REVIEW: OPPO Find X3 Pro - Scoping Out the Competition
With any flagship device, brands like to showcase their cutting edge technology and features and with OPPO’s new Find X3 Pro, that’s definitely the case. OPPO has rolled all of their latest innovations in design, software and hardware into their newest flagship to deliver their best smartphone experience to date.
Right from its official announcement, and even a few prior leaks, I was intrigued by what OPPO were looking to do with their latest Find X handset and, having used it for a number of weeks now, there’s definitely a lot to cover. Here is our review of the new OPPO Find X3 Pro.
Before we start, let’s take a quick look at the key specs for the new OPPO Find X3 Pro:
Design & Build Quality
I’ll just come out and say it, I absolutely love the look of this phone. I know some aren’t sure about the curve camera ‘lump’ on the rear but I think it looks great. The curved edges of the phone’s back panel also makes it one of the nicest phones to hold, especially with the frosted glass finish of the blue model I was reviewing (which also doesn’t show up any fingerprints = win.) In terms of materials, the Find X3 Pro has an aluminum construction which thankfully includes an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, Gorilla Glass 5 protection up front, and glass at its back panel.
Going back to the divisive camera model, it’s not oversized and, even if it didn’t blend into the rear of the phone, I don’t think it would stick out too far on its own anyway. Housed inside the model are 4 distinct cameras, more on these below.
As expected, around the sides of the device you get your usual volume rocker and power switch, along with a USB-C port, a speaker grille, SIM card slot and a microphone hole at the top and bottom.
“…no matter which way you look at it, it’s a gorgeous display…”
This is where OPPO’s innovations start to come into their own as the Find X3 Pro is packing a 10-bit display, as opposed to an 8-bit one which you find on the majority of other smartphones. What this means is that, while an 8-bit display can show up to 16.7 million colours, a 10-bit display can show an astounding 1.07 BILLION colours, hence why OPPO is marketing the phone with a ‘Billion Colour Display.’
Now, as impressive as 1 billion colours sounds, what does that mean in day to day use? If you’re mainly going to be uploading shots you’ve taken on the phone to your social media channels, you might not be get the benefit of the screen but, if you’re more into professional editing on the go, the colour accuracy and much wider colour spectrum offered by the 10-bit display will definitely give you smoother transitions of colour when doing any fine tuning of the overall image.
With all that said, no matter which way you look at it, it’s a gorgeous display when looking at pretty much anything. Unsurprisingly, it’s an AMOLED screen with a resolution of 3216×1440 (QHD+) and 120hz adaptive refresh rate. This refresh rate in particular makes transitions and scrolling appear incredibly smooth and snappy and, thanks to its adaptive nature, it can go as low as 5hz when viewing static content like and e-book, so as to save on battery life. Very clever.
It also supports HDR10+ with a peak brightness of 1300nits which means, with automatic brightness on and using the phone in bright, or direct sunlight scenarios, you shouldn’t have any issues seeing what’s on the display. Viewing HDR Netflix content or, even better, 1440p/60FPS HDR content from YouTube looks absolutely fantastic on this display and is one of the best smartphone screens out there right now.
When it comes to audio, the Dolby Atmos supported dual stereo speakers are also extremely impressive and deliver clear, well-rounded acoustics, with even a decent level of bass thrown in.
“I was honestly blown away by the detail this lens was able to capture…”
As a flagship smartphone, it’s fair to expect a device like the OPPO Find X3 Pro to perform well in a variety of lighting conditions and thankfully, it does just that. Daytime photos, when using the main 50MP lens, showcase great levels of detail, texture, dynamic range and sharpness, all while delivering true to life colour.
Going back to the 10-bit specs of the display, OPPO felt it wise to work the technology into the camera system as well so, with the main, ultra wide and telephoto lens, you’re able to capture images in 10-bit to view back on the 10-bit display.
Again, this definitely favours more heavy duty editing and professional-level users but, it’s still an impressive feature to include for that audience. General users will still be impressed by the overall colour reproduction that’s delivered when capturing in 10-bit, especially if you’re looking to have them blown up for printing.
With the ultra-wide angle lens utilising the exact same sensor as the main camera, a first for a smartphone, images with this particular lens are just as refined, detailed and showcase good dynamic range. OPPO even implemented a ‘free-form’ lens which, as the shot is being taken, helps to remove that ‘fish-eye’ lens or warping effect you sometimes see at the edges, rather than via software manipulation, like other smartphone manufacturers use.
There’s also a 13MP telephoto lens with 5x hybrid zoom that is more than respectable but we do wish OPPO kept the 5x optical zoom lens from last year’s Find X2 Pro. That being said, the 5x and even 10x shots captured with this particular lens are pretty decent and capture enough detail for sharing to social channels.
When it comes to low light photography, the Find X3 Pro shines with its Night Mode and Ultra Dark Mode, which significantly enhances shots taken in very low lighting.
It’s also able to take better-lit videos with its ‘AI Enhancement’ mode but, unfortunately, limits the video capture to 1080p. Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady Pro are also available for taking super stable videos but, again, are limited to 1080p and not full 4K resolution. When you do want to capture 4K/60fps video, the results are very impressive with a decent amount of stabilisation, even without the Ultra-Steady mode enabled.
Audio capture is also really good with ‘smart’ audio effects allowing you to capture full 3D audio when shooting in landscape along with ‘audio zoom’ that lets you increase the sound of something the more you zoom in on it during video recording.
Now, of course, you’re probably aware that the phone has what it calls a ‘Microlens’ which, when you’re selecting this particular lens in the ‘more’ tab of the camera app, it’s labeled as ‘microscope’ mode.
With this particular lens, it’s similar to other devices’ ‘Macro’ mode but turned up to 11. OPPO even went so far as to include a dedicated ring light around the microlens itself so that, when holding the phone incredibly close to an object or surface, there is still a light source to illuminate what you’re trying to capture. I’ll be honest, getting the shots right can be tricky at first, as you’ll need to have super steady hands and a sense of trial and error, but the end results are pretty crazy.
I was honestly blown away by the detail this lens was able to capture, with detail being captured I wasn’t able to see with my own eyes.
Selfies, from the 32MP front facing punch hole camera, also showcase good amounts of detail and clarity. OPPO has taken pride in being one of the best in this category, and the Find X3 Pro still delivers in that regard.
“There’s also a ‘Dark Mode’ that puts a lot of other manufacturers’ offerings to shame.”
Now, you can have the most incredibly well built device with state of the art photography optics but it’s all for naught if your software isn’t up to scratch. It’s really where smartphone manufacturers can showcase their devices in unique ways over the competition and, when done right, can delivery an experience that brings the hardware and software together as one.
With that in mind, OPPO has done a great job on the Find X3 Pro. Their ColorOS (basically their ‘skin’ or ‘theme’ on top of the underlying Android operating system) is absolutely crammed with features, settings and options to make the device as uniquely yours as you’d like.
For example, there’s a ‘Dark Mode’ that puts a lot of other manufacturers’ offerings to shame. With ColorOS 11, users can select between three varying levels of dark mode and how they affect the overall look of the device’s UI and, utilising the darkest ‘dark mode’ option, is a great way to help reduce battery drain.
Users can even play around with the UI’s overall colour scheme, tweak their apps and how they’re shaped, and customise the fingerprint scanner’s visual cues and effects. You can even apply Video colour enhancer and Video image sharper to make videos pop with more colour or upscale lower resolution content.
Other handy features include a ‘Smart Sidebar’ that lets you capture screenshots, record what’s on screen, and more, and can be quickly accessed just by swiping in from the side of the display.
For those heavy gaming sessions, you can also access the Game Assistant, which lets you quickly turn off notifications, adjust the performance profile for the device, and more. I found this extremely handy when playing through some gaming titles on the devices like Genshin Impact, although, for that particular title, things did get a little hot near the top of the device but framerates and overall gameplay seems unaffected.
One slight issue I did have with the software though was how it handled notifications. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or if I just need to be a lot more specific with what notifications show up and where but you may need to do some tweaking when setting the phone up first to ensure your notifications are showing up in the right place and in the right way. This might be something OPPO could streamline with a future update.
“…from 1% to 100% in little under 30 minutes…”
The Find X3 Pro packs an impressive 4500mAh battery that was lasting pretty much an entire day of moderate to heavy use which is impressive given the screen’s 120hz/QHD+ specs. When you do need to recharge, the device is capable of an astounding 65W SuperVOOC flash charge which will get you from 1% to 100% in little under 30 minutes, which is incredibly handy. You can even top up to 45% in just 10 minutes. Thankfully, the Find X3 Pro comes with the 65W SuperVOOC charger in the box, unlike current trends from other manufacturers.
The phone also supports 30W AirVOOC wireless fast charging provided you pick up the appropriate charging dock/pad and it can also do reverse 10W wireless charging if your wireless-charging enabled accessories need a quick top-up.
OPPO’s latest flagship definitely packs a lot. From its stunning display, eye-catching design and intriguing camera tricks, there’s definitely a lot here to lift it above the competition. Now, some might say the ‘Microlens’ is more gimmick than useful feature but, either way, OPPO’s execution needs to be commended as it offers something that’s truly unique in the world of smartphone photography. ColorOS is endlessly customisable, the battery life is respectable but the SuperVOOC charging capabilities really is a game-changer.
The OPPO Find X3 Pro has an RRP of €1,149 and will be available across a number of Irish operators in the coming weeks with an exact arrival date TBC. We’ll be sure to update this review once we know more.