Oppo Discover X3 Neo evaluation: Can it compete?

(-) – There’ll at all times be those that clamour for the newest specs, learning all the newest flagships to make sure that after they finally half with their hard-earned money it goes on the machine that has the highest numbers. These telephones will include the best decision screens, the newest processor, and probably the most cameras on the again. 

However this is the factor: you do not essentially want all of these issues. Which, if you happen to’re seeking to save a bit of money, is the place the likes of Oppo’s Discover X3 Neo is available in. Not like its predecessor, the Discover X2 Neo, Oppo’s second-in-command telephone from its Discover X collection has a earlier flagship chip as a substitute of a present mid-range processor. Does that make it the proper steadiness of energy to cost?

Design & Construct

  • Dimensions: 159.9 x 72.5 x 7.99mm / Weight: 184 grams
  • End choices: Galactic Silver / Starlight Black 

In a market stuffed with big-scale gadgets, it is at all times a aid – particularly for the palms – when a smartphone comes alongside that is noticeably extra nimble. That is the Neo by and thru.

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The Discover X3 Professional was noticeably extra comfy to carry than most of its rivals, and the Neo is smaller and subsequently feels much more compact within the palm. 

It is about 8mm thick, which is technically thicker than an iPhone 12, however its curved edges on the entrance and the again make it really feel modern and slim while you really maintain it. The digicam protrusion on the again is pretty minimal too. Regardless of that includes 4 cameras, it retains that compact rectangular design of the telephones that got here earlier than it, not the extra closely protruding set – such as you’ll see in, say, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely.

Captured in the correct of sunshine, the Discover X3 Neo’s form and total design has a minimalist high quality about it. The darkish blue/black mannequin we have been despatched for evaluation – that is the place the Starlight Black identify comes from – has an unmistakeable glittery high quality to it. It additionally has a delicate almost-grippy texture to the glass on the again, however a visible sparkle at any time when it catches the sunshine. We have now a sense you may both love or hate this. 

Oppo Find X3 Neo review hardware photo 1

Nonetheless, that texture on the again means it is refreshingly non-slippery. It will not fall out of your hand, it does not randomly slide off flat surfaces and – extra crucially – struggles to choose up fingerprints. It is a terrific end, whether or not or not you are a fan of the twinkly high quality.

Show & Software program

  • 6.55-inch FHD+ (1440 x 1080 decision) AMOLED show
  • 90Hz refresh price, 120Hz contact sampling price
  • 1100 nits peak brightness

We have seen multiple producer choose to place a Full HD show into its telephones in 2021. Actually, the place QHD+ decision was once the norm for flagships, it now appears having that 1440p panel is reserved for less than the final word, prime tier gadgets.

That is the identical for Oppo. The Discover X3 Professional is the one with the upper decision, 120Hz excessive frame-rate show. Meaning the Neo has the decrease Full HD+ decision and mid-level 90Hz with this one. 

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We discover the 90Hz refresh is greater than enough for just about all the things. In our testing we have not seen an excessive amount of to recommend that 120Hz is an absolute should from any telephone. Actually, even these that may push 120 frames each second have not too long ago opted to make use of adaptive charges as to not waste battery life.

In actuality, 90hz signifies that all of your animations – whether or not they be normal interface or throughout gaming – will likely be clean and reply shortly to your gestures on display. 

As for the show’s visible properties, these an honest too. Granted, you aren’t getting the identical eye-popping brightness and hues as you may from the Professional, however it’s actually not a dim display. The Neo’s smaller panel is brilliant and vivid, with deep blacks lending a hand to make visuals pop. 

If there’s any criticism it is that it appears to endure a bit with extreme distinction, most notable when the brightness is low. Some colors at these occasions appear a bit too darkish and unnatural. After getting your favorite present on, otherwise you’re smashing the newest ranges of your favorite sport, you do not significantly discover any actual points although.


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Software program-wise, it is virtually an identical to what we noticed on the Professional mannequin. Right here you may discover Oppo’s ColorOS 11, primarily based on Google’s Android 11, which implies numerous helpful and enjoyable options. We just like the customisation interface that permits you to see your adjustments in real-time on the house display as you decide the wallpaper or regulate the form and design of the icons. 

Different highlights embrace the fully customisable always-on show. There’s additionally the Loosen up app that performs soothing sounds that will help you get relaxation or fall to sleep at evening – this consists of nature sounds and enjoyable music in addition to sounds recorded in cities world wide. 

Oppo Find X3 Neo review hardware photo 3

In addition to the identical software program advantages as per the Professional, the Neo expertise related quirky points. There’s some inconsistency in the best way it handles notifications, in that visible alerts do not seem in all places you’d anticipate. As an example, you may need icons on the always-on show and within the standing bar, however not on the lock display. It made it not possible for us to see what a notification was with out opening the app and checking. It is little irks like this that maintain ColorOS again a mite.

Efficiency & Battery

  • Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB RAM
  • 256GB storage, no microSD
  • 4500mAh battery capability
  • 65W Tremendous VOOC 2.0 flash charging

As we alluded to at first of this evaluation, this telephone is not outfitted with 2021’s top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. It isn’t received a step-down Snapdragon 700 collection chipset both. As a substitute, Oppo opted for the last-gen top-tier choice, the Snapdragon 865.

Oppo Find X3 Neo review hardware photo 8

By happening this route, Oppo has successfully skipped the ‘almost-flagship’ vary and gone with a correct flagship one as a substitute – albeit from 2020. And when you think about the Neo’s display refresh price tops out at 90Hz and it is a Full HD+ decision, that processor selection is greater than sufficient to make it really feel like a correctly quick telephone. 

As you’d anticipate, the ensuing expertise is one which’s fast and responsive. As a result of, in any case, a processor which was the quickest and strongest only a few months previous to launch hasn’t all of the sudden simply grow to be sluggish and sluggish over evening. 

Settle into your every day routine and there is simply no hassle from the Oppo telephone. It masses video games and apps with out a care on the planet. Loading screens transition shortly, graphics begin sharp and stay that means whereas the excessive refresh contact sampling price ensures that your gestures on display lead to fast animations from the show. 

It is a related scenario with battery life. Having a Full HD+ show and a comparatively massive 4500mAh battery capability means you possibly can simply get by a full day with the Neo, even on actually busy days. Oppo’s battery optimisation is famously fairly aggressive – and meaning for some average/mild customers that two days on a full cost is not out of the query. We might usually get to the top of a day with greater than 40 per cent left over. 

Oppo Find X3 Neo review hardware photo 7

The opposite plus facet to this battery is that it options Tremendous VOOC 2.0 charging, which makes it doable to refill it actually shortly. It makes use of the 65W wired flash charging tech that may fully fill the battery in round 35 minutes. It isn’t fairly as speedy because the up to date OnePlus 9 Warp Cost, however it’s nonetheless quick sufficient to make battery nervousness a factor of the previous. 

Cameras

  • Quad rear cameras:
    • Important: 50-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture, optical picture stabilisation (OIS)
    • 2x optical zoom: 13MP, f/2.4
    • Large-angle: 16MP, f/2.2
    • Macro: 2MP
  • 32MP front-facing selfie digicam
  • Video: 4K as much as 60fps

Like its internals, the digicam make-up is of a flagship stage too. Or, no less than, the first digicam is. It makes use of the identical 50-megapixel sensor as its dearer sibling, the Discover X3 Professional. 

Meaning while you’re taking photographs within the ‘1x’ mode you are going to get great-looking footage, particularly when there’s good mild. Capturing outdoors will get you sharp photos with nice color and a beautiful pure depth – extra pronounced when taking pictures objects which are near the digicam. 

Nevertheless, the supporting act cameras simply aren’t fairly as sturdy. The ultra-wide digicam typically left us with footage that seemed a bit flatter by way of color and depth, and it is not as sturdy at focussing on close by topics. Equally, the general look of these footage was only a tad tough in comparison with the principle digicam. 

As for that 2x optical zoom digicam, that is much like the ultra-wide – in that it could actually seize respectable sufficient footage, however once more they lack a few of that crispy vibrance you see from footage from the first sensor. 

Nonetheless, whereas they’re removed from excellent, these extra focal lengths do no less than imply the digicam system is flexible. They add an additional dimension to the images expertise and can allow you to seize these large landscapes or zoom in on one thing a bit additional away to good impact. 

The one digicam that actually is not as much as scratch is the macro sensor. It is baffling that as a substitute of equipping the system with an ultra-wide digicam that will also be used for macro, Oppo utilised a 2-megapixel macro sensor – the type we would anticipate to see in a less expensive telephone. 

Pictures from digicam’s devoted macro mode are actually fairly harsh. Particulars are missing, there’s an actual lack of respectable color, and the background blur is terrible trying.

In our testing we discovered it was higher simply to modify to the principle digicam in common picture and get shut as much as a topic. If you’d like a tighter shot, merely crop the picture afterwards – as that means you get much better element, color and depth. 

Verdict

It is easy to see the enchantment of the Discover X3 Neo. It is a slim and nimble telephone with nice battery life, flagship speeds, and an excellent primary digicam. The Snapdragon 865 processor inside means it is not simply an over-priced mid-range machine.

Nevertheless, the Oppo’s greatest problem will possible be competing with different equally priced telephones. The OnePlus 9 is technically extra highly effective and prices much less, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a telephone powered by the identical chipset however for much less cash.

For a lot of, we suspect it would come all the way down to the battle of the cameras. And with the Neo’s main digicam sensor delivering nice outcomes – not that may be mentioned about its different cameras – it is in with a shot.

On the entire, the Oppo Discover X3 Neo is a refined expertise – one that provides an interesting different to the a lot greater and rather more costly premium gadgets available on the market. 

Additionally contemplate

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

It could have a plastic again, however the ‘Fan Version’ was one of many shock hits of 2020 – and remains to be a terrific purchase. It has a fluid and clean show, IP68 water- and dust-resistance and related inner {hardware} to the Oppo. Crucially, it is also cheaper. 

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OnePlus 9

In case your primary purpose is getting the top-tier processor for as little cash as doable, the OnePlus 9 is a superb shout. It isn’t fairly as nimble and skinny because the Oppo, however it’s received a Snapdragon 888 processor, quick charging, and nice software program. Additionally at a lower cost. 

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Writing by Cam Bunton. Enhancing by Mike Lowe.

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