Anton D. Nagy contributed to this contribution.
The OPPO Find series has long been more about finding innovations than about reluctance. The Find 7 impressed many of us with its technical data and QuadHD display for the time. The Find X was … well, crazy. The design and motorized cameras were taken more seriously than anyone else, and then the Find X2 Pro not only went periscopic but also taught the new kids how to do it in a compact body. There was never anything conventional about them, so naturally it creates that kind of expectation of another avant-garde phone for 2021.
Well, this is the Find X3 Pro, which OPPO calls the Billion Color phone, and which I’ll call one of the most stylish and best-looking phones of the year, but not necessarily what I would call a successor to what the Popularized the brand. So yeah, it’s not crazy, there’s no wow factor, but if refinement was the intent there is plenty of it here. This is our OPPO Find X3 Pro review.
You know, I saw the leaks and of course I also thought it looked a lot like an iPhone, but I think that’s a huge simplification. Usually, smartphones in this category are big and chunky just to fit on all of their hardware, but this is probably the thinnest and lightest flagship I’ve tried so far.
To provide some context, it’s only 193 grams, which makes it around 35 to 36 grams lighter than the 12 Pro Max and S21 Ultra. It’s also only 8.2mm thick, leaving the Ultra at 8.9, though the 7.4mm on the iPhone is hard to make up for. I usually don’t do a big deal with these things, but because the body is narrower than average, this phone feels almost hollow and effortless due to the weight distribution.
Now it seems like 2021 is the year of the contour camera, but this is a very different approach. There’s a whole scientific explanation for how it takes 40 hours and 100+ processes to create a curve like this, and I like it. It’s more cohesive and prevents lint from getting stuck in the corners. If anything, I’d say the curves make the hump look bigger than it is because it doesn’t really protrude much. It’s elegant, I’ll give you that, but that’s as long as you can keep it clean. I might recommend that you try the blue option as that color in glossy black doesn’t work as well in this department. I don’t have a specific rating for the back either, but I know the front is Gorilla Glass 5.
Now the whole claim for the billions of colors begins with this display. Last year’s Find X2 Pro was my favorite display on a phone that ousted any competitor in contrast, and the legacy continues. This is an impressive 6.7-inch Quad HD OLED that has 10-bit colors, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, HDR10 +, 1,300 nits of brightness, and the same 5 million to 1 contrast ratio from the last one Year supported. Colors, brightness and viewing angles are really fantastic. Since it is LTPO, you also have a variable refresh rate between 5 and 120 Hz with higher energy efficiency and 240 Hz touch sampling. Combine that with tiny and symmetrical bezels that allow for 92.7% screen-to-body ratio and a good pair of dual-firing speakers, and yes, the content consumption is great. There’s also a very quick but not as reliable face to unlock through the hole and an optical fingerprint scanner at the very bottom of the display to make unlocking easier when wearing a mask.
Internals are also those of a typical high-end flagship with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of non-expandable storage, Dual SIM 5G that supports all flavors, the latest in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a large 4,500 mAh Battery, VOOC quick charge up to 65 watts and yes it comes in the box. Finally, you can charge up to 30 watts wirelessly if you have AirVOOC, which is optional. It’s reversible up to 10 watts, and yes, the IP68 water and dust resistance is in tow.
Software and experience
This is Color OS 11.2 running on Android 11, which while not standard Android, isn’t really far from it. The UI elements are still mostly OPPO, but the more you use them the more you realize how much Google-ified it is. You have the Google feed to the left of the launcher, there’s an option to bring up the Google Assistant from the power button, and you can also set up an app system tray if that’s your jam. Other functions are welcome, e.g. For example, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your private safe or certain apps, and access shortcuts with a gesture. A side menu for quick shortcuts and other improvements like Game Space and OPPO Relax 2.0.
Really all that interests you is that the user interface doesn’t detract from the experience, and that’s the case here. Apps launch quickly, animations are minor so everything feels smooth. Hence, I find that the battery life is pretty good. After a week of testing on Google Fi, I was able to end my days with enough charge and without overheating, although despite all the 5G antennas included, I can’t say I ever got 5G working. Fi is still picky about the phones it supports and even leaves iPhones off the list so I attribute that to my problem.
Now let’s talk a little bit about cameras because that’s another reason for the billion dollar slogan. OPPO and Sony have jointly developed a new 50-megapixel IMX766 sensor that supports 10-bit color. However, this is the first phone to include two of them. One for the main camera and the other for the ultra-wide. This makes a lot of sense because you can switch lenses on a mirrorless camera to achieve different focal lengths. However, the image quality is never compromised because the sensor does not. I wish that was the case with the telephoto lens, which took a step back from periscopying. I will let the results speak for themselves and discuss the fourth camera in a moment.
At first I thought they look great just because the display makes them look good, but once you drag them into a computer the results stay consistent. As expected, daylight photos are great, but OPPO plays with a little more contrast in its color science and creates that kind of Leica grain that I really like. It makes colors like red look bolder and more elegant. It is particularly beneficial when changing the focal length, as you lose the aperture with the other cameras, so that the grain compensates for the loss of detail in the shadows. The same sensor in the ultra-wide results in color consistency, and even with one less element on the lens, there is almost no distortion on the sides. Of course we lost the periscope zoom lens, but I’d say photos up to 5x hybrid are really good, although I suggest you stay away from 20x digital.
In low light, I would say this phone outperforms most of the others. These would be the only ultra-wide photos I would recommend at night and that give results almost comparable to the primary side. The darker it gets, the more difficult the aperture differences become, but overall I’m very impressed. It isn’t until you jump to the telephoto lens that things fall apart, but it’s the story with any other phone.
Oddly enough, I’m a fan of selfies, but not selfie portraits. Somehow the latter needs serious tweaking as all of the dynamic range has been blown away which every other competing phone solved generations ago.
And unfortunately I feel the same way about the video. I mean the rear camera can go up to 4K at 60 and gives some decent results with good stabilization and colors, but I will now apologize for the selfie footage. No stabilization, pretty steady dynamic range, and it still sticks to 1080p, which again is something the competitors addressed a long time ago.
Camera number 4 is a microlens that allows up to 60x magnification and even records Full HD videos of the tissue that makes up my mouse pad. It uses a circular ring light to help you get really close to your subject. Aside from the fact that my handkerchiefs aren’t actually 100% cotton, this is more of a gimmick given the low resolution of the results.
OPPO Find the conclusion on the X3 Pro review
To wrap up our OPPO Find X3 Pro review, I think the best way to sum up the OPPO Find X3 Pro is to call it the most mature flagship in the lineup. I mean the wow factor is gone, but I think it was done on purpose. During our briefing, we asked why features like the periscope lens were being taken away, and engineers claimed that users weren’t using them as often as the primary or ultra-wide. Somehow it makes sense to remove the complexity when it comes to additional value that is underutilized.
Because of its great design, display and cameras
and excellent battery life,
The OPPO Find X3 Pro is our choice
for a great Overall flagship Smartphone.
Perhaps the reason I disagree with this approach is because I believe the industry needs phones that this lineup earlier stood for. Not all functions will last a year or two longer, but the only way to live in the future is to experiment. Without these motorized cameras or periscope lenses, other manufacturers likely would not have adopted the technology. It’s proof that OPPO actually provided useful ideas and not the usual gimmicks we get from other manufacturers.
Regardless of whether I would judge the Find X3 Pro to be a flagship device, it’s a great phone. From the appearance of the hardware to the experience with the software, it is a pleasure to use. If photography is your thing, it is one of the best phones on my list, even if I wish it had all of my video needs. Sure, I was expecting a bit more than just another flagship with this phone, but that doesn’t stop me from recommending it without a hitch.
OPPO Find X3 Pro review gallery
Jaime has been a fan of technology since he got his first computer when he was 12 and has followed the evolution of mobile technology from the PDA to everything we see today. As our multimedia manager, he was responsible for developing our YouTube hobby into one of the largest video channels in the industry. When he’s not making one of our videos or filming our Pocketnow Daily, he’s in his second greatest passion, running and fitness. Read more about Jaime Rivera!