To sum up this Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: this is an impressive phone boasting fast speeds, a stunning display and a fantastic camera system.
If you like the look of the Oppo Find X3 Pro but its high price gives you shivers, then the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G is a really great alternative that offers plenty for much less money. It’s one of the best Android phones you can buy.
The mid-range smartphone market is thriving, companies are falling over themselves to release cheaper phones with more and more going for them. Granted you won’t get as many sophisticated features as you do with the most expensive flagships, but what you will get is decent performance all-round. Some of them had no problems claiming a spot in T3’s guide to the best phones.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo is a prime example of just how much you can get for your money. Read on to find out more.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: price and what’s new
Available now from a number of retailers including Amazon, the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G will set you back around £699 in the UK, it’s not actually available in the US or Australia as things stand.
So how is it different from their flagship phone, the Oppo Find X3 Pro? Firstly, it’s about £400 cheaper, so would be classed more as a mid-range phone. It also has a smaller 6.55inch screen as opposed to the Pro’s 6.7inches. Its display is FHD+ with a 90Hz refresh rate, down from QHD with 120Hz. You’ll also find a slightly less sophisticated camera system and a more modest processor too. Both phones have dual speakers and the same size battery, although the Pro version offers wireless charging which the Oppo Find X3 Neo doesn’t.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: design and display
Without a doubt, the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G is a good-looking phone. While the screen is rounded and curved, the phone itself has a more rectangular shape with sharp and angular edges. Available in black, blue and silver, the handset has a textured matte back which also gives it a good grip, unlike more slippery, glossy phones. That means it doesn't pick up fingerprint marks too easily either.
It feels quite wide to hold, measuring 159.9 x 72.5 x 7.99mm, which will only really bother those with smaller hands. At just 184g, it’s quite a light device in comparison to recent flagship phones, like the Samsung S21 Ultra which weighs about 229g. One small problem that does annoy me is that the camera notch sticks out so the phone isn’t stable on a flat surface, and it catches on your pocket when you slide it in and out.
Around the frame, there’s the power button and volume controls as well as the USB-C port. You won’t find a 3.5mm headphone jack here, although it comes with a pair of headphones in the box. Unlike the Pro version of the phone, the Oppo Find X3 Neo doesn’t have waterproofing and dust resistance so you’ll have to be careful not to have any accidents. To unlock it you get a choice of facial recognition or the in-display fingerprint sensor, I found both worked quickly and efficiently.
The 6.55in FHD+ AMOLED display has a resolution of 2400 x 1080p, a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz and a peak brightness of 1100 nits. So although you don’t get the top specs possible, they’re definitely up there. Clear and bright with vivid colours, the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G has a screen that makes everything feel smooth and look lovely, whether that’s streaming video, playing games or browsing the web. There’s also HDR10+ support which means that you’ll get the best experience possible from the likes of Netflix, with tonnes of detail and accurate colours.
The dual stereo speakers have Dolby Atmos, and while they're hardly a match for a separate speaker, if you want to watch short YouTube videos or listen to a voice note on Whatsapp, they'll blast it out with power and clarity.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: camera
A quad-camera system sits on the back of the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G, including a 50MP main camera, a 16MP ultra wide-angle camera, a 13MP telephoto camera and a 2MP macro camera. On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie snapper.
Even on a dreary day, the cameras managed to take decent point-and-shoot photography, balancing the light and dark areas well while giving a boost to the bland scene. Photos in sunlight really pop, colours are bright and vivid without looking oversaturated. When you look closely there's tonnes of intricate detail. The dedicated Macro lens does a great job to pick up lots of detail in subjects up close as well.
Overall the camera array is fantastic, especially considering the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G is a mid-range phone. You can see some sample shots in the gallery below.
The rear camera can film video in resolutions up to 4K (at 30fps or 60fps), videos were pretty sharp although colours did look a little duller than in still photography. The footage didn't suffer from too much shakiness, especially with the Ultra Steady mode switched on which did a good job to stabilise the image.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: performance and battery
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, the phone has every chance of being great. Once a flagship CPU, it may have been overtaken now, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less capable. That’s paired with the Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage - there’s no MicroSD card slot in the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G.
Using the phone day-to-day, it feels super speedy and smooth. I didn’t find any problems with loads of apps open, and even larger games loaded quickly. That’s backed up by its Geekbench 5 scores, it managed to get 921 in single-core and 3,132 in multi-core, which is comparable to phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro or the Samsung S21 Plus. Future-proofed with 5G and Wi-Fi 6, you’re sure to get the fastest internet speeds as well.
A 4,500mAh battery certainly bodes well, and during testing, it did seem to survive the whole workday, it won't take you further than that without needing to be topped up though. I put the battery through its paces by running a video on full brightness over two hours, in that time the battery level dropped by 18% so would have lasted about 11 hours in total which is fine. To recharge it, there’s no wireless charging option, the phone does come with a 65W charger which takes it from empty to 100% in around half an hour. That's brilliant - you'll never be caught short again.
Running ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11, the operating system is okay. It’s easy to use but can be a little fiddly, and the apps and icons look a little childlike with overly bright colours. Google apps are pre-installed which is useful, and you get the Google Assistant built-in as well. I much prefer straight-up Android, but who doesn’t.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: verdict
If you want flagship-level performance and an excellent camera system, but you don’t want to spend loads of money and you aren’t fussed about extra features like waterproofing and wireless charging, then the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G could be the right choice for you. This phone easily competes against the likes of the OnePlus 9 and the Xiaomi Mi 11.
You do have to make some sacrifices in comparison to the Oppo Find X3 Pro yet I wouldn’t say they’re dramatic differences. This is a slightly more modest, smaller model which to be honest will be suited to far more people. It’s most definitely worth considering.
Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G review: also consider
If you’re looking for the best cheap phone that feels premium and runs Android then the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is exactly that. It takes all of the most popular features from their 2020 flagship phone including an impressive 120Hz display, a top-tier chipset and a really brilliant camera and packs it all into a more affordable package.
If you want to spend even less than that, then the OnePlus Nord is the best cheap Android phone at the moment. At 6.44inches, it has a slightly smaller screen than the Oppo Find X3 Neo 5G, and its performance is good rather than great. But take one look at the very reasonable price tag and you’ll see why.
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