Micro camera puts big fun back into smartphone photography
OPPO has magnified the fun factor with its flagship Find X3 Pro 5G phone which boasts an innovative camera line-up, superb design and a beautiful 1 billion colour screen.
After years of reviewing phones, sometimes a new device can be a little 'ho-hum' - there's no standout feature, it's better yes, but not that much. That's not the case with this phone.
There are some very cool new innovations, some of which may intrigue rather than delight some users, while others will love them.
The phone features four cameras including a 'microscope' feature which allows you to see incredible detail, like the inside of a leaf, the thread of your clothes, hair particles and sand texture to name a few.
It's the sort of camera that will become the talking point at your next party as people try out the 60x magnification on the 3MP microlens.
But a word of warning. The thing can be very hard to use.
You need to have the right camera about 1mm to 3mm from the subject.
Hovering over something like a flower or leaf, in its natural state, is virtually impossible.
So you soon learn you need to take a sample, as a budding young scientist would, put it on a flat surface, like a table, and then line up your shot.
You can also shoot video, which might make for some particularly freaky Tiktok executions, as you zoom in a friend's eyeball, for example.
Unless you have a steady hand, and a stable subject, you're going to end up with more blur than anything.
But when you get it right, the images can be really cool.
You could even see someone using them as customised background for their own creative projects.
Of course, the OPPO Find X3 Pro comes with three 'proper' cameras, including a 50MP primary lens, a 50MP ultra wide lens and a 13 MP telephoto lens, which achieves decent 5x images and video.
My biggest criticism would be I probably would have liked to see more on the zoom front given the cost of the phone. You can also see there's a fair bit of noise in shots when you zoom.
It's not something you will notice on your Facebook or Instagram feed but blown up, you certainly will.
During our testing, night mode shots were also nowhere near as good as those on the flagship iPhone 12 Pro Max.
DESIGN OF THE PHONE
The first thing you notice about the phone when you take it out of the box is its futuristic design. It's arguably one of the best-looking phones we've seen in a long while. And the fact that it comes with a decent case in the box is always a bonus.
Powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform, the Find X3 Pro is superfast whether you are video editing or gaming.
In Cinematic Mode, the Find X3 Pro comes with 4K imaging, a broad dynamic colour range and log format video recording. This offers full manual control over ISO, white balance, shutter speed and focus. For photographers, you can also shoot in RAW+
Oppo says the new ultra wide-angle camera has a free-form surface lens that helps to reduce distortion around the edges of photos and videos.
We used that camera a lot during our testing and found the results to be very good on the eye, something that sparked a lot of comments on our social posts.
When it comes to the screen, the QHD+ screen resolution is among the best around, while the 120Hz refresh rate is also class leading.
The 4500mAh battery carries you through a long day, even if you're taking lots of photo and video, watching shows, using maps and hot spots as we did.
Even if you find yourself wanting (the lowest we got to was about 20% charge), a wired charge will get you to 40% in 10 minutes. The phone also has wireless charging and a reverse charging system for other devices.
Setting up the phone was super easy while the operating system is very good.
The pop-up suggestions on everything from taking a screenshot to using the best features of the camera were helpful.
Overall, the Oppo Find X3 Pro 5G is a welcome addition to the Android phone line-up and certainly one of the top phones we've tested in the last couple of years.
While it comes with a hefty price tag, there's certainly a lot of features offering bang for your buck. If you not keen to fork out that sort of money, Oppo also has new mid and budget buy phones worth looking at.
Pricing and availability for latest OPPO phones:
OPPO Find X3 Pro 5G - Gloss Black & Blue
OPPO Find X3 Neo 5G - Starlight Black and Galactic Silver
OPPO Find X3 Lite 5G - Astral Blue and Starry Black
Originally published as Micro camera puts big fun back into smartphone photography