THE BEST PHONE TO BUY RIGHT NOW
Buying a new phone can be a chore, but we’ve done the work for you
You might know of Oppo as a company opaquely related to OnePlus, but it recently became the leading smartphone maker in China — the beneficiary of Huawei’s sanctions-induced slide in sales even in its home market. As such, the new Find X3 Pro flagship is an important handset for the company, presenting an opportunity to solidify its place as a major player in premium smartphones.
And this time around, Oppo isn’t keeping the Find X3 Pro in China. The company still doesn’t sell phones in the US, but there are international models with Google services available in countries like the UK, where it starts at £1,099 (about $1,500). If you have the option and you’re shopping for a high-end phone, it’s worth checking out, because this is one of the sleekest Android devices you’ll see this year.
Strong all-around performance
Microscope camera is cool but not very useful
No periscope telephoto
Expensive and not widely available worldwide
From the front, the Find X3 Pro looks almost identical to the OnePlus 9 Pro. Both phones have a 6.7-inch 1440p 120Hz curved OLED screen with a hole-punch selfie camera in the top left; since Oppo and OnePlus share a supply chain, it’s almost certainly the same Samsung panel.
Turn the Find X3 Pro around, though, and it looks nothing like the OnePlus — or any other phone, really. The camera bump is somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone 12 Pro in its arrangement of three lenses within a rounded square, but the bump is part of a single piece of glass that smoothly rises up to accommodate the cameras. Coupled with the mirrored finish, it makes the phone look like something out of Terminator 2 — at least until you get your fingerprints all over it.
The Find X3 Pro feels relatively light and thin for a 2021 flagship phone, at 193g and 8.3mm thick, and the total lack of sharp edges anywhere on the device makes it very comfortable to hold. I’ve also been using it with an included Kevlar-style case that preserves almost all of the device’s thinness, which is a relief because this is one phone I would not want to risk dropping.
Like the OnePlus 9 Pro, the Find X3 Pro has a very good screen. However, Oppo is aiming to differentiate it with what it describes as the first full-path 10-bit color management system for Android, allowing you to capture and view more than a billion colors as opposed to the 16.7 million on other devices. The Find X3 Pro software even includes eye tests to help the display compensate for various forms of color blindness.
I haven’t been able to see a huge difference between this and other displays in general use, but we don’t yet live in a 10-bit world. In all likelihood, you’ll only ever make use of this capability by creating your own content with the Find X3 Pro’s cameras, and even then the advantage is going to seem niche.
As for the cameras themselves, the Find X3 Pro has a respectable array of hardware. The heart of the system is two identical 50-megapixel Sony IMX 766 sensors for the main camera and the ultrawide; it’s not the biggest sensor out there, but it more than holds its own against flagship competitors. Oppo’s color tuning and HDR grading is relatively restrained, and it’s both unusual and refreshing to have an ultrawide that performs just as well in terms of resolution and dynamic range as the primary camera.
NEXT NEWSRAZER BLADE 14 REVIEW: PINT-SIZE POWER
Microsoft gets a taste of OpenAI’s tech
It’s much easier to play xCloud now