Oppo Find X3 Neo Review: Bringing the best features for less money

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The Find X3 series comprises the Pro, Neo and Lite. Just like last year, the Neo is the mid-ranger that blends affordability with functionality. It’s £400 cheaper than the Pro, so does that make it the smart choice?

Unlike last year’s Find X2 Neo, the Oppo Find X3 Neo is powered by a Snapdragon 865 – not a cheaper 7-series SoC (765G), which means a smaller saving over the top-of-the-range model this time around. The Find X3 Neo is now £699 instead of £599, but that’s still a lot less than £1099.

Considering Snapdragon 865 was the best mobile chipset in 2020, with an awesome level of performance and connectivity options, combined with excellent battery life and solid image processing, the Find X3 Neo is a highly powerful phone for all but those who must have the absolute best-of-the-best.

Oppo has given the phone a decent camera configuration, a bright and vivid curved display, fast battery charging, and a fantastic feel in the hand, thanks to delightfully curved edges and a thin, sub-8mm, chassis.

Design

When reviewing countless phones, it sometimes feels like everything has become much of a muchness. When removing the Find X3 Neo from the box, it immediately felt special. It’s hard to describe, and of course such a statement is subjective, but it just felt ‘right’ in the hand.

While not too curved, the display still looks like that of any flagship phone. Of course, at just one pound shy of £700, this isn’t a budget phone and so quality is to be expected here. Oppo has delivered brilliantly, with the 1080×2400 pixel resolution AMOLED screen having both HDR10+ and a peak brightness of 1100 nits.

There’s a small cut-out for a 32-megapixel selfie camera that isn’t too obtrusive, and is positioned on the left-hand side so it can be rendered almost invisible when the phone is held in a landscape position.

The rear also, in my opinion, looks nicer than the flagship Find X3 Pro. Oppo talked a great deal about the fantastic design and manufacturing achievements of the Find X3 Pro’s camera design, but the Neo is a lot tidier.

The cameras don’t protrude as far out, and you get a nice contrast between the camera array and a much more non-reflective matt finish on the remainder of the back (on the Starlight Black model reviewed here). A slight shimmering pattern almost resembles the stars at night, no doubt explaining how it got its name.

The Find X3 Neo comes with everything else as you’d expect from an Oppo phone; volume keys on the left, power button on the right, a USB-C port and downward firing speaker below. There’s stereo sound thanks to the use of the earpiece as a second speaker, plus an in-glass fingerprint sensor.

Camera

It might not be the top model in the Find X3 series, but Oppo has still blessed the phone with four cameras on the rear, including the use of the same primary 50-megapixel image sensor used on the Find X3 Pro.

The Sony-made IMX766 50-megapixel sensor features an impressive new HDR feature that can better analyse a scene, and quickly react to different exposures.

The 13-megapixel telephoto camera is also the same as from the Find X3 Pro, with a highly acceptable 5x hybrid zoom for when you need a bit more zoom range. The phone can go up to 20x with a digital zoom, but photos don’t look too good so I’d recommend you stop at 10x.

The ultra-wide camera is a mere 16-megapixels, compared to 50-megapixels on the Find X3 Pro (which also uses the same IMX766 sensor as the primary camera here), but it’s sufficient to give the phone a good overall range and loads of flexibility.

Last on the list of cameras (on the back at least) is a 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera. Why Oppo, why? It brings nothing to the table except people like me ranting about how such a resolution isn’t fit for 2021. It wasn’t for 2020 or 2019 either.

You can go back to the early 2000s to get to a time when a 2-megapixel sensor would be considered special, even range-topping. Times change, so please let’s see these ridiculous camera sensors consigned to the history books forever. Fortunately, you’ll have little to no reason to use this mode so just forget it’s there.

Finally, on the front you get a wide-angle 32-megapixel camera, that also supports HDR, and produces good, clear, shots with the ability to capture 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

Talking of video, you’ll be able to set the Find X3 Neo to record 4K video at 60fps in all but the ultra-wide mode, where it drops to 30fps. Slow motion video can be recorded at 720p or 1080p. There’s no 8K recording, but while it might be a nice-to-have for some future-proofing, it’s not a dealbreaker.

Find X3 Neo cameras at-a-glance

  • 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS
  • 13 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), PDAF, 2x optical zoom (5-20x digital)
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • 32 MP selfie camera

Pixel peepers will like the photos taken with the Find X3 Neo, which are full of detail – thanks in part to the excellent primary camera sensor. Zoomed photos beyond 5x won’t stand up to the same level of scrutiny, and the ultrawide also loses out on the pixel count compared to the Find X3 Pro, but you are still given a flexible camera setup that will suit most needs.

The photos below should give a good feel for the camera, which is easy to use and full of features just like any other Oppo phone released in the last year or two.

Photo Gallery
Video sample: Shot at night with various zoom levels, in 4K.

Performance

Qualcomm now has two chipsets that sit above last year’s flagship (SD870 and SD888), but don’t let that put you off as there’s plenty of performance to enjoy here.

On the 5G side, you can enjoy real-world speeds of over 1Gbps depending on your network of choice, so this phone is plenty fast enough – and it has support for the 700MHz 5G bands that many networks will be switching on this year (at the time of writing, EE has already activated one site, with many more good to go in the coming weeks).

Wi-Fi 6 also keeps the handset future-proofed for a good number of years to come, with a maximum connection speed of 1200Mbps. There’s no Wi-Fi 6E support, but it’s still far beyond what most people would want or need from a smartphone.

For gaming, the combination of the powerful chipset and a 90Hz refresh rate makes this an ideal phone for gaming, especially when the phone is so comfortable to hold.

Backed up with a 4,500mAh battery (the same capacity as the Find X3 Pro), and 65W fast charging, the Find X3 Neo doesn’t compromise on the battery either, although it does lose the wireless charging you now get on the Find X3 Pro.

Given you can get from 0-100% in around 40 minutes using the wired charger, and the battery will go for a full day with 5 or 6 hours of screen-on-time, chances are you’ll rarely need worry about topping up during the day (and if you’re on the move, wireless charging is not very practical anyway).

Overall

Just as in 2020, Oppo’s mid-range model comes with just enough of the flagship features to satisfy the needs of most customers, especially those who want to save money but perhaps not go as low as the Lite model, which does compromise on more features and performance.

It should be noted that this year’s Find X3 Lite is powered by the Snapdragon 765G that powered the Find X2 Neo last year – but when you look at the camera setup, there are some significant compromises, along with not one but two 2-megapixel cameras to contend with!

Also, the Find X3 Pro now comes with less storage than the Find X2 Pro, as well as losing the periscope zoom camera, which makes the difference between the Neo and Pro smaller this time around. While the Pro has gained fast wireless charging, the Find X3 Neo includes two of the same cameras, the same capacity battery, a fantastic screen, and a nicer look and feel.

If you’d prefer not to keep the phone in the supplied case, the lack of fingerprints on the rear is another bonus.

Oppo has one again created an excellent phone for the masses, and it makes it harder to justify the extra outlay.

Hopefully I’ll get to review the Find X3 Pro in due course and see if the extra cameras not present here make it worth the extra, but until then I have no doubt that you’d be fine with this – and that £400 saved in your pocket could no doubt come in useful!

Also consider…

This does bring me to feel it worth mentioning that if you can find last year’s Find X2 Pro at a decent price, that could in fact be the best choice of all. There will be one year less of Android updates compared to the Find X3 series, but you’ll get a more versatile camera setup, a higher-resolution display, plus the same chipset with the same fast Wi-Fi connectivity. There’s also a lot more onboard storage, as well as the option of a vegan leather finish on the rear.

Another alternative is the OnePlus 9, which will save you a further £70. The camera setup is slightly different, but you’ll get this year’s Snapdragon 888 chip and wireless charging (15W). The phone is slightly thicker too, but it boasts the Hasselblad tuned cameras for better colour accuracy, which I found to perform well in my review.

Key Specifications

Find X3 Pro (5G)Find X3 Neo (5G)
As reviewed here
Find X3 Lite (5G)
Size/Weight163.6 x 74 x 8.26mm / 193g159.9 x 72.5 x 7.99mm / 184g159.1 x 73.4 x 7.9mm / 172-180g
Display6.7 inch AMOLED LTPO
1 Billion colour display
1440×3216 pixels
120Hz Dynamic Refresh
240Hz Touch Sampling
500 nits (800 sunlight)
HDR10+ Certified
6.55 inch OLED
1080×2400 pixels
90Hz Refresh Rate
180Hz Touch Sampling
500 nits (800 sunlight)
HDR10+
6.4 inch OLED
1080×2400 pixels
90Hz Refresh Rate
180Hz Touch Sampling
430 nits (600 sunlight)
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Camera (rear)50-megapixel Primary Camera
Sony IMX 766 Sensor
f/1.8 OIS
All Pixel Omni-directional PDAF

50-megapixel Ultra Wide
Sony IMX 766 Sensor
f/2.2
All Pixel Omni-directional PDAF

13-megapixel Telephoto
f/2.4
5x Hybrid Zoom, 20x Digital Zoom

3-megapixel Microlens
f/3.0 fixed focus

Video up to 4K 60fps
50-megapixel Primary Camera
Sony IMX 766 Sensor
f/1.8 OIS
All Pixel Omni-directional PDAF

16-megapixel Ultra Wide
f/2.2

13-megapixel Telephoto
f/2.4
5x Hybrid Zoom, 20x Digital Zoom

2-megapixel Macro
f/2.4

Video up to 4K 60fps
64-megapixel Primary camera
f/1.7
80 degree Field-of-View
Closed loop focus motor

8-megapixel Ultra Wide
f/2.2

2-megapixel Macro
f/2.4

2-megapixel Mono camera
f/2.4

Video up to 4K 30fps
Camera (front)32-megapixel Selfie camera
f/2.4

Video up to 1080p 30fps
32-megapixel Selfie camera
f/2.4

Video up to 1080p 30fps
32-megapixel Selfie camera
f/2.4

Video up to 1080p 30fps
Memory12GB LPDDR5 RAM
256GB UFS 3.1 Storage
12GB LPDDR4 RAM
256GB UFS 3.0 Storage
8GB LPDDR4 RAM
128GB UFS 2.1 Storage
ConnectivityDual-SIM + eSIM
Wi-Fi 6 (2×2 160)
Bluetooth 5.2
USB 3.1 (USB 3.1 data cable required)
NFC
Dual-SIM
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Dual-SIM
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.1
3.5mm Headphone port
NFC
Battery4,500mAh
65W SuperVOOC 2.0 (65W)
30W Wireless Charging
4,500mAh
65W SuperVOOC 2.0 (65W)
4,300mAh
65W SuperVOOC 2.0 (65W)
OSColorOS 11.2 on Android 11ColorOS 11.1 on Android 11ColorOS 11.1 on Android 11
AudioDolby Atmos with Stereo SoundDolby Atmos with Stereo SoundDolby Atmos (Mono)
IP ratingIP68NoNo
Supplied withEarphones
Standard Data Cable
Charger
Protective Case
Earphones
Standard Data Cable
Charger
Protective Case
Earphones
Standard Data Cable
Charger
Protective Case
ColoursGloss Black
Blue
Galactic Silver
Starlight Black (as reviewed)
Galactic Silver
Starry Black
Astral Blue
More information

Oppo Find X3 Neo

£699
8.9

Features

9.1/10

Performance

9.0/10

Camera

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Great feel in the hand, with premium look and feel
  • Two cameras taken from flagship Find X3 Pro
  • 2020's flagship processor - so no slouch
  • Large, bright, vivid HDR10+ display
  • Large battery and 65W charging

Cons

  • Pointless 2-megapixel macro camera
  • No wireless charging or IP-rating

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