In the quest towards a completely bezel-less display, phone makers are trying a litany of measures ranging from punch-hole displays to motorized selfie-shooter mechanisms, such as those in the new Oppo Reno 10x Zoom and the Asus 6z. We put both of these through their paces, so you don’t have to!
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Asus applies a yet-unseen solution to kill the notch in the 6Z – a dual camera which articulates from the rear to flip up for selfies and face unlocks! Two cameras, along with a dual-LED flash and laser autofocus sensor in between move on a mechanical module to do double duty as rear and selfie cameras…or any angle in between, if you’re so inclined. The phone looks fairly staid otherwise, not the sort that people will stop for a second look…until you flip out that camera module! It’s one of the coolest things you’ll have seen in smartphone tech in a while, but there is more to the 6Z than just a fancy flip-up camera. Like its prime competitor, the OnePlus 7, the 6z sports the top-end Snapdragon 855 with 6/64, 6/128 and 8/256GB variants (storage expandable to 2TB) starting at Rs 31,999 and going all the way to Rs 39,999. Despite its 6.4-inch full-HD+ screen and capacious 5000mAh battery, the 6Z is pretty slick and easy to hold, and the weight is distributed evenly, and the 6Z even skips the in vogue in-screen fingerprint scanner for a faster, physical unit on the rear.
The camera setup (a 48MP primary with a 13MP secondary ultra-wide secondary) by its very design offers you just as good selfies as photos from the rear camera. The rotating camera module also offers you interesting capabilities, such as automatic one-touch panoramas and motion-tracking, which keeps a subject in focus even if they are walking around. As for photo quality, the 6Z takes some pretty good shots in good light using the primary and the wide-angle shooter, but low-light shots were a little disappointing. As for quirks, the module takes some time to flip over, which adds a delay to face recognition and selfies, plus the motor mechanism did get a little too loud for quiet environments. With the hardware on tap, the 6Z expectedly offers strong and lag-free performance while multitasking and gaming on a clean, bloat-free ZenUI skin, all the while maintaining a strong 1.5-day battery life. In all, the 6Z is a solid all-rounder with a bunch of handy features at a price that goes up aggressively against the OnePlus 7.
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
After a series of innovative handsets that failed to stir interest in the premium segment, Oppo seems to have done its homework with the Reno 10x Zoom. Delivering 10x “lossless” zoom implemented via a series of innovative prisms that bend the light 90 degrees onto the camera sensor, the Reno 10x Zoom has one more trick up its sleeve to avoid the notch. A triangular pop-up arrangement, which Oppo calls a “shark fin” design, accommodates the front-facing selfie shooter and a dual-LED flash for the rear camera, and it is plenty fast while taking selfies or unlocking the device. The rear has the 48MP primary camera, an 8MP wide-angle and a 13MP telephoto, all lined up flush down the center without a camera bump. Looking at the photos, the zoom is very usable even at 10x level (in good light) and photos were crisp and vivid and correctly exposed, even in low-light. Selfies suffered in low light, though.
As with the 6Z, the Reno 10x Zoom goes all out under the hood, with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 4065mAh battery and 6/128GB (Rs 39,999) or 8/256GB (Rs 49,999) of memory and storage undercutting the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro (another long zoom smartphone) by a fairly large margin, which is a good sign that Oppo is serious about making the Reno a sales success. If anything, the only factor letting the Reno down is the amount of bloatware that comes pre-installed, but it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker given what the Reno delivers at this price.
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