Oppo Find X kills the notch with a sliding top panel.
The panel holds the back and front camera, and face unlock sensors.
It is priced at Rs 59,990.
Just when you thought that a smartphone couldn’t get any more bezel-less, out came Vivo with the NEX, and Oppo with the Find X. Having seen both the devices, I admit Oppo has found a more elegant solution to killing the notch. It is little wonder then quite a few smartphone companies are looking at emulating it on their upcoming devices. But is the Find X only about its notch-killing slider or is there more to it than meets the eye? Here’s my review.
Calling the Oppo Find X beautiful is an understatement. I’ve had people stare at me in public places as if I was holding an alien object, while others have even come up to me to ask what device I was using. With most smartphones these days looking as if they belong to an extended family, such attention grabbing qualities is a welcome change.
The Find X is an all-glass device, and it oozes premium-ness from every inch. The curved body, the gradient color scheme (Bordeaux Red or Glacier Blue), and the bezel-less display dominating the front is everything you expect from an expensive device. Some might say that the overall form factor and the display spilling to the edges is inspired by Samsung’s Galaxy flagship devices. While that maybe true, it is not really a bad thing.
Killing the notch
If the premium glass design wasn’t attractive enough, the sliding top panel will surely make you go wow. Ever since the iPhone X, Android companies have tried different approaches to introduce a full-screen display. While some have aped Apple, others have reduced the size of the notch to a ‘waterdrop’.
But Vivo, and then Oppo took things to the next level by completely doing away with the notch and bezels, and opted for pop-up cameras. But where Vivo’s pop-up selfie camera seems a tad desperate, Oppo’s solution is more elegant.
The sliding panel on the Find X hosts the dual-cameras at the back, and the selfie camera and the Face Unlock sensors up front. The sliding mechanism is fast, and smooth at the same time. Be it to unlock your device or to quickly capture a photo, there’s barely any delay. At the time of filing this review, Oppo’s solution to kill the notch clearly seems to be the most elegant and futuristic yet.
There are quite a few things going for the Oppo Find X. The 6.4-inch AMOLED bezel-less display is an absolute treat for your eyes. Be it watching Netflix series or playing games, you will hardly find anything to complain about. The display is bright enough for every lighting condition. Though having said that, I did wish the brightness levels could be brought down a bit more when you want to read in bed at night.
With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and 8GB of RAM under the hood, performance is least of the concerns. For most parts the device runs smoothly despite having multiple apps open in the background. Graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Hitman Sniper too run smoothly most of the time, but there are occasional drop in frame-rates that are difficult to miss. Oppo has actually added a dedicated ‘Game Space’ that frees up memory and claims to improve overall gaming performance, but that is not really the case.
Making sure everything ticks is a 3,730mAh battery, which easily lasts more than a day. Regardless of your use, you will be charging the phone only once a day. In the rare occasions that you are running low on battery, Oppo has added power saving options that work as advertised.
Another aspect of the Oppo Find X that surprised me was its cameras. The combination of 20-megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors at the back are quite capable for shooting photos in different lighting conditions. The camera was able to consistently capture photos with pleasing colors and good dynamic range. Even in darker conditions, the camera is able to capture quite a bit of details.
Up front is a 25-megapixel snapper, which comes with beauty mode and AI-capabilities. Even without enabling the beauty mode, photos are generally on the soft side. But I must admit the photos do look good, and they are ready to be shared on social media without needing any edits.
There is a dedicated portrait mode for the front and back cameras. Again I was a bit surprised by how good the photos were. In good lighting conditions, the cameras were able to easily separate the subject from the blurred background.
Alongside the front camera hiding in the slider is also an Apple-inspired Face Unlock feature. Called ‘3D Face Recognition system’, it is among the very best I have seen on an Android device so far. You can consistently unlock the screen in a jiffy, and it works equally well in complete darkness. Trust me, you are not going to miss a fingerprint sensor on the Find X.
The Oppo Find X might win a lot of plaudits for its futuristic design, but it is far too delicate for a Rs 60,000 smartphone. The all-glass design is as slippery as it is a smudge magnet. You should brace yourself for more than one heart-in-your-mouth moments.
Then there is the very solution that Oppo has adopted to kill the notch. The slider may be the highlight of the Find X, but it is also the thing that makes you question its longevity. Mechanical parts have a tendency to fail, and despite Oppo’s reassurances, you can’t help but expect the slider to one day not pop up. The mechanical part is also why there are no covers or cases to protect your phone.
Watch: Oppo Find X First Look
Another area of concern is the software that drives the Find X. It runs Android Oreo out-of-the-box, which is wrapped under Oppo’s ColorOS 5.1. The UI doesn’t have an app drawer, and the unnecessary animations hog resources. There are also a bunch of preloaded apps that cannot be uninstalled.
On the positive side, UI implements gestures effectively. To get the true bezel-less experience, you should disable the on-screen navigation buttons and opt for gesture controls. There are gestures to go back, head to the homescreen, and open a card-based multitasking window. While this too is inspired by Apple, the execution is top notch.
Is this the future?
As I’ve already mentioned in this review, Oppo’s solution to killing the notch is by far the best so far. Going by all the recent rumors, sliders are here to stay, maybe not in such mechanized form. So yes the Find X does offer a glimpse into the future of smartphones. It is also another shining example of just how far Chinese companies have come with innovation.
But the Find X is far from a perfect device. For all its hardware goodness, the Find X is held back by its frustrating software. The lack of compatible accessories (read cases) is also a glaring disadvantage as the cost of repairs are bound to be high. Although I’m quite impressed with what Oppo has achieved, these are concerns that dissuade a recommendation to spend Rs 60,000 for the Find X.