Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Smart Phones

Oppo Find X6 Pro review: baby can zoom!


From the very beginning of its phone-making career, Oppo offered unique handsets, leveraging its experience in premium audio, but in the last couple of years its flagship Find series has been adding design and hardware features that others could only aspire to at the time of release.

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Oppo Find X6 Pro design and displays

Retro camera vibe level: achieved

Available in leather and glass body options, the Oppo Find X6 Pro design is a breath of fresh air in the sea of bar phones. The leather version is not only two-tone in terms of colors, but also in materials, with the vegan material interrupted from the middle of the camera ring by a glass section rising to the upper edge of the phone. It looks beautiful and the leather gives a warmer feel in the palm, in addition to the added grip traction.

We also welcome the new camera island placement right smack in the upper middle not only because it looks more symmetrical and downright elegant, but also because it is more ergonomic. Previously we had to be careful that our index finger doesn’t get in the way of a photo or a video, but now that point is moot, plus we don’t have to hunt for the right camera sensor to center a shot when taking pictures from a closer distance.

Oppo typically puts a lot of thought about ergonomics in the design of its handsets, be they with foldable displays or not, and the new Find X6 Pro is no exception. It lies firmly in the hand, with a good grip thanks to the tapered back and slightly curved display, with even weight distribution between the top and bottom that facilitates the one-hand operation of the touchscreen. Speaking of weight distribution, the leather version is rather light for a 6.8-inch behemoth, especially compared to the ceramic model of its predecessor. At 7.62 oz (216 g), the phone is actually rather light for what it is.

The two-tone design and 2500 points of light display

Symmetrical elegance and luminant screen

With the Find X6 Pro, Oppo introduces a brand new design language for its flagship Find series of phones. The camera island is now centered, making the phone look much more symmetrical and bringing enhanced ergonomics as it does away with the possibility of your index finger waddling into the frame as so often happens with corner cameras.

The revamped camera placement is not the only eye-pleasing design decision, as the Oppo Find X6 Pro lands with a two-tone design version that resembles that classic cameras of yesteryear that not only splits the handset’s coloring at the middle of the island, but also its body materials.

The upper glass quarter is done in a metal-like finish, and then followed by a cool vegan leather section making for a unique piece of conceptual phone design that is so rare to see these days. The purely glass-clad models that come in black and green are given different designer love, with anti-glare glass and finish that shines yet isn’t prone to fingerprint smudges.

At the front, the big 6.82-inch 1440p display is protected by the latest, toughest Gorilla Glass Victus 2. The Find X6 Pro offers the whopping 93.5% screen-to-body ratio, making it one of the best in class in that regard, thanks to the slightly curved display sides, the punch-hole selfie camera, and the thin top and bottom bezels. Despite that Oppo shaved off the bottom bezel where the screen controller and cable assembly are housed for a symmetrical look, it still managed to tweak the latest LTPO 2.0 OLED display panel technology to arrive at the brightest display on a phone so far by a large margin.

Find X6 Pro display quality

While the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra stayed on last year’s 1750 nits of brightness, and Apple touts the top 2000 nits of the iPhone 14 Pro series, Oppo quietly one-upped them with a record 2500 nits display brightness, a boon for outdoor visibility. The screen also shows excellent screen reflectance ratio of 4.4% which is another important for sunlight visibility metric. 

Being a flagship Oppo phone, the Find X6 Pro also comes with per-unit display calibration for perfect wide gamut coverage straight from the factory.

Oppo introduced the dynamic 1Hz-120Hz display refresh rate and factory-level color calibration before anyone else and never looked back, perfecting its phone displays with each passing edition. 

Besides the record-shattering screen brightness and Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support with the display shining at 2200 nits while watching HDR content, Oppo improved the dynamic refresh rate on the Find X6 Pro, too. 

Just like on the iPhone, it can now sense how fast you are sliding your finger when scrolling, and adjust the refresh rate accordingly, saving further on the battery draw in the process. In short, the screen of the Find X6 Pro is a little wonder in a long string of best-in-class phone displays from Oppo.

As you can see from our display calibration tests, the Find X6 Pro is indeed exceptionally bright, though our unit’s panel colors lean on the cold side of the spectrum and its predecessor showed slightly better color presentation. When it comes to outdoor visibility, though, the Oppo can one-up the best out there.

The brightest phone display

While the Oppo Find X6 Pro advertises humbler typical everyday brightness maximums, which can rise to 2200 nits with HDR content, it can also rev up to the jaw-dropping 2500 nits under direct sunlight on automatic settings. This is a niche scenario, unless you live in a seaside town in warm climates and beachgoing comes as a second nature, that is. 

Those who are out and about the whole day in the warm and sunny summer months would also appreciate squeezing any extra nit from their phone screen, so we did a quick improvised test outside to see how everyone’s peak brightness claims hold up in reality. Moreover, outdoor visibility is a function of several other factors, too, such as screen coating and reflectance, or display contrast.

We took the Oppo Find X6 Pro, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra outdoors, and placed them under the rays of a bright afternoon sunshine. While it is hard to capture minute brightness increments with a camera, especially with all the sunshine blasting around, all three displays remained subjectively visible even in these harsh conditions.

Depending on the sunshine’s angle it was either the Oppo Find X6 Pro or the Galaxy S23 Ultra that managed to rev up to the state of most visible phone screen outdoors in the sunlight, although at these brightness levels the added value of a few hundred nits shows diminishing returns. They also have colder, subjectively brighter display color temperature compared to the iPhone’s yellowish whites.

Performance and software

Top Snapdragon speeds and rich-featured ColorOS

The Oppo Find X6 Pro comes powered by the latest high-end mobile processor by Qualcomm – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – which is the one used by Samsung for its flagship S23 series as well, and provides performance per watt commensurate with Apple’s high-end A16 without getting hot and bothered in the process.

Those high-quality Pro mode and Hasselblad color profile shots or HDR videos will need space, and the Find X6 Pro starts from 256GB of storage at the most basic version, up to a 16GB/512GB combo, and that’s with the fastest UFS 4.0 flash storage memory technology at that.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor is flanked by the fastest RAM technology on a mobile, too, with at least 12GB of LPDDR5X memory (16GB for the leather version) allowing for up to 44 apps to be kept open without any noticeable slowdown of the Find X6 Pro. 

This is enhanced by the latest Color OS 13.1 that manages background processes with aplomb and provides for a number of software features and options rivalling the richest Android overlays out there. 

The successful fusion of hardware and software resulted in a record benchmark score on AnTuTu, where the Oppo Find X6 Pro beats many other flagship phones, including high-performance ones specialized for gaming, thanks to its upgraded cooling system.

Sleep tracker test

With one of the ColorOS features on the Find X6 Pro, for instance, Oppo is leveraging its digital health lab platform to provide you with enhanced sleep tracking directly from your phone, no need for extra gadgets.

The installed Health app where the sleep tracking option is located leverages a combination of sensing components like the accelerometer or mics to follow your body movements, the pulse or breathing rate, and the snoring sounds, in order to provide you with a complete picture of your sleep pattern from your phone alone.

We compared the phone-based sleep tracker with a smartwatch wearable, and found out that it is rather accurate. If anything, it was better than the smartwatch in detecting when we actually went to sleep but didn’t just read in bed. The pulse and breathing rates were also remarkably accurate for something you don’t actually wear, with the downside that you have to have the phone on your side of the bed and fairly close to your pillow.

Private calls and infrared sensor

The infrared sensor is back, baby!

Oppo has an ingenious security-oriented feature on the Find X6 Pro which enhances privacy during voice calls. It augments the sound direction from the earpiece for a greatly limited spillage and, when we tested it compared to the earpiece of its predecessor, we could barely hear an incoherent thing from the same spot near the phone that we were sitting when the other phone was blasting an audible conversation at that volume. Just remember that it works on volume level 8 and below only, and there is a clear indicator that it is on while dialing.

The dual-diaphragm active call privacy protection technology allows the Find X6 Pro to direct the sound of your conversation directly into your ear with ambient leakage reduced more than three times compared to a regular phone, so that nobody in your household or on your train or Uber ride can eavesdrop on your calls from the earpiece alone as so often happens these days.

Another great new feature that Oppo provides on the Find X6 Pro is the return of the infrared sensor. That staple of near field communication has been missing from a whole generation of phones, but we missed the ability to control the TV or air conditioner directly from our phone, too, so we are glad that Oppo is bringing it back on a flagship device like the Find X6 Pro. The IR sensor also allows to share control of said appliances with other X6 Pro units in the household with a simple QR code or NFC tap.

Camera

“Three main cameras” concept 

Oppo calls the Find X6 Pro the phone with “three main cameras,” hinting at how it treated each camera all along the zoom range. Previously, it introduced main and ultrawide camera with equal 50MP resolution and flagship Sony sensors on each, color-coordinating their output for more uniform photography experience. We have those here as well, starting with a huge 1-inch main Sony IMX989 sensor and the largest ultrawide camera one at a 1/1.56″ IMX890 unit.

On the Find X6 Pro, however, Oppo added a periscope camera with the same 1/1.56″ IMX890 sensor as the ultrawide camera, for a unique 50MP zoom camera like no other currently available. Not only did this allow it to offer the highest quality periscope zoom camera sensor on a phone, but also to expand the output coordination in terms of resolution, detail, and color science across the camera trio, hence the “three main cameras” slogan. 

With the exception of some burnt colors and highlights in low-light photos, Oppo succeeds to pull off sharp shots with great dynamic range and eye-pleasing color science, as well as excellent macros or portraits with deeper bokeh when using the periscope zoom camera only.

Furthermore, the 50MP pericope camera resolution lets Oppo play around with hybrid optical/crop zoom from the same sensor to arrive at breathtaking 6x magnification shots that excel at low-light as they do at bright sunlight compared to other solutions, including the 10MP 10x zoom camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, or the 48MP 4x zoom one on the Pixel 7 Pro. The new camera kit placement allowed for much larger periscope refraction prism which, combined with the larger sensor and faster shuttle movement, introduce better image stabilization on the zoom camera which helped achieve longer exposures and better night shot magnification without blur or loss of focus.

As you can see from our Find X6 Pro vs Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Pixel 7 Pro 10x zoom comparison shots at night below, Oppo’s phone beats them both, even though 10x is a native optical zoom step for the Galaxy, and it excelled at shorter magnification steps at low-light as well. It just has a way larger sensor kit that can collect more light in all situations, and one can’t beat its imposing sensor physics with computational photography algorithms alone.

Because of the big Sony IMX890 sensor pixels on the Find X6 Pro periscope camera, the portrait shots also excel in low-light and night scenarios, as the phone is no longer forced to switch to the wide camera when the photons around start disappearing. This is augmented by the biggest ƒ/2.6 aperture on such a camera, so that the Find X6 Pro can produce a more natural depth of field to zoom and portrait shots. Just look at the butterfly portrait photos above, taken with the periscope zoom.

Last but not least, the record-breaking zoom camera kit lets you do excellent macro shots from distances as close as an inch, just as you would on a DSLR camera, plus you can record 4K video with the telephoto camera from afar and get that natural depth of field portrait video look in low-light scenarios as well.

Speaking of portraits, Oppo didn’t stop here, and leveraged its partnership with the storied Hasselblad camera company for the portraits with natural depth of field and filters bringing that distinctive Hasselblad look.

The Hasselblad filter can be set as the default in Pro mode and used each time you fire up one of the camera’s sensors, plus its color filters now work on JPEGs as well. To achieve all that on-device computational photography, Oppo again resorts to its in-house MariSilicon X imaging processor, now augmented by the excellent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 computational support, too. 

The combo allows for rapidly stacking 30 frames with granular exposure levels for widening the dynamic range of a single shot and also displaying 8x higher dynamic range for HDR content than the standard on the phone’s display.

Battery life and charging speed

1600-cycle battery and ultrafast low-temperature charging

Phone makers other than Apple or Samsung keep upping the ante when it comes to ultrafast charging and longer battery life cycles, and the Oppo Find X6 Pro is no exception to that rule. Equipped with a 5,000 mAh total battery capacity split in two modules that can charge simultaneously, the Find X6 Pro comes with a 100W SuperVOOC charger that topped up the depleted battery to 100% in just 32 minutes in our charging test.

As for the Find X6 Pro battery life, we clocked about 15% shorter endurance on the browsing test compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, beating it in the video streaming and the gaming tests by similar amounts. In fact, the Find X6 Pro offers battery life commensurate with the midrange Galaxy A54 that also has a 5,000 mAh battery, yet is much more powerful and offers way more features.

The AirVOOC wireless charging coils on the back can accept 50W power for 51 minutes to full charge. For comparison, the 5000 mAh battery in the Galaxy S23 Ultra takes more than an hour to charge with a cable. The reverse charging speed with which the Find X6 Pro can top up other gadgets like wireless earbud cases is also set at a record 15W.

Furthermore, Oppo’s Battery Health Engine longevity system strikes again with chemistry that is good for 1600 charge-discharge cycles before the unit hits 80% capacity. That’s double what the iPhone offers, for instance, and ensures that the battery will be as good as new for at least 4 years into the phone’s ownership, all the while it charges four times faster than an iPhone, or twice faster than a Samsung flagship, not to mention the breathtaking wireless charging speeds that Oppo provides.

Last but not least among the battery health preserving features is the low-temperature charging mode. Just like your Tesla, the Find X6 Pro senses when an attempt at charging in sub-zero temps is made and preconditions the battery for more efficient charging even in Arctic conditions that are much more adverse than the current phone charging limits. 

Oppo Find X6 Pro review summary

If you can’t buy, import

The US carriers are immersed in the Apple-Samsung duopoly, but our Oppo Find X6 Pro review tests prove that there are other phone manufacturers out there that can go toe-to-toe with those two and often beat them at their own design, camera, display, or performance games. 

The unique ergonomic design reminiscent of a retro Hasselblad camera, brightest phone display for outdoor viewing, best periscope zoom camera performance in low light and portrait shots, as well as long battery life come at the humble price of a grand for the top 16GB/512GB version.

The only things holding the Find X6 Pro back is its limited global availability at launch and the stagnant selfie camera, but beating the Galaxy S23 Ultra at its own zoom game, and the extra features like phone-only sleep tracking or silent call privacy mode make importing a worthy endeavor, be it just for the exclusivity bragging rights.



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