Phone manufacturer OPPO has been a constant presence in New Zealand market share lists over the last few years, with IDC pointing out OPPO is on the top three here.
There’s a good reason for this. The brand has consistently delivered phones that bring improvements, year after year. The phones have a fast and good-looking Android-based operating system and the hardware is top-notch.
Take the new OPPO Find X5 Pro for example. Its new flagship supports 5G out of the box, uses technology from Hasselblad on its camera, records 4K night videos and takes Ultra HDR photos, supports Dolby Atmos audio with its stereo speakers and has a super bright high resolution (3216 x 1440 pixels) 6.7” AMOLED display with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz.
This is just the start. When you take the phone out of the box you instantly feel its frame and back – which instead of glass or plastic is actually a microcrystalline ceramic that promises to be twice as hard as glass.
Yes, there’s a camera bump in the back but even that is kind of ok – the design makes it actually look futuristic and stylish. And it’s created in a way that it gives the phone an IP68 rating so it’s splashproof, waterproof and dustproof.
Back to the screen. It’s gorgeous. Large and bright (1300 nit) and with very dark black that makes it a pleasure to see. As mentioned, the refresh rate is up to 120 Hz and the system is smart enough to control this rate automatically, from 1 Hz to 120 Hz, depending on the type of content currently on screen. This is a neat feature as it helps limit battery consumption.
If that’s not enough, OPPO brought in some smart features that will upscale your HD content from 720p and 1080p to 2160p, taking full advantage of the screen and the HDR10+ support. The result is a brilliant picture when watching movies or TV series.
The OPPO Find X5 Pro has both fingerprint and face unlock, with an under the screen fingerprint reader. I find these quite convenient as I think it is easier to use than those fingerprint scanners located on the side or back of a device.
Not that you’d need to save battery here. We are talking about a 5,000 mAh dual-cell battery, which gives you plenty of power to go through the day. If that’s not enough, the new 80W SuperVOC flash charging system can get your battery back up to 50% in approximately 12 minutes. I have not tested the wireless charging but the specs say it supports a 50W charger that can get your phone up to 100% in 47 minutes or so. That’s impressive.
OPPO has also added a new graphene-based cooling system to keep your phone cool even under stress. That’s probably because this handset is powered by a beastly Qualcomm 8 Gen 1, with 12 GB memory and 256 GB storage. The OPPO Find X5 Pro also has a RAM Expansion feature that allows you to use up to 7 GB of unused storage as main memory, taking it to a total of 19 GB of runtime memory.
The combination of power, latest generation multicore CPU and memory is noticeable when opening and switching applications.
The camera has a combination of 50 megapixel wide-angle f/1.8 24 mm equivalent, a 50 megapixel ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 15mm equivalent and a 13 megapixel telephoto f/2.4 52mm equivalent. But that’s not the main point. OPPO put together two Sony IMX766 sensors and their new MariSilicon X imaging NPU chip with the ability to process up to 18 tera operations per second. Add the use of glass lenses and you get some serious video capability, with a very smooth 4K 60 fps capture that is bright even at night.
And for those who remember the good Hasselblad cameras, the shutter noise is a perfect reproduction of those original Hasselblad devices.
The ColorOS 12.1 is OPPO’s version of Android 12. I have had the device here for about a month and had two updates installed (one out of the box, another just a week or so go). It is responsive and the design elements are pretty slick. The themes are actually nice and OPPO is doing well at providing a clean Android experience here.
In terms of networks we have to recognise it's up there with updated WiFi, bringing support for WiFi 6. Also interesting is the ability to connect to two WiFi networks (or two bands on the same network) to increase bandwidth. This seems to only benefit a limited number of applications though - including Netflix and YouTube. And on mobile, it supports 5G, which is all about speed and low latency.
Ultimately this is a very good top of the line from OPPO. It certainly brings those improvements we expected from them this year.