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Oppo Find X3 Pro review second opinion: Space-age looks, earth-bound issues
Oppo took a bold step forward with the Oppo Find X3 Pro. This phone boasts a striking new design, top specs, and all the features you want in a 2021 flagship. If you’re in the market for a top phone, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is a serious contender. This device goes up against strong fare such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Does it have what it takes to earn your cash?
While I agree with much of our initial review of the phone linked below, I have some of my own thoughts. As easy as it is on the eyes, the Oppo Find X3 Pro makes a few missteps in pursuit of smartphone perfection. Let’s chase them down in Android Authority’s Oppo Find X3 Pro review second opinion.
Our verdict: Oppo Find X3 Pro review
The Oppo Find X3 Pro hardware reminds me of several Star Wars spaceship designs. Not clunky ships, such as the beloved Millennium Falcon, I’m talking the sleek Nubian stuff featured in The Phantom Menace. Its all-silver design is mirror-like, its curves are otherworldly, and the overall appeal is sky-high. The integrated camera module, in particular, is exactly what I want to see from modern phones. I totally dig the way the glass swells to accommodate the raised camera components. This is a flawless design. The Oppo Find X3 Pro’s sleek look stands in stark comparison with the blocky utilitarianism of phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s an exercise in indulgence that I’ve instantly come to like very much.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is still a metal-and-glass slab, just like every other flagship phone on the market today. Two Gorilla Glass panels sandwich an aluminum frame. The glass is curved along the edges where it meets the frame, itself also curved. The effect gives the phone a smooth contour that is ultra-comfortable in the hand. It’s sized well and the controls work as intended. Thanks to the narrow screen ratio, the phone is tall and skinny. I found it slipped into pockets with ease. The small power button is on the right side and the separate volume keys are on the left. I had no trouble interacting with any of the buttons, and the feedback was excellent.
The Find X3 Pro's sleek looks stand in stark comparison with the blocky utilitarianism of phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
A few things mar the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s potential. First, the mirrored glass surfaces are absolute fingerprint magnets. You’ll leave smudges across every square millimeter of the phone, which heavily detracts from its appearance. The phone rates IP68 for protection against dust and water, but the glass itself is still glass. You’ll do well to slap a case on it, which will shamefully hide the brilliant design. Lastly, while the phone supports up to two SIM cards in the removable tray, it does not support memory cards of any type.
Still, what a looker.
Warning: Will encourage screen time
From a specs perspective, the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s display checks off all the right boxes. The 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED boasts Quad HD+ resolution, HDR10+, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 240Hz touch response rate. These features all help the phone compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 family and the Xiaomi Mi 11.
From an aesthetics perspective, it’s an impressive, immersive screen that you’ll enjoy staring at all day long. It’s bright, colors are rich, pixels are plentiful, and the contrast is deep. The refresh rate ranges from 10Hz to 120Hz, depending on what you’re doing, in order to conserve power. Action on the screen nearly always looked extra smooth. I particularly enjoyed watching high-quality Netflix content on this screen, which looked to be on par with the stellar screens on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Xiaomi Mi 11.
It's bright, colors are rich, pixels are plentiful, and contrast is deep.
If there’s one thing that detracts slightly from the cinematic experience of the Oppo Find X3 Pro, it’s sound. Rob didn’t like it overmuch in his review, and I don’t think it sounded bad, but I think we both agree that it doesn’t reach its fullest potential. There’s a downward-firing speaker on the bottom edge, and stereo sound is generated thanks to the help of the earpiece speaker. On a separate note, It’s a bit on the thin side. It’s mostly noticeable if you’re gaming or watching a bombastic movie. If you’re catching a sitcom or reaction video, it won’t matter all that much. More to the point, the phone supports the right set of Bluetooth codecs to ensure you get the experience you want with the headphones of your choice.
Plucky processor, blissful battery
The phone is packed with top specs — a Snapdragon 888 processor, Adreno 660 GPU, 12GB of RAM, and a healthy 256GB of storage. What’s not to like?
As far as everyday experiences go, it runs at a blistering pace. Nothing about the phone felt or looked slow. Everyday tasks such as reading email and browsing through social networks were smooth 100% of the time. Even RAM- and network-heavy activities, such as streaming Netflix or editing online Spotify playlists, felt snappy and quick.
Gaming is the area where things might feel sluggish at first. Out of the box, we found the Snapdragon 888 is down-clocked a bit. Games don’t run at their absolute best without a little help. You can solve this issue by tinkering with the settings and putting the phone into performance mode. That unlocks the processor and gives the phone all the oomph it needs to compete with the best. Why Oppo opted for this arrangement we cannot say other than to point to power conservation.
As far as everyday experiences go it runs at a blistering pace.
Speaking of, the Find X3 Pro’s battery life is great. With light use, the 4,500mAh battery coasted through nearly two full days on a single charge. It needed to be plugged in just a couple of hours short of the two-day mark. On days that I tested the phone a bit more heavily, it still lasted from morning to late night with some charge to spare. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s battery life, save for the absolute heaviest users.
Charge speeds are excellent. The phone absolutely covers the basics and then some in this arena. To start, the phone ships with a 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charger in the box. It produces some seriously fast charging times. A full charge took just over half an hour, reaching 50% in only 10 minutes. As far as wireless charging is concerned, the phone supports up to 30W via AirVOOC wireless charging, with 10W reverse wireless charging. We don’t have an AirVOOC wireless charger on hand, but the 18W wireless charger I have available charged the Oppo Find X3 Pro swiftly enough.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a lot going on with the cameras. Apart from the attractive module, there are four lenses pulling specific duties inside the gently contoured mound.
Let’s start with the basics. You’ve got a 50MP main sensor paired with a 50MP ultra-wide sensor. Both sensors are the Sony IMX766, which was selected on purpose to deliver consistent color results across the two cameras. Then, there’s a 13MP telephoto camera and a unique 3MP “microlens” camera, which Oppo says can handle up to 60x zoom for up-your-nose macro shots. On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie camera. Video is, oddly for a 2021 flagship, limited to 4K at 60fps. No 8K, weird.
My assessment of the camera matches Rob’s experience. The two main Sony sensors get the job done in good order. They produce sharp focus, proper exposure, good color, and are consistent from one to the other. The ultra-wide lens has 0.6x magnification, which gives you a good field-of-view to be creative, particularly in tight spaces. I was pleased overall with the performance of these two cameras. The main camera definitely earns high marks for daytime shooting. HDR could be a little better finding details in shadows, and nighttime shots are slightly grainier than I’d prefer to see for a phone in this price range.
The telephoto and microlens cameras fall short. The telephoto, which includes optical zoom up to 5x, exhibits far too much noise for my tastes. This was especially apparent when zoomed in all the way. If the lighting is questionable at all, you’re going to get unusable shots. It’s a big step down from the performance of the main two cameras.
The two main Sony sensors get the job done in good order. The telephoto and microlens cameras fall short.
Then there’s the microlens, which is a macro camera on steroids. It’s meant to allow you to take extreme closeups, but it requires a steady hand and a good subject to turn out photos worth looking at. Lighting is a big issue because you have to hold the phone on top of your subject to get the shot, which means it’s basically blocking all the light. It’s more a gimmick than it is a gimme.
The selfie camera does a respectable job at capturing clean, colorful shots. Good job, Oppo. The 4K video footage I captured with the phone also looked crisp and vibrant.
Oppo did a good job with the camera app, which is generally easy to master in a few moments.
More reading: These photo tips will take your pix to the next level
Color OS is really not bad
Despite almost two decades of experience writing about and reviewing phones, I’ve somehow never reviewed an Oppo phone before, which means this was my first true experience with Color OS. The user interface is based on Android 11 and the Oppo Find X3 Pro was running Color OS version 11.2. I found it to be intuitive, clean, and powerful.
You can set the home screen to include an app drawer or not, control the app grid size, switch up icon shapes, manage transitions, and much more. This means that the home screens are as flexible as most other UI skins.
Color OS 11: Everything you need to know
The settings menu is a bit much. There are pages, tabs, and drop-downs full of options for taking control over the phone’s behavior. Everything that you’d expect from a flagship is there.
Bloatware isn’t much of a problem. Only a handful of extra apps are on board. Thankfully, Oppo defaults to Google apps for most things, such as the calendar, messaging, contacts, and browser.
Oppo Find X3 Pro review second opinion: It’s mostly there
The Oppo Find X3 is a solid phone that gets nearly everything right. Only a few small quibbles keep it from being an absolute winner.
If you couldn’t tell, I really liked the design. The mirrored black finish is simply gorgeous to behold, and the curvy camera module is futuristic. I dig the way Oppo integrated it into the rest of the rear panel. It’s a big phone without being oversized. The materials, fit, and finish are absolutely top-notch. The screen is excellent and competes well with other flagships in the space, but I wish there were microSD card support and improved speakers.
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Performance is mostly where it needs to be. Everyday tasks are smooth and enjoyable on the high-speed display, and you won’t notice any stuttering or lags from the UI. Gaming performance is held back just a touch unless you proactively switch on high performance mode. I wish all the horsepower were available all the time. Battery life is solid considering the high-powered processor and mid-sized 4,500mAh power cell. The main camera gets the job done, even if the ancillary lenses don’t.
In terms of price, at £1,099/€1,149/$1,099, it plays in the same space as the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. For the money, I wish the cameras were a bit better compared to Apple and Samsung, but by all other metrics, Oppo has designed a beautiful phone that is almost as good as it should be.