Oppo is a brand you’ve probably never heard of here in the United States and that’s mainly due to the fact that it isn’t sold here by any of the carriers. You’d be surprised to hear then that Oppo is actually a very large smartphone manufacturer and is ranked in the top 5 globally in sales. Their sister brand, OnePlus+ is sold here, and Oppo far outsells them globally. They are based out of China and have been producing phones since 2004, with sales in the Chinese domestic market as well as India, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. I’m pretty sure eventually we may see the Oppo brand come to the US, especially if they keep producing interesting devices like the new Oppo Find X5 Pro, their latest flagship and definitely a phone that should be able to compete with the big boys.
Disclaimer: Oppo sent us a Find X5 Pro to evaluate in Glaze Black. This is a global unlocked unit with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. W will be using this with AT&T here in Miami, FL.
The look of the Oppo Find X5 Pro is one of its strong suits. This is an area where I am absolutely in love with, mainly because while it is familiar at some angles, Oppo designed the rear to be a very differentiating factor and one that helps it stand out against a sea of other smartphones. It is a beautifully sculpted design and one that took their engineers months to perfect and takes 5-days to produce each piece. We’ll get more into that later when we talk about the rear panel.
From the front, the Oppo Find X5 Pro looks like pretty much every other flagship large phone out there. It’s for a 6.7″ QHD+ AMOLED display (Flexible/LTPO) covered in Gorilla Glass Victus. It has a screen ratio of 20:9 so 1440×3216 and looks a bit slimmer than some other “ultra” phones. It does make the phone a bit easier to hold since it is not as wide. The display here too is curved at the edges, so it’s not flat. The curved edges give it a more premium look and a softer feel in your hands.
There is a front-facing selfie camera and the one here is located on the upper left-hand corner. You’ll also notice that the phone includes a screen protector already installed that you can choose to leave on or remove. Oppo recommends leaving it on, but if you take it off, they don’t recommend using a 3rd party protector as that might interfere with the fingerprint reader. We kept ours on. It feels smooth and doesn’t have as much friction as other screen protectors we’ve tried in the past.
Moving on to the back of the Oppo Find X5 Pro, here is where it differentiates itself from others. For starters, it does not use a glass back panel. Instead, Oppo used a ceramic rear panel made of microcrystalline material that’s calcined at a temperature of 1000-degrees Celsius to create a texture that reduces fingerprints while being twice as strong as glass, with double the heat dissipation. It makes the surface unbelievably shiny and reflective, especially in the Glaze Black color.
Speaking of which, Glaze Black is an incredible color and not really black at all. Photos really don’t do it justice. It looks more like a smoked tinted chrome color, polished to a mirror-like finish. The promise of fewer fingerprints is mostly true, as long as your hands are relatively clean and dry. You can still get prints on it, but they’re relatively easy to wipe back off. I will say, it’s a much better material than shiny glass, and the ceramic makes for the perfect material for the back panel because of its incredible strength and resistance to scratches.
I should note that the phone did come with a case, but it’s as plain of a case you could find and is not very attractive in my opinion. I suggest running the phone without the case so you can enjoy the beauty of what Oppo has created.
Moving to the actual camera housing, you have to appreciate the way the hump flows into the body. It is all one piece and looks so much more fluid than anything else out there right now. You also have to appreciate the way the cameras are set into the bump where they are just recessed at fractions of a millimeter to protect them from scratches and the fact that there are no unsightly looking camera rings.
Lastly, there is a metal frame that runs along the border. It’s smooth, very curvy, and is color-matched to the Glaze Black rear. It blends in seamlessly with the backplate and front glass. There’s not much particularly special about it though. The buttons have been separated where the volume is on the left and the power is on the right. The bottom of the phone houses the sim tray, charging port, and speaker. The other speaker is where the earpiece is. Since this is 2022 now, there is also no AUX jack and there is no expandable memory. This is pretty much the norm now.
On paper, the Oppo Find X5 Pro has pretty much all the makings of a flagship device. We’re talking about all the latest 2022 specs that you’d find on other flagship brands. It even has a couple things they don’t. We’ll just list the more important specs here that matter to most people. Everything else is a bit on the technical side that doesn’t really matter much for everyday usage.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU
- Adreno 730 GPU
- MariSilicon X Imaging NPU
- 12GB LPDDR5 RAM + 256GB UFS3.1 Storage
- 6.7″ QHD+ AMOLED with 120Hz Refresh Rate
- 5000mAh Battery with 80W SUPERVOOC Fast Charge
- WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, eSIM
- Dual Sim Support
As you can see, the major stand-out specs have to be the proprietory MariSilicon X Imaging NPU and the 80W SUPERVOOC Fast Charging. Let’s start with the MariSilicon X NPU. This is Oppo’s own design built exclusively for image and video processing, bypassing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It’s used for image AI to reduce noise, have better color reproduction, HDR, improve dynamic range, process better night photos and videos, and more. This takes the load off the CPU since the MariSilicon X is handing all the computations. Basically, the chip is there solely to improve the image capabilities of the Oppo Find X5 Pro.
Next up is the 80W SUPERVOOC Fast Charging which can charge the phone from zero to 50% in about 12 minutes. You’re also looking at about 30 minutes for a full charge, using the included charger. Wireless charging is just as impressive using the 50W AIRVOOC wireless charging system. You’re looking at 47-minutes for a full charge, if you use the right charger.
SOFTWARE (COLOR OS 12.1)
The Oppo Find X5 Pro runs a custom version of Android 12 called ColorOS 12.1. This is basically a launcher that runs on top of Android 12, similar to Samsung’s OneUI 4.1. What I like about ColorOs 12.1 is just how customizable it is. While it’s not quite the experience you’ll get on a Pixel phone, ColorOS 12.1 is actually pretty good and you can certainly make it your own. There are even settings I hadn’t seen before on other phones that you can customize.
Some personalization features include themes, live wallpapers, customizable fingerprint reader animations, edge lighting, home screen modes, lockscreen magazine (rotating wallpaper), multitasking windows, smart sidebar, and more.
I will say that ColorOS 12.1 is pretty good and you can customize a good portion of it to suit your needs. Also, the OS itself seems to rely on a lot of Google-branded apps as its default apps, though there are a few here and there that are their own.
What I do not like about the stock software is the amount of bloatware included with the phone when you receive it. There are a ton if apps you’ll probably never use as well as some apps that are only useful for international users. Luckily you can delete a fair amount of these apps, which I have done. For the most part, the Oppo Find X5 Pro is just as easy to set up as my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, and I have both running pretty much the same way now.
The cameras on the Oppo Find X5 Pro are some of the best around thanks to the help of Hasselblad and the dedicated MariSilicon X NPU. The cameras capture a ton of detail, even if you’re not using the full 50MP setting. Not only that, photos in low light are surprisingly very good, even without a flash. There’s also very little noise, no overly processed photos, and the colors look really good without any muddy details. This might actually be one of the best cameras I’ve ever seen on a phone.
I’ll let these sample photos below speak for themselves (click image for full size):
There is one area in which the camera system is lacking and that’s in the zoom department. With flagships these days seeing multiple zooms and upwards of 100x zoom, it’s kind of strange that Oppo would stick to something as insignificant as 2x zoom. I would say something like 10x should have been the bare minimum they should have included and not 2x. You can sort of get around this a bit by increasing quality to 50MP and then cropping, but this is not the same as a true 10x optical zoom. This is where Oppo will need to improve upon the next iteration of the Find X series.
Despite the Oppo Find X5 Pro being a phone that isn’t sold here in the US, it works surprisingly well here, aside from a few caveats. For starters, I’m using this on AT&T and the phone is not 100% supported by the network. Mainly, you will not be able to use features such as Wi-Fi Calling, HD-Voice, or visual voicemail. However, it still does receive calls and text messages. If you can live with that, then the other stuff is just small issues you can deal with.
Next up, the phone is incredibly fast. Not a surprise considering the specs. I haven’t had one issue with stuttering or lag and even games that are resource-intensive run smoothly on this phone. What that also means is that your regular apps and social media apps will run perfectly fine.
When it comes to accessibility, the fingerprint reader on the Oppo Find X5 Pro is incredibly fast and accurate. The fingerprint animations are also a welcome addition. For those who prefer facial recognition, that works perfectly fine here too, and is also very fast. I do like the fact that it gives you multiple options to unlock your phone. I should mention that if you use a numerical passcode, it’ll have to be 6-digits here and not just the usual four.
I did mention above that the phone does come with an unusual amount of bloatware, especially for an unlocked device. I also mentioned that you can delete a lot of it, though there are maybe one or two that can’t be.
Lastly, I’m torn over whether or not to run a case with the Oppo Find X5 Pro. For one, the included case is pretty plain and ugly compared to how the phone looks naked. This is an incredibly sexy phone when you run it naked and it almost feels like a crime covering it up. But on the other hand, you don’t want to ruin its good looks by damaging it in a drop, so what do you do? You could try to find a better-looking case, but they’re not exactly super easy to find here in the US. For me, I decided to go naked because this phone is just too good-looking not to show off.
I can see why Oppo has been quite popular internationally. This Oppo Find X5 Pro is truly an exceptional device, especially when you read about all that went into creating it. Everything from the ceramic backplate to the dedicated MariSilicone X NPU really makes you appreciate how special it is. They weren’t just creating another “me too” flagship, but an actual work of art to be admired. That’s not saying that the phone is perfect though, because while it almost is, there is room for improvement.
For starters, the cameras are missing that all-important zoom factor. Like I said above, 2x isn’t going to cut it and we really need 10x (minimum) and more. I appreciate the Hasselblad cooperation and the photos do come out amazing. But having a higher zoom would have been the cherry on the sundae.
Second, there isn’t one. Honestly, that’s the only real complaint I have about the Oppo Find X5 Pro. I can deal with the lack of 100% AT&T support because that’s really an AT&T issue and not the fault of the phone. I’m not sure how the experience is on other carriers, but I hear they’re a bit more lenient than AT&T is with unsupported devices.
So with that said, the Oppo Find X5 Pro is a near-perfect device that is only hindered by a lack of zoom. Aside from that, it looks amazing, feels amazing, and is one of the best flagship phones this year.
- OPPO Find X5 Pro Dual-SIM 256GB ROM + 12GB RAM – Glaze Black
- OPPO Find X5 Pro Dual-SIM 256GB ROM + 12GB RAM – Ceramic White
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