Not long ago I was able to get hands on the Oppo Find X3 Neo which was the mid range device announced at the same time as the Pro was.
Thankfully I have now been sent the Pro version by Oppo to do a review on and compare the differences, plus if this phone is worth spending your hard and money on in a tough market where it competes with high and devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 range.
Throughout my two week review period my main SIM card was in a device and I was using it full time.
I did also use a secondary SIM card so was able to test out the dual SIM functionality which would also have an impact on battery life of course.
Most of my time was connecting to the 4G network on 3UK however there was also the odd occasion when I was in the area picking up 5G coverage on EE which normally has a slight impact on battery performance as well but I was at least able to check out performance using the Snapdragon 888 chip too.
A big thanks to Oppo for sending this device out so I can do this review.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the most thought about designed phone the company has made, whilst there is no vegan orange leather version like on the older X2, the unique glass design really does stand out in a time when lots of phones are looking the same.
The front camera will be covered more in the camera section of the review, but as a quick overview you get a 32 megapixel camera with 1080p recording which does a great job at both selfies including portrait ones and high resolution video in fact this phone probably has the best or one of the best selfie cameras in quality performance.
The large 6.7 inch OLED screen takes up all the front with no physical buttons to be seen, just the large screen which looks great for watching content back on and the only interruption is the small hole punch camera in the corner, but this is much better than a large notch the iPhone still has.
The screen also has support for 10-bit colour which means it can display 1 billion colours making this one of the most advanced displays on any smartphone to date, and makes content played back look absolutely stunning.
Looking over at the left side you get the volume up and down buttons as you get on every other phone of course, these can also be used as camera shutter buttons when the camera is open if you prefer pressing a real button instead of using an on screen controls.
There is a small antenna band at the top too which helps the device lock on to a stronger mobile signal, this is because of the glass sandwich design you want to still be able to get the best signal possible to be able to make that phone call or browse the internet.
Over on the right hand side you get a single button which is used mainly to switch the device on, however once on you use it to activate Google Assistant if you do not want to use the voice command to bring it up instead.
You also get two more antenna lines like you find on the left side to help with network and radio performance including WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC.
Up at the top there is nothing much to see, you get two more of those black antenna lines as mentioned before for signal strength, you also have one of the dual microphones in the corner which is used for recording audio as well as helping with noise cancelation in phone calls.
The bottom area is where you find first of all the SIM tray which lets you use two different SIM cards at the same time because this is a Dual-SIM phone, so handy for anyone who wants to use just one phone but for work and personal use at the same time, you can even unlock the phone to a different fingerprint for each profile to keep things separate.
Next to this is the second microphone used in calls and again for helping record clear crisp audio either when in video audio recording mode.
In the middle is the USB-C charging port for data transfer, but also the most common use if for charging the battery back up again, and if you use the supplied wall brick and cable, will get you a super fast 65w charge that Oppo say will charge from 0% to 40% in just 10 minutes.
Finally you have the loudspeaker which pumps out clear audio even at the highest volume and is great for watching back videos on or if you are into your music.
Flipping over to the back is where the X3 Pro really stands out from the rest with shiny glass covering top to bottom, corner to corner.
Unlike devices such as the iPhone 12 range that have the cameras in a corner that stick out from the body, Oppo managed to curve the glass over the cameras which means the phone whilst it has a hump in the corner, is flush with the glass and prevents and dirt or dust getting picked up, plus it looks rather cool too and is the first of it’s kind.
You may look at it and just think it is just some curved glass, but the skill and technology needed to get it to do this is really impressive and cannot be understated.
There is a lot going on in the top corner where you find the cameras, you get the two 50MP cameras which are the main one and the ultra wide angle.
You also have the 13MP telephoto camera used for zooming in close to your subject as well as the 3MP microscope camera complete with it’s own ring light around the outside so you get as close as possible to your object and not block out the all important light.
Also in the corner is the LED flash as well as another microphone due audio.
Told you there was a lot crammed up in the corner.
Software is an important piece of a smartphone because as good as the hardware may be, it is the software you use every day for every task such as calls, texts, apps, camera and much more and this can make or break which phone you decide to use.
Oppo use a skin they call ColorOS and we are now on Version 11 which is of course based on the most recent Android 11 update which has all the recent security updates and features you will need and is the same version covered on the X3 Neo recently reviewed.
Something many people will appreciate having is a wide range of customisation options from icons to colours so you can really make the phone personal to your style.
You also get the options to choose between a wide range of always on display settings and even change the fingerprint unlocking animation if you wanted too.
Dark Mode is included, but in three different modes, you get Gentle for the light grey colour, Medium for a darker shade of colour, and then Enhanced which makes the most of the AMOLED display showing true blacks and darker colours.
Oppo have also done a lot of work behind the scenes that users will not even see, but will experience such as quicker loading of applications, instant translation of different languages as well as dynamically allocating system resources where needed to always mean an optimal experience no matter how much you have stored on the device.
There are also lot of security features meaning your phone will stay super secure at all times and even allow different fingerprints for accessing a different profile, handy if you want to use just the one phone for personal settings and also for a work profile too.
There are a lot of different manufacturer skins of Android on phones these days, and from using many of them recently I was pleasantly surprised with how good ColorOS was and how much I enjoyed using it.
Performance is as you would expect on a phone at this price very impressive, this is mainly due to the X3 Pro featuring the flagship Snapdragon 888 processor which brings with it battery improvements as well as faster speeds and better multitasking between apps.
Not only do you get a speedy processor to help everything run, you also need a good amount of RAM for multitasking and loading graphic heavy games, but again with this being the top of the line from Oppo they have included a large 12GB of RAM to easily cover all your needs.
Storage comes in at 256GB internal with no option to expand via cards, but you to have a lot of options to get more storage if you need via online services such as Google Drive or Dropbox to name just a few.
Battery performance is also very good thanks to the way Oppo have setup the cells, the phone actually has two batteries included at 2250mAh each, therefore totaling a decent 4500mAh overall which is a decent amount, but by splitting them you get faster charging and better performance.
It is not all about the numbers though but more important is how long will the phone last you in day to day tasks considering the 5G networking, large screen and how much you will use the camera for example, thankfully performance was great and I was easily able to get through a full day with a lot of camera use as well as watching streaming video back over 4G.
Charging the phone also is very impressive, not only do you get 65w fast charging using the SuperVooc standard Oppo have branded for really fast charging, it is also great to see Wireless charging getting a lot of attention because you also get up to 30w wireless depending on the speed of your charger, Oppo make a 30w Wireless charger to get the best out of the technology but needs to be purchased separately.
For anyone concerned about water damage or using your phone in the rain, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is fully IP68 certified meaning you can use your phone in up to 1.5m of fresh water for 30 minutes which is more than enough for even the worst English weather and downpour.
Word of warning though the IP68 water rating is for fresh water as mentioned, and therefore using in a swimming pool or the sea is not recommended as it could cause some long term damage.
Network support is great too with the latest 4G+ technology included for super fast downloads on the go, and even though it does lack 5G, considering that is still a costly feature to have, and coverage still very new, most people will be more than happy with the 4G+ speeds you can get, when I tested I was able to get 150Mbps, but this will depend on network and area you are in.
I was able to pick up some 5G signal in my home town of Torquay by the harbour, and with the SIM in the X3 Pro I did manage some pretty good speeds of around 250Mbps, and this was with the phone picking up signal from across the bay from the Paignton area so this was very impressive.
Whilst Oppo are not one of the more familiar companies out on the market to many people still, there they do make some incredible hardware especially when it comes to their photography both the front facing and the rear cameras.
Never has this been more true than with the Find X3 Pro with its unique camera design on the back blended into the glass that curves around so the camera lens does not stick out like you find on the iPhone 12 series.
On the front you get a single 32 megapixel front facing camera was impressive quality and details both normal photos as well as portrait mode shots come out clear crisp and full of detail as you would expect from a camera of this resolution
The selfie camera is very impressive both on still photo quality as well as video recording however it was disappointing to see that although you have a 32 megapixel front facing camera video quality tops out at 1080p resolution which was a shame considering a lot of competition can record selfie videos at 4K and when you include the price of this device I would’ve thought it would’ve been included to but it’s hardly a deal breaker
Over on the back as where you find the camera set up each quite unique in its own right, and a little different from some of the competition have in their flagship devices to help stand out more.
First of all you get the 50 megapixel main wide camera which also has OIS for stabilisation and better night photos, this high resolution camera takes some fantastic photos, some of the best on a phone I have used to date which considering how many I have covered over the years, is saying a lot of the top quality.
Secondly comes the ultra wide which uses the same 50 megapixel sensor as the main camera, this means not only are the photos you take full of detail, but also there isn’t any difference in colour between the two which you often see when using the competition so keeps things more consistent, it actually means you can use the ultra wide angle and get some great shots that match the main camera.
You also get a 13 megapixel telephoto lens which allows two times optical zoom for getting closer to your subject this is also very good and full of detail and has let you go up to 5 times zoom hybrid with detail still in the shots and is very usable even when zoomed in, just don’t go too far as you will start to lose quality.
It’s the fourth camera that is what for some people will be stand out and that is a three megapixel microscope camera which features up to 60 times magnification to get super close and to see details you’ve never seen before.
Normally when you get really close to objects the shadow of the phone blocks out a lot of the light which causes a problem, the company have thought about this and have actually included a ring light around the microscope camera so you can get really close and not worry about any lighting problems, and this really does make a difference although how much you will actually use this camera is yet to be seen.
Some of the photos this microscope camera can take are really interesting and adds a whole new way of taking photos, how useful it will be depends on the reason the owner uses this mode, but getting super close to small animals, objects and even things like snow or ice really does make the photo stand out.
As expected you also get the option to portrait mode because of the quality of the camera is this phone has you get some very detailed shots very good at separation between the subject and what is in the background, this actually is one of the best phones for portrait photography I have used.
Video recording is very good offering 4K resolution at 60 frames a second however the test footage I did was recorded at 4K 30 frames a second because this is the most common see you online and means you can compare it to other devices I’ve reviewed recently
Something different this phone does have is the 10-bit video recording feature which manages to show off a very impressive 1 billion colours on this display, however the issue you might find is whilst it looks great watching back on the phone because it can support it, you may have problems viewing it back on non-supported devices including online as this technology is still very new but it’s nice to see included for the future.
Smart phones these days are all very repetitive offering very similar designs and features so it’s even harder to pick which one is best for you, however at least Oppo tried something different with the X3 Pro.
Whilst the screen will get a lot of attention because it is one of the best on any smart phone today, it’s the different approach to the cameras on the back that will make this phone stand out against the competition as well as the glass design.
The company decided to go with 2x 50 megapixel main cameras as well as a telephoto shooter for zoom shots, but then the unique feature is the microscope camera which although is very niche does at least make it a bit different to what else is out there.
Buying this phone is not cheap, to get it SIM free you’re looking at over £1000, thankfully there are monthly contract options available with many networks here in the UK so you can get a subsidised price and pay monthly instead, the big question is should you get this over the competition though.
I have to say that whilst Samsung will sell millions of their S21 range and Apple of course will shift the iPhone 12 by the millions as well, if you do want something a bit different both in design and features that this is a great choice to go for.
I was impressed with pretty much every aspect of this phone, and there’s nothing I can really find to put a negative mark against, the only thing I could think of is whilst the microscope camera is unique, for most people it will be forgotten about after a couple of photos show to your friends or family and without a case being used it is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.
Thankfully the main camera still pack a decent amount of detail to stand out and compete, plus the display and battery performance keep this right up there with the best of the bunch in early 2021.