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Oppo Find X review: Sexier and more innovative than the Galaxy S9

At first glance, the Oppo Find X looks like the most beautiful Samsung Galaxy S9 you’ve ever seen, with a massive display and gorgeous curved sides. But this slick, futuristic phone has an innovative identity that barrels it past the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: a true all-screen display with a module for rear and selfie cameras that slides up when you want to take a shot. The pop-up camera array may sound gimmicky, but it’s actually a clever idea that frees up screen real estate and helps keeps the phone’s backing clean and beautiful to behold.

The Oppo Find X isn’t just the most beautiful phone I’ve used all year. It’s also one of the best phones of 2018, period.

With excellent shots, a fast processor and terrific battery life, the Find X is quite a knockout. There are some minor irritations you should know about, however, before rushing off to buy it. For starters, taking landscape shots with the camera popped out is a little awkward if you’re used to holding it by the edges, the moving part pushing your hand away.

The all-screen display makes it easier to accidentally press the screen, since there’s very little bezel on which to rest your fingers. These random screen presses happen mostly in camera mode — you’ll often accidentally switch to panorama mode. There’s also no wireless charging, despite its glass back, or waterproofing as on many other flagship phones.

That aside, the Oppo Find X is one heck of a device that should be at the top of your list… if you can find it and if it works with your carrier bands, especially for 4G data. Getting one, though, isn’t impossible through third-party online resellers, though you may have to do some digging. The Find X is currently on sale for 4,999 yuan in China, which converts to about $735, £560 or AU$995. It’s also now available in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

Although the Find X falls on the pricier end of the smartphone spectrum, especially for a Chinese brand that often prides itself on value, it’ll still be your high-end device that’s sure to turn heads with its impressive design and that magical pop-up camera.

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Purple or blue: You can’t go wrong.


Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo Find X is design magic

I’ve already said how much I like the Find X’s looks, but once you get your hands on it, it’s hard not to be blown away by just how much of a beauty it is. The purple-red finish of the rear is stunning, and there’s also a blue version. On the front, Oppo cleverly adds a faint light that moves around the edges of the screen whenever you get a notification. Very cool.

The glow of an incoming notification is mesmerising.


Aloysius Low/CNET

Like the iPhone X, the Find X’s Face Unlock feature uses a secure 3D scanning method, causing the camera to pop up every time you unlock the phone. Oppo’s supplier boasts a 0.0001 percent false recognition rate and payment-level authentication. You’d think that this would mean it takes slightly longer to unlock the phone, but it takes less than a second from the moment you swipe up with the display turned on.

The Find X — and that is an “ex,” not a “ten” — isn’t the first phone to maximize screen space by hiding a mechanized camera module inside the phone. Oppo’s sister company, Vivo, did it first with the Apex, then the Vivo Nex, which tucked away just the selfie camera. Oppo’s system feels bolder. It not only houses the dual rear cameras, there’s also the 25-megapixel front-facing camera and the 3D scanning technology. Following in the iPhone X‘s footsteps, this uses a depth-sensing camera to scan your face and unlock the phone. 

The Find X’s curved all-screen is also marvelous, and makes for a great viewing experience.

While the Vivo Nex features an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the Oppo Find X skips the fingerprint sensor altogether — there’s not even one on the back. The Find X also uses a more conventional front speaker when you’re taking calls. There’s a tiny slit at the top of the display that’s barely visible.

oppofindx-3

Clad in glass, the Oppo Find X is one heck of a looker. 


Aloysius Low/CNET

The software doesn’t rip off iOS

If there’s one thing that Oppo finally got right, it’s dropping its iOS copycat ways. What you get is an operating system that more closely resembles stock Android, while still keeping bits that are popular in China, such as apps sitting on the home screen instead of an app drawer. There’s also gesture support, but implemented more naturally: Swiping up from the middle brings you back to the home screen, while swiping up on either side goes back.

While it’s a pretty simple implementation, it has nothing on the iPhone’s ease of use. The phone also doesn’t start with gesture control turned on, and having tried both, I still prefer the standard onscreen buttons for navigation.

One thing that could be improved is the keyboard position. If you’re using the onscreen buttons, the keyboard is raised slightly so it feels somewhat natural. When you’re using gestures though, the keyboard sits right at the bottom, which forces you to type much lower, and it feels terribly unwieldy. Also, if you have a virtual d-pad control in games, the edge to edge screen can make trying to hold the phone a little tricky because you’ll find yourself trying to get your thumb in the right place while trying to not accidentally touch the display. There’s less of a buffer for resting your hands, compared to older phones with lots of bezel space.


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