Premium Android That’s Not a Galaxy


Unlike Apple iOS users who can choose any phone – as long as it’s an iPhone, Android users really have options from a wide range of phones. However, when you think of ‘premium Android phones’, only a few brands come to mind, and for many, the Samsung Galaxy phone is in the top spot. Oppo is however challenging the throne with its own premium flagship model: the Find X3 Pro, which promises its own potential in both hardware and software.

We’ve seen how far Oppo has come to propel itself in the premium smartphone category, let’s see how well it fared.

As the multi-camera array has become a staple for almost all cameras, the rear camera bump has become a recent point to differentiate itself from the competitors. Although these rear bumps come in various shapes and sizes, the Oppo Find X3 Pro has the sleekest and most unique phone ever.

The streamline bump is incorporated into the unibody glass back, which is reportedly made from a complex 40+ hour process abbreviated as ‘hot glass forging’. The result is an iconic design that sets it apart from other phones on the market. Plus, with the entire back in a pure mirror finish, you end up with one of the most recognizable designs.

With a sleek shape, wrap around edges and slim profile, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is a phone that’s mesmerizing and addictive to hold in the hand.

The front end of the Find X3 Pro is equally impressive (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Fluid interface with Snapdragon 888 CPU and 120Hz screen

The ‘fluidity’ of the Find X3 Pro’s body is suitably matched with a very fluid user interface. The Oppo flagship runs on ColorOS 11.2 based on Android 11 with Snapdragon 888 chipset, 12GB of RAM and a 120Hz AMOLED screen, resulting in an extremely responsive experience.

Oppo Find X3 Pro’s response makes it a powerful gaming console as well (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Lee)

From 60Hz to 120Hz phone display, the difference is clearly visible. Not only is the speed of the gesture controls on another level, the reaction time for taps also seems to be very fast. This is evident as I find myself typing fast on the Find X3 Pro, having no problem holding the phone with my well-trained thumb. If you’re a gamer, this will play into your performance as well, with the short reaction time giving it an almost unfair advantage over competitive players.

There are 4 cameras on the back of the Find X3 (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Five camera array supported with custom software

The Find X3 Pro is equipped with an impressive array of cameras, making it a very powerful tool in the hands of content creators. It is equipped with not one, but two 50-megapixel Sony IMX 766 sensors, in wide and ultra-wide optic configurations.

Finger under the OPPO microscope mode (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

There’s also a 13-megapixel telephoto camera that allows for 2X hybrid optic zoom up to 5X. Perhaps most surprising is the fourth back facing camera: a microlens that offers 30X or 60X magnification. Microlenses have a miniature ring flash around the lens so that whatever microscopic photography subject you are shooting, it can be sufficiently illuminated for extreme close ups.

32MP hole punch camera in the corner of the screen (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Lee)

Last but not least is the front facing hole punch camera with a 32-megapixel sensor, neatly placed in the top left corner of the screen.

On paper, only wide-angle cameras have optical image stabilization (OIS), but in actual operation I found that whatever mode I’m shooting in, there’s always some sort of stabilization – probably OIS and EIS Combination (Electronic Image Stabilization). The still shot function is so impressive, that I’m able to hand-hold the camera even for 20X zoomed-in shots.

Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady Pro modes in video provide still shots without the gimbal (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Lee)

In video recording, there is an impressive ‘Ultra Steady’ mode using OIS, especially at wide-angle, and an ‘Ultra Steady Pro’ mode using ultra wide-angle, both of which provide gimbal-like stability to video shots. Huh. Pairing this with a portable shotgun microphone like the Sennheiser MKE 400, you get an amazing production camera that will deliver professional results to content creators.

The massive 65W charger (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Class leading recharge speed: both wired and wireless

The powerful Find X3 Pro hardware is backed by a class-leading battery system, no matter how slim the device is. While it doesn’t pack the biggest battery on the market (the X3’s 4500mAh is slightly less than the S21 Ultra’s 5000mAh) it does have one of the most powerful chargers out of the box: a 65W adapter. For comparison, the S21 Ultra Fast Charge is 25W, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s fast charge is 20W. The Find X3 Pro can be charged from 0-40% in just 10 minutes, which reduces downtime.

Wireless charging can reach up to 30W – charging on the Oakywood headphone stand with the wireless charger (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Li)

What’s more, it also has a powerful wireless capability. 30W fast wireless charging is twice as powerful as the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and recharges even faster than many phones with cables.

Reverse wireless charging can be enabled in the shortcut (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Like the Pixel 5, the Find X3 Pro is also capable of wirelessly charging other devices. At 10W, it charges my wireless earbuds as fast as my desktop wireless charge pad, which is, again, an impressive feat considering how thin the phone is.

What looks like a single firing speaker is actually half of a stereo sound system (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Li)

stereo speakers for media consumption

A surprisingly nice feature of the Find X3 Pro are its stereo speakers, which are pretty much a hidden capability. Stereo speakers use the earpiece at the top of the screen as the second speaker, but instead of just using it to project the treble (as some phones do), both speakers produce the full range of frequencies. The result is a true stereo sound experience, good enough for gaming that requires directional sound awareness (PUBG, for example), as well as music and movie playback.

Not only is it beautiful, the Find X3 Pro is equally powerful (Photo: IBTimes/Jeff Lee)

final call

Once you experience the Oppo Find X3 Pro, there will be no doubt that the 17-year-old mobile manufacturer has the capability to make premium mobile phones in the category. From its hardware: exceptionally curved glass back, 5 camera array, 120Hz AMOLED screen and super fast battery recharge capability; As for software: ColorOS 11.2 custom skin that runs smooth as butter, plus powerful AI assisted camera – Find X3 Pro represents the best Android phone in every category.

After using the Oppo Find X3 Pro for an extended period of time, this is a phone that I wholeheartedly recommend, and we are rewarding it with an IBTimes Recommended badge.

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who travels frequently and is on a mission to find ways to make his overhaul flights more enjoyable. This is a contribution to the ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for business travelers.

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