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OPPO Find X3 review: high-end flagship for less than 650 euros

OPPO Find X3 review header
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2021 TechnikNews )

OPPO presented the new one in March Find X3 series, in which the Pro model particularly stood out with its extremely good equipment and the high recommended retail price of 1.149 euros. It is without question one of the best smartphones on the market, but the MSRP seems a bit too high, especially when you compare it to the cheaper OnePlus 9 Pro, which has hardly any disadvantages. So it seems as if the X3 Pro hardly has a chance in this country and this becomes even more apparent when we take a closer look at the normal OPPO Find X3.

There are hardly any notable differences compared to the Pro model. Under the hood "only" the Snapdragon 870 works instead of the 888, which is also "only" supported by 8 GB of RAM and it is also not officially IP68 protected against the ingress of water and dust. Otherwise, it offers the same hardware as the X3 Pro and costs no more than 650 euros in Chinese shops, which sounds good, but customers must be aware that this is a Chinese smartphone without Google apps ex works, because that the regular X3 is unfortunately not available in Europe. In the following lines, you can find out whether the X3 is perhaps the better option compared to the Pro model due to its significantly lower price, or whether a Chinese smartphone is not worthwhile in this country.

Haptics, design and processing

Comparing the OPPO Find X3 with the Find the X2 Pro from last year, you will quickly notice the minimally more compact form factor, which is not only suggested by the numbers on the paper of 163,6 mm in height and 74 mm in width, but is also noticeable in everyday life. Due to the slightly rounded edges on the front and back, the smartphone looks even a tad narrower in the hand, which definitely facilitates one-handed operation. Nevertheless, the X3 is anything but small and those who have not been able to make friends with larger smartphones in the past, the X3 is not the right choice either. Nevertheless, I would like to praise OPPO for making the device relatively compact despite the huge 6,7 inch display. The weight of 193 grams is absolutely okay and the thickness of 8,26 mm also fits perfectly with the rest of the design.

The frame is made of high-gloss metal and feels extremely high quality. However, the transition to the back is not perfect, which gives a minimally sharp-edged feel in the hand, but that is really grumbling on a very high level. Due to the high-gloss finish, the frame is also very susceptible to fingerprints and should probably have minor scratches over time.

Both the front and the back are made of glass. The color I tested, white, is even matt and therefore extremely immune to fingerprints. Even after days without cleaning, you can hardly see any annoying fingerprints. OPPO has managed that as well as hardly any other manufacturer. The blue color is very similar, whereas the black model is the complete opposite. The surface is shiny and extremely reflective. As long as the back is not smeared with fingerprints, which is almost inevitable with this color, the smartphone can be used as a mirror.

In summary, I can say that the OPPO Find X3 - due to the choice of materials of glass and metal - feels very high quality, which is unfortunately no longer too understandable nowadays, even in this price range.

Standalone camera design or iPhone copy?

In addition to the beautiful colors, the camera design immediately catches the eye, which was already very controversial before the launch. Is it an iPhone copy or a standalone design? This is exactly the question I asked myself shortly after the performance and at first I wasn't sure until I picked up the device for the first time. The positioning of the individual sensors is of course very much reminiscent of that of the current iPhones, which cannot be denied, but I also see OPPO's own ideas: not only the camera hill, but also the area around it, rises slightly from the back, what about the looks beautiful on the one hand and feels very smooth on the other. The word "sharp-edged" is absolutely out of place here.

Personally, I like the new camera design very much because they tried something new and implemented it well. The similar positioning of the sensors as with Apple doesn't bother me at all personally, but that's a matter of taste.

Front nothing special anymore

A 6,7-inch display dominates the front, the quality of which we will take a closer look at in a moment. It is interrupted by a small punch hole in the left corner, in which there is space for the front camera, and the edges around the screen are pleasantly thin, even if hardly anything has changed here compared to last year. Most smartphones now look like this, but that doesn't mean I don't like the front. On the contrary, I really like it, which is also due to the slightly rounded edges that never bothered me in everyday life.

Good workmanship and positioning of the keys

I have absolutely no reason to criticize the workmanship. The Find X3 makes a high-quality impression, the keys have a good pressure point, sit bomb-proof in the case and are easy to reach.

Display - (almost) one of the best OLED panels

The screen has a diagonal of 6,7 inches, has a razor-sharp resolution of 3.216 x 1.440 pixels and supports a fluid refresh rate of 120 Hertz, which means that the image is updated up to 120 times within a second. Paired with the Snapdragon 870, the Find X3 feels extremely smooth to use.

Thanks to the OLED technology, the black level is at an extremely high level and there is also the excellent color rendering, which can be adjusted to your own taste in the settings with just a few clicks. While the colors are rendered realistically in the “Gentle” color mode, they appear a little too saturated for my taste in the “Vivid” mode. The white value is also great.

However, there are a few other smartphones with the maximum brightness, especially the Samsung Galaxy s21 ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro and even that P40 Pro +, even better, although of course you have to consider the significantly higher RRPs of the respective smartphones. For less than 650 euros, the maximum brightness is really good, because I had no problems with readability even in direct sunlight. Last but not least, I would like to briefly report on the viewing angle stability, which I liked very much. The colors only change a little when viewed from the side at extreme angles, and white content in particular then appears slightly yellow.

Software - ColorOS

The in-house user interface ColorOS in version 11, based on Android 11, is used as software. The in-house software has less to do with stock Android because it is quite colorful and sometimes confusing, especially the settings. Otherwise, I actually really like ColorOS, as there are many additional and personalization functions. For example, you can adapt the colors of the UI to your own taste or change the symbol style. There is also a good night mode and ingenious gesture control.

No Google Play Store pre-installed from the factory

Since this is a Chinese smartphone, no Google Play Store is pre-installed from the factory, although the online shop, for example TradingShenzhen this pre-installed. If you buy the Find X3 and can't find a Google Play Store, you can easily install it:

  • Opens the in-house browser.
  • Search for "APK Pure". APK Pure is an app store from which almost all apps can be downloaded.
  • After installing it, open the app and search for “Google Play Store”.
  • Click on "install".
  • You should now be able to find the Google Play Store on the start screen or in the app drawer. Now you can open it, log in with your Google account and then delete the APK Pure Store, as we no longer need it.
  • Once you have successfully registered, you can start installing your apps.

No German as a system language

Unfortunately you can only choose between English, French and Chinese for the system languages. Unfortunately, the Find X3 cannot be used in German. If that bothers you, you should probably not use the OPPO Find X3.

Otherwise you don't have to make any further compromises, not even with the reception, because luckily the Find X3 Band 20 is on board. I had very good reception in everyday life and I couldn't see any differences to global smartphones.

Performance - the box runs despite the Snapdragon 870

Under the hood, the Snapdragon 870 from Qualcomm works with 8 GB of RAM and either 128 or 256 GB of internal storage that cannot be expanded.

The Snapdragon 870 is a slightly better Snapdragon 865+ from the previous year. So on paper it is a bit weaker than the Snapdragon 888, but in everyday life and probably also in the next few years you should probably not notice this minimal difference. The Snapdragon 870 is completely sufficient, especially for the offered price of less than 650 euros.

Apps start and close extremely quickly, stuttering and delays are virtually in vain here and the operating speed is at a very high level overall. In addition, there is the smooth refresh rate of 120 Hertz, which makes animations noticeably smoother. It's just fun to use the Find X3 in everyday life. Even with more complex games, the smartphone never reaches its limits. With a little more intensive use it gets a little warmer, but that is completely normal. A Xiaomi Mi 11, for example, gets significantly warmer with more complex things, and now and then also in everyday use.

Only in terms of RAM management can the X3 not quite keep up with more expensive Android smartphones. Sometimes apps in the background are closed a little too early for my taste, but it doesn't really bother me in everyday life.

Battery - full extremely quickly

OPPO has equipped the Find X3 with a 4.500 mAh battery that can be quickly charged with up to 65 watts using the included power supply. The battery is fully charged in just under 30 minutes, which is extremely impressive. Samsung and Apple can learn a slice of this from here. The Find X3 is also right at the top when it comes to wireless charging. It can be charged quickly with up to 30 watts.

OPPO Find X3 Charging

Thanks to the 65 watt Fast Charge, the battery is fully charged in just under half an hour. (Picture: TechnikNews)

The battery life then doesn't stand out quite as positively as the extremely fast charging times. However, it is not bad either, as my measured screen-on-time values ​​of 8 and sometimes even 9 hours show. If you use it more intensively, the screen-on-time drops to about 7 hours, which is still enough for me to get through a day without a charge. However, if that's not enough for you, you can set the display resolution to FHD + and / or the refresh rate to 60 Hertz. That takes you about 1,5 hours more. Overall, I am satisfied with the battery life considering the capacity and the power-hungry display.

Camera - good with daylight, very good with lowlight

When it comes to cameras, the Chinese manufacturer is taking a slightly different path than last year with the Find X3 and X3 Pro. They concentrate on the main and ultra-wide-angle cameras and neglect the zoom camera, which apparently is not that important to the majority. While the X2 Pro from the previous year still had a 5x optical telecamera on board, objects can now only be optically enlarged twice. The resolution is 2 megapixels. OPPO uses the same IMX 13 sensor with 766 megapixels for the main and ultra-wide angle cameras. This setup is complemented by a 50 megapixel microscope camera. The front camera has a resolution of 3 megapixels.

OPPO Find X3 camera

The Find X3's quad camera. (Picture: TechnikNews)

Starting with the main camera, which can convince across the board in good lighting conditions. Both the dynamic range and the sharpness are very good. Every now and then, in direct backlight, there are isolated lens reflections, but this is limited and is not better with other smartphones. The sharpness is very natural, so unlike some other manufacturers, there is no artificially sharpening here. Nevertheless, I find Huawei a bit better in terms of sharpness and OnePlus can keep up very well. As is typical for OPPO, the color reproduction is unfortunately unnatural. Despite deactivated AI scene recognition, the X3 tends to have very saturated colors, which I don't really like, but that's a matter of taste. You can edit the color rendering afterwards according to your own taste, so that's not so bad. It would be much worse if the sharpness weren't good, because sharpness can hardly be improved with editing. However, the greatest strength is found in Lowlight. The night mode exposes for a few seconds and produces extremely natural and sharp images. I even like it a lot better here than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and even the Huawei P40 Pro + has to admit defeat to the Find X3 in poor light conditions.

The ultra-wide-angle camera at Lowlight is absolutely amazing, especially when it comes to color reproduction and sharpness. Even last year's Huawei P40 Pro +, which in my opinion had the best ultra-wide-angle camera at Lowlight, has to admit defeat to the X3. However, the tide turns in good lighting conditions. The sharpness can also convince here, but I still find the P40 Pro + a bit better here, whereas the dynamic range is almost unrivaled.

I would also like to positively highlight the good color balance between the main and ultra-wide-angle camera. It's not perfect, but no other manufacturer is currently doing it as well as OPPO with the Find X3.

The 2x zoom shots are okay for the price, but I would have liked at least a 3x optical zoom. Up to 5x magnification, the images can still be used to some extent, but even then the sharpness that can be improved and the too pale color reproduction are noticeable negatively. However, the current iPhones and the Find X3 Pro shouldn't really be better here either.

With the microscope camera, you can take totally impressive pictures. It is extremely difficult to get the focus and the images could of course be a little sharper, but it is still impressive and I hope that we will see this more often in the future.

The front camera is completely sufficient for one or the other selfie, but nothing more. Despite the high resolution of 32 megapixels, there is a lack of sharpness and faces are reproduced too softly despite deactivated filters.

Test photos

Let's take a look at a few test photos. The following images are absolutely unprocessed, but compressed without loss in order to keep loading times and memory consumption of the website low.

Comparison with the OnePlus 8 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro +

Last but not least, we want to compare the camera with the competition in various situations. I decided on the one hand for the OnePlus 8 Pro because it is in a similar price range and on the other hand for the Huawei P40 Pro + to see whether the OPPO can really compete at the top.

Daylight

In daylight, both the P40 Pro + and the OnePlus 8 Pro can keep up very well. Above all, the color rendering is much more natural in both. In terms of sharpness, the Huawei wins for me, but OPPO is ahead in terms of dynamic range. Unfortunately, the Find X3 can no longer really keep up with zoom shots.

low light

For me, the Find X3 clearly wins with both the main and the ultra-wide-angle camera. The recordings become noticeably sharper and convince with a visibly more accurate color reproduction. When it is extremely dark, Huawei takes even brighter photos, while OPPO takes a bit sharper photos.

Others - speakers, vibration motor and more

The stereo speakers ensure a very loud and clear sound. A OnePlus 9 Pro or Mi 11 are a bit better here, but overall I was very satisfied here.

The built-in vibration motor is neither the best nor the worst in the price range from 600 to 700 euros. It gives a very high quality feeling in the hand and sounds anything but disturbing. A OnePlus 8T, for example, is a little better here, but where a Vivo X60 Pro is significantly worse. Overall, I was quite satisfied here.

The smartphone can be unlocked using the fingerprint sensor integrated into the display, which is positioned a bit too far down for my taste, but I got used to it after a few days. It reacts extremely quickly and unlocks the device very reliably. Together with the OnePlus 9 Pro, it is currently one of the best optical in-display fingerprint sensors for me.

Finally, let's take a look at another difference compared to the X3 Pro, namely the water resistance. While the Pro model is protected against the ingress of water and dust according to IP68, the regular X3 lacks such an official certification, although it is supposed to be just as waterproof. OPPO probably only saved the money for the certification.

Summary

The OPPO Find X3 is basically a minimally weaker Find X3 Pro, which does not have any major weaknesses for less than 650 euros. Especially the main and ultra wide angle camera at Lowlight, the unique microscope camera, the beautiful and high quality design, the terrific performance and the extremely fast charging are extremely positive. It convinced me all along the line and I think it's a shame that it's not available in Europe, because most people would probably have been more than enough.

If the points just mentioned are important to you, you don't necessarily want to spend 1.000 euros on a high-end flagship smartphone and gets by with a Chinese smartphone (no German as the system language and no Google Play Store ex works), you can use the OPPO Find X3. The current surcharge of at least 80 euros to the Chinese X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro would not be worth it to me.

However, if you don't want to import a smartphone from China and / or need German as the system language, you shouldn't use the Find X3 and get a global OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 9, Xiaomi Mi 11 or Samsung Galaxy S21 for a similar price take a closer look.

Buy OPPO Find X3

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General note on articles in the "OPPOblog"

This article is in TechnikNews OPPOblog published - the very own blog for OPPO fans. OPPOblog reports independently and is not operated by the "OPPO" brand.

Fabian Menzel

Fabian has been part of since mid-September 2020 TechnikNews and regularly provides the site with various news, but also with some test reports on smartphones. He's having a lot of fun and is extremely grateful to have such a great team by his side. In his spare time he likes to listen to music and occasionally takes photos with his Huawei P50 Pro.

Fabian has already written 242 articles and left 20 comments.

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I am interested in buying either Oppo Find X3 or Oppo Find X3 Pro. I see that both phones have same camera hardware but do they also take same images? Basically, does non-pro variant produces same images as Pro variant considering that also CPU and software have effect on how images will look like at the end?

Another question. Does pro variant offer any additional photo/camera features that non-pro variant doesn't?

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