Oppo Find X2 Neo review
Quick verdict: Oppo’s more affordable 5G handset doesn’t just rest on fast network access, providing great battery life and solid all-round performance too.
- Great battery life
- Good cameras
- Fingerprint sensor is poor
- No wireless charging
- Single SIM only
Power, storage and battery
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2019 was the year where we saw the first 5G phones, but you sure had to pay a premium to get onto the early adopter's bandwagon. 2019 has seen a raft of more affordable 5G fare, largely built around Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G chipset.
Oppo is the latest competitor to come to market with a more affordable 5G handset, or in fact two of them. The Oppo Find X2 Neo is actually Oppo's more expensive mid-range phone, with the Oppo Find X2 Lite the actual "cheap" 5G phone. That puts the Find X2 Neo in an interesting spot, because it's not quite as premium as the full-fat Oppo Find X2 Pro, but it has price competition if 5G is what entices you about a new phone.
5G is still being built out, however, and that means that a phone should offer more than just access to next-generation networks to be worthy of your buying dollar. That's where the Oppo Find X2 Neo mostly shines, providing great battery life, solid performance and fun camera features.
- 6.5-inch 90Hz display hits a sweet spot
- No headphone jack
- Single SIM
- In-display fingerprint reader is awful
- Moonlight Black colour is underwhelming
Oppo sells the Oppo Find X2 Neo in two colour variants in Australia, with a choice of "Moonlight Black" or "Starry Blue" to pick from. It's the former that Oppo sent me for testing, and unlike LeAnn Rimes, I can fight the moonlight… or at least, I can find it a touch underwhelming.
It's very much just your basic black plastic finish, and that's a tad unexpected from Oppo, especially given the nicer feel and finish of the premium Oppo Find X2 Pro. Maybe that's the point. If you want the nicest Oppo phone, you have to pay extra.
What is nice on the Oppo Find X2 Neo is the front display panel. It's a 6.5-inch curved AMOLED with a 2,400x1,080 pixel count and up to 90Hz refresh rate. We've seen higher in some premium phones of late, but that bump up to 90Hz from standard 60Hz is quite welcome, giving the Oppo Find X2 Neo some really slick animation for games, video and general web usage. Oppo does note that 90Hz will chew up a little more battery space, but it also gives you full choice when it comes to refresh rates. You can leave it in 60Hz mode, force it to permanent 90Hz or allow the Oppo Find X2 Neo to dynamically choose the best mode depending on the content it's being used for.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro is a slim and pleasant to hold phone with a relatively modest camera bump at the rear, volume buttons on the right and a simple power key on the right. There's no inbuilt 3.5mm headphone jack, or for that matter a physical fingerprint sensor.
Oppo's produced plenty of phones with in-display fingerprint readers but to date I've found them underwhelming in terms of accuracy. Sadly, the Oppo Find X2 Neo counts amongst that number, with pretty poor pickup rates of enrolled fingerprints. It doesn't help that the Oppo Find X2 Neo uses a very flashy unlock animation underneath the fingerprint sensor, because every time it fails your digit is lit up, signifying that it's not going to let you into the phone again. It might seem like a small point, but the lousy fingerprint sensor on the Oppo Find X2 Neo was easily my least favourite feature.
The Oppo Find X2 Neo features a single 5G/4G LTE capable SIM card slot at the base, which means you're also doing without dual SIM capability, or for that matter storage expansion.
- Quad camera array, but not every lens is addressable
- Lots of lens variety is a creativity boon
In the mid-range space we've seen some serious competition from phones like the Google Pixel 4a and Apple iPhone SE 2020, both of which run on the promise of simple single-lens photography backed up with lots of AI muscle.
That's not the approach of the Oppo Find X2 Neo, which features a quad camera array at the rear, based around a primary 48MP f/1.7 sensor, paired up with a 13MP f/2.4 telephoto sensor, 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide sensor and finally a 2MP f/2.4 monochrome sensor. It's been a long while since a vendor's offered up a phone with a dedicated monochrome lens… and sadly, the wait continues, because while the Oppo Find X2 Neo has a monochrome sensor, it lacks a dedicated monochrome shooting mode. It's simply there to add AI-stitched contrast to your other shots, which is a touch disappointing.
The rest of the Oppo Find X2 Neo's camera package is quite good, however. The primary sensor has decent fast focusing and shoots as well and often better than its mid-range 5G competition, especially in low light. Oppo also provides a super-saturated "Dazzle Color" mode if you like that over-coloured look to your shots, but it's worthwhile considering what you want out of a shot. Here's a standard photo of a bush taken with the Oppo Find X2 Neo:
And the same shot with "Dazzle Color" applied:
The telephoto lens does push a "hybrid" zoom mode with defaults for 2x and 5x zoom, and if pushed up to 20x digital zoom. Predictably it's not worth pushing it beyond 5x zoom if you want anything like a useable photo.
You typically don't want to get too close to a magpie if you like retaining your eyes, and the Oppo Find X2 Neo delivered a good, croppable shot with the regular lens here:
However, zooming in close, the digital noise takes over to a less pleasing degree:
I'm a big fan of lens choice, because it does open up shots that you'd have a harder time getting on those single lens AI monsters, but there's an obvious tradeoff in terms of general shot performance and ease of use. The Oppo Find X2 Neo is good within its category, but it's not quite the best, and naturally enough it's not up to the standards set by the more expensive Oppo Find X2 Pro.
Oppo's other big sales pitch for the Oppo Find X2 is an app called "Soloop", which makes it simple to create TikTok style videos with a choice of flashy templates to overlay on top of your video or still shots. It's totally a question of taste as to whether you think this is the best thing ever or rather garish. I'd tend towards the latter, but I won't argue that it doesn't make it quite simple to create flashy short videos if that's your thing.
Oppo Find X2 Neo sample photos
- Snapdragon 765G gives predictably good performance
- 5G ready, but you probably don't need it yet
- ColorOS is still clunky
- Non-expandable storage
In the mid-range market right now, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G is the clear frontrunner in terms of performance if you want a more affordable handset with 5G capabilities baked in. That's why we've already seen it running in phones such as the LG Velvet and Motorola Edge. It's also the brains behind the Oppo Find X2 Neo, paired up with a healthy 12GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. One catch here is that the Oppo Find X2 Neo doesn't include a microSD card slot, so that 256GB is all it's ever going to have.
The mid-range in 2020 is where a lot of the exciting movement in mobile phone performance and value lies, and with that in mind, I ran the Oppo Find X2 Neo through our standard suite of tests to compare it against its 765G brethren, as well as the best of this year's 4G-only mid-range crop. First up for comparative purposes is Geekbench 5's CPU test:
The Oppo Find X2 Neo performs in much the same way as its 765G brethren, and predictably way below the powerhouse that is the Apple A13 Bionic powering the Apple iPhone SE 2020. Still, the Oppo Find X2 Neo delivers plenty of power for most people's everyday smartphone usage.
It's much the same story in terms of graphics performance, where the Oppo Find X2 Neo's Adreno 620 GPU delivers a solid quantity of pixel-pushing power. Here's how it compares against the same field of phones:
The Oppo Find X2 Neo runs on Android 10 with Oppo's own ColorOS 7 on top. Long gone are the days when ColorOS wanted to be iOS. These days, it rather likes being a candy-coloured Android variant that I honestly struggle to find anything that exciting about. Just like other Oppo phones, if you're used to stock Android you may have to tap around a bit to find a system setting that may not be where you want it to be. Just like other Oppo phones, the stock apps sometimes ask for permissions that seem to step outside where they should be operating, but this is Android, so you're not stuck with them.
Where the Oppo Find X2 Neo does potentially get exciting is in the inclusion of 5G, because like every other Snapdragon 765G phone, more affordable 5G is one of the key planks of its selling proposition. Do you really need 5G right now? Probably not, especially given current lockdown provisions, but it's a nice-to-have feature that should give the Oppo Find X2 Neo network compatibility for more than its effective shelf life.
Network speeds can still vary, and it is only a sub6 5G phone, not a mmWave compatible one. To give that some comparative weight, I took the Oppo Find X2 Neo out to test it in a nearby Telstra 5G coverage area, where it recorded a Finder speedtest download rate of 262Mbps down, although only 18.4Mbps up. That's still within the spec of 4G LTE, although a phone tested on 4G at the same location struggled to bump above 150Mbps at the same time. Then again, there are simply more 4G phones out there, so network congestion is something of a given.
- 4,025mAh battery gives superb battery life
- Where's my wireless charging, Oppo?
The Oppo Find X2 Neo ships with a sealed 4,025mAh battery, a touch smaller than competitors such as the LG Velvet or Motorola Edge. That didn't give me huge hopes for great battery life, especially considering that 90Hz display, which you'd typically want to have running most of the time.
To gauge likely battery life, I ran the Oppo Find X2 Neo through our standard battery test, streaming a YouTube 1,080p video for an hour at full brightness and moderate volume from 100% battery. Typically what we want to see here is battery life as much above 90% as possible, because that indicates scope for good multi-day battery life. In the case of the Oppo Find X2 Neo, the test was run twice at 90Hz and 60Hz refresh rates to give an indication of how much power that high refresh rate really sucks up.
Here's how the Oppo Find X2 Neo compares against its mid-range brethren:
The Find X2 Neo's benchmarked battery life is very good indeed, and even using 90Hz doesn't bump it down as much as I'd expect it to. It's a figure that also repeats out into everyday life, where I was able to get the Oppo Find X2 Neo through a day's work with little issue. Naturally you can flatten any phone battery if you punish it hard enough, but for regular everyday use there's a lot to like here.
One feature that you might expect to find in a higher mid-range phone like the Oppo Find X2 Neo is wireless charging, but it's entirely absent here. It's not like it's a feature that Oppo held exclusively for the pricier Oppo Find X2 Pro either, because it's absent there as well. You do at least get Oppo's well-regarded Vooc Flash Charge 4 for speedy USB-C related phone charging.
Should you buy the Oppo Find X2 Neo?
- Buy it if you want a good all-rounder in the mid-range 5G phone category.
- Don't buy it if you want a good fingerprint sensor.
It's tough for many of us to lay down the prices of true "flagship" phones right now, but phones like the Oppo Find X2 Neo demonstrate why you really don't need to. 5G isn't yet a must-have feature, but beyond its inclusion you're getting a lovely display screen, good battery life and some very solid, if not quite best in class camera performance. If Oppo could sort out the dodgy fingerprint sensor reading accuracy it'd be a clear winner in the mid-range space overall, but even so it's well worth consideration.
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Images: Alex Kidman