Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- All-screen look is gorgeous
- Great performance
- No wireless charging or waterproofing
- Hidden camera is a dust-magnet
There’s a hidden cost accompanying the Find X’s unique camera, but most will probably find it worth paying.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
When all is said and done, 2018 will probably end up being looked back upon as the year that Chinese brands like Oppo and Huawei stopped playing catch-up to global titans like Apple and Samsung.
Take the Huawei P20. Its triple-lens camera setup blew away the competition back in May - and it’ll likely hold onto that top spot until the Mate 10 rolls around. Then, you’ve got Oppo. Fresh off the back of the company’s value-driven take on the iPhone X, the R15 Pro, Oppo’s new Find X sees the brand deliver on the ‘all-screen’ form-factor that tech fanatics have been salivating over for the last few years. But that leap forward comes with a cost.
Find X is notably more expensive than Oppo’s previous efforts. Still, it’s also beefier, boasts better looks and comes with a design that sets it well apart from everything else available at the moment. Blessed with a brief lead on the competition, Oppo’s Find X takes that moment in the spotlight and spins it into what might just be one of the year’s best - or at the very least most compelling - flagship devices.
Display size: 6.42-inches
Display type: AMOLED
Processor: Snapdragon 845
Weight: 186 g
Dimensions: 156.7 mm x 74.2 mm x 9.4 mm
Operating System: Android 8.1 with Color OS 5.2
Fingerprint Sensor: No
Face Unlock: Yes
Durability: Gorilla Glass 5
Ports: USB Type-C
SIM: Dual SIM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Rear Camera: 16-megapixel (f/2.0, PDAF, OIS) + 20-megapixel (f/2.0)
Front-Facing Camera: 25-megapixel (f/2.0)
Colors: Bordeaux Red, Glacier Blue
Design - Look, Feel and Features
Like most 2018 smartphones, the Oppo Find X is made of Gorilla Glass-enhanced glass on both sides. As a by-product of this, it feels undeniably similar to hold to a lot of other 2018 flagships. It feels exactly how you’d expect and want a $1099 smartphone to feel.
However, at 6.4-inches, it’s definitely not as compact as it could be. If you’re the kind of person who prefers a smaller form-factor, this might rub you the wrong way. Still, it’s considerably slimmer than a lot of the competition and, sans a notch of any kind, Find X’s AMOLED all-screen does look predictably gorgeous.
Rather than opt for a matte finish or the kind of stylish gradients found in the Huawei P20 and their own R15 Pro, Oppo have opted for a sleek, mostly-black design that weaves either red or blue into the edges on the Find X. Whether you opt for the Boredeaux Red or Glacier Blue, the Find X absolutely holds up as one of the most premium looking Android devices out there.
Of course, the sliding hidden camera in the Find X really is the defining detail of the piece. When you open the camera app, or log-in using the Find X’s iPhone X-style 3D-mapping-based face unlock, the back half of the phone will slide upwards and reveal the front and rear-cameras. You can definitely feel and hear a slight vibration whenever this happens but - all things considered - it’s as subtle as it is slick.
The one drawback we encountered during our time with the Find X was that the mechanism itself did prove a magnet for dust - but it doesn’t really detract from the device’s wow-factor too much. The mechanism also adds a small, but not entirely insignificant, delay that makes the camera a little frustrating to use on short notice.
So, yes, the hidden camera design in the Find X isn’t without cons. If you’re looking for them, it won’t take that long to find them. It is, after all, a compromise by design.
But if you’re hungry for a all-screen, no-notch, flagship experience - the Find X delivers.
However, camera quirks aside, there are a few more tangible weaknesses here which may disqualify the Find X for some. Where previous Oppo devices have offered Micro SD expansion, the Find X lacks it. It also lacks waterproofing, wireless charging and a headphone jack.
To their credit, Oppo’s latest flagship is unlike most of the other Android out there. It’s just unfortunate that not all the things that separate it from the rest are to the benefit of the broader Find X experience.
Camera - How does it compare to the competition?
While Oppo’s cameras have generally swung above their weight in the mid-tier space, the Find X just doesn’t deliver as impressive a leap forward as you’d hope.
The dual-lens setup on the back and the 25-megapixels of selfie cam here are great - but they feel like only a marginal and incremental upward bump from what the brand offer in the cheaper R15 and R15 Pro.
There’s a raw, arithmetical sort of improvement in the spec-sheet here but little else. Simply put, there’s no little X-factor that elevates the Find X above the other smartphone photography heavyweights out there. It’s got all the usual 2x zoom, portrait mode and AI-enhanced smart photography features. But that’s about it - and pretty much the standard for a smartphone that costs this much.
Landscape colors pop and bokeh portrait shots look crisp, but if you’re looking for that little bit of extra dazzle-factor here you’ll likely come away wanting.
Low-light environments and fast-moving objects remain a categorical weakness for the Find X’s camera - and a major point of difference between what’s on offer here and what you’ll get out of something more cutting edge like the Google Pixel or the Huawei P20 Pro.
Part of me still wonders what a version of the Find X that incorporates the 5x zoom tech that Oppo showed off back in 2017 might look like. But, unfortunately, that’s not the device that’s on offer here.
Performance - Software, Performance and Battery Life
Like the LG G7, HTC U12+, Sony Xperia XZ2 and others, the Oppo Find X comes powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845. It’s Oppo’s first flagship to run on a Snapdragon 800-series processor - and it’s thrillingly responsive as a result.
Everything we did with the Find X happened sometimes-blisteringly fast. I’m not entirely certain or sold on the idea that there’s anything you really need to run this fast on a smartphone - but if you’re looking for the best, rest assured that the Find X falls into that category.
However, for better or worse, it still runs on Oppo’s ColorOS Android skin. Oppo have introduced a few new, almost-Bixby esque smart features into the UI this time around but this is largely the same software experience found in the R15 Pro. I’m still a fan, but there are plenty of others who can’t stand it.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to embraces the raw customizability of Android, you might find some of the baseline ColorOS limitations a bit grating. If you’re happy to let Oppo do the work - you’ll revel in the sheer polish of the software experience on offer. Your mileage is going to vary.
When it came to benchmarks, the Oppo Find X lived up to its pricepoint. While it did struggle to match the raw power of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on a few key fronts, the Oppo’s new flagship tended to lean towards the front of the pack. Even compared to powerhouses like the Google Pixel 2 and Huawei P20 Pro, it proved a more than formidable opponent.
In terms of everyday battery-life, we’d easily make it through the usual 9-5 work day and often well into the evening as well. We’d still have to charge our device back to full overnight - but if we accidentally forgot to do, we’d usually still have a little bit to go on until we found a power source.
We’re talking eleven or twelve hours of average use here, though - as always - your mileage may vary. Particularly, if you watch or film a lot of video content.
Again, there’s no wireless charging here but the Oppo Find X does incorporate the brand’s usual VOOC fast charging.
The Bottom Line
Though not without its drawbacks, the Oppo Find X largely succeeds at being a meaningfully-different flagship smartphone. Even if it’s outgunned on a few fronts, the Find X combines a solid spec sheet, polished software and distinguished design to great effect. There’s so much to like here that it’s really hard to hold the Find X in contempt of a few wrinkles.
That said, part of me actually laments that the Find X isn’t just that little bit cheaper. At $1099, it’s a worthy alternative to the other Android options out there. But at $999, it feels like it’d be an utter slam-dunk for the Oppo brand.
As it is, the Find X isn’t just one of the better flagships on offer this year - it’s also one of the most refreshingly-different. There’s a hidden cost accompanying the phone’s unique camera, but most will probably find it worth paying.
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