All screen without the notch
For phone designers, getting the largest possible display on a smartphone means taking the screen as close to the edge of the phone as possible. But the front-facing camera lens at the top of the screen usually gets in the way.
Premium phones such as Apple's latest releases the iPhone XS and iPhone XR (as well as the discontinued iPhone X), Huawei's P20 Pro and LG's G7 claim to be 'all screen', but there's still a thick black strip or black notch at the top of the display around the lens and sensor.
The wow factor
The Oppo Find X packs 6.4 inches of screen into a body smaller than the Apple iPhone 8 Plus (which only has a 5.5-inch monitor). Click on the camera icon and you quickly realise how Oppo has been able to deliver the final piece in the smartphone display puzzle, with a camera that slides out of the phone casing.
To unlock the phone you use a passcode or facial recognition. Setting up facial recognition is easy and very natural, as you simply raise the phone to your face to calibrate it and from then on raise it to your face to unlock. The camera quickly pops up to see that it's you and then hands over control – undeniably funky.
There's no doubt that the pop-up camera of the Oppo (it doesn't really pop up so much as slide up and down) turns heads, but it's also a bit disconcerting; the camera at full stretch does look like it could be a magnet for dust and a weak spot for clumsy smartphone owners. But after using it for a few weeks, we found that the Oppo Find X and its camera mechanism comfortably handled the daily beatings that a smartphone endures without incident.
However, it must be noted that the phone isn't rated for dust or water protection, and even though we left the phone in a bag out of its case and subjected it to general use, it didn't come in contact with water.
The Bordeaux red case we used in the review is a very attractive finish, however a clear case would be highly recommended as the surface is extremely slick and any incline at all will see the Find X slip straight off a table onto the floor.
Video watching is a revelation, with the all-screen viewing quality one of the best you'll see on a mobile device. If you're watching HD or 4K video, simply pinch zoom the screen to enjoy true edge-to-edge YouTube videos and movies.
Oppo look and feel
The Oppo's ColorOS 5.2 menu and interface might not please dedicated Android users, as you need to swipe between pages to access the full range of apps, but iPhone users will find the look and feel very familiar. The full screen makes Android's split screen multitasking mode extremely useful with loads of room to have apps arranged side by side. Plus, there's no dedicated home button, just like the iPhone. There's enough grunt under the hood to run multiple apps at once, while the 3730mAh provides enough power for a day out. 128GB of on-board storage should satisfy most users, however the 256GB version available in other markets would have been a good option.
What about the camera?
You have two cameras and three lenses to choose from – the 25MP front (selfie) camera and a dual rear primary (main) camera with a 20MP telephoto lens and a 16MP wide-angle lens. Both front (selfie) and back (main) cameras on the Oppo deliver very good images in most situations with an artificial intelligence mode that not only recognises the lighting situation but also takes a good guess at the content of the shot.
The automatic assessment of the content to photograph works surprisingly well; it recognised food and indoor and outdoor scenes without any problem.
Full screen, as the name suggests, made the photo fill the phone's screen, but those images do appear quite long and fairly zoomed in when viewed on other devices. The zooming feature of either toggling between 1x and 2x, or sliding to customise allows you to zoom with one hand providing a more secure hold on the mobile while composing a shot.
Apple and maybe Samsung seem to be the only smartphone companies able to convince consumers that they should fork out $1000 for a product. But Oppo doesn't. The company is hoping you'll consider the latest Find X as a premium smartphone with a design from one of the few companies that are 'thinking differently'.
Oppo Find X