Oppo Discover X3 Professional at your fingertips: Lastly a constant digital camera expertise

Oppo Find X3 Pro at your fingertips: Finally a consistent camera experience

The Oppo Find X2 Pro flew under the radar a little after its release and may suffer from an unfortunate timing when its announcement came just before the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world in 2020, but also because of its relatively high price and novelty Oppo as a brand outside of China. None of that affected its ability so I embraced its sequel, the Oppo Find X3 Pro, with welcoming arms.

I’ve tested the Find X3 Pro for a few days but haven’t spent enough time to review it fully. Instead, this will be an in-depth preliminary review with a preliminary rating of seven out of ten that can be updated over the next week or so once I have a better idea of ​​how the battery, software, and camera are performing on a daily basis.

Still, I’ve seen enough to know that the Find X3 Pro is designed to redefine the performance of the camera on a smartphone.

design

Oppo has done everything possible to make the Find X3 Pro look like no other flagship with an unusual unibody design. This means that the back of the phone has been forged from a single piece of glass, with the camera module rising up and enclosing the lenses in the top corner. It’s all a fluid plate and not separate parts. Oppo said it took 2,000 attempts in his lab to get the process and final look just right.

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The advantages lie in the 8.2 mm slim housing and the very clean shape of the device. There are really no sharp edges on the Find X3 Pro, as the corners and sides merge seamlessly into the next control panel. However, the curve where the aluminum case meets the screen is pronounced, so it’s not quite as comfortable to hold as the Galaxy S21 + or the Huawei P40 Pro, but the low weight of 193 grams prevents it from getting tired.

While the unibody shape is very noticeable, Oppo wasn’t particularly brave with the layout of the camera lenses, as it’s basically a mirror image of the iPhone 12 Pro, nor with the color. My test model is in matte blue, and while it’s pretty, it looks a lot like the Pacific blue of the iPhone 12 Pro. What Oppo gives in terms of forward-looking design it takes away with these derivative elements.

Oppo Find X3 Pro review power switch

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Oppo find x3 Pro Review Buttons

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Oppo Find x3 Pro Review Camera Bump

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Oppo Find x3 Pro Review with iPhone 12

Oppo Find X3 Pro (right) next to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro (left) Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Leave those little aspects aside, however, and the phone’s design has many good features. It’s a lot lighter than most of the other high-end smartphones that have recently hit the market. So it fits in my pocket without complaining. I can comfortably hold it at all times without it getting out of whack, and the matte finish makes it look clean too. The Oppo Find X3 Pro is a slim, elegant and modern looking smartphone.

screen

Here Oppo goes to Dr. Evil and starts talking a lot about a billion colors. The 6.7-inch AMOLED screen has a color depth of 10 bits or just over a billion colors and a color gamut of 100% DCI-P3. Oppo then had it professionally calibrated to make sure it was getting the most of its capabilities and we don’t have to mess around with tuning it ourselves. It should mean we can’t see color streaks or dithering like we can on smaller screens. The 10-bit color offers a QHD + resolution of 3216 x 1440, an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz, a brightness of 1,300 nits and HDR10 + support.

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According to Oppo, the Find X3 Pro delivers the best color reproduction on any smartphone. But can you really see on a screen this size? Before we get into that, let’s say how beautiful the Find X3 Pro’s screen is in general. The performance comes very close to that of the Samsung Galaxy S21 +, but not quite as bright in direct comparison. It certainly looks great for watching videos on YouTube and Netflix. But what about 10-bit color?

What is frustrating is that Oppo doesn’t tell you how to get the most out of the screen. I switched to cinema mode and watched several videos that were supposedly taken with a 10-bit capable camera and compared them to the Galaxy S21 +. I think there are differences as there are slightly fewer stripes visible on the Find X3 Pro, but these could easily be my eyes playing the pranks, simply because you have to look really carefully to see something “different”.

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A 10-bit DCI-P3 screen on a smartphone is very technically impressive, but I’m waiting to be convinced of any actual benefit to anyone looking at general content. I asked Oppo for clarification on how the Find X3 Pro’s screen works and how to best use its capabilities. I will update it as soon as I hear something and keep experimenting.

camera

When we get to the camera, there is more talk of a billion colors. That way, phone owners can enjoy the Find X3 Pro’s 10-bit color screen right out of the box, as you can capture 10-bit color photos and videos on it. This is done by flicking a switch in the settings menu so you can take photos in either 10-bit or normal mode. Shoot them in 10-bit quality and the images will be saved as High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) files, which can cause compatibility issues with viewing and editing.

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The 10-bit color feature feels extremely geeky and is currently only relevant to a small number of hardcore photographers. It also distracts from what actually makes the Find X3 Pro’s camera desirable – the use of two main cameras. The 50 megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor is used for both the main wide angle and ultra wide angle cameras. This means that the color and balance are the same for both cameras. This is a common complaint against other wide / ultra wide camera setups. These two cameras include a 13-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x hybrid zoom and 20x digital zoom, as well as an unusual 3-megapixel micro lens that can be used to take “microscope” photos with 60x zoom.

I’m only busy with the Find X3 Pro for about a hundred photos, but as of now, it’s the real deal. It not only takes beautifully balanced photos with breathtaking dynamic range and color management, but also for main and ultra-wide cameras.

oppo find x3 pro review main bank

Find the X3 Pro standard camera Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Oppo find x3 Pro rating broad bank

Find the X3 Pro ultra-wide camera Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

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Find the X3 Pro standard camera Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Oppo find x3 Pro rating broad sun

Find the X3 Pro ultra-wide camera Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The wide-angle example shown here with the bench under the tree would have looked very different on a different phone. Instead, it’s almost indistinguishable from the standard photo in terms of balance, shadow, and color. Wonderful. It’s also very hard to get the camera to misbehave, as you can see in the photo that is shooting in the sun.

What about the micro objective 60x microscope camera? Like a microscope, it’s insanely close to taking macro photos like you’ve never seen them before. The following example shows moss. It’s a gimmick, but it really does something that no other phone camera can, and while the results may not be the best quality, it is possible to really have fun with it. It’s definitely not a reason to buy the phone, but it’s a welcome change from a useless 2MP macro camera just to make room.

Oppo Find X3 Pro microscope photo mode. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

About the 10-bit color mode? I don’t have a 10-bit color monitor, as I suspect many others don’t either. Although my Mac Mini M1 can open HEIF files, they look the same on my screen as non-10-bit recordings. The Find X3 Pro’s camera is otherwise evolving to really deliver what we’ve wanted for a while: consistency between the main and wide-angle cameras, and that’s a significant advancement in mobile photography.

Performance, battery and software

The Oppo Find X3 Pro uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space, as well as 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 and a 4,500 mAh battery. There are two main areas that I need to spend even more time with the Find X3 Pro, software, and battery. Oppo’s ColorOS user interface, version 11.2, which was created here over Android 11, is integrated. It’s better than ever, but still frustrating and less sophisticated than competing systems from Samsung, OnePlus, and Google.

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For example, apps are spread across multiple home screens in the iOS style by default, and you can then clean up when you switch to the drawer layout. The icons are too square for my taste, the speed varies depending on what you’re doing (scrolling notifications is faster than the app drawer, for example), and the camera app often refuses to work, forcing you to close and reopen it.

This could be because I am using a pre-release version of the software. Hopefully everyone will improve with an update right before the launch. The battery is the other area that still needs evaluation, with performance so far being decent and around 30% of the battery being used for an hour and 45 minutes of general screen time without games. One day should be achievable, but not much else.

oppo find x3 pro review notifications

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oppo find x3 pro review apps

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Oppo Find X3 Pro Review 10-bit setting

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Oppo has added its massively fast SuperVOOC recharge. The 65W system delivers a full charge in just 35 minutes. We have tested this in the past and found that it works exactly as described. The Find X3 Pro also has 30W wireless charging and 10W reverse charging.

Price and availability

The Oppo Find X3 Pro has been announced for the UK, where it starts at £ 1,099 or around $ 1,527. It will be published and activated on April 14th via Oppo’s own online shop and sold with a contract via all major carriers. Oppo does not sell its phones in the US, but they are available as an import.

At £ 1,099, the Find X3 Pro faces the Galaxy S21 + and iPhone 12 Pro, which are both cheaper, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is slightly more expensive. It’s also facing competition from the upcoming OnePlus 9 Pro, which is likely to undercut the price too.

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While it’s too early to make a final judgment, at this point the Oppo Find X3 Pro certainly impressed me with its camera and its compact, lightweight design. The Find X2 Pro was Oppo’s best phone yet, and the Find X3 Pro seems to be doing things in a meaningful way, although the price tag is still a bit high. It remains to be checked whether the battery and the software can meet the same standard and whether the 10-bit color screen and the camera setting are relevant for normal people.

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