Oppo Find X5 review: Good, but not great for the price

Quick verdict: The Oppo Find X5 is a pretty good phone, but for the asking price it needs to be great. And it doesn't quite manage that.

Pros

  • Marisilicon NPU can provide good low-light coverage
  • Wired charging is ridiculously fast
  • Cheaper than the Find X5 Pro
Cons

  • Runs on last year’s chips
  • No water resistance
  • 2x Optical is limiting at this price
  • Every other mid-tier flagship beats it one way or another

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Details

Display

Display Size
6.55 inches
Resolution
2400 × 1080px
Pixels per inch (PPI)
402 ppi

Camera

Rear camera megapixels
50MP + 50MP + 13MP
Rear camera aperture size
f/1.8 + f/2.2 + f/2.4
Video recording
4K
Front camera megapixels
32MP
Front camera aperture size
f/2.4

Physical Dimensions

Dimensions
160.3mm x 72.6mm x 8.7mm
Weight
196g

Connectivity

NFC
Yes
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Network category speed
N/A

Power, storage and battery

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform
RAM
8GB
Operating system
Android 12
Internal storage
256GB
Battery capacity
4,800mAh

Device features

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Water resistance rating
N/A
Launch price (RRP)$1,399
Launch date2022-04
Oppo Find X5

The Oppo Find X5 is intended to be the "cut-down" version of the larger and pricier Oppo Find X5 Pro.

That's a super common play for smartphone makers, because you can grab the attention of folks who can't or won't meet the asking price for the premium model. Meanwhile, you can make it clear that if you want the very best goodies, you'll only get them in the flagship variant.

The Find X5 is a mostly capable and pleasant handset. However, it's not hard at all to get nicer and more powerful options for a lower price, which makes it hard to recommend.

There's nothing terribly wrong with it, but it feels like a phone that would have made a lot more sense a year ago.


Design: Let's make the Oppo Find X5 Pro… only slightly less nice

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

The Oppo Find X5 Pro, the true flagship of the range has a smooth and slick style, with a contoured camera bump that fits neatly into the hand, giving the phone an almost liquid look. It's quite lovely and distinctive.

You might expect the Oppo Find X5 to be the same, only smaller. That's what most phone makers opt for across the same ranges of a given phone. Sadly, you'd be disappointed. There's some subtle differences that can't help but make the Find X5 feel less premium.

In Australia, Oppo's selling the Find X5 in Ceramic White or Glaze Black finishes, although in other markets it has a fancier purple colour as well. I tested with the white finish and… it's just so much like other white phones that I find it unremarkable. Not bad, not good, just a colour.

Having briefly handled the black models, they're much the same. Oppo's got great form in delivering some great-looking phones in a variety of hues and I've loved many of them. This year it seems we're just back to basics locally.

At the rear of the Oppo Find X5, the camera bump has the same essential trapezium shape as the Find X5 Pro, but without the same flowing edge. It's rougher to the touch, while the back remains slippery, which feels like a "worst of both worlds" design idea to me.

At the front, it's running with a 120Hz-capable, 6.55-inch FHD AMOLED panel wrapped in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which should give it reasonable durability for simple bumps, drops and scratches. No smartphone is indestructible and Oppo did say it wanted its Find X5 back, so I couldn't test it to destruction.

However, if I wanted to, I know exactly – and disappointingly – how I could.

I'd simply drop it in water, because Oppo gives it no specific IP rating for water resistance. The Oppo Find X5 Pro is IP68 rated, but the Oppo Find X5 sits more in the "dunk it at your own risk" end of the scale. That's very disappointing for a phone that costs this much, because every premium flagship phone should include it as a matter of course.


Oppo Find X5 camera: Marisilicon NPU delivers good low light… sometimes

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

The Find X5's camera array follows the familiar path of being not-quite-as-snappy as its premium sibling.

It's equipped with a triple rear-lens camera compromising a 50MP wide, 50MP ultra-wide and 13MP 2x Optical Zoom telephoto lens, while the front hole punch camera gives you a 32MP sensor to capture your selfies with.

The real star of the show here is meant to be Oppo's own Marisilicon NPU, which Oppo claims gives it an edge in photo post-processing.

We're definitely seeing a trend here in terms of manufacturer exclusive silicon for camera purposes, with Google for example making many of the same claims around the Tensor processor found on its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones.

That does only work if the silicon is up to the task, and here I saw mixed results. For the most part, the Oppo Find X5 can shoot quite well in regular and low-light conditions.

It's got the typical over-saturation of colour problem that many Oppo phones have had in the past, but that's a taste matter that some may prefer – and it's one you can always process after the fact if you don't like that heavy HDR look.

In low light, the Oppo Find X5 Pro shoots reasonably well, but again that over-saturation in post-processing can give some of its shots a slightly odd hue.

Comparatively, I also found it tended to capture scenes a little darker than other premium smartphones, which was also something I noticed testing out the Oppo Find X5 Pro in the same situations.

There's also the limitation of that 2x Optical Zoom, which you can punch up to a maximum of 20x with hybrid digital zoom. As you'd expect, the further you push matters, the chunkier your pixels will get.

Here's an example shot I took while testing the Oppo Find X5. A cockatoo flew up into a nearby tree, so I tracked it using all of the Find X5's rear lenses.

Here's the tree it landed in, shot in ultra-wide view:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Here's the wide shot:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

And at 2x zoom:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Punching it up to 10x zoom:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

And then 20x zoom:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Does the Find X5 shoot better than an actual mid-range phone like the Motorola Edge 30 Pro?

Yeah, it certainly does, but it's again a phone that doesn't look great by way of comparison to phones that cost $1,399 or thereabouts.

For less money than the Find X5, you can score phones with better cameras. Again it's hard not to look in the direction of the Pixel 6 Pro as a starting point.

Oppo Find X5 sample photos:

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder


Oppo Find X5 review: Last year's processor gives last year's performance

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

The Oppo Find X5 is meant to be a premium phone and the $1,399 asking price absolutely reflects that. What it doesn't is the fact that underneath the glass and in front of the cameras sits a Snapdragon 888 processor and 8GB of RAM. Storage is fixed at 256GB with no microSD card expansion.

Not a bad recipe for a flagship phone... if it were still 2021. The true flagship Find X5 Pro gets 2022's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, but the Find X5 is stuck with last year's instead.

What that means is that you're paying premium pricing for performance that only matches up to what we saw last year in the Android space.

By way of comparison, here's how the Oppo Find X5 compares using Geekbench 5's CPU test and 3DMark's Wild Life test against a range of phones at similar (or lower) prices than the Oppo Find X5:

If your Android app uses multiple cores, the Find X5 can hold its own, but for any single core task, and especially for GPU-intensive tasks like video rendering or gaming, it falls well below the rest of the pack in benchmark terms.

To give the Find X5 its due, smartphone performance is more than just the sum of a benchmark test, and the reality of the Snapdragon 888 is that it's a more than capable chipset.

You're not likely to stress it out any time soon, and more anecdotally I've had no problems to speak of with the Find X5 during my review period.

However, if you're paying premium money, you really ought to be getting a premium engine under the hood, but that's not what the Oppo Find X5 offers.

It's not just a question of here and now, but also future updates and longevity, because there's little doubt that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (or 2022 equivalent) chipset phones will see longer support cycles than Snapdragon 888 ones.

Like other Oppo phones, it runs on Android (Android 12 in this case – although upgrade cycles remain something of a mystery) with Oppo's own ColorOS launcher on top.

ColorOS wants a lot of permissions for all of its apps, and even its search function, which I still find a tad alarming. It is Android underneath though, so if you're not keen on ColorOS you can mostly ignore it.

The Find X5 is also 5G-capable, but that's utterly par for the course for phones right now, with sub-6GHz support on board. 5G reception can vary wildly in my experience, but I could easily hit between 250Mbps and 300Mbps down on a good day with the Oppo Find X5 testing on the Telstra 5G network in Sydney.


Oppo Find X5 review: Average battery life, way above average charging

Oppo Find X5 review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

The Oppo Find X5 runs off a 4,800mAh battery, or to be more precise, a pair of split 2,400mAh batteries in sequence. That's a layout typically reserved for folding phones where the battery compartments are separated by a hinge, not that the Find X5 is foldable in any way.

Your battery expectations related directly to your app usage, and to test that, I ran the Oppo Find X5 through our standard YouTube video test. Phones that can last with 90% or more of their battery in this test can typically stand up to a day's usage. Here's how the Oppo Find X5 compared in this test:

That 93% score is fine and I'd back that up by saying that in my review period I've not really felt it heading towards battery disaster outside days where I was hammering it hard with 5G data and heavy game playing. No phone can withstand my onslaught when I'm in that kind of mood, frankly.

Again, though, you can do better for the same or less money. Google's Pixel 6 Pro outclasses the Find X5 neatly and continues to be the front-runner in this range. Even the iPhone 13 manages the same score, and that's for a phone with a markedly smaller battery pack.

It's also worth noting that the Find X5 was the worst performer in this test relative to every other Find phone Oppo's releasing in early 2022 as well, whether you opt for the Oppo Find X5 Pro or much cheaper Oppo Find X5 Lite.

I can't fault the Find X5 for recharging options, however. It supports fast wireless charging at up to 30W – you'll need a specific AirVOOC charger to manage that feat – or up to 80W from a SuperVOOC charger to add electrons back into its frame.

That's the charger that you get in the box, too, so you don't have to pay extra for it. It's a chunky lad, so you may need to make some space on your power board to accommodate it.


Should you buy it?

  • Buy it if you’re a serious Oppo fan who doesn’t like the Find X5 Pro’s slicker style.
  • Don't buy it if you want good value for money in a premium phone.

I've often noted that the not-quite-premium models of phones exist to make the flagships and their flagship prices feel more tolerable. Sometimes that feels like I'm jesting at a brand's expense. I'm not jesting here, because this is exactly what the Oppo Find X5 is.

It's a perfectly fine phone, but that's as far as I can go given that Oppo wants $1,399 of my money for it. A year ago, that would have been a good price for a Snapdragon 888-based phone and you'd be looking at quite a few years where it'd still be a speedy option over time.

In 2022, you don't have to look all that far to find better at, or in many cases below this asking price. If you can meet the asking price of the Oppo Find X5 Pro and you're a big Oppo fan, that's the phone I'd be buying. If your tastes run wider, look elsewhere.


Oppo Find X5 review: Pricing and availability

The Oppo Find X5 retails in Australia for $1,399.


Specifications

Display

Display Size
6.55 inches
Resolution
2400 × 1080px
Pixels per inch (PPI)
402 ppi

Camera

Rear camera megapixels
50MP + 50MP + 13MP
Rear camera aperture size
f/1.8 + f/2.2 + f/2.4
Video recording
4K
Front camera megapixels
32MP
Front camera aperture size
f/2.4

Physical Dimensions

Dimensions
160.3mm x 72.6mm x 8.7mm
Weight
196g

Connectivity

NFC
Yes
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Network category speed
N/A

Power, storage and battery

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform
RAM
8GB
Operating system
Android 12
Internal storage
256GB
Battery capacity
4,800mAh

Device features

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Water resistance rating
N/A

How we tested

The Oppo Find X5 was tested over a 2-week period, including intensive evaluation of its build quality, app performance, camera features and battery life. This included both benchmark testing and more anecdotal testing of its performance, compared against phones priced in a similar tier at the time of writing the review.

The reviewer has more than 2 decades of tech product reviewing under his belt across numerous publications. He's a multi-time Australian IT Journo award winner, including awards for best reviewer and best technical journalist.

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