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We often say that a good budget phone ‘doesn’t feel like a budget phone’, but the Oppo Reno Z is one of the few examples that truly feels like a premium phone. It’s got a sleek design and a high-quality screen, and in general use it doesn’t betray its affordable roots.
Yes, some features could be improved, such as the camera or the chipset, but even these weaker elements feel impressive given the price you’re paying – and you’re not going to be looking at a phone with the Reno Z’s price tag if you need a spectacular camera or powerful processing.
Never mind best budget phone – the Oppo Reno Z would be a serious contender for the title of best mid-range phone, and with Oppo releasing it at such a low price it’s certain to upset the budget competition. It’s a great handset, with specs and features far more advanced than you’re paying for, and it’s a serious warning shot across the bows of rival brands as Oppo seeks to establish itself in Western markets.
Who is it for?
The Oppo Reno Z is for anyone who wants to feel like they’re using a premium smartphone, without having to pay a premium price money for the privilege. If might not be for you if you want a great camera on your phone though, and it’d be worth spending a bit more on a device that’s more capable in this department.
Should you buy it
If the Oppo Reno Z matches your budget, then it’s definitely worth considering, as it’s one of the best phones you can buy at such a low price.
First reviewed: September 2019
Don't think the Oppo Reno Z is for you? Here are some alternatives that you may like.
Google Pixel 3a
Like the Oppo Reno Z, the Google Pixel 3a is an affordable alternative to a high-end phone, in this case the Google Pixel 3. The Pixel 3a costs a little more than the Reno Z, and it’s a relatively dainty device compared to the larger Reno Z, but you’re getting similar processing power and battery life. It’s also got lots of the Pixel 3’s impressive camera specs, so its snapper is better than that of the Reno Z.
Read our in-depth Google Pixel 3a review
OnePlus and Oppo are related by ownership (which both brands downplay), so it makes sense that the OnePlus 6T and Oppo Reno Z are rather similar phones. Both have the small notch, dual rear camera lineup and fairly sleek design. The OnePlus 6T does cost a fair bit more, but for that cash you’re getting an improved chipset amongst other bonuses.
Read our in-depth OnePlus 6T review
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
For just a tiny bit more than the Oppo Reno Z you can pick up the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, a budget version of the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s got three cameras, so you’re going to be able to take a wider variety of pictures with it, and it comes with a similar chipset and display. The design doesn’t look as premium though, and it’s lacking in the battery department, so it’s by no means perfect.
Read our in-depth Xiaomi Mi 9 SE review
Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.