Form and function but not quite flawless

Are you tired of lazy copy and paste smartphone designs? Do you long for something more eye-catching and unique to spend your money on? Then put down the morning coffee, lean in a little closer, and get ready to drink in Oppo’s new Find X3 Pro flagship.

I’m going to cut right to the chase here: this phone is a looker. Forget ugly square camera housings, bulky lenses, and gaudy colorways, the Find X3 Pro finally offers something strikingly different in the world of flagship Android smartphones. Of course, Oppo has excellent form when it comes to aesthetic design. 2020’s Find X2 Pro was not only fashionable but also had the hardware chops to make it one of the best Android smartphones of the year. So we have high hopes for Oppo’s latest flagship.

It’s harder than ever to stand out in the saturated smartphone market but this new design sets Oppo in good stead. But can this chic flagship strike the perfect balance of both form and function? Let’s find out in Android Authority’s Oppo Find X3 Pro review.

About this Oppo Find X3 Pro review: I tested the Oppo Find X3 Pro over a period of six days. It was running Color OS v11.2 on the February 5 security patch. The review unit was provided by Oppo for the purposes of this review.


What you need to know about the Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo Find X3 Pro review outdoor back

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

  • Oppo Find X3 Pro – 12GB RAM / 256GB storage: £1,099/€1,149 (~$1,520)

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the flagship product out of the Find X3 series, which also includes the Find X3 Neo and budget-friendly Oppo Find X3 Lite. All three phones are set to hit the UK and other European markets on April 14. Oppo has not announced plans for a US launch at the time of writing.

As you can probably see by now, the Find X3 Pro is all about aesthetic design. The new look breaks with last year’s leather Find X2 Pro to push a new glass unibody. There’s nothing else quite like it on the market. Oppo offers the Find X3 Pro in Gloss Black, Matte Blue, and White colorways.

Oppo Find X3 Pro buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know about the Find X3 series

Premium design commands premium pricing and the Find X3 Pro certainly comes with a hefty price tag. At £1,099/€1,149, this flagship smartphone is as expensive as Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max and almost as much as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Oppo is clearly not afraid to scrap it out with the industry’s biggest players. Although unlike the other two, Oppo continues to include a charger in the box with its latest smartphone.

But this flagship isn’t just about appearances. Oppo bundles in its latest fast wired and wireless charging technologies, a quad-camera setup, and a cutting-edge processor into the package. The Find X3 Pro also boasts a “full-path 10-bit color management system.” What this means is that the camera package, image storage formats, and display all support 10-bit colors to show off your pictures and video in all their glory.

Oppo promises a unique blend of form and function, so let’s see if the Find X3 Pro pulls it off.


Design: Glorious glass

  • Glass unibody with aluminum-alloy frame
  • 163.4 x 74 x 8.26 mm
  • 193g
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock
  • Unibody design
  • Gorilla Glass 5 display protection
  • IP68
  • Gloss Black, Matte Blue colorways

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is an eye-catching piece of hardware. Oppo says it took 2,000 attempts to get the hot-forged glass process just right, and the unique unibody that extends up the camera housing is quite something to behold. I like it, but this look may well split the crowd, as there’s something a little alien about its appearance. More so as the Find X3 Pro makes some camera hardware compromises to make the unibody a reality. But more on that later.

As striking as the Gloss Black model I reviewed is, it’s an absolute fingerprint magnet. If this would be an irritant for you, Oppo offers a Matte Blue colorway that it claims is fingerprint-proof. The glass unibody is accompanied by an aluminum-alloy frame around the edges. Combined with the impressive 92.7% screen-to-body ratio, 3D curved display, and lightweight thin design, the handset definitely stands out from the crowd.

The Find X3 Pro is a welcome break from lazy copy and paste smartphone designs.

You’ll find a small speaker grille at the top and bottom of the handset, which produces passable stereo audio via Dolby Atmos. Although, like most smartphones, there’s a distinct lack of bass for music and film. They’re average speakers at best. The SIM tray and USB-C port are found alongside the bottom speaker. As for the buttons, you’ll find the power button on the right and volume rocker on the left, both within easy reach when using the phone in one hand.

Oppo’s Find X3 Pro promises an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance and can survive being submerged in freshwater up to 1.5 meters for half an hour. Finally, there’s an in-display fingerprint scanner that works as snappily as the best security options on the market right now. Face unlock also works, though this relies solely on the camera without any fancy depth or face detecting hardware.


Display: All the bells and whistles

Oppo Find X3 Pro review standing

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

  • 6.7-inch curved LTPO AMOLED display
  • 3,216 x 1,440 resolution
  • 525ppi
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate

A 6.7-inch, QHD+, 120Hz, curved LTPO AMOLED display is as high-end as you can find on the market right now. The display defaults to an FHD+ resolution of 2,184 x 1,080 out of the box, so you’ll need to dive into the settings to get the maximum out of it. Oppo also claims high color accuracy, 1300 nits of peak brightness, HDR10+ certification, and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colorspace to make the most of 10-bit content.

What’s important is how the display appears to the human eye and the Find X3 Pro looks gorgeous. All the content I’ve viewed looks nice and vivid without oversaturation, and the 6.7-inch panel is ample for multi-tasking. The display is also more than bright enough for outdoor viewing, while a 120Hz high refresh rate ensures the UI feels buttery smooth.

Those after a big, bright, bold display will love the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

Interestingly, the 120Hz adaptive display supports a number of different modes depending on the content. 10, 20, 24, 30, 60, 90, and 120Hz modes are all supported for native video playback. Lower refresh rates help save on power, meaning the display can consume up to 30% less energy than Oppo’s last-gen handset. That’s a pretty significant improvement.

The slight curve to the panel ensures the device remains usable in one hand. Although reaching for the notification shade is a stretch for anyone at this size. Fortunately, the display isn’t so curved as to ruin the viewing experience or make interacting with apps awkward. All-in-all, it’s a very nice display setup.


Performance: efficiency wins out over raw speed

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Adreno 660
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB Internal Storage

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and 12GB of RAM onboard, I had no quibbles about day-to-day performance during my Oppo Find X3 Pro review testing. Apps open up quickly, run smoothly, and there’s no noticeable stuttering when multitasking. There’s no microSD slot to be found, but 256GB of storage should have the vast majority of buyers well covered for years worth of pictures, video, and more.

That said, the Find X3 Pro is quite aggressively tuned for battery life at the expense of peak performance out of the box. All our usual benchmarks ran rather slowly compared to the Snapdragon-powered Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The graph below shows that the phone clocks in closer to the performance of last generation’s handsets. That’s still more than adequate for day-to-day performance but not what you’d expect from a brand new flagship smartphone boasting the latest processing technology.

Enthusiasts and gamers can flick on the high-performance mode tucked away under the battery settings. This sees the phone jump back up to the top of our benchmark collection, offering performance closer to what we’d expect from the Snapdragon 888. You don’t need to flick this mode on for gaming, but it does eke out a fraction more graphics performance too. This mode comes with an accompanying hit to device temperature and battery life, although the phone should still make it through a full day of reasonable use.

As is par for the course with all 2021 flagship smartphones, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is a 5G-capable device. The international model supports 13 5G bands for global travel. However, none of these are mmWave bands. This isn’t an issue as such for most international customers, as the bulk of Europe, Asia, and most of the world is still using sub-6GHz 5G exclusively for the time being. Although this will change in the next couple of years, so the Find X3 Pro isn’t the most future-proof 5G purchase.


Battery: more than a day’s worth, maybe two

  • 4,500mAh battery capacity
  • 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 wired charging (included in the box)
  • 30W AirVOOC wireless charging
  • 10W reverse wireless charging

With a large 4,500mAh battery capacity and the aforementioned performance cap, the Oppo Find X3 Pro offers exceptional battery life. I easily made it through a full day of use shooting photos and browsing the web. You can expect to see at least six hours of screen-on time from a single charge, meaning that most users will be able to make it well into a second day before reaching for the adapter.

Oppo’s 65W SuperVooc 2.0 plug bundled with the Find X3 Pro charges the phone from empty to full in just 31 minutes. You’ll hit 50% charge in as little as 11 minutes, meaning you’ll never be short of power. Importantly, the phone’s internal temperature reading didn’t exceed 40°C (or even 35°C on a cold day) during the fast charging phase. So the battery stays reasonably cool.

However, Oppo’s 65W SuperVooc 2.0 plug is a rather bulky charger compared with some of the new high-wattage GaN units on the market. The plug also doesn’t support common charging standards, such as USB Power Delivery, so you can’t use it to fast charge laptops or other gadgets quickly.

The Oppo Find X3 Pro charges super-fast… as long as you use the bundled adapter.

What’s more disappointing is that the Oppo Find X3 Pro doesn’t make use of USB Power Delivery or Quick Charge either. This caps the phone at less than 10W of charging power from other adapters and means you’ll be waiting hours for the phone to fully charge. This is very poor for a flagship smartphone, so don’t misplace that bundled 65W plug.

Wireless charging support is similarly hit and miss. I don’t have an AirVooc charger to test the Find X3 Pro’s fast wireless charging capabilities, although Oppo says this is fast enough to fully charge the phone in 80 minutes. I managed to obtain 10W from a more universal Qi charging pad but that will take a couple of hours to hit full charge. Meanwhile, reverse wireless charging works well enough to charge up small, low-power gadgets.


Camera: Two out of four ain’t bad

Oppo Find X3 Pro unibody

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

  • 50MP main (f/1.8, 1/1.56-inch sensor size, OIS, all-pixel PDAF)
  • 50MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 1/1.56-inch sensor size, all-pixel PDAF)
  • 13MP telephoto (f/2.4, 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, 20x digital zoom)
  • 3MP microlens (f/3.0, 77-degree FOV, fixed focus, up to 60x zoom)
  • Front: 32MP ( f/2.4)
  • Video: 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 240/60/30fps, 720p at 480/60/
    30fps
  • Selfie video: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps

The Oppo Find X3 Pro boasts a rather novel camera setup. There’s not one but two custom-built Sony IMX766 sensors designed specifically for Oppo, which reside in the main and ultra-wide 50MP rear cameras. These cameras are paired up with a 5x hybrid zoom (3x optical) telephoto camera. This is a downgrade from the Oppo Find X2 Pro’s 5x periscope zoom camera, a trade-off resulting from the unibody design of the camera housing.

Oppo augments this setup with a new 3MP “microlens” that takes extreme macro shots with up to 60x magnification. The results from this camera can be quite striking and it’s quite a bit of fun to spend a few minutes inspecting the micro-world around you. Sadly, the results are often a bit too noisy and low-res to use as wallpapers and the like, and it’s ultimately still a gimmick that most users will forget about after a week. This is partly because it’s a nightmare to use without image stabilization and the fixed focal point requires you to be within 3mm of your subject, but not right on top of it. Frankly, it’s a pain to take pictures with.

The more serious cameras fair a lot better. The two 50MP Sony IMX766 sensors in the wide and ultra-wide cameras produce excellent images in good lighting and the identical hardware ensures a consistent look between the two. Colors can be exceptional, rivaling the best smartphone cameras around. Although the Find X3 Pro can produce its share of oversaturated and overexposed images. Cropping in on the pictures reveals a dose of sharpening but it’s not too overbearing and details are generally very good.

See also: The best camera phones you can get

Oppo’s HDR effect is perhaps the main camera’s only weakness, leaving some images looking overprocessed. Speaking of HDR, the handset can’t use this technique and apply portrait blur at the same time. A minor irritant, but one that cropped up in a few pictures I took on a sunny day.

Oppo also makes a big deal about its 10-bit color path from camera to display. My eyes can’t really see what all the fuss is about, as tricky HDR images captured in 8-bit and 10-bit appear identical on the Find X3 Pro’s display. Overall, few will complain about the full-frame pictures this smartphone can produce.

The ultra-wide camera is every bit as good as the main sensor, color, and detail-wise. It also doubles up as a macro camera for taking closeups. While there’s familiar lens distortion around the edges of these images, it’s kept reasonably well under control.

Low-light photography is more hit and miss. The handset’s Night mode definitely helps to improve exposure and color. However, finer details still look rather smudgy and noisy. Night mode is perfectly serviceable but it’s not quite as good as you’ll find on some rival smartphones that have larger image sensors.

The telephoto camera is where we start to see bigger issues, as it often looks third-rate compared to the other lenses. Color grading is often obviously washed out compared to the Sony IMX766 cameras. Details hold up pretty well to 5x in good lighting, but there’s a sharpening pass that ruins the look if you crop in further. In slightly less ideal lighting conditions, the zoom camera is very noisy and notably poorer in quality than the other cameras. Oppo says that most of its consumers prefer wide-angle versus zoom cameras, but that’s not really an excuse for such a significant downgrade.

The selfie camera is better, as details and skin textures look very good, although skin tones are a little too warm. However, the sensor struggles a bit with exposure, with backgrounds often appearing too dark or too light. This can wash out colors when compared to the main sensor. The fact that you can’t use the portrait mode and HDR at the same time exacerbates the HDR issue. Oppo’s HDR implementation is again rather overzealous, as you can see in the example below.

The video footage I shot follows the same pros and cons as taking photographs. Colors are vivid and daylight results look great, although you will notice lots of grain when shooting in dimmer conditions. The “Ultra Steady Pro” toggle is a nice touch for removing shake from your videos and Oppo’s “Film” mode provides a huge range of shooting options, including shutter and ISO controls, log-format, and HDR toggles.

This brings me on to the camera app. The formula is pretty much set these days and Oppo doesn’t deviate too far from the mean. You’ll find the usual options within easy reach and more advanced shooting options, such as the microlens, off to the right-hand side. The Find X3 Pro also offers advanced photography and cinematography modes that offer all the levels of control you could possibly want.

Overall, the Oppo Find X3 Pro camera setup is good but a little too inconsistent for my liking. The main and wide-angle cameras are great and the setup can take some exceptional photographs. However, the telephoto zoom camera, low light, and HDR implementation are a bit off the pace for an expensive flagship smartphone. As fun as the microlens is, it’s a gimmick that most will quickly forget about.

You can check out the full-resolution camera samples in this Google Drive folder.


Software: Color OS keeps getting better

Oppo Find X3 Pro settings shade

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Color OS 11.2, based on Android 11, is simultaneously a lightweight yet also overwhelming deep Android skin. It’s snappy, reasonably good-looking, and isn’t overly bloated with extra apps. The Find X3 Pro comes with various Google apps, along with Facebook, Netflix, and O Relax pre-installed. A Google Discover feed sits on the left-most home screen. Oppo also includes a few pieces of its own software, like Game Space for optimized gaming, Clone Phone, and other standard apps for weather and the like. But that’s it for “bloat.”

Color OS 11: Everything you need to know

As you’d expect from an Android 11 smartphone, day-to-day use is simple and sturdy enough. However, Oppo certainly packs in plenty of extras for those who want to go routing through the gargantuan settings menu. Color OS’ greatest strength and biggest weakness is the sheer range of customization options and extras.

For example, the entire skin is customizable. Options range from adjustable home screen layouts, app and fingerprint icons, colors, font, and notification shapes. That’s before you get on to the huge range of always-on display options, tweakable dark mode settings, and edge lighting options. You can definitely make this phone your own, providing you’re willing to put the work in.

On top of all that, Oppo includes a huge selection of “Convenience tools.” This menu includes further options for swipe and off-screen gestures, as well as screenshot shortcuts. Toggles for Oppo’s Quick Launch, Smart Sidebar, and Google Assistant power button toggle can also be found here. It seems a bit random what’s enabled by default on the Find X3 Pro, so you might want to dive through these menus to find out what you like.

Color OS is customizable almost to a fault.

Oppo’s ethos seems to be that if it exists, there should be a toggle for it. As a result, Color OS can be a rather unwieldy beast. Fortunately, the Find X3 Pro comes setup easy to use out of the box and Color OS 11 is definitely an improvement compared to Oppo’s software from just a couple of years ago.


Oppo Find X3 Pro specs

  Oppo Find X3 Pro
Display 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED
Curved QHD+
3,216 x 1,440 at 525PPI
Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
HDR10+ certified
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM 12GB LPDDR5
Storage 256GB UFS3.1
MicroSD No
Battery 4,500mAh
65W wired charging
30W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
Cameras Rear:
– Wide-angle: 50MP, ƒ/1.8, 1/1.56″ sensor with OIS and all-pixel PDAF
– Ultra-wide: 50MP, ƒ/2.2, 1/1.56″ sensor with all-pixel PDAF
– Telephoto: 13MP, ƒ/2.4, with 5x hybrid zoom
– Microlens: 3MP, ƒ/3.0 with fixed focus

Front:
– 32MP, ƒ/2.4, with OIS

Connectivity 4G LTE support
5G (sub-6GHz, SA and NSA)
Wi-Fi 6 support
Bluetooth 5.0
Operating System Android 11
(Color OS 11.2)
Water resistance IP68
Security In-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock
Color Gloss Black, Blue
Dimensions and weight 163.4 x 74 x 8.26 mm
193g

Value and competition

Oppo Find X3 Pro Form and function but not quite flawless

The Oppo Find X3 Pro boasts an exceptional design and bleeding-edge hardware specs, with a price tag to match. If you want a phone that stands out from the crowd, look no further than the Find X3 Pro.

Just like last year’s flagship, Oppo has priced the Find X3 Pro right at the top of the market. As we mentioned earlier, £1,099/€1,149 is right in iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra territory, and that leaves the Find X3 Pro feeling a little on the expensive side.

Mind you, it’s not far off the mark. The exquisite display, wireless charging capabilities, IP68 rating, and stunning design all help justify the high price tag. The Find X3 Pro definitely offers an experience that’s a cut above affordable flagships that litter the market.

Related: The best Android phones in the UK

However, Oppo’s software still doesn’t feel quite as refined as the other two big brands. And we don’t yet know how long Oppo is committed to providing updates to the Find X3 Pro either. Although the company has previously committed to two years of upgrades and was quick to roll out updates to Android 11 last year. Finally, the quad-camera setup, while competitive with the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, isn’t as versatile as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which remains my pick for the best camera phone at the moment and costs just a fraction more.


Oppo Find X3 Pro review: The verdict

Oppo Find X3 Pro review outdoor

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

During the course of my Oppo Find X3 Pro review, I experienced both elation and frustration. The Find X3 Pro is an exceptional smartphone and not just in terms of its design. Providing you take pictures in the right conditions, stick with SuperVOOC chargers, and don’t mind the odd fingerprint (or several), the handset is an absolute delight.

However, stray from this path and the phone is quick to show its faults. In particular, I can’t fathom why a flagship smartphone can’t quick charge with third-party accessories and adapters. The phone’s performance throttling and lack of mmWave 5G also raises an eyebrow with such an expensive price tag.

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a particularly well groomed jack of all trades

As with all major purchases, picking the Find X3 Pro over other handsets boils down to what you need. The phone excels in the display and battery life departments, and these are by far its greatest strengths. The camera setup, while a little gimmicky, is great if you love taking wide-angle pictures. And the design, well it speaks for itself.

However, those after a more well-rounded camera package, mmWave 5G future-proofing, or even just a more “standard” smartphone design may want to check out the best from Samsung or wait to see if Oppo’s sister brand delivers big with the upcoming OnePlus 9 series.

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