Oppo Find X3 Pro Review
Impressive in so many ways
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a great Android phone and if you’re not keen on the hefty size of the S21 Ultra then it does offer a tempting alternative. It takes excellent pictures and has one of the best screens on any phone you can buy.
- Thin and light for a 6.7-inch phone
- Adaptive 120Hz display is gorgeous and highly customisable
- Oppo’s software has seen huge improvements
- Battery life not as good as the Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Loses the periscope zoom skills of the Find X2 Pro
- Vibration motor is terrible
- Review Price: £1099
- 6.7-inch 1440p display
- HDR10+ support
- Snapdragon 888 with 5G
- 4500mAh battery
- 65w charging
- 2x 50MP camera
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the follow up to our favourite phone of 2020 and in many ways it’s much better than the X2 Pro.
The rapid rise in quality of Oppo’s phones over the recent year has been staggering, peaking with the Find X2 Pro deservedly bagging the Phone of the Year gong at the Trusted Reviews Awards 2020.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the brand’s next flagship and it’s everything I would expect from a phone that wants to rival the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the other best Android phones on the market. In some ways, I would even recommend it over Samsung’s behemoth, especially if you want a thinner, lighter device, but that’s not to say it’s perfect.
There’s no regular Oppo Find X3, with the other members of the family comprising the mid-range Oppo Find X3 Neo and affordable Find X3 Lite.
Oppo Find X3 Pro pricing and availability
The Oppo Find X3 Pro will be available in the UK from April 14 for £1099 in a single 12GB RAM/256GB storage combo, putting it right in the crosshairs of the Galaxy S21 Ultra (£1149) and iPhone 12 Pro Max (£1099).
It will be available through O2, Carphone Warehouse and via Oppo itself in both the blue variant (that’s the one you’ll see in this review) and grey. You can also buy it through EE, Vodafone, Three, Virgin Mobile and Sky in the glossy grey hue only.
Elsewhere, it’ll be available for €1149 from mid-April in other European countries. It won’t be sold in the US.
Design and Screen – The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a gorgeous phone with a fantastic display
- Considering the big 6.7-inch display, this is a great feeling phone to hold
- The curved OLED display is stunning for gaming and media running at 1440p and 120Hz
- Multiple finishes included blue (matte) and grey (glossy)
After spending the last few months with the iPhone 12 Pro Max and then the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra weighing down my pockets, it’s refreshing to hold the Find X3 Pro.
This is a much lighter phone than its rivals and while it is still big (nothing with a 6.7-inch is ever going to be small) the use of curves help it feel very comfortable to hold.
I’ve got the blue version here for review which has a lovely matte finish on the back. It’s smooth to the touch and doesn’t pick up any fingerprints whatsoever. Pick the grey model though and you’ll get a glossy back. Personally, I much prefer the matte finish and would have liked to see it across the whole range, as glossy finishes tend to be fingerprint magnets.
At least there’s a nice colour-matched silicone case in the box to cover up that fingerprint-prone glossy finish. All the usual mod-cons are here too, including an IP68 rating for water and dust protection and a USB-C port on the bottom for fast charging.
Both the front and back are covered in Gorilla Glass 5 (not the latest Victus version though) and there’s a dual SIM slot on the bottom. Like the Galaxy S21 and X2 Pro, there’s no expandable storage.
The back of the Find X3 Pro is where the real design shines. The camera module has been tightly integrated into the design to the point it looks like it’s trying to burst free of its case. There’s certainly a hint of the iPhone 12 Pro here, not least in the moody blue hue, but I think the Find X3 Pro stands as one of the best phones around when it comes to looks. It’s simple and free of excessive branding, something that bothered me with the Xiaomi Mi 11.
Flip the X3 Pro over and the screen impresses as much as the design. This is a beauty of a panel with some serious tech behind the curved glass. There’s a 1440p resolution panel with support for HDR10+, an adaptive refresh rate and in-display fingerprint authentication.
Unlike a typical 120hz refresh rate, this phone can move between multiple rates like 24Hz, 30Hz and 60Hz. A 120Hz panel gives you smoother scrolling and more responsive gaming, but it’s not always utilised well, when watching a film for example, and can waste battery. An adaptive refresh rate curtails this risk, ensuring you’re only at 120Hz when you need to be.
Android screens have taken a huge leap forward already this year and this is one of the best. Load up an episode of HDR content on Netflix – I’ve used my usual episode of Altered Carbon as a test – and you’ll see bright colours pop and blacks look perfectly deep and inky. If you’re watching SDR content then there’s some software trickery that’ll add a little more oomph to the saturation.
I’m a big fan of how customisable the display is too, giving you full reign over colours and gamuts. There’s a mode that offers a cinematic look and utilises the P3 gamut, while another aims to cover sRGB. Whether or not you know what these mean, the results will help you tweak the experience.
I have been using this phone heavily in bright sunshine over the past few days and there’s enough brightness here to get by, though to my eyes the panel on the S21 Ultra can get even brighter.
Oppo Find X3 Pro Camera – A duo of 50MP sensors and a focus on 10-bit recording
- You get two 50MP sensors – one wide, and the other ultra wide
- The third camera offers hybrid zoom
- There are plenty of AI-infused camera modes and a quirky microscope option
The Oppo Find X3 Pro takes a different route than the Find X2 Pro and the current best camera phone – the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – with its rear camera setup. It ditches the periscope zoom camera, instead focussing on ultra wide and wide performance.
If you want a phone that can reliably offer 10x, 30x and even 100x zoom then you might be disappointed. But holding the phone I think Oppo made the right call as ditching the periscope lens helps keep the weight down and ensures the camera bump is small.
Oppo has put a lot more focus into the ultra wide camera which uses the same Sony IMX 766 sensor as the main camera. Having essentially the same camera on both aside from focal lengths is rare and it makes the Find X3 Pro far better for ultra wide shots.
The zoom skills that are here are taken care of by a 13MP telephoto camera, which offers 3x optical and 5x hybrid zoom. Finally, there’s a 3MP Microlens which offers, Oppo said, up to 60x magnification.
It’s a very capable setup and I have been impressed with the pictures I have shot over the past week. The 12.5MP shots that come from the 50MP sensors are detailed and, when viewed on the Find X3 Pro’s display, are beautifully vibrant. The images shot from both the wide and ultra wide have similar traits and there’s very little distortion on the latter.
The quality continues in lower-light situations too. There is a multi-exposure night mode for when there’s virtually zero light, but I have found the sensors are more than capable of shooting in darker environments without much help. The picture of the puppy below was taken in near darkness, yet it’s bright and the detail isn’t over-sharpened or non-existent.
There’s a whiff of Samsung with the colour tuning, as reds and greens pop with high levels of saturation. I have been shooting a lot on brighter days and both the wide and ultra wide cameras pack so much vibrancy into pictures. Transfer your snaps back over to a computer and they look a little flat, but that’s not uncommon. The screen here is designed to be the best place to view the images and that’s certainly the case.
There are a couple of customisation options available to you when you shoot, including using the full 50MP resolution for slightly more detail, but at the expense of any zoom skills, along with 10-bit colour support. The latter will cause some compatibility issues with older apps and screens, however when used correctly it does give you the ability to capture even more colours.
If you want more control then the Pro mode is one of the best out there with all sorts of options to tweak these impressive camera sensors. There’s a RAW+ mode, for instance, which combines the strength of RAW capture with some of the phone’s HDR skills.
You can get really close to subjects and still pull out decent detail using the macro mode – look at the shot of a PS5 DualSense controller for an example.
The use of the microscopic camera, or microlens as Oppo calls it, gives the phone another handy trick. You can get even closer into subjects with and it’s particularly clever to see intricate details inside an LCD (see below) or plant. It’s very gimmicky, but clever nevertheless even if it can be fiddly to get a good shot.
Photo capture is only a part of the story, as like many of the best phones around now video capture is arguably just as important. The Find X3 Pro can capture 4K HDR footage at 10-bit colour and if you want flat footage for processing and colour correction then there’s LOG shooting too. You don’t get that with an iPhone.
The video here is punchy (when not in LOG, of course) and very pleasing. Stabilisation is great and I had no problems keeping up with a sprinting puppy without any obvious shakes.
Oppo Find X3 Pro Performance – Everything you’d expect from a 2021 Android flagship phone
- The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 888 cup and features loads of RAM and storage
- Oppo’s software has been improved a lot over the past year
- 120Hz adaptive display makes everything feel quick
I have already reviewed a few Snapdragon 888 (or very similar) phones this year and the Oppo Find X3 Pro follows the same path. This is supremely fast chip that’s easily capable of handling any app or game at any setting. The hefty 12GB RAM and controlled management of the system means apps stay open for a long time letting you easily hop back to them.
If you’re a gamer, the 888 Platform has a beefed-up GPU when compared to 865 and all titles I tried were smooth and responsive. Bouts of PUBG and CoD Mobile didn’t cause the device to heat up and there are numerous software tweaks that make gaming more immersive.
Great performance isn’t just for gaming though. The effects of the flagship chip are felt everywhere, from the support for 5G to some improved camera processing. I never ran into any lag during my week with the phone, which is to be expected from a device that’ll set you back a grand.
The benchmark scores the Find X3 Pro chalked up matched my real-world use and its predictably among the top scorers both for its CPU and GPU.
One of the things I didn’t like much about the Find X2 Pro was Oppo’s interpretation of Android. The latest version of ColorOS you’ll find here fixes many of my issues, with a far more Google-influenced look. Swiping through the UI is quick and, unlike on the Xiaomi Mi 11, I didn’t suffer any app crashes or notice a plethora of bugs.
There has been one thing that has stood out as being oddly poor during my time with the Find X3 Pro: the vibration motor. Even when it’s cranked up to the max, the tinny vibration is barely strong enough to register a buzz on my desk. I have missed countless messages and calls as I just can’t tell when the phone is going off. For the first time in countless years I have had to turn my phone off silent.
It’s a better story with audio and call quality. The speakers are on par with other Android phones that pack a full-screen look and you get a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box.
Battery Life – Does amazing endurance matter when charging is this quick?
- 65w charging is very quick
- Wireless charging added after missing the X2 Pro
- 4500mAh battery inside
One thought has crossed my mind consistently since I started using the Find X3 Pro: does epic battery life really matter when you can go from 0-100% in less than 40 minutes?
Of course, you still need to be able to get through the day comfortably – something the Find X3 Pro is capable of. Throughout my week I have been getting roughly between five to six hours of screen-on time per full charge, which is good but not the best. Working from home has changed my habits slightly, but I am still confident this would get most people through the day without much hassle.
You can, of course, get more juice if you dial back the screen a bit. Stick to FHD+ resolution is one way, or forcing the refresh rate to stay at 60Hz.
An hour of Netflix HDR streaming took off 7%, which is more than the same test on the S21 Ultra.
I have never felt worried about the battery life though, as I knew a full charge could happen so quickly. Instead of charging overnight, I now just plug it in while I am having a shower and making coffee in the morning and we’re at 100% by the time I am ready to sit down at my desk.
A full charge in about 38-40 minutes is far quicker than anything offered by Samsung or Apple and if there’s fast wireless charging if you can get hold of a capable pad. The Find X2 Pro omitted wireless charging completely, so it’s nice to have it here.
To get these speeds you do need to use the bulky included charger, so plugging it into your MacBook Pro charger won’t give you those fast speeds.
Oppo Find X3 Pro Conclusion
With so much choice at all price-ranges now, phones that cost above a grand have to be pretty much exceptional to warrant a true recommendation. There’s no margin of error anymore, especially when something like the Xiaomi Mi 11 offers many of the same features for a lot less.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a great Android phone and if you’re not keen on the hefty size of the S21 Ultra then it does offer an alternative. It doesn’t feel quite as innovative as the Find X2 Pro though, with things like the leather back and periscope zoom ditched for a more traditional outcome.
You should buy the Oppo Find X3 Pro if…
- You want to take a lot of ultra wide shots: By using the same high-end sensor for both the wide and ultra wide cameras, Oppo has ensured that whichever focal length you shoot with you’ll get a quality shot. The ultra wide camera with 110-degree field of view is a secondary sensor, but right at the forefront of Oppo’s thinking.
- You don’t want to wait around for the phone to charge: Oppo provides a hefty 65w charger in the box and it can take the Find X3 Pro from 0-100% in around 38-40 minutes in my tests. That’s impressive stuff.
- You want a gorgeous display and a sleek design: I love the look of the Find X3 Pro, especially in the version with the smooth blue finish. It’s lighter than the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max too. The sleek design melds with the 120Hz HDR display which is vibrant and bright.
You shouldn’t buy the Oppo Find X3 Pro if…
- You want multi-day battery life: There’s a 4500mAh battery inside the Find X3 Pro which does offer good endurance. You can stretch the battery out further if you disable some of the higher-end skills (1440p resolution, adaptive refresh) but in a pure battery battle, the S21 Ultra lasts longer.
- You want a phone with a great zoom camera: Oppo has sacrificed the periscope zoom skills of the Find X2 Pro for the followup, instead focussing on hybrid zoom and ultra wide performance. If you do want a phone capable of getting 10x or even 30x closer to the action then this isn’t for you.