The OPPO Find X3 Pro is the first device I've reviewed from the firm, and after discussing the Find X2 Pro with some colleagues, including João Carrasqueira who reviewed it for us last year, I was pretty excited. And as it turns out, OPPO didn't let me down.
Announced earlier this month, the new flagship device packs a true billion color display and a billion color camera, supporting 10-bit color depth. The screen has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and OPPO used the same sensor for both the wide and ultra-wide lenses so there's no variation in color between them.
Indeed, the firm focused a lot on color when it came to both the front and the back of the device, but it also has an all-new design that uses a single sheet of curved glass on the back. All-in-all, it's a pretty great phone.
|Chipset||Snapdragon 888, Adreno 660 GPU|
|Display||6.7 inches, 3216x1440, 525ppi, LTPO AMOLED up to 120Hz, 1,300 nits|
|Camera||50MP 1/1.56-inch f/1.8 IMX766 + 50MP 1/1.56-inch f/2.2 ultra-wide + 13MP f/2.4 2x zoom lens + 3MP 30x zoom microscope lens, Front: 32MP f/2.4|
|Video||4K - 60fps, Front: 1080p - 30fps|
|Battery||4,500mAh, 65W wired charging, 30W wireless charging, 10W revierse wireless charging|
|OS||Android 11, ColorOS 11.2|
|Color||Gloss Black (also available in Blue)|
The OPPO Find X3 Pro looks, well, different. This design leaked ahead of the reveal and the response didn't seem to be too positive. Personally, I think that people just don't like change. Whenever we see something different, our gut instinct is to say that it's not visually appealing. After spending a few weeks with this phone, I love the unique design.
But more importantly, there are so few unique designs in the entire phone industry. Over the course of 2020, I can't even count how many glass sandwiches I've seen with a rectangular camera with rounded corners in the top-left corner. If nothing else, OPPO is doing something different from the pack, and that should be commended.
There's a lot that went into this design too, because it's a single piece of glass that has one continuous curve. Just one piece of glass takes 40 hours to make, and it has over two thousand control points. OPPO said that the design is inspired by space itself.
The most notable difference is the camera bump. That's where all of those fancy curves and the single piece of glass method comes into play. There are four camera sensors, which we'll cover in the camera section.
On the bottom, you'll find the usual USB Type-C port for charging, along with the nano-SIM slot. As you can probably guess, there's no headphone jack, and frankly, the headphone jack is a rarity on any flagship smartphone these days.
On the right side, you'll find the power button.
And on the left side, there's the volume rocker. There are no extra buttons here, like the digital assistant button you'll find on LG and Samsung phones, or even the notification switch that you'll find on OnePlus phones. It's just the power button and the volume rocker on this device.
I love this design. It's not particularly light or particularly thin, but it's pretty. OPPO sent me the Gloss Black model, which has this beautiful mirrored finish. However, I think the Blue model might be even better, as it probably doesn't pick up fingerprints as easily with its matte finish.
The OPPO Find X3 Pro has a 6.7-inch 3216x1440 120Hz adaptive LTPO AMOLED display, and it's beautiful. The company billed this as a billion-color phone, and half of that story includes the display, which supports 10-bit color. OPPO pointed out that many other devices support 16.7 million colors, but this supports 64 times as many.
Let's also talk about the adaptive refresh rate, which is between 1Hz and 120Hz. It's something that OnePlus is also doing in the OnePlus 9 Pro, and it allows for better power management. For example, with the always-on display on, there's no need for a refresh rate of anything more than 1Hz.
I also want to give a shout-out to the brightness, which goes up to 1,300 nits. I often call out PCs that have screens too dim for comfortable outdoor use, but phones are even more important because we take them everywhere that we go. This one gets nice and bright.
All-in-all, this is a fantastic display, and it's easy to tell that it's one of the best around. It has a beautiful range of colors, and the high refresh rate makes everything feel buttery smooth.
I love this camera, and one of the main reasons for that is that I'm having trouble falling in love with any Android phones at the moment. Google nerfed its Pixel 5, and the camera isn't what it used to be. Samsung oversaturates its images making them look unfortunately unnatural. OnePlus, although made by the same parent company as OPPO, hasn't been too impressive in the camera department. LG has terrible software on its phones. Motorola's flagship is exclusive to Verizon. Huawei doesn't have access to Google services anymore.
So what's left? Here in the U.S., there's not much else, but the OPPO Find X3 Pro was a pleasant surprise. As you're going to see in a bit, the colors look great (seriously, maybe OPPO could send some of the software guys over to OnePlus), and low light performance is pretty great too.
The camera is the other half of the billion-color phone promise, once again offering 10-bit color and HDR. But that's not all, because OPPO did something very smart here. It used a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor for both the main sensor and the ultra-wide lens, so the colors from each sensor won't be any different. Disparity between wide and ultra-wide cameras has been a big problem on smartphones, so this is a nice solution.
The third out of the four lenses (the small one when looking at it) is a 13MP 2x zoom lens. This replaces the 5x zoom lens found on the Find X2 Pro, which is a shame. I feel like some companies, like those that fall under the BBK umbrella, are focusing less and less on telephoto lenses, while other companies like Huawei and Samsung are doubling down on lossless zoom.
Gallery: OPPO Find X3 samples
I found all of the low-light shots to be very impressive, except for that lit-up tree at 5x zoom. Note that 5x hybrid zoom is what OPPO is promising here, and while it works fine during the day, it's not so much at night.
But that's not all, because there's a three-megapixel microscope lens on this device, which offers 30x zoom, or 60x zoom if you hit 2x on there. It's really cool, and it's not practical at all.
Here's the deal. The lens actually has to be just a few millimeters away from the subject for it to work. That's why it's called a microscope lens and not a 30x telephoto lens. If you move the phone by even a millimeter, you'll get a blurry photo. Using a case actually helps because it props up the phone a bit. There's also a light around the macro lens; as you can imagine, holding the phone so close to something blocks the light.
As you can see, you can get some really cool images using this. Those last three images are the activity rings on my Apple Watch. The two before that is the aluminum on my computer's mouse, which looks completely smooth. The fourth and fifth images are from a piece of wood, which also appears completely smooth to the naked eye. It's wild stuff.
OPPO held a Q&A session shortly after the launch of the device, and when asked why bother with a feature like this, the answer was that it "represents the future and exploring technology". So sure, this feature might not be practical, but if the reason OPPO did it adds up to, "We did it because we could", I am absolutely here for it.
Performance and battery life
The Find X3 Pro includes top-end specs, including Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 chipset, 12GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. It's my first Snapdragon 888 smartphone that I've reviewed, and all I have to say is, it's definitely a chipset.
Seriously, I've been saying for ages that for most people, that Snapdragon 8 series offers way more performance than you need. Upgrading from a Snapdragon 865 device, you probably wouldn't even tell the difference unless you're playing a lot of mobile games. What really matters in flagship chipsets are features, such as the camera chops provided by the newer ISP.
On to battery life. I had no trouble getting a full day and still having a bunch leftover. At 4,500mAh, it's not providing anything mind-blowing, but I didn't run into any issues. If I did, the good news is that it has 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 wired charging and 30W AirVOOC wireless charging. The device came with an European charger, but unsurprisingly, OnePlus accessories work just as well.
I also quite like ColorOS 11.2, as it has some practical features. OPPO Relax 2.0 can let you play some relaxing white noise music, or you can play some relaxing games. It's pretty cool. ColorOS also offers three different dark modes with different levels of blackness. These are just a couple of the cool features you'll find, like a customizable AOD.
There's just a bit of bad news. Support for U.S. cellular connectivity is not good. As I mentioned earlier, every Android phone out there has some deal-breaker where I can't make it my daily driver, and this is the deal-breaker for the Find X3 Pro. I love the phone, but all too often, I find myself on HSPA+ as a T-Mobile subscriber.
For benchmarks, I used my usual Geekbench, AnTuTu, and GFXBench. First up is Geekbench, which tests the CPU.
If we compare this to the Snapdragon 865-powered OnePlus 8T, that got 887 on single-core and 3,078 on multi-core. If we compare it to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, that device got 1,597 on single-core and 4,169 on multi-core.
Next up is AnTuTu, which tests everything.
The main reason I chose the OnePlus 8T as the device to compare this to is because they're so similar, except for the chipset. That device for 574,264 on AnTuTu, with the Snapdragon 888 really coming ahead in the GPU section. The iPhone 12 Pro Max got 624,232.
Finally, GFXBench tests the GPU.
I love this phone. Everything about it is just awesome, and if it had proper support for U.S. cellular bands, I'd use it all the time. Also, it would be nice if OPPO kept that 5x zoom lens around.
I love that it has a unique design, something that few companies are doing right now. It's one of few phones that I've reviewed in recent years where someone has asked me what I was using. And on top of that pretty, unique design, it provides an overall great experience.
If you ask yourself what you want in an overall experience in a smartphone, it probably adds up to a pretty display, a great camera, and fast performance (that's why I format my reviews in those categories). A sexy design might be on the list, but a lot of people write that off because they use a case. The Find X3 Pro nails all of those categories, and it even goes above and beyond in some places, such as adding that microscope lens that's not even a little practical.
If you want to check it out on Amazon, you can find it here.
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