The latest high-end smartphone from China’s Oppo aims to usurp Samsung as the best Android phone launched in 2022 with serious speed and a luxurious ceramic back that’s almost too smooth.
The Find X5 Pro costs £1,049 and won’t be sold in the US. It replaces last year’s Find X3 Pro (there was no X4) and is packed with all the things you expect from a top-flight phone.
The 120Hz 6.7in OLED screen is slick, crisp, bright and colourful, although is too saturated in the default “vibrant” display colour mode. Setting it to one of the more natural colour options looked better to my eye.
The back of the phone is more unusual, with a moulded design that fully envelops the camera lump in a single piece of smooth ceramic material. In its glossy black colour it certainly looks and feels premium, but it is so smooth that the phone slides off anything that isn’t level, including my desk or the sofa, forcing the need for a case.
It feels very solidly made and nice in the hand, with a relatively narrow width that makes it easier to use than some larger rivals, but it is a touch heavy compared with similar-sized models from Samsung and others.
Screen: 6.7in 120Hz QHD+ OLED (525ppi)
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 12GB of RAM
Operating system: ColorOS 12.1 (Android 12)
Camera: 50MP main and ultrawide + 13MP 2x telephoto, 32MP selfie
Connectivity: 5G, eSIM, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS
Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for 30 minutes)
Dimensions: 163.7 x 73.9 x 8.5mm
Long battery life and very fast charging
The Find has the same top Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip as most high-end Android phones launched in 2022, performing admirably with a rapid interface and smooth gaming. It does, however, get noticeably warm during even fairly short gaming sessions.
Battery life is very good, lasting more than 42 hours between charges on average used on 5G for three hours and with the screen set to the default FHD+ resolution and actively used for almost six hours with various apps and Chrome. That’s about seven hours longer than Samsung’s nearest rival and about the same as Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro, meaning you will probably only have to charge it every other night with light usage. It lasts for about five hours of screen-on time when the display is increased its maximum QHD+ resolution.
Oppo rates the battery for at least 1,600 full charge cycles using its 80W SuperVOOC system while maintaining at least 80% of its original capacity, which is at least twice as long as most others.
The phone is generally repairable by Oppo with a replacement battery costing about £30 plus labour. The company operates a trade-in scheme and publishes yearly sustainability reports, but not for individual products. The Find X5 Pro does not include recycled materials.
Oppo’s ColorOS is a heavily customised version of Android 12 with a design more familiar in Asia than most of the Android phones sold in the west.
The majority of the system should be familiar to anyone who has used an Android device, however, and is packed with customisation options for its look and operation.
It contains some small oddities and irritations, including quick launching of the camera requiring a double-press of the volume button instead of the power button, which is common in China but it doesn’t work when playing music. To turn off the phone you have to hold both the volume up and power button for a couple of seconds, too, which doesn’t work reliably, often shooting the volume to maximum instead.
Oppo will support the Find X5 Pro with software updates including three major Android version upgrades and a total four years of security updates from the phone’s release. That is a significant improvement over last year’s model but lags behind Samsung’s five and Apple’s six-plus years of support.
New for this year is a partnership with camera-maker Hasselblad matching Oppo’s subsidiary OnePlus’s from last year. The Find has three cameras on the back and a 32MP selfie camera on the front, the latter of which is solid but unremarkable.
The main 50MP camera generally shoots very good images with excellent detail, handling a range of lighting conditions well, including very low light, with aplomb. It would occasionally oversaturate some colours in an image, as if it had pre-applied a filter, but otherwise did great job.
The 50MP ultra wide camera can be good but often produced images that looked washed out. The 13MP 2x telephoto camera is fine for what it is, but is obviously inferior to the two other cameras and miles behind the competition at this price, which often have 3, 5 or even 10x optical zooms getting you meaningfully closer to your subject.
The phone also shoots good video in up to 8K resolution, with excellent stabilisation in 1080p modes. Overall, the main camera is really good, but the ultra wide and weak zoom let the Find down compared with similarly priced or cheaper rivals.
The Oppo Find X5 Pro costs £1,049 in black or white.
The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a nice-looking, slick Android phone.
It has many of the high-end features you should expect, including Android’s top chip from Qualcomm, good battery life, a great screen, unusual back design and incredibly fast charging.
Its main camera on the back is very good, but the phone is let down a little by its ultra-wide camera and its 2x telephoto camera is particularly weak compared with the competition. The ColorOS software is improving, now with four years of support, but it still has lots of little niggles. The biggest problem is the phone’s £1,049 RRP is simply too high for what it offers.
When premium rivals offer more capable 4x zoom cameras for less or mega zoom cameras for a little more, five or more years of software support and similar or better screens and designs, Oppo still has much work to do to justify its very high asking price.
Pros: good screen, top performance, long battery life, very fast charging, interesting design, good main camera, water resistance, fast in-screen fingerprint scanner.
Cons: expensive, ultrawide camera is inconsistent, lack of extended optical zoom for the camera is poor, only four years of software support guaranteed, ColorOS not polished enough, design marred by ugly logos, back is too smooth and slides around on not-quite-flat surfaces.