OPPO Find X3 Neo

OPPO Find X3 Neo – everything you need at $500 less than the Find X3 Pro

SBA
9.6

The OPPO Find X3 Neo is not a budget smartphone – it is a superb, fully-featured, no compromise (well, very few) premium smartphone at a budget price of $1199.

The OPPO Find X3 Neo is $1199 – against its bigger brother, the Find X3 Pro, at $1699. Now while I love everything the X3 Pro has to offer (review here 9.8/10), including its excellent QHD+ AMOLED screen, Qualcomm SD888/Gen 3 X60 5G modem and 60x magnifying camera lens, times are tough. If you want a premium device – equal to or better in some ways to a Samsung Galaxy S21/+ for $1199 – this is it.

And there is the OPPO Find X3 Lite (review coming soon) that at $749 probably will tempt you too. We have a comparison article of all three Find X3 models here.

OK, you ask what is missing from its big brother – the Find X3 Pro (differences in brackets)

  • Qualcomm SD865/Gen 2 X55 modem (SD888/Gen 3 X60 modem)
  • 6.55” 2400×1080, 90Hz, 16.7M colours AMOLED (6.7” 3216 x 1440, 120Hz, 1B colours, AMOLED) – both 100% DCI-P3
  • USB-C 2.0 480Mbps (USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps) affects data transfer speeds over USB
  • Dual SIM (same plus eSIM)
  • No wireless charge, USB-C OTG reverse charge (Qi and Wireless reverse charge)
  • IP not rated (IP68)
  • 50+16+14+2MP rear camera (2×50+13+3MP)

As is OPPOs habit, this device may have different specifications for different markets. It may be sold as a Reno 5 Pro+ 5G without Google Services.


OPPO Find X3 seriers – L-R Neo, Lite, and Pro

Review: OPPO Find X3 NeoOPPO Find X3 Neo Model CPH2207

  • Australian website here
  • Price: $1199
  • Colours: Galactic Silver and Starlight black
  • *From: OPPO Online and major CE retailers like JB Hi-FI, Harvey Norman, Goodguys, Officeworks, and Catch.com.au
  • Elevator pitch: Everything you need in a flagship-class phone
  • Warranty: 2-years global traveller
  • Country of Manufacture: China
  • Company: OPPO is now #2 for Australian Android smartphone market share. It has achieved that by excellent product and after-sales service.
  • Other GadgetGuy OPPO news and reviews here
OPPO Find X3 Neo

* Grey market – no Australian warranty

We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as 5G IMEI numbers are registered with the Telcos and must be activated here. It can also make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. And you won’t get OPPO Australia warranty either.

Look for the Australian and NZ regulatory mark under Settings, About Phone, Regulatory.

OPPO Find X3 Neo

We have named and shamed the major grey marketers here. If you spend this much money, get a genuine ‘Made for Australia’ model.

First impression

OK, another black slab, but I rather like the Starlight textured finish. It oozes premium with slightly curved edges (it is basically flat), flat top and bottom plates, and a prominent quad-camera and quad-LED camera bump.


OPPO build quality is superb, and I rather like the textured Starlight Black back that is not a fingerprint magnet. Like its big brother, it is pretty perfect in every way.

OPPO Find X3 Neo
The textured Black Glass back under a microscope – no slip and no fingerprints

Screen – Bright, colourful 90Hz OLED

Size6.55” 60-90Hz (Auto-adjusts when an app does not support 90Hz)
TypeLeft top O-hole selfie, AMOLED (Samsung sourced)
The screen edge is slightly curved but does not affect touch areas
Resolution2400 x 1080
PPI/Ratio402, 20:9
Depth
Brightness
Black
Contrast
Delta E
Vivid
Gentle
Temp adj
16.7M
500 typical, 800 max, 1100 peak
pure black
infinite
5 (<4 is excellent) but can be tweaked
97% NTSC/100% DCI-P3 (Tested)
71% NTSC/100% sRGB (Tested)
Cool to warm
Daylight
Off-angle
AOD
Dark mode
Blue light
More than bright enough for direct sunlight
AMOLED allows for extreme off-angle viewing
Yes – not customisable
Yes
Yes
DRMHDR10/HLG, Widevine L1, HDCP 2.3. It plays Netflix HDR.
GamingThe screen is up to 90Hz. Add the Qualcomm SD865, Adreno 650, Dolby Stereo and OPPO Game Space app, and it is perfect for high frame rate games
ProtectionGorilla Glass 5 and pre-fitted screen protector
Fingerprint
Face ID
Optical under glass – Test: 10/10
9/10

This is an excellent screen and is good enough for prosumer photography and videography. The Pro has 1 billion colours, and it is up to professional standards.

Processor – 2020 flagship but excellent choice

SoCQualcomm SD865 7nm
GPUAdreno 650
ModemX55 5G Gen2
Game useIt is the 2020 Flagship processor
RAM12GB LPDDR5 (website says LPDDR4, but the test says 5)
Storage256GB (215 free) UFS 3.1
Androbench Tests
Internal: 1661.34/749Mbps sequential read/write – SSD territory
Orico Match 1TB USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps external SSD 34/33Mbps
HP x770 512GB USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps flash drive 34/33Mbps
OWC Envoy 256GB USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps SSD drive  34/33Mbps
micro-SDNo
Geek
Bench 5
Single: 919
Multi: 3146
Open CL: 4456
Vulcan: 4772
Throttle
15-min test
Max: 229,697 GIPS, Average: 220,968, 8%  % loss over 15 minutes
CPU temp reached 78°

The choice of the 2020 flagship processor reflects global chip shortages. It released a version for China with the later SD870 5G SoC – it is a tad faster. Still, it is an excellent chip and way faster than the 2019 flagship offerings.


This only has USB-2.0 480Mbps (60Mbps half-duplex) data transfer rate. It is not fast enough to directly record 4K video to an external drive. It’s a shame that it does not use the X3 Pro USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps (625MBps).

RAM and storage are the latest, with it reaching Tier 1 SSD rates.

Lack of throttling shows OPPOs expertise in temperature management.

Comms – Plenty fast

Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 AX 2×2 dual-band MU-MIMO VHT80
Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from Netgear RAX200 AX1100 router
– 2m:  -22dBm/1200Mbps
– 5m: -42dBm/1200Mbps
– 10m: -47dBm/1200
– 15M: -52dBm/866
BluetoothBT 5.2 BLE, TWS+ (our test software says BT 5.1, which is standard to the SD865)
GPSSingle-band but supports QZSS as well
NFCSupports HCE, NFC-SIM, and Android Beam
USB-CUSB-C 2.0 – maximum 480Mbps half-duplex
SensorsCombo BMI26X accelerometer/gyroscope, e-Compass, Gravity, pedometer, colour temperature – all flagship sensors

The main difference here is that the X3 Pro has Wi-FiI 6 AC VHT160 and can connect at 2400Mbps. It shows excellent signal strength holding the full speed well past normal distance limits.

LTE and 5G

SIMDual SIM (both active but one at at a time use)
Ring toneSingle
SupportVoLTE – carrier dependent – yes (not via most MVNOs)
Wi-Fi calling – yes
DL/ULTest: 24.3/6.4Mbps, 43ms – excellent in a 3-bar reception area
LTE Band1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/32/34/38/39/40/41/42,66
5GSub-6Ghz NR: n1/3/5/7/8/20/8/n38/40/41/77/78/79
Test-100dBm/63.1fW in a 3-bar reception area (very good)
Found next tower at -102dBm/50.1fW
Found the third tower at -103/39.8fW

It is not often that a smartphone finds three towers – and it occasionally found a fourth! This is an excellent antenna design. The phone is suitable for city, suburbs, regional city and regional use.


Battery – very fast charge

Battery mAh4500mAh
ChargerOPPPO SuperVOOC 2 5V/2A/10W and 10V/6.5A/65W
It also supports any PD and QC charger (5V/2A/10W – slower)
Claim: 100% in 35 minutes
Test:
0-50% – 13 minutes
0-100% – 42 minutes
Using 5V/3A standard USB charger and cable – approx 4 hours
Tests
All at 90Hz
Video Loop test: 1080p/50%/aeroplane mode – 16 hours
Netflix 1080p/50%/Wi-Fi – 13 hours
Typical use 4/5G, Wi-Fi,  –  13 hours
MP3 music test: 50% volume played from storage – 24+ hours
100% load Battery drain –  7 hours
GFX Bench Manhattan 3.1 Battery: 215.9min (3.6Hrs) and 3523 frames
GFX Bench T-Rex: 6536min (1089 hours) 3372 frames
PC Mark 2.0 battery drain: 15.45 hours  
Drain screen off: 50mA (about  30+ days)
Drain screen on: 380mA

Battery life is spectacular, and with OPPO SuperVOOC 2.0 charge, it is almost irrelevant as 35 minutes will fill it. It eats all comers in this class. In any case, it will give you over 15 hours of screen-on time or two days of typical use.

OPPO SuperVOOC 2.0 is one of the safest fast charging methods. The trick is that it uses two 2250mAh series-connected batteries and two charger circuits, so it never stresses the battery. This requires an OPPO charger and cable that delivers 2 x 5V/3.25A circuits equivalent to 10V/6.5A/65W. It also has 5W reverse charge via USB-C – like a power bank.


Sound – Dolby Stereo is pretty good!

SpeakersStereo earpiece (front and up-firing) and down-firing speaker
Speakers are perfectly balanced for volume and tone
Dolby Atmos-certified for decoding to its stereo speaker
AMPAK4376 Stereo 32-bit DAC, 16dB SNR for excellent BT transmission
Dual TFA9892 digital amps, each capable of 6.6W RMS at 8W
Considered superior to the Qualcomm Aqstic SD865 amp
BT CodecsSBC (standard), AAC (Apple), LDAC (Sony), aptX/HD (Qualcomm)
MicDual Noise cancelling
3.5mmNo, but OPPO standard USB-C earphone/mic supplied
Tests dB
Anything over 80dB is excellent
Media – 82
Ring – 85
Alarm – 82
Earpiece – 55
Handsfree – 75
Sound stageMuch wider than the device with good Left/Right separation.
Dolby Atmos adds a slightly wider stage, but there is no 3D spatial sound.

Unlike the more expansive choices of the X3 Pro, this has the standard Dolby Atmos pre-sets – smart, movie, gaming and music. They don’t appear to make a significant difference to the speaker frequency response.

The BT 5.2 drove our reference Sony WH-1000xM4 in SBC and LDAC modes and provided good clear sound and plenty of volume. We also tested with the M3 version that supports aptX and its variants. There was plenty of volume and an excellent clear feed.

The Amps and DAC will handle Hi-Res music (not tested).

Sound quality – not surprisingly very similar to the Find X3 Pro

Deep Bass: 20-40HzNil
Middle Bass: 40-100HzHints from 50Hz
High Bass: 100 to 200HzStill hints building nicely
Low-mid: 200-400HzFlat (good)
Mid: 400-1000HzFlat
High-mid: 1-2kHzFlat
Low-treble: 2-4kHzFlat
Treble:4-6kHzPeaking
High Treble: 6-10kHzSlight decline
Dog whistle: 10-20kHzGood to 15kHz
OPPO Find X3 Neo FR


It is a Bright vocal signature- perfect for most music. You can get far more bass response in BT headphones, where we found it quite strong from 50Hz.


Build – Superb

Size/Weight159.9×72.5×7.99mm x 184g
ColoursGalactic Silver
StarLight Black
BuildFront: Gorilla Glass 5
Frame: Alloy
Back: Gorilla Glass 5
IPNot rated, but we understand it would pass IP54 for light rain and snow use
In the boxBumper cover
65W charger
USB-A to USB-C cable
3.5mm to USB-C DAC adapter
Premium buds

I use the term superb about OPPOs build because it is simply so. Precision machining, perfect glass-to-frame fit and even a pre-fitted screen protector and bumper cover. Add to this the positive feedback from readers about its after-sales service and 24-month global travellers warranty.

It now has a trade-in program (a Find X2 Neo is currently worth about $600 as a trade on any OPPO phone), and this brand is serious about keeping its customers. You can’t go wrong.

Android 10 – With at least two upgrades

AndroidGoogle Android 11
Security patch date: 5/3/2021
UIColorOS 11.1
GoogleAll standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key.
BloatwareMostly productivity and utilities
Update PolicyAssume two OS update. Security patches should come monthly
SecurityOptical Goodix Fingerprint sensor
FaceID

We won’t go into ColorOS 11.1 except to say that it is the grease on pure Android’s wheels and makes this phone far more fluid and easier to operate. It also allows OPPO to tune the operating system to the hardware for best performance.


OPPO Find X3 Neo camera – overall one of the best for this price

It uses the same primary sensor as the Find X3 Pro – the 50MP Sony IMX766 shrouded in mystery – no detailed specs. We found that it is excellent when binned to 12.5MP, allowing it to use all-pixel focus and effectively a bright 2um pixel size. This supports Night mode too.

It can shoot at 50MP but loses AI computational photography, including Night mode. The result is purer colours and excellent detail at the expense of brightness and contrast. For most, the standard binned mode is best.

The Ultra-wide angle camera is more for daylight use. Its colours are different to the primary sensor, and being fixed focus lacks a little sharpness.

Overall it is not quite up there with the Find X3 Pro, but it is not far behind.

OPPO Find X3 Neo
 Camera Primary
50MP
Bins to 12.5MP
Ultra-Wide
16MP
Telephoto
13MP

Depth
Macro
2MP
Selfie
32MP
Bins to 8MP
SensorSony IMX766OV16A or Samsung 3P8Samsung S5K3M5GC02M1Sony IMX616
Lens7p   6p
FocusAll Pixel Omni-directional PDAFFFPDAFFFFF
Aperture f-stop1.82.22.42.4same
Pixel size um1 (bins to 2um)Not specified – suspect 1um11.75.8 (bins to 1.6um)
FOV° and cropped84 (72.5)123458980 (69.7)
StabilisationOIS and EIS video  EIS  EIS video
FlashDual LED  (two single)
Two fill LEDs for still and video use
   Screen fill
Zoom105X digital for video 2X Optical
5X Hybrid
20X Digital
  
Video Max[email protected]   [email protected]
FeaturesUltra Night Video
Dual View (both sides)
Night Flare
Some side distortion   All the usual OPPO AI effects

Daylight, outdoors

1X – picture perfect – could not ask for more
Ultra-wide angle 16MP – not bad but colours don’t match 50MP
5X – good detail and low noise. 13MP Colours are good but differ from the 50MP lens
20X – 13MP lens has good detail but quite a lot of noise

Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)

Low light (room with less than 40 lumens)

Selfie

It is the same throughout the Find X3 range and takes terrific selfie shots in most light conditions.


Video

It has both optical image stabilisation (OIS) and electronic image stabilisation (EIS), which means that it crops the larger frame to achieve a stable horizon. It will shot [email protected], but we recommend either [email protected] or [email protected] for non-tripod shooting. There are some great video features like Ultra Night video and lots of filters.

But the most exciting thing is a pair of LED fill lights for still and video that gives a nice infill to about 2 metres. Learn to use this – it is very good.

GadgetGuy’s take

Save $500 and buy the OPPO Find X3 Neo.

Sorry OPPO, but the Find X3 Neo is a fully-featured flagship class smartphone with very few issues and $500 cheaper than its big brother. By all means, if you want to spend $500 more, then the OPPO Find X3 Pro is for you.

I have both the Neo and Lite on the testbed so that I can compare. Where the Pro and Neo have a lot of similarities, the Lite is a totally different phone. There is no similarity at all except the Find X3 name (in fact, it comes up as Reno 5 in test software).

 Rating

The Find X3 Pro scored 9.8/10, and that is about as good as it gets. It faces off to the Samsung S21+ and Ultra, and I suspect it has a slight edge.


Yes, the OPPO Find X3 Neo is $500 cheaper, but at this price, we still expect a better IP rating, and we think USB-C 3.1 should be standard for any flagship without microSD expansion. So it is going to come in a smidge lower at 9.6/10.

Competitors are the 2020 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (9.7/10) with the 2021 S21 FE coming soon. Then the Samsung 2021 Galaxy S21 9.6/10, and you would be deliriously happy with any. These both have IP68 that may sway you.

OPPO Find X3 Neo
Save $500 and buy the OPPO Find X3 Neo.
Features
9.5
Value for money
9.5
Performance
9.4
Ease of use
10
Design
9.5
Positives
Love the rear Starlight Black finish
Very bright and colour accurate screen
Killer battery life
Camera is as good as it gets for the price
Save $500 and buy this over the Pro
Negatives
No formal IP rating
No microSD (not a deal-breaker)
Oversized charger takes up two power point spaces
9.6