Review: Oppo Find X2 Pro

Before I reviewed the Oppo Find X2 Pro I knew very little about Oppo. I knew they were a Chinese phone company who were wildly successful in Asia. But they had also either struggled with, or not really attempted to break into the western smartphone market. I don’t think the Oppo Find X2 Pro is going to change the fact that upon the mention of ‘Oppo’ the average western consumer will look at you blank-faced and confused. And in my opinion, that’s a massive shame. Because the Oppo Find X2 Pro is a very good smartphone.

The performance of the Find X2 Pro is absolutely top-notch. There are no phones out there that feel faster. The screen is where it all starts. It’s a best in class quality QLED 1440p 120Hz display. Matched with a top of the range Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and up to 12GB of RAM, it’s buttery smooth. Everything from checking your social media to gaming is handled with absolute ease. And because of that super snappy, super quick, 120Hz refresh rate all of it looks absolutely phenomenal. Plus the screen gets very bright, and colours on it pop from the screen. The bezels stretch right up to the sides of the phone, and although there’s a tiny hole punch selfie camera in the top left corner, it blends into the background and is basically unnoticeable. This fantastic screen combines with a pair of loud and clear stereo speakers to make consuming content on the Oppo Find X2 Pro just as good as on any other phone.

But what’s a great screen without good software to go along with it? Having never used an Oppo phone before I had no idea what the company’s Android skin was going to be like. I’ve had bad experiences with Android skins before. Specifically from Chinese phone companies, I don’t really know much about. I’m very happy to report that I have had no such problems with Oppo’s Android skin. It’s great. Everything looks very clean and smartly presented. App icons look good, the animations along with the 120Hz screen feel brilliant to use, and as it’s Android, it’s all customisable. I have a suspicion that Oppo has taken a lot of inspiration from the OnePlus OxygenOS, and as that’s also an excellent Android skin, I’m absolutely fine with that. There is a lot of bloatware that comes pre-installed on the Find X2 Pro though. Uninstalling all of it isn’t a massive deal, but it’s 2020, why are you making your customers do this anyway Oppo? It’s an Android phone, it has Gmail and Chrome on it. I don’t need another version of the same app installed, and if I want them I’ll just go to the Play Store and download them.

The only issue I have with this 120Hz 1440p display actually has nothing to do with the screen itself at all. I wish the battery was just a little bit bigger. Oppo gain marks for making it possible to run the phone at 120Hz and 1440p at the same time, but if you do that you’re going to take a big battery hit. And as the battery is only 4260mAh if you are a power user you can kill this phone in under a day. You are able to switch the phone to either 60Hz or 1080p, but if you have a phone that can do both 120Hz and 1440p, why would you want to do that? Oppo have somewhat offset this issue with the almost ridiculously fast charging capability. Using Oppo’s 65-watt fast charger, you can charge your Find X2 Pro from 0% battery to 100% in just over 30 minutes. I know that sounds unbelievable, but trust me it’s real. And it is amazing.

The actual design of the phone itself is probably my least favourite thing about it. It doesn’t look bad by any means, just a little boring. Especially when compared to the all-screen, sliding selfie camera, smartphone that Oppo released last year. The standard model is exactly what we’ve now come to expect from the smartphone market in 2020. A glass and metal sandwich with a camera bump, a hole punch selfie camera, and curved edges. It looks fine. 2020 smartphone 101. If you’ve read any of my other smartphone reviews you’ll know I’m not a fan of phones with curved edges, but with the Oppo they’re not too bad. During use, I hardly had any accidental touches, and they do look alright. Where Oppo have done something a bit different is with the vegan leather Find X2 Pro. It’s a bit more interesting with the glass back of the phone being replaced with orange vegan leather, and the bits of metal trim on the phone being a nice gold colour. It looks much more interesting (from the back) than the black one and that’s the one I’d recommend. 

The cameras are great. Again you’re given the standard 2020 flagship smartphone line up of a 48MP main sensor, a 48MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 13MP periscope telephoto sensor. The slight difference between this camera’s zoom and some other smartphones is the fact it can go up to 60x digital zoom. It can also go up to 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom. In general use, the camera looks absolutely brilliant, provided it has a good amount of light and you have the AI mode turned off. I found that when the AI mode was switched on it made the snaps look like they’d been really badly edited. What it’s meant to do in theory is detect what you’re taking a picture of and tweak the levels accordingly to make the picture look better. What it does in practice is boost the contrast and saturation of an already brilliant and natural-looking picture to a point where it looks almost fake. Not a fan. I am a fan of the ultra-wide-angle camera though. As it’s 48MP like the main sensor the details in pictures are really nicely preserved, and you can compare pictures from the main and ultra-wide sensors and not really notice any visible quality degradation. The 5x and 10x zoom levels looks great, anything up to 30x takes a slight hit in quality, and just don’t even bother using anything over 30x. There may be a 60x zoom, that does not mean you should use it. It’s there as a big number they can slap on the marketing material, that’s it. 

Video also looks great with all the features you’d expect, up to 4k resolution, up to 60fps, and good image stabilisation. Although that’s only available on the 4k 30fps mode, which is the best way to record video. The selfie camera is really good. It takes nice sharp pictures at 32MP. But for some reason, it doesn’t record video at any higher than 1080p, and it defaults to 720p. So not the best phone if you plan on becoming a vlogger any time soon. When you compare the pictures taken on the Oppo to other flagship phones, like the iPhone 11 Pro, you can see it comes very close in quality. Something I wasn’t expecting, but was very pleased with. Just make sure to keep the AI mode switched off!

There are a couple of omissions from the Oppo Find X2 Pro, which at over £1,000 for the top-spec model, I find a bit confusing. The first, and main one, is a lack of wireless charging. On the vegan leather one, I’m guessing that would be an issue of materials and it wouldn’t be possible. But on the glass-backed £1,099 phone not having wireless charging is a bit weird. Also, it only supports one sim, which for most people isn’t an issue. But most phones at this price point will support two, and for some people that is a dealbreaker. 

But back to my point from the intro, why I don’t think this phone is going to be the device to turn Oppo into a household name in the western market. It is an absolutely brilliant phone don’t get me wrong, I like it a lot, in fact, I think it’s my favourite Android smartphone I’ve used all year. I’m sure it will sell extremely well in Asia where Oppo is massive. But when you bring a smartphone into a market that’s completely dominated by Samsung and Apple, you have to do something bold and give people a reason to switch from the brands they know and love to one they’ve never heard of before. To me, using this phone feels very similar to using a Samsung S20+, and while that is a brilliant phone and that’s a comparison Oppo should be proud of, the vast majority of people in that situation are just going to choose Samsung. I feel where Oppo could have been bold is in pricing, if they’d undercut Samsung by a considerable amount I think people researching their next smartphone would have actually considered going with the Oppo over the Samsung. But they haven’t, The Oppo actually costs £99 more than the S20+ in the UK, and that’s too much. 

Oppo has made a truly fantastic smartphone. Performance is best in class next to the OnePlus 8 Pro, the display is just as good as any other flagship smartphone, and the camera is absolutely brilliant. I can overlook omissions like the lack of wireless charging, and I can overlook a slightly bland design because the rest of the phone is so damn good. Because of playing it a bit too safe in terms of features and pricing, I can’t see many people in the west actually picking up this phone though. And that is a massive shame, because they should.

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