Tech review: Oppo takes on the big boys with Find X2 Pro 5G

At $1,699, the Find X2 Pro 5G is the most expensive Oppo smartphone to date.
At $1,699, the Find X2 Pro 5G is the most expensive Oppo smartphone to date.PHOTO: OPPO

You have been warned, Samsung and Huawei. Chinese smartphone brand Oppo is coming for the big hitters of the smartphone industry with its latest flagship model, the Find X2 Pro 5G.

It ticks all the boxes for a premium model and rivals Samsung's flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra in having the latest features, such as a 120Hz Oled screen and 5G connectivity.

At $1,699, the Find X2 Pro 5G is the most expensive Oppo smartphone to date. It costs nearly as much as the S20 Ultra ($1,898) and represents a hefty increase from Oppo's last phone, the Reno 10x Zoom ($1,199).

My orange vegan leather review unit certainly looks and feels expensive, with gold trimmings around the edges and a gold Oppo logo. Its faux leather finish feels luxurious, though given the phone's price, I would be loathe to use it without a protective case. The Find X2 Pro also comes in a less ostentatious black ceramic version.

Its design is rather conventional for a modern smartphone.

The front is practically all screen, with its 6.7-inch display curving around the edges on the left and the right. I barely noticed the small hole-punch front camera at the top left corner. Its in-display fingerprint sensor is as fast as any that I have tested.

One highlight is its high-resolution 1,440p display, which can run at a 120Hz refresh rate.

At this high refresh rate, navigating the phone interface or scrolling a Web page would appear smoother than on the usual 60Hz screen.

Initially, this feature did not work with the default Chrome mobile Web browser. But when I checked again a week later, the 120Hz refresh rate has been enabled in Chrome.

Several games, such as shooter game Shadowgun Legends and racing title CSR Racing 2, can also run at 120Hz, which should result in less stuttering and screen tearing.

The screen is very bright and is usable outdoors under the sun. A "Nature Tone Display" feature adjusts the display's colour temperature to match the ambient light, making the display look warmer and less harsh to the eyes.

 

Oppo says the screen has a wide colour gamut, allowing it to show more realistic images. However, the Find X2 Pro is not currently certified to show high-dynamic-range (HDR) content from Netflix, unlike other similar high-end phones. [Mar 26 update: Oppo said that the Find X2 Pro is now certified for Netflix HDR content.]

The primary camera is a 48MP camera that uses a new Sony sensor that is larger in size than the previous version. The older Sony sensor is also here, used on the secondary 48MP ultra-wide angle camera. Finally, there is a 13MP periscope-style telephoto camera that offers up to 5x optical zoom (and 60x digital zoom).

By default, the main camera produces 12MP photos from its 48MP sensor, by combining four pixels into one.

The camera has very quick autofocus. In good lighting conditions, the photos look sharp with accurate colours and little noise.

Noise was also kept to a minimum in low light conditions, though the level of detail dipped. Although the Find X2 Pro has an Ultra Dark mode that uses long exposure for low-light conditions, I found the colours to be slightly off in this mode.

When shooting an object close up, the camera produced a pleasant out-of-focus effect for more distant items, like the bokeh effect in portrait modes. The camera's portrait mode worked well enough without any obvious artefacts around the hair and clothing of the subjects.

I was also impressed by the camera's video stabilisation feature. Videos look reasonably smooth even when I was recording while walking briskly. The camera can shoot videos of up to 4K resolution at up to 60 frames per second.

 

Oppo has decluttered its ColorOS user interface. Based on Android 10, the latest 7.1 iteration adopts Google's apps for the browser, e-mail and keyboard input instead of its own proprietary versions. I prefer this cleaner and leaner ColorOS, though Oppo can go even further by, for instance, removing its smart assistant for the Google Assistant.

Inside the Find X2 Pro is Qualcomm's top Snapdragon 865 processor, which is likely to appear in most flagship Android phones this year. There is also 12GB of system memory, along with 512GB of internal storage. The latter makes up for the phone's lack of a microSD slot.

In the Geekbench 5 benchmark tests, the Find X2 Pro scored 899 (single-core) and 3,256 (multi-core). In comparison, Samsung's flagship S20 Ultra, which uses Samsung's Exynos 990 chip, managed 917 and 2,769 respectively.

You probably won't be able to tell the difference between the two in every day use though. Apps open promptly and games feel smooth in the Find X2 Pro.

In a video-loop battery test, the Find X2 Pro lasted 10hr35min, which is decent considering that the screen was set at its highest resolution and maximum brightness and was running at 120Hz. The phone typically has between 30 to 40 per cent battery life remaining at the end of a work day.

And even if you forget to charge it at night, it takes just a short while to recharge. The Find X2 Pro has a very fast 65W charger that can replenish the battery from zero to full in around 40 minutes.

The Find X2 Pro 5G is arguably the best smartphone from Oppo so far. While it does not break new ground, it should help Oppo make inroads into the premium smartphone segment.

FOR

Vibrant and bright screen with 120Hz refresh rate

Flagship-tier cameras

Luxurious, vegan leather option

Cleaner interface than previous Oppo phones

AGAINST

Rear camera bulge

Expensive

SPECS

Price: $1,699 (from Mar 28)

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (Single-core 2.84GHz, triple-core 2.4GHz and quad-core 1.8GHz)

Display: 6.7-inch Oled, 3,168 x 1,440 pixels, 513 ppi pixel density

Operating system: ColorOS 7.1 (Android 10)

Memory: 512GB, 12GB RAM

Rear cameras: 48MP (f/1.7), 48MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 120-degree), 13MP telephoto (f/3.0)

Front camera: 32MP (f/2.4)

Battery: 4,260mAh

RATING

Features: 4.5/5

Design: 4.5/5

Performance: 5/5

Value for money: 4/5

Battery life: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

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