you get a respectable 33W wired charging. Unfortunately, there isn’t wireless charging offered here. I prefer wired charging, so it isn’t much of a loss for me. The shortest charging time I’ve had was around an hour and 20 minutes, but in some conditions, it took me around an hour and fifty minutes to fully charge the phone.
What’s lit and what’s not?
What’s lit about it:
- Great build and design
- Dual Orbit Lights for notifications
- Smudge-free rear finish
- Fun portrait features like Bokeh Flare Portrait and AI Color Portrait
- Portrait Retouching to enhance your selfies
- Selfie HDR/HDR & AI Scene Enhancement lets you take better pictures no matter the environment
- Stable overall performance
- Full HD playback support on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
- Pretty decent battery life
What needs the extra spark:
- Wishing the AI Color Portrait option was available with the rear camera
- No preset makeup filters
- Pricing is a bit higher than competition rocking the same processor
- The single bottom-firing speaker isn’t really outstanding
- No wireless charging here
The biggest draw on the OPPO Reno7 Z is offering you tools to take better portraits of yourself or your loved ones. But on top of that, it’s also a solid daily driver. It’s missing some features I’ve loved on the Reno7, but that’s understandable. This is the more affordable option out of the two. If you want a taste of what the Reno series offers, this will be a good introduction. But if portraits aren’t really that important to you, you might be pulled to look elsewhere, especially since you get options at the Reno7 Z’s price point.
The OPPO Reno7 Z 5G retails for PHP 19,999 (around USD 388 converted). And it’s available via OPPO Brand and Online Stores, partner dealers, and e-commerce partners Lazada and Shopee.
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