The hardware in Oppos’s new flagship is at the forefront. With a microscope camera, the smartphone even has a lively gimmick for marketing. But is that enough to be at the forefront? Our editors at TechGiig tested the Oppo Find X3 Pro and also took a close look at the software.
You may like to check our list of the best Oppo smartphones 2021.
This Oppo Find X3 Pro review will expose the good, the bad, and the ugly. And hopefully, will help you make the right purchasing decision.
Affiliate Disclosure: Just so you know, we’re an affiliate. Hence buy purchasing any item through the links embedded on this page, we may earn a small commission. That’s how we get rewarded for providing articles such as this for free.
Oppo Find X3 Pro Review: conclusion
TechGiig rating: 8.4 / 10
The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a damn big and relatively good phone that combines the crème de la crème of the components currently available in the Android sector. An excellent, albeit a little too dark display, stereo speakers, enormous performance, good battery capacity, and, above all, excellent charging speed can be seen in the market comparison.
The biggest weak point is the unconvincing software. Sloppiness in details, especially when it comes to UX and accessibility, as well as a lot of catching up to do with Samsung, Huawei, and Apple in data-supported photo processing, ruin the Find X3 Pro at the top of the top list of the best mobile phones.
Even the microscope cannot save it, which is a nice gimmick, but of no relevance to everyday life.
Nevertheless: Oppo’s star is rising. You have to have this company on your radar.
- Very good 120 Hertz display
- A lot of power
- Good battery life
- Blazingly fast battery charging time
- Stereo speakers
- Display partly too dark
- Camera weaknesses in motion and poor light
- No memory expansion
- Software lacks fine-tuning
- Fingerprint sensor too deep
Oppos industrial design is as always excellent, the Find X3 Pro at least “naked” a beauty with its glass back, which merges practically imperceptibly into the aluminum frame. The back of the glass also hides the flowing camera section – this is unique and a real eye-catcher.
The Find X3 Pro shines and reflects – and yet most buyers will not want to use it without a case. Thankfully, Oppo includes a black case that turns a fatally pretty piece of industrial design into a banal everyday object, but hey – no fingerprints. And the chance that the noble item will survive a fall is something too. Only then does the cell phone no longer look sexy, just … big.
Yes, the Find X3 Pro is huge, almost like a chocolate bar in hand. Operation with just one hand is hardly possible. Despite its ample weight, the Find X3 Pro is well balanced in the hand. Since the back was not designed symmetrically and the camera section was placed on the top left, the phone is doomed to shake forever when lying on the table.
The buttons are great: Power (right side) and volume (left side) are easy to grip and offer crisp pressure points. The only real negative point to be mentioned is the fingerprint sensor in the display, which is positioned significantly too low and, due to the enormous size of the device, worsens the ergonomics, which are already not outstanding. On the other hand, my normal-sized men’s hands got used to it in no time.
The screen is great! This is of course primarily due to the praiseworthy 120 Hz refresh rate. The advantages of AMOLED technology hardly needs to be mentioned, especially since most of the new smartphones on the market now have screens with the technology, the characteristics (intense, deep black levels, normally only mediocre brightness, burn-in) should be known.
Nevertheless, not all devices have 120 Hz today. Once you get used to its fluid response, it is difficult to switch back to a “normal” 60 Hz display.
The WQHD + display has a sharp resolution, a high maximum brightness, good color calibration, and an HDR. That’s commendable, but I’ll make a comment: Of all the current high-end display specifications that the Oppo taps, the high frame rate is the most useful because it is most clearly noticeable.
Clever: The display can also regulate the refresh rate dynamically (and imperceptibly to me) if 120 individual images do not have to be displayed. This helps to save a little battery and enables an always-on display with clocks that can also show seconds.
So is everything good with the display? Nearly. The tiny cutout hole for the front camera on the top left is hardly worth mentioning because you hardly notice it. The dynamic color calibration according to the ambient light (“natural color display”) did not work too well during the test period.
Sometimes abrupt changes in the color temperature were clearly noticeable on the display, but I didn’t notice a positive difference when the feature was switched off. Please wake me up when an Android mobile phone can only partially compete with Apple’s True Tone function.
In addition, the brightness in “field use”, ie in sunshine, was not always convincing, neither automatically nor manually adjusted. The always-on display is set so dark that outside in bright sunlight you can neither read the clock nor see where you have to press your thumb to unlock it.
In most situations, this won’t bother you, especially since after some time of use the muscle memory also helps with unlocking.
The display tapers slightly on the left and right, which can lead to annoying reflections with the sun behind you – though it’s not a serious problem.
Trigger warning: This section is a rant.
It’s not official yet, but there are a lot of indications that suggest that the parent company BBK would like to combine the software development of Oppo and OnePlus in the medium term.
That means: Color OS, as it also runs on the Oppo Find X3 Pro, will be used widely, Oxygen and Hydrogen (the Android variant used in China on OnePlus phones) will be merged with it.
The beginnings of this can be clearly seen in the Color OS of today, because practically the entire functionality of the Oxygen OS from Android is already included, for example, the off-screen gestures that I love so much (draw a V on the switched-off display to draw in the flashlight). So is Oppo’s operating system interpretation the best of both worlds?
Not necessarily, because with a large range of features comes great responsibility. And I’m not even alluding to the fear that because of the porting of all this functionality, Oppo will take longer to update Android versions.
No – it is already evident that the fundamental differences between Color and Oxygen OS are taking a toll in terms of accessibility and stability.
As a result, the software of the Oppo Find X3 Pro bothered me every day. Here are some examples in loose order:
- An app drawer is set up, but an icon is set up on the home screen by default for newly installed apps. The first time it is set up, this is done automatically with all apps restored from the old phone.
- When setting up the cell phone, the system reset the home screen to the delivery status several times, including all app shortcuts. Why? Not clear. One reason (but not an excuse) could be that I subsequently set up a company profile.
- In the home screen settings, I cannot delete entire home screen pages. This is only possible if I delete all elements individually.
- Setting up and resizing widgets is unnecessarily complicated and does not always work, for example with the clock widget.
- The screen-off gestures are hidden in a sub-menu and are nowhere near as reliable as with OnePlus. Example: Drawing a V on the switched-off screen turns the camera LED on for use as a makeshift flashlight, but when you enter it again – unlike OnePlus – it does not go off again. To do this, I have to press the power button.
- A dubious app manager is pre-installed that would like to install and update applications automatically, although these could just as easily land on the mobile phone via the Play Store.
- The Facebook app is pre-installed. You can stand by the service as you want (I no longer use Facebook myself), but if you want to install the app, you might as well download it yourself. At least the app can be uninstalled.
- In the settings, the menu item “Login” appears at the top. It does explain which various permissions the account setup requires, but not what it is necessary for. The wording vaguely speaks of having to register “to use the services”. When you start the setup, a modal dialog says on one hand “My Oppo” and on the other hand the “HeyTap” service. If you refuse this due to the questionable necessity and concerns about data protection (I was able to operate the phone without this account), the menu item will still remain indelible and take up unnecessary space in the settings.
- The shortcut for the quick start of the camera (press power twice briefly) does not work. As an alternative, there is an option hidden in the camera settings with which you can do something similar by pressing the volume down button twice, but this only works if no audio is currently being played.
- The text labels under app icons can only be up to 9 characters long and, if the title is longer, they can be cut off with an ellipsis (“Amazo …”, “Settings …”, “Google …”). Strangely enough, there would be room for a second line.
- An icon grid of 4 × 6 is set by default. Despite the gigantic screen, you can’t place more than 4 icons next to each other if you find the appropriate setting (press and hold on empty space on the home screen → layout).
- If you tap on an app folder on the home screen, it opens in almost full screen. This makes one-handed use almost impossible – for a gigantic device like the Oppo Find X3 Pro.
- If you use Google Maps for navigation, the corresponding notification does not disappear after reaching the destination and cannot be removed manually. Only a restart helps.
- There are some Oppo-owned apps that are preinstalled, for example for short messages, the clock app, calculator, music, or a photo gallery. Apart from the music app (Play Music is dead as a service, the vulture knows why Google is still asking its device partners to install it), this seems unnecessary. Why reinvent the wheel with your own developments and not just include the Google apps, which are better anyway? Also strange: The pocket calculator requires network authorization – why? “I don’t know”.
- A side tab based on the Samsung model is active by default, which you can use to quickly start apps by swiping. Yes, some users might like that – but most of them should be better off with the approach “What I need quickly, I put it on the home screen myself”.
- When you restart the operating system, while you are entering the device code or password, you are suddenly interrupted by the prompt to enter the SIM PIN. After entering the PIN, I can enter the device code from the beginning.
- The UI appears inconsistent and not “fine-tuned” in many details.
- Example colors: Much white on light gray in the notifications. The quick settings are sometimes difficult to see thanks to their white and light green color scheme. Why doesn’t Oppo pay attention to more legible contrasts here?
- If the battery level is displayed as a percentage in the notification bar, the icon and font are much too small to be readable.
- In general, the UI doesn’t seem to stick to my font size settings in some places.
- The frosted glass look in the background of app folders does not fit into the rest of the picture.
It may look like I complain a lot, after all, you can catch a lot of problems by using a launcher like Nova.
But: If you look at the cell phones from a cross-section of the population, you will find that many home screens are not curated, but left as specified by the system.
In short: Oppos software could be accused of being Samsungized or Huaweiized in its current state – or simply summarized under the label “mass of features instead of optimization class”. It’s actually a shame because, with the OnePlus software approach, there is a much better alternative in-house, which Oppo devices would also look good on.
To be fair: software is patchable, it will be interesting to see how Android 12 looks and works on the Oppo Find X3 Pro when it comes. I also noticed a few things positively.
Oppo has preinstalled a compass app that also contains a spirit level. Banal, but both tools that a) you can always need and for which b) the alternatives in the Play Store fluctuate somewhere between dubious quality and malware.
The included screen recorder and rolling screenshots are functions that you would also want in stock Android. Power users enjoy the split-screen mode that opens with a three-finger swipe gesture and the quick start option for important apps and functions if you swipe in certain directions with your fingerprint after unlocking.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro convinced me in terms of runtime per battery charge – even though the display was set to the native resolution of WQHD + and a high refresh rate, the device was repeatedly set to high-performance mode (which, however, always turned itself off ).
Of course, under pandemic conditions, my own mobility is restricted, but even on “more active days” I was unable to ride the battery down. With moderate use and slightly defensive display brightness (manually to 60 to 70%), you can easily achieve a total runtime of more than one and a half days and a screen on time of 4 to 5 hours per charge.
Thank you, dear 4,500 mAh Li-Polymer battery.
Sure, if you record a lot of high-resolution videos or play performance-intensive games such as Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact, and the like, you have to expect less, but you can at least enjoy the load speed.
Oppo and OnePlus have always been groundbreaking with their charging technology (VOOC, WarpCharge, DashCharge are different names for the same technology). Compared to the last device from the group that I tested, the OnePlus 7T from autumn 2018, something has changed significantly.
The charging speed via the included 65 W power supply is 10 minutes from 0 to 40% according to the manufacturer. In reality, you can even manage a tad more than 40% in this time – great.
It is also wrong that the charging speed hardly decreases with increasing battery levels. In other words: No matter how empty – the phone will be completely full in under half an hour.
Since the cell phone is almost never completely empty in everyday life, you can be sure that you will always get enough juice for the day with 10 to 15 minutes of charging.
The classic mobile phone charging behavior – plugging it in in the evening, plucking it off in the morning – can thus be neglected. It is enough to charge while you drink your morning coffee or munch your cornflakes or shower or go to the toilet a little longer … I think you understand what I’m getting at.
However, it should be mentioned that the power supply is huge, which means: much more voluminous than the chargers from Google, Samsung, and OnePlus. When traveling, it is better to take a more compact slow charger with you if you have to pay attention to the pack size.
The fact that the Oppo Find X3 can also be charged wirelessly with its own separately available power supply unit.
There is nothing wrong with the sound when telephoning – this applies to both directions, i.e. the earpiece and microphone. However, the sound of the stereo speakers is not entirely convincing.
Due to the design, the lower / right loudspeaker does not radiate in the direction of the user, but in the direction of the hand. You know from numerous other devices and are not really wild. Mentioned in the margin: An OTA update during the test period alleviated the problem that the two loudspeakers were differently loud, so everything is okay on this front.
Certainly not relevant for everyone, but a cool gimmick is working with Hans Zimmer for the ringtones. Yes, the Hans Zimmer, of the soundtracks of The Lion King, Inception, Dunkirk, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and many more. The ringtones sound good.
Performance and Features
Depending on the variant, 8 or 12 GB RAM (I had 12 GB, but I strongly doubt that you will notice a difference with 8 GB), 256 GB faster UFS 3.1 storage. The Oppo Find X3 Pro has everything an Android device can have in summer 2021. Except for a micro-SD slot, but most of them are unlikely to miss this due to the internal memory. And that’s pretty much everything. Or?
No, because raw data hardly say anything about performance. Benchmarks not necessarily either, but for the sake of completeness here are a handful of results for comparison:
- GFXBench Aztec OpenGL native: 1,568 frames / 24 FPS
- Geekbench single-core: 1,120
- Geekbench Multi-Core: 3,371
- 3Dmark Wild Life: 5,757
The Oppo Find X3 Pro gets warm to hot during a long-term high performance, tested in the 3D-Mark Wildlife stress test and a half-hour Call of Duty Mobile session. It’s still bearable when you hold it in your hand, but not necessarily pleasant.
I did not notice such a significant development of heat in everyday life and the dissipation of heat via the case is a principally desired effect, even if it seems intuitively wrong. If it gets too warm, just give your smartphone a bit of rest – but please not in direct sunlight and not in the refrigerator.
The device runs really smoothly, in every situation and also when playing. Two points should be mentioned where, in my opinion, it stands out positively from the devices of past generations, and noticeably: The storage of data is subjectively much faster.
When installing an app from the Play Store, for example, the Oppo just shovels the megabytes onto the NAND, something I’ve never seen before. The other point: you can even feel a striking difference to a device running smoothly at 60 FPS thanks to the 120 Hz panel. This is of course due to the higher frame rate, see above, and the associated lower input lag.
Inputs are not only implemented more frequently but also with less time offset on the screen. You can understand this effect with the icon test: First press and hold a home screen icon to move it. Then swipe the icon quickly across the screen. The smaller the distance between icon and finger when moving, the less the icon “pulls”, the lower the input lag and the more efficient the system feels overall. With the Oppo Find X3 Pro, the gap is astonishingly small, not to say: hardly there.
There were no abnormalities with the connections or the sensors – which is good news. Whether GPS, compass, acceleration sensor, 4G speed or WLAN, call quality in or out – the Oppo find X3 Pro was able to convince.
In simple terms, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is insanely fast.
The camera performance nowadays is the most important property of a smartphone in the premier class. But how does the Find X3 Pro perform in a sector in which even pixel devices take excellent photos for a little over $300?
In one sentence: good, but not good enough for a $1,000 smartphone.
The Oppo phone has four lenses on the back. The normal wide-angle lens is joined by an ultra-wide-angle and a 2 × zoom lens. Great, because that makes photography with the Find X3 Pro very flexible.
The microscope is an additional delicacy. Yes, you read that correctly: The Find X3 has a microscope lens with which, with a little effort and practice, you can record handsome images of a world that otherwise remain closed to the human eye: textiles, wood fibers, grass and leaves – all of that can be zoomed in up to 60x with the Oppo Find X3 and captured in square images, e.g. here:
Cool: The ring around the microscope lens is illuminated so that the subject is always well illuminated. The microscope works, but the plane in which the subject is sharp is so tiny that you have to jerk around and try things out a lot until you have a sharp image, to do this you have to almost touch the subject.
To be honest: You almost never use the microscope in everyday life, but the feature is well suited as a little gimmick to show off or to keep children busy for a few minutes. For Oppo, it makes sense as a sales argument in the smartphone luxury class that no other manufacturer has so far been able to offer – marketing and USPs, as niche as they may be, are ultimately factors that influence sales decisions.
Back to the standards: when the lighting conditions are good, the Oppo produces beautiful pictures. Beautiful in a similar sense as makeup, CGI and a well-meaning camera knows how to flatter a Hollywood beauty. Because reality is not depicted here, but an interpretation, a dramatization with a bluer sky, greener grass, stronger contrasts and raised sharpness.
This suits many cell phone photographers (and frankly me too) who want to produce presentable pictures above all, but that’s not realistic. At least it can be said that the Oppo is able to capture a high dynamic range and the HDR automatic is convincing in good lighting conditions.
Incidentally, this also applies to the 2 × zoom lens and the good front camera (which, however, tends a little too much to “beautifully” paint faces). The ultra-wide-angle lens is a nice goodie, but it produces images that have problems with details. Switching between different lenses is also very noticeable in videos. The good sound in video recordings, which in turn is well stabilized and can be recorded in up to 4K60, should be positively emphasized.
Where the Oppo shows weaknesses is when the light becomes diffuse or even dark. The images are not only darker, noisier, and even worse overall than those of the two-and-a-half-year-old Pixel 3, which is currently my daily driver. This also applies to portraits that contrast too strongly and produce unnatural, “flat” skin tones, even when the ambient light is slightly worse than perfect.
The optionally usable night mode helps a little with scenery but requires extremely long periods of stillness. In addition, fast movements in particular are not captured well and appear washed out. A real handicap for anyone who owns cats or has children – because, as is well known, they never stand still at the crucial moment.
One might argue that the comparison to the pixel is unfair because Google, with its AI power and almost infinite developer resources, has completely different options in the field of computational photography. I reply: No, that is exactly the core of the problem.
Because cell phone photography today is largely defined by the quality of the software that runs on the devices. It adds up different individual images, reduces image noise, reconstructs “invisible” details, and adds effects such as artificial bokeh. The mobile phones from Apple, Google, and Huawei are market leaders here, and Samsung has caught up a lot. Oppos group parent, however, still has to go a long way in this area.
By the way, that doesn’t mean that the Oppo Find X3 Pro takes bad photos. Not at all, the autofocus is reliable, the images are usually good enough to be viewed on the display and shared on Instagram. Yes, even with various devices that were considered high-end camera phones 3 years ago, the Oppo Find X3 Pro wipes the floor. Nevertheless, given the rapid progress in machine learning, it is lagging behind the industry giants.
We come to the overall ranking. You can find the conclusion at the beginning of the article.
|category||Rating (max. 10)|
|Processing, feel and design||10|
|Telephony and audio||9|
|Battery and everyday life||9|
|total average on 10||8.4|
Technical data for the Oppo Find X3 Pro
|Dimensions||163.6 mm × 74 mm × 8.3 mm|
|resistance||waterproof and dustproof according to IP68|
|operating system||Android 11, ColorOS 11|
|Display||AMOLED, 6.7 inches, WQHD + (3,216 × 1,440 pixels, aspect ratio ~ 20: 9), 525 ppi, 120 Hz variable, HDR10 +|
|SoC||Snapdragon 888 (Octa-Core-CPU), Adreno-660-GPU|
|communication||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, LTE, 5G / 5G-SA, dual SIM (Nano / eSIM) with dual standby, NFC, USB-C 3.1|
|Internal memory||256 GB (not expandable)|
|Cameras||50 MP wide angle, f / 1.8, 26 mm, 1 / 1.56 ″, 1.0 µm, OIS|
13 MP telephoto with 2 × optical zoom, f / 2.4, 52 mm
50 MP ultra wide angle, f / 2.2, 16 mm, 110˚, 1 / 1.56 ″, 1.0 µm
3 MP microscope with 60 × magnification, f / 3.0, AF, ring light
32 MP selfie / wide angle, f / 2.4, 26 mm, 1 / 2.8 ″, 0.8 µm
Rear video: 4K to 60 FPS, 1080p to 240 FPS, HDR10
Front video: 1080p30
|battery pack||4,500 mAh|