Saturday, April 20

Oppo Find X5 Pro review: slick Android let down by weak camera zoom | smartphones

The latest high-end smartphone from China’s Oppo aims to usurp Samsung as the best Android phone launched in 2022 with serious speed and a luxurious ceramic back that’s almost too smooth.

The Find X5 Pro costs £1,049 and won’t be sold in the US. It replaces last year’s Find X3 Pro (there was no X4) and is packed with all the things you expect from a top-flight phone.

The 120Hz 6.7in OLED screen is slick, crisp, bright and colourful, although it is too saturated in the default “vibrant” display color mode. Setting it to one of the more natural color options looked better to my eye.

Available in either white or black ceramic, the glossy metallic-like rear surface is a fingerprint magnet, marred by text and a string of company and regulatory logos that cheapens the look. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The back of the phone is more unusual, with a molded design that fully envelops the camera lump in a single piece of smooth ceramic material. In its glossy black color it certainly looks and feels premium, but it is so smooth that the phone slides off anything that isn’t level, including my desk or the sofa, forcing the need for a case.

It feels very solidly made and nice in the hand, with a relatively narrow width that makes it easier to use than some larger rivals, but it is a touch heavy compared with similar-sized models from Samsung and others.


  • Screen: 6.7in 120Hz QHD+ OLED (525ppi)

  • processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

  • RAM: 12GB of RAM

  • Storage: 256GB

  • Operating system: Color OS 12.1 (Android 12)

  • Camera: 50MP main and ultrawide + 13MP 2x telephoto, 32MP selfie

  • connectivity: 5G, eSIM, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 163.7 x 73.9 x 8.5mm

  • Weight: 218g

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Long battery life and very fast charging

the USB-C port of the Oppo Find X5 Pro
The phone charges exceptionally quickly, reaching 50% in just 13 minutes and a full charge in just over half an hour with the included 80W USB-A power adapter. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Find has the same top Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip as most high-end Android phones launched in 2022, performing admirably with a rapid interface and smooth gaming. It does, however, get noticeably warm during even fairly short gaming sessions.

Battery life is very good, lasting more than 42 hours between charges on average used on 5G for three hours and with the screen set to the default FHD+ resolution and actively used for almost six hours with various apps and Chrome. That’s about seven hours longer than Samsung’s nearest rival and about the same as Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro, meaning you will probably only have to charge it every other night with light usage. It lasts for about five hours of screen-on time when the display is increased its maximum QHD+ resolution.


the ceramic back of the Oppo Find X5 Pro
The ceramic back should be harder to scratch than glass, but its slippery nature will likely necessitate putting it in a case. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Oppo rates the battery for at least 1,600 full charge cycles using its 80W SuperVOOC system while maintaining at least 80% of its original capacity, which is at least twice as long as most others.

The phone is generally repairable by Oppo with a replacement battery costing about £30 plus labor. The company operates a trade-in scheme and publishes annual sustainability reports, but not for individual products. The Find X5 Pro does not include recycled materials.

Color OS 12.1

colorOS theme options shown on an Oppo Find X5 Pro
ColorOS supports plenty of customization options for the home screen, icons, colors, status bar and gestures. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Oppo’s ColorOS is a heavily customized version of Android 12 with a design more familiar in Asia than most of the Android phones sold in the west.

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The majority of the system should be familiar to anyone who has used an Android device, however, and is packed with customization options for its look and operation.

It contains some small oddities and irritations, including quick launching of the camera requiring a double-press of the volume button instead of the power button, which is common in China but it doesn’t work when playing music. To turn off the phone you have to hold both the volume up and power button for a couple of seconds, too, which doesn’t work reliably, often shooting the volume to maximum instead.

Oppo will support the Find X5 Pro with software updates including three major Android version upgrades and a total four years of security updates from the phone’s release. That is a significant improvement over last year’s model but lags behind Samsung’s five and Apple’s six-plus years of support.


the hasselblad camera app on the Oppo Find X5 Pro
The Hasselblad camera app has plenty of features, including full manual control and the ability to shoot 10-bit photos, but few devices or apps support them outside of the phone’s gallery app. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

New for this year is a partnership with camera-maker Hasselblad matching Oppo’s subsidiary OnePlus’s since last year. The Find has three cameras on the back and a 32MP selfie camera on the front, the latter of which is solid but unremarkable.

The main 50MP camera generally shoots very good images with excellent detail, handling a range of lighting conditions well, including very low light, with aplomb. It would occasionally oversaturate some colors in an image, as if it had pre-applied a filter, but otherwise did a great job.

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The 50MP ultra wide camera can be good but often produced images that looked washed out. The 13MP 2x telephoto camera is fine for what it is, but is obviously inferior to the two other cameras and thousands behind the competition at this price, which often have 3, 5 or even 10x optical zooms getting you meaningfully closer to your subject.

The phone also shoots good video in up to 8K resolution, with excellent stabilization in 1080p modes. Overall, the main camera is really good, but the ultra wide and weak zoom let the Find down compared with similarly priced or cheaper rivals.


The Oppo Find X5 Pro costs £1,049 in black or white.

For comparison, the Google Pixel 6 Pro costs £849the Samsung Galaxy S21+ costs £949the Galaxy S21 Ultra costs £1,149 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1,049.


The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a nice-looking, slick Android phone.

It has many of the high-end features you should expect, including Android’s top chip from Qualcomm, good battery life, a great screen, unusual back design and incredibly fast charging.

Its main camera on the back is very good, but the phone is let down a little by its ultra-wide camera and its 2x telephoto camera is particularly weak compared with the competition. The ColorOS software is improving, now with four years of support, but it still has lots of little niggles. The biggest problem is the phone’s £1,049 RRP is simply too high for what it offers.

When premium rivals offer more capable 4x zoom cameras for less or mega zoom cameras for a little more, five or more years of software support and similar or better screens and designs, Oppo still has a lot of work to do to justify its very high asking price.

Pros: good screen, top performance, long battery life, very fast charging, interesting design, good main camera, water resistance, fast in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Cons: expensive, ultrawide camera is inconsistent, lack of extended optical zoom for the camera is poor, only four years of software support guaranteed, ColorOS not polished enough, design marred by ugly logos, back is too smooth and slides around on not-quite-flat surfaces.

the fingerprint scanner on the Oppo Find X5 Pro's screen
The in-screen fingerprint sensor is one of the fastest and most reliable you can get. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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