I seem to have affinity with OPPO smartphone. On two occasions, I won their smartphones – the OPPO R5 in 2014 and the OPPO R15 in 2018. The camera image quality were good and the phones ran really smooth. But I did not like their OS: the heavily-skinned ColorOS was heavily influenced by iOS and I could not get used to it, neither do I like the colourful notification icons. But if I were to win the new OPPO Find X2 Pro, that would be a keeper for me. Absolutely.
Unboxing and Design
There are two design variants for the Find X2 Pro 5G, and the review unit is covered in Orange vegan leather and stamped with a gold logo plate. It’s a welcoming departure from the glass backs, providing a warm premium feel on my hands. The metal trimmings all over the phone are in gold colour which goes really well with the Orange rear.
The power button located on the right side and the volume buttons located on the left are placed exactly where my fingers would hold, achieving perfect ergonomics. I don’t have to stretch my fingers to control them, but that also means I have greater tendency to press both of them simultaneously trigger the screen capture action. I have since gotten the hang of it. The provided silicone soft casing offers protection against accidental drops and dirt, but that would defeat the purpose of the leathery back.
The charger is probably the heftiest I have seen out of the box, but that’s because the OPPO Super VOOC 2.0 charger is massively powerful, delivering 65W current to charge the 4260mAh phone battery till 100% in less than 40 minutes, or 40% in just 10 minutes. Talk about rapid charging.
The OPPO Find X2 Pro comes with a handful of premium display features that makes visual joy when using. The panel itself supports 1.07 billion colours, 100% P3 colour gamut, 5 million-to-1 contrast ratio, HDR10+ certified, DisplayMate A+ Grade, 800 nits brightness. What I also like is that the AI Adaptive Eye Protection and Natural Tone Display makes the screen less warm compared to the normal “Eye Care” mode. There is also the Low-Brightness Flicker-Free mode to further reduce fatigue at low screen brightness level. Finally the O1 Vision Engine also enhances video viewing experience to selected apps and content.
It also supports 120Hz refresh rate, a feature that will smoothen the scrolling and video but at the expense of battery power. Similarly, the screen resolution can be pushed to the max but also drains battery. For gamers, you might be delighted to know the display can achieve 240Hz touch sampling rate, meaning faster touch response achieved.
The punch-hole front camera is so tiny and sits unobtrusively at the top left corner. This definitely makes the display experience better compared to the notch or the tear-drop design.
Like all other smartphone reviews, I transferred all my apps and data from my own phone to the OPPO Find X2 Pro and used it as a primary phone so that I can truly experience the good and the bad. And I am loving the phone. It runs really polished and fast thanks to Snapdragon 865, the use of 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB UFS 3.0 ROM, putting the Find X2 Pro at top ranked smartphone on benchmark sites like AnTuTu.
ColorOS 7.1 Features
The ColorOS 7.1 is so much better than the previous versions, thanks to a clean departure from iOS. There are also so many functions and customisations available within the OS which empowers users like myself to choose what I want to run, instead of the brand deciding what to include or remove. Let me list down some of the functions that I thought would be useful to a lot of consumers:
- Call Recording: Yes! You can recording calls on the OPPO phone. It is impossible to find third-party apps to do this on Android 10 without any form of rooting.
- Dual Wi-Fi Acceleration: the phone can connect to two bands at your home Wi-Fi network, so you get faster speed.
- Banner Notification for Incoming Messages: it lets me respond with suggested replies so that I don’t need to leave the screen to the message page to respond.
- Screen-Off Clock: I can display the clock when the screen is off, with notification logos appearing to keep you posted of any missed notifications.
- Screen Light Effects: Instead of the option to turn on the screen with any notification, I opt to enable screen light effects, so that the edge of the screen radiates with colours when there is incoming notification. This is more subtle, less disturbing, and saves battery.
- App Startup and Closing Animation Speed: I can select fast, normal or slow, so things move faster when I move from screen to screen.
- Set Icon Style: there is the Material Style, Pebble, and even Custom where I can choose the shape of the icon and the size of the app logo.
- Smart Driving: integrated into the OS, you can choose to auto-enable when the Bluetooth Car Kit is connected.
- Assistive Ball: an old feature inspired by iOS, it’s good to have it if you need it.
- Smart Sidebar: similar to Samsung’s edge app, again, good to have it if you have use for it. Slide out to reveal your selected apps to select quickly.
- Screen Off Gestures: this is also an old feature inspired by LG, where you can double-tap the screen to wake up, or draw on the blank screen to trigger selected apps.
- Kid Space: you can enable this to let your kids play with your phone without messing around your phone.
- Power Saving Mode: most phones have this, but OPPO has this ability to choose whether to turn off automatically when the battery charges above 60%. I like this: some phones has the Power Saving mode enabled even though the phone has enough charge
- Screen Recording: a feature that has taken for granted, it requires kernel access to do this, so if the phone comes with this, then you don’t have to tear your hair out to have this feature.
- Recent Tasks Manager: this feature allows you to lock apps from getting closed, which is useful when you needed some apps to keep running in the background.
- Startup Manager: this feature allows you to choose which apps can auto-start when the phone is booted up. Don’t say this is trivial: this is an empowering feature that lets you remove annoying apps that keep occupying your memory.
- App Cloner: another feature that is taken for granted. Not all Android phones have this. If it does, then you can run two Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter or Telegram accounts at the same time.
- Multi-User: imagine you can create different user profiles with different apps and home screens and files. You can do this on the OPPO.
- Game Space: having this feature means you can automatically disable incoming notifications without going through many steps to block this and that. It can also quickly enable performance mode to dedicate more power to run your games. You can even quickly do screen recording with its slide-down bar.
The Find X2 Pro’s “Ultra Vision Camera System” is made up of a 48MP ultra-wide angle lens with Sony IMX586 1/2″ sensor f/2.2, 48MP wide angle lens with Sony IMX689 1/1.4″ sensor, f/1.7 (with OIS), and 13MP f/3.0 periscope telephoto lens with OIS. The combined lenses achieve a wide-ranging field of view coverage from 120-degrees to 60x digital zoom.
One way to tell whether I enjoy the camera system is the number of photos I take on reviewed devices. I find that the camera system helps me to capture vibrant memories of things near and far.
Images at near focus range offers natural-looking shallow depth of field while the camera intelligently switches to super macro mode when focusing on subjects too close for comfort.
I’m not a fan of the AI Dazzle Colour mode, as it bumps up the saturation and increases the highlights, but in dull scenes, this might bring out some flavour.
For low light setting, the Find X2 Pro still requires some illumination before it can process the scene with a level of brightness. In a completely dark (0 lux) setting, the main camera could only manage to capture an underexposed image output at 16,000 ISO using Night mode. Not too bad, considering it was pitch dark.
Since I also have the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Huawei P40 Pro with me at the same time (great timing), I compared with the OPPO Find X2 Pro. At 8X zoom, the OPPO colour is more pleasing, the Samsung is more contrasty and deeper, while Huawei has its yellow photodiode in excess. At the 50X zoom, the OPPO is visibly the least sharp.
The OPPO Find X2 Pro’s zoom-end might not match up with the competition, but it’s still an astounding feat in capturing scenes from far, far away. Compared to the Galaxy S20+, the Find X2 Pro is far better.
Selfies are also much more natural after applying moderate beautification skin-smoothing effect. The bokeh background adds dimension.
It’s tough for an Android smartphone brand to stand out when it comes to design or features, but OPPO has managed to differentiate themselves. The R5 was the thinnest toughest smartphone at that time, so confident that they even used the phone as a hammer to crack walnuts. The OPPO Reno series also fashioned their phones with matt glass finishing and the cameras aligned with the brand in a strip. One glance and you will know it’s an OPPO phone. It’s by no sheer luck that OPPO remains one of the top 5 smartphone brands worldwide in recent years.
The OPPO Find X2 Pro is not cheap. At S$1699, it is the priciest flagship model by far, but I am enjoying the phone performance and features. If I ever find a phone with similar specs, similar quality, lower price, I’ll jump onto it.