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Oppo Find X review: Sexier and more innovative than the Galaxy S9

This is -- bar none -- the best-looking phone of 2018. And its slide-up camera takes great photos, too.

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Aloysius Low
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Aloysius Low

Senior Editor

Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.

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At first glance, the Oppo Find X looks like the most beautiful Samsung Galaxy S9 you've ever seen, with a massive display and gorgeous curved sides. But this slick, futuristic phone has an innovative identity that barrels it past the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: a true all-screen display with a module for rear and selfie cameras that slides up when you want to take a shot. The pop-up camera array may sound gimmicky, but it's actually a clever idea that frees up screen real estate and helps keeps the phone's backing clean and beautiful to behold.

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8.8

Oppo Find X

The Good

The Oppo Find X has a beautiful design, a great camera and long battery life with fast charging. It also has top-of-the-line features such as 3D face scanning for unlocking.

The Bad

There's no wireless charging and it's not waterproof. It can get a little hot when gaming, and isn't yet sold outside Asia.

The Bottom Line

The Oppo Find X's supercool pop-up camera and beautiful, all-screen design make it the best-looking phone of 2018. It's also one of the best phones this year, period.

The Oppo Find X isn't just the most beautiful phone I've used all year. It's also one of the best phones of 2018, period.

With excellent shots, a fast processor and terrific battery life, the Find X is quite a knockout. There are some minor irritations you should know about, however, before rushing off to buy it. For starters, taking landscape shots with the camera popped out is a little awkward if you're used to holding it by the edges, the moving part pushing your hand away.

Oppo Find X is the sexiest phone of 2018

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The all-screen display makes it easier to accidentally press the screen, since there's very little bezel on which to rest your fingers. These random screen presses happen mostly in camera mode -- you'll often accidentally switch to panorama mode. There's also no wireless charging, despite its glass back, or waterproofing as on many other flagship phones.

That aside, the Oppo Find X is one heck of a device that should be at the top of your list... if you can find it and if it works with your carrier bands, especially for 4G data. Getting one, though, isn't impossible through third-party online resellers, though you may have to do some digging. The Find X is currently on sale for 4,999 yuan in China, which converts to about $735, £560 or AU$995. It's also now available in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

Although the Find X falls on the pricier end of the smartphone spectrum, especially for a Chinese brand that often prides itself on value, it'll still be your high-end device that's sure to turn heads with its impressive design and that magical pop-up camera.

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Purple or blue: You can't go wrong.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo Find X is design magic

I've already said how much I like the Find X's looks, but once you get your hands on it, it's hard not to be blown away by just how much of a beauty it is. The purple-red finish of the rear is stunning, and there's also a blue version. On the front, Oppo cleverly adds a faint light that moves around the edges of the screen whenever you get a notification. Very cool.

The glow of an incoming notification is mesmerising.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Like the iPhone X, the Find X's Face Unlock feature uses a secure 3D scanning method, causing the camera to pop up every time you unlock the phone. Oppo's supplier boasts a 0.0001 percent false recognition rate and payment-level authentication. You'd think that this would mean it takes slightly longer to unlock the phone, but it takes less than a second from the moment you swipe up with the display turned on.

The Find X -- and that is an "ex," not a "ten" -- isn't the first phone to maximize screen space by hiding a mechanized camera module inside the phone. Oppo's sister company, Vivo, did it first with the Apex, then the Vivo Nex, which tucked away just the selfie camera. Oppo's system feels bolder. It not only houses the dual rear cameras, there's also the 25-megapixel front-facing camera and the 3D scanning technology. Following in the iPhone X's footsteps, this uses a depth-sensing camera to scan your face and unlock the phone. 

The Find X's curved all-screen is also marvelous, and makes for a great viewing experience.

While the Vivo Nex features an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the Oppo Find X skips the fingerprint sensor altogether -- there's not even one on the back. The Find X also uses a more conventional front speaker when you're taking calls. There's a tiny slit at the top of the display that's barely visible.

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Clad in glass, the Oppo Find X is one heck of a looker. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

The software doesn't rip off iOS

If there's one thing that Oppo finally got right, it's dropping its iOS copycat ways. What you get is an operating system that more closely resembles stock Android, while still keeping bits that are popular in China, such as apps sitting on the home screen instead of an app drawer. There's also gesture support, but implemented more naturally: Swiping up from the middle brings you back to the home screen, while swiping up on either side goes back.

While it's a pretty simple implementation, it has nothing on the iPhone's ease of use. The phone also doesn't start with gesture control turned on, and having tried both, I still prefer the standard onscreen buttons for navigation.

One thing that could be improved is the keyboard position. If you're using the onscreen buttons, the keyboard is raised slightly so it feels somewhat natural. When you're using gestures though, the keyboard sits right at the bottom, which forces you to type much lower, and it feels terribly unwieldy. Also, if you have a virtual d-pad control in games, the edge to edge screen can make trying to hold the phone a little tricky because you'll find yourself trying to get your thumb in the right place while trying to not accidentally touch the display. There's less of a buffer for resting your hands, compared to older phones with lots of bezel space.

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Like most newer phones, the Oppo Find X comes with a USB Type-C port.

Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone can get a tad hot at times, especially when playing games, and it seems there's some throttling when it warms up too much. Most processor chips do this to ensure that your phone doesn't combust, but I noticed that it happened quite frequently on the Find X -- leaving me wondering if it has insufficient cooling.

Oppo Find X battery, camera and benchmarks

Oppo has been making phones with great cameras for a while now, and the Find X's dual rear shooters are pretty impressive. The 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel cameras take plenty of great shots, and a recent firmware update made it even better -- tricky portrait shots don't mess up on background blur, while colors seem bright and vivid.

Low-light imaging is also great and I found that it could even properly meter the background lights on posters, letting me see text without it being blown out. I'm honestly impressed with the quality of the shots. Sure, some of them can look a little too processed, but the average person who wants sharp pictures won't mind that too much. The front selfie camera has a feature that does a 3D scan of your face, then lets you customize how you want your face tweaked. You can manually set your eyes to be bigger, cheeks thinner and chin stronger.

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You can customize how the beautification program enhances your face. 

Screenshot by Aloysius Low/CNET

Check out the test shots below. This is one impressive camera phone.

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The "enhanced" pictures make me look weirdly slimmer, but you'll note that it distorts the background.

Aloysius Low/CNET
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 This HDR shot lets you capture the details of the tower outside without being overexposed while still keeping the indoor details.

Aloysius Low/CNET
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Shots in bright daylight are full of detail.

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My cats may look really good in this shot, but zooming closer reveals smudging and lost detail in the fur.

Aloysius Low/CNET
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The portrait mode's background blur can be rather unnatural, but it does look nice.

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The background blur is good enough that it can figure out spaces in between this photographer's arms and blur it accordingly.

Aloysius Low/CNET

As for the phone's performance, it does run 3D games well initially, though the frame rate dips somewhat as it warms up. I noticed this in particular on Marvel Strike Force, where certain animations felt less smooth compared to when the game started.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-equipped Find X held up pretty well against other phones with the same chip, achieving very similar results in our 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and Geekbench 4 tests. The Find X is as fast as the Vivo Nex or the LG G7 ThinQ.

With a 3,730-mAh battery, the phone lasted 17 hours, 29 minutes in our CNET Video Labs tests. I typically got a full day of use -- and then some.

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Oppo Find X 62,338Vivo Nex 63,324Samsung Galaxy Note 9 59,436LG G7 ThinQ 56,714
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

GeekBench v4.0 single-core

Oppo Find X 2,326Vivo Nex 2,449Samsung Galaxy Note 9 2,406LG G7 ThinQ 2,436
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

GeekBench v4.0 multicore

Oppo Find X 8,232Vivo Nex 9,145Samsung Galaxy Note 9 8,827LG G7 ThinQ 8,742
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Hardware specs comparison


Oppo Find XVivo NexSamsung Galaxy Note 9LG G7 ThinQ
Display size, resolution 6.42-inch AMOLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels6.59-inch; 2,316x1,080 pixels6.4-inch Super AMOLED; 2,960x1,440 pixels6.1-inch IPS LCD; 3,120x1,440 pixels
Pixel density 401 ppi388 ppi516 ppi563 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.17x2.92x0.37 in6.38x3.03x0.31 in6.37x3.01x0.35 in6x2.8x0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 156.7x74.2x9.4 mm162x77x8 mm161.9x76.4x8.8 mm153.2x71.9x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.56 oz; 186g7.02 oz; 199g 7.09 oz.; 201g5.7 oz, 162g
Mobile software Android 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.0 Oreo
Camera Dual 20-megapixel, 16-megapixelDual 12-megapixel, 5-megapixelDual 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)Dual 16-megapixel (71 degree, f/1.6 and 107 degree, f/1.9)
Front-facing camera 25-megapixel8-megapixel8-megapixel8-megapixel (f/1.9)
Video capture 4K4K4K4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256 GB128GB, 512GB64GB
RAM 8GB8GB6GB, 8GB4GB
Expandable storage NoneNone512GBUp to 2TB
Battery 3,730 mAh4,000 mAh4,000 mAh3,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor NoneUnderscreenBackBack
Connector USB-CUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack NoYesYesYes
Special features Pop-up cameras, 3D face unlocking, quick charging, gesture controlsPop-up selfie camera, gesture controlsWater resistant (IP68); wireless charging; S-Pen with Bluetooth connectivity; Iris and facial scanningWater resistant (IP68), wireless charging, DTS:X 3D Surround, Quad DAC
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to $735Converts to $585$1,000 (128GB), $1,250 (512GB)$750
Price (GBP) Converts to £560Converts to £445 £899 (128GB), £1,099 (512GB)£599
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$995Converts to AU$790AU$1,499 (128GB), AU$1,799 (512GB)AU$1,099
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8.8

Oppo Find X

Score Breakdown

Design 9Features 8Performance 9Camera 9Battery 10