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OPPO Find X Review - The Return of the Sliders!

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The OPPO Find X caught attention because of its bezel-less design with no notch and the  motorized pop-up camera that reminds us of slider phones from the 2,000s!
OPPO Find X Review - The Return of the Sliders!
OPPO Find X


In our first impressions, we noted that OPPO has succeeded in creating a premium flagship phone that could possibly compete with the flagships of Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.

Even if it had "questionable" durability, it has a stunning design with features like the Samsung curved display, pop-up cameras, and 3D face unlock.

How does it stack up after a month of use? Let's find out!

Display Quality

Stunning display
Stunning display

The display is what OPPO calls the "panoramic arc display" with its 6.4-inch Curved Gorilla Glass protected Super AMOLED FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution display at 403 ppi.

Near edge-to-edge screen with no notch!

It is a massive display that encompasses 93.8 percent of the front with very little bezels. The screen is not as sharp, bright or vibrant as the Note9, but unless you place them side by side, you wouldn't notice.

The curved glass sides adds to the immersions and OPPO even has brilliant notification light animations along these curves. The angle of the curve is also sharper and steeper than the Note9's so its a little rougher to hold. This is a nit pick.

Like the problem with Samsung's curved sides, it was difficult to accurately pick the characters at the edges of the keyboard because of the angle.

There is a light sensor and auto-brightness is on by default while the blue light filter is there and you can set it manually or a predetermined schedule.

It has a setting that allows you to set the display towards a warmer color or to a colder color.

It has full 10 point multi-touch display that is perfect for multimedia consumption and gaming that needs multiple simultaneous inputs.

Audio Quality

Single firing speaker below
Single firing speaker below

It has a single downward firing speakers. Our first unit that we unboxed in a Facebook live had significant distortion at maximum volume. I am happy to report that this is no longer present with our second and current unit. 

The sound it produces is loud but surprisingly deep with distinct separation of notes, decent sized sound stage with good details. It would have been even better if it was stereo speakers given the price of the phone.

It comes with OPPO's standard earpods inspired earphones that connects via USB Type-C. This means you can't charge the phone while using the earphones. It comes with a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack if you wanted to use your own earphones.

Microphone quality for calls and audio recording is good. There is decent isolation and the sound remains detailed. This is the same with video recording.

Battery Life

10 hours and 42 minutes!

In our usual PC Mark Battery benchmark, the OPPO Find X's 3,730mAh battery lasted for around 6 hours in our first test.

After the subsequent software updates, it lasted around 10 hours and 41 minutes.

Pretty good battery life!

In our daily use, we would unplug at 8AM and by 8PM we would be reaching 20 to 25 percent.

This is with constant LTE/WiFi connection with texting, calling, emails, Chrome web surfing, messenger, Instagram and YouTube streaming, it would last around 8 to 9 hours. It is consistent with the battery test.

The OPPO Find X also has the VOOC flash charging technology. 

We were able to charge 10 to 100 percent in less than one hour of its 3,730mAh battery.

It is even faster than Dash charging of OnePlus. Because in the same amount of time, it was able to charge a larger capacity battery.

Camera

The pop-up cameras!
The pop-up cameras!

The camera is a 16MP f/2.0 Sony IMX519 and 20MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376k that both have PDAF, OIS, AI Recognition, and LED flash.
The camera UI with AI
The camera UI with AI

The rear camera has several modes like Photo (Auto), Video, Time-Lapse, Portrait, Sticker, Pano and Expert (Pro).
The pro mode
The pro mode

In auto mode you can switch between aspect ratios, time limit, HDR and flash while in time-lapse there is only a record button.

In portrait mode you get the classic artificial bokeh and AI powered simulated light effects like RIM light, Face light, BI-Color light (dual color sources), Canvas light, and Local light.

The Sticker mode returns where in it scans for faces and imposes an animated graphics on top like in Snapchat. There are now more stickers than ever and a lot can be downloaded from OPPO servers.

Last is the classic Panorama wherein you move the camera along the same axis.

Last is the Expert mode or OPPO's pro mode where in you can manually change the White Balance, EV (+/- 2), ISO (100 to 3200), Shutter Speed (1/8000 to 16s), and autofocus.

Most of the settings of the camera is hidden away in the main settings menu which makes it difficult to quickly make changes. This is a major source of annoyance. This ended up being the reason why we almost always just went with Full Auto because it would be an annoyance to try and customize our shots how we wanted them to be.

Flagship worthy camera!

When we opened it the camera performance was good but it wasn't flagship grade. A week after a software update was released that reported here.

After this update the camera performance improved significantly. The images are sharp, color is accurate but with a pop to it and the contrast is strong.  Indoor and lowlight performance also has significant dynamic range in some conditions.

Noise in lowlight is also lesser after the major update.

However it doesn't beat the Note9's or the P20 Pro's cameras, but it could compete in some situations.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Portrait outdoor
Portrait outdoor
Close-up 1
Close-up 1
Close-up 2
Close-up 2
Close-up 3
Close-up 3
Dim portrait selfie
Dim portrait selfie
Night 1
Night 1
Night 2 1/2s
Night 2 1/2s

The selfie camera is a whopping 25MP f/2.0 Sony IMX576 with 3D AI Beauty Technology and AI Portrait Mode! It is also wide enough to fit around 7 people in one groufie.
Selfie UI
Selfie UI

It has the same modes in the rear camera like The rear camera has several modes like Photo (Auto), Video, Time-Lapse, Portrait, Sticker and Pano. 

The daylight images from the selfie camera have high resolution or sharpness with colors that pop and strong contrast. In fact the sharpness is ridiculous for a selfie camera as all our flaws are clearly seen. 

The AI beautification helps this with up to 6 levels of beautification. We recommend using the AI mode only as it is smart enough to soften the flaws and beautify the subject in an almost natural way.

Lowlight selfies show noticeably softening from the noise reduction. There is minimal noise visible but it is clear that the noise reduction was strong enough to soften the image but maintain minimal color cast. The image itself is good. Not great though.

The AF in lowlight is good. It is able to detect faces accurately and quickly, but not as fast as in daylight.

Selfie Camera Samples

Well-lit selfie
Well-lit selfie
Indoor well-lit
Indoor well-lit
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Dim with flash
Dim with flash
Lowlight with flash
Lowlight with flash

The rear facing Stealth dual cameras can shoot up to 4K while the selfie camera can shoot up to 1080p but  both have no indication of frame rates.

The 4K footage from the main camera however is sharp with good contrast and color but can be shaky when shooting walking footage. In lowlight, the resolution/sharpness is reduced because of some noise but it is negligible with minimal color cast.

OPPO also added a slow motion mode for you to try.

The footage from the selfie video is sharp with good detail but can be thrown off by a dominating color source like a red umbrella. Otherwise in normal daylight conditions the white balance is good.

Video Samples


Performance

AnTuTu and Geekbench score
AnTuTu and Geekbench score

The Find X is running on the 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor and Adreno 630 with a whopping 8GB RAM and a massive 256GB ROM of storage.

Blazing fast speed!

On paper, this makes the OPPO Find X on par if not better than some of the flagships out for the price. Some flagships only offer 6GB and 128GB of storage out of the box.

In real world use, the phone runs through apps and daily tasks like butter. Even connecting to another device via Bluetooth or WiFi is a quicker experience.


In games like PUBG, it runs smoothly without problems at all high settings. One gripe we had is that the curved glass at the front and on the back makes it a little harder to hold the phone for long play sessions because of how slippery the phone is. The case that comes with the retail version remedies this.

There is a "Game Space" in the settings where you have gaming focused modes like Graphics Acceleration, Do Not Disturb, and Disable Auto-Brightness.'One enhances performance, one limits all notifications to smaller sliding notifications and the last one locks the brightness.

It now only depends on your internet speed whether or not the experience be a lag nightmare.
The UI
The UI

It is running the Android 8.1 based ColorOS 5.1 with more integration to Google services. It is also cleaner than the last iterations in terms of UI elements and design.

We still do not like that camera and other settings are only able to be accessed in the settings app and not in the app themselves. This adds too many steps just to access one setting which takes too much time if you constantly change settings on the fly. Otherwise, this is a snappy and easy to learn UI that is easy to pick up because it draws inspiration from Android and iOS.

We are happy that Google is more integrated than ever. One example is with the camera app where you can clearly see the Google Lens logo near the shutter button that can quickly be accessed.
Game settings
Game settings

There is no fingerprint scanner but it is replaced with what OPPO calls the "3D Face Recognition" which combines the standard Face Unlock with an Apple Face ID inspired dot projector with Intelligent analysis that OPPO says is more secure.

The lack of NFC and Fingerprint scanner cripples the ability to make secure wireless payments.

We can't say whether it is more secure but it is more reliable than the standard Face Unlock in all lighting situations. It would work in broad daylight and in pitch black environments like a cinema. The only time it consistently fails is if your face is under 23 inches from the phone where it can't properly project or analyze the whole face.

For as long as your face is farther than the length of a ruler then it works like a charm whether or not you're facing the camera directly or not. It also only works if both eyes are open so for those people who are afraid their phones will be opened in their sleep can feel safer.

The telephony experience is good. WiFi, 4G LTE+, Bluetooth, GPS are all fast, responsive and stable while the calling, texting and data are reliable in most conditions.

There is no LED notification but it is compensated by a beautiful light notification along the curved edges of the display. There is a light sensor, OTG and a gyroscope.

Pros - Innovative new design, no notch, thin bezel immersive display, good rear and selfie cameras, audio quality from single speaker, one of the fastest charging time, 3D Face ID works even in lowlight
Cons - No water resistance, no headphone jack, not stereo speakers for a flagship, no wireless charging, fingerprint sensor and NFC was missed for secure payments, included jelly case doesn't cover the moving part

Verdict

OPPO has broken ground by reintroducing a sliding design but modernizing it by adding a motor in the Find X.

Only time will tell if there will be durable issues but after spending a month with it and dropping it more than I could count with my fingers, it has held up.

The question lies on the motor and if when particles get inside the gaps. Otherwise, the future is bright for smartphone designs.

In areas of performance, the Find X is one of the highest scoring phones in Antutu in recent memory and it shows in its snappy performance in day to day apps.

It is no slouch in games like PUBG as well. The Game Space mode allows for uninterrupted gameplay because of the notification blocking and the improved performance with graphics acceleration. It didn't get too warm after and extended gaming session.

The camera performance in both selfie and rear camera can compete with the competition but may need more to be the best but the winner here is the 3D Face Unlock that is faster and more secure than the standard Face Unlock and it works at night as well.

All in all, the Find X can stand toe to toe with the flagships of the competition but with its own unique experience and features we mentioned it above. It is all in the consumer if they can justify the cost of getting those features.

Build/Design - 4.75/5
Display - 4.5/5
Audio - 4.25/5
Battery - 4.25/5
Camera - 4.25/5
Performance - 4.75/5
Average - 4.45/5
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