The Oppo Find X5 Pro is gaining ground as one of the most talked about premium smartphones of 2022. Most particularly because of its camera (with help from camera makers Hasselblad), which most agree is top-draw, though with one niggling drawback - which will be lesser or greater in importance depending on your preferred photography style/practice.
Whether the Oppo Find X5 Pro lauds it over this year's best camera phones – most notably and obviously the Galaxy S22 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro (basically anything with ‘Pro’ or ‘Ultra’ added to the end of it) – will depend on slight and numerous variations in software and design features. But the camera is the main point of interest here. The phone comes at a price, too, at £1,049 (sorry USA not for you as of yet). For those on a tighter budget look at our best budget camera phones guide.
For creatives (even those who insist on producing time-consuming analogue work), a quality camera is more than just a hobbyist’s plaything. The niggling drawback of the Oppo Find X5 'paltry' X2 telephoto lens is, let's be honest, only really a niggle for those who can’t get close enough to their subjects to gain the razor sharp focus they require on that… I don’t know, Orca fin? Far away cattle?
Regardless, I've been using this phone for a few weeks now, and have tested it out with a range of software. I've also been trying the camera in various types of lighting to see how it fares. Below are my notes on this very premium priced, and shiny smart device from Chinese manufacturer OPPO.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: design
In terms of size, the Find X5 (163.7 x 73.9 x 8.5mm) isn't much larger than its predecessor, the X3. Weighing 218g it has 'heft'. perhaps due to the very glossy looking ceramic back (available in black or white), though it is lighter than both the iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy s22 Ultra at 240g and 229g, respectively.
The ceramic back is incredibly slippy – careful where you rest it, though the one delivered here came with a black rubber phone protector, in the box. Regardless, should it slide off the arm rest of your settee and fall in your drink, rest assured that the Oppo Find X5 "is water-resistant for up to 1.5 metres for 30 mins". We didn't test this, though. Let's say it’s certainly splash-proof.
The phone looks good, though. The lenses are neatly grouped in a kind of ski-sloped plateau, and it feels comfortable in the hand. The ceramic back is adorned with the kind of logos and info you’d expect to find on the box, and slightly detracts from the phone’s overall expensive sheen.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: display
The display is a more than passable 120Hz QHD/OLED and 6.7” in size. The screen comes protected, which seems to dull reflections but not the colour quality, which is sharp and clear. Screen colour modes and colour vision enhancement modes are numerous and easily adjustable to your liking.
The Natural colour mode certainly gives a nice warm hue and is easier on the eye than the Vivid factory setting – possibly better for watching your more visually enhanced content.
The screen ratio is 20:9, which is good for both watching films and also filming, if you’re into creating.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: performance
Audio quality through the stereo speaker is…ok. The sound comes alive through a pair of bluetooth headphones, though. Playing Spotify through a pair of quite high-end Amiron wireless over-ear headphones produced crystal clear audio. Scenario specific profiles for audio are also a boon, the movie profile certainly makes anything you play very cinematic, and the game profile is full of low end bass. Very satisfying.
General usage alone, without a great deal of technical knowledge, would have you admit that this is a very powerful phone. Everything works snap fast; camera, streaming, gaming, with no jitters at all. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset is apparently the Android chipset of the year, which a number of other high end handsets also sport.
It comes with 12GB of Ram (which is expandable – if enough storage space is available, it uses part of that to expand the RAM, up to 7GB) and 256GB storage. It is definitely geared towards those with more intensive hobbies or even work, such as editing, gaming, streaming and so on.
Battery wise we are told by Oppo that the Find X5 offers double the charging cycles of most other phones (1600). Also, that it uses an 80W SuperVOOC system that delivers a 50% charge in 12 minutes. An 80% capacity whilst charging is also pretty good. The charge is super fast, too. After plugging it in at 15% and leaving it for 25 minutes it was full, after which we got over a day of general use before starting its 'power saving mode'.
Heavier use involving gaming, streaming and the like should yield a lengthy session, too, though depending on how heavy a user you are you may find you need to charge more than once a day. This phone is so quick to charge though, there is little problem.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: camera
The main draw lies here, and OPPO’s collaboration with legendary Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad. There are three cameras on the back; a main 50MP with a super fast f/1.7 aperture, an ultra-wide-angle 50MP camera with f/2.2, a 13MP telephoto lens with a f/2.4, and a 32MB selfie on the front.
The two main lenses are really good, colours vivid, and the low apertures allow a speedy capture, so there is way less chance of blurring when snapping subjects in motion. The telephoto lens is a little more ‘meh’ , only having 2X zoom, lagging a bit behind much of the competition which might ordinarily have up to 10X optical zoom. If you’re a spy, or detective on a stake-out who needs a higher level of zoom, you'll need to look elsewhere.
The Hasselblad contribution seems to be thus: three pro filters designed to mimic the quality of some of Hasselblad's most popular cameras. They each have a very unique film-like quality which certainly elevates even the most mundane photography.
Next is the very cool XPAN mode. The Hasselblad XPAN came out in the late '90s and revolutionised 35mm photography by allowing users to switch to full panoramic mode without changing the film. Its inclusion in the Find X5 is novel, fun, and actually produces great looking shots that look very much like film photography. You can switch between colour and monochrome and adjust the shutter speed.
Apart from that, the camera ‘click’ is supposed to emulate a real Hasselblad, and apparently the brand may have had some hand in the pro mode (where you set your own apertures, film speed etc). Pros and wannabes should find this mode more than useful. Having proper control over your picture taking is great.
Video recording apparently goes up to 8k! What!? Who needs that? Someone, probably. Maybe. It’s impressive all the same. Though, getting close to being classified as old, I personally don’t see the need to shoot in microscopic detail – what’s wrong with grain, and the accidental nuance of it?
Needless to say, the camera performs superbly for a number of functions, particularly when photographing 2D artwork, it really takes the pain out of getting good-looking shots when you want to show off your wares with ease.
The MariSilicon X neural processing chip is the main 'prop' for this camera, and seems to be responsible for making it snap and process so quickly, smoothly, and satisfyingly. Whatever it is, it works.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: software and features
ColorOS is OPPO’s own ‘palette’, which is ‘etched’ onto Android 12. It’s all very sparkly and unique looking, but somewhat in-your-face. In terms of customisation, there’s a bunch of stuff you can tailor, no need to bore you with it though – you can make things big, small, dynamic, or still. You can change the fingerprint animation for instance. The fingerprint works less well, though, sometimes not at all. Face recognition seems good though.
A few ‘always on’ features are relatively cool, such as a line drawing of any portrait photo you choose. It’ll draw the face which you can keep as wallpaper.
Air gestures are an interesting feature. Imagine you’re up to your elbows in bread dough, reading a recipe from the Find X5 (which is rested against a glass). You don’t want to touch the screen to scroll down to the next bit. You’re at a crucial stage though! You need to know what you do next! Air gestures are just what you’d expect them to be – dangle your sticky hands in front of the phone and wave up or down (but keep them 20-40 cm away from the phone) and you can magically scroll (and answer calls and then hang up apparently). Except, It doesn't seem to work as smoothly as that. After a fair bit of hand dangling and waving, the scrolling left a lot to be desired.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro review: should you buy it?
Should you buy the Oppo Find X5 Pro? Definitely, if you have the cash to invest in a top-flight phone with an amazing camera. This phone is one to seriously consider if photography is your thing and you have a fetish for ‘days-of-yore’ film-esque snaps. Hasselblad is certainly a pro level manufacturer, and its collaboration with OPPO is exciting. It offers a lot more than just that though – as a modern camera phone it is smart, fast, and full of features.
The rest, in terms of its software, features, even the design, is ultimately down to your own taste. iPhone, Samsung, Xiaomi et al will no doubt deliver for all the same reasons. The Find X5 customisation level is pretty sweet, and the phone looks and feels the part, too.
This phone is not for those who are into zoom photography, nor those who don’t quite have the budget. But for photography fanatics who don't mind spending the money, it won't disappoint.
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