(Pocket-lint) - When the Oppo Find X first got into our hands back in 2019, we were enthralled by its mechanised pop-up camera. Sure, it was flawed in terms of future longevity due to the number of moving parts, but, hey, this was an exciting feature to see in a phone - something that was becoming ever rarer in the world of same-old same-old mobile phones.
For the Find X2 sequel, here seen in its Pro form, the pop-up camera is dead. Long live the punch-hole camera. Which might not thrill and excite us to the same extent, but ultimately makes greater long-term sense and gives Oppo the opportunity to focus on a stand-out feature: the screen, which is now a 120Hz OLED panel, much like the OnePlus 8 Pro.
So does the Find X2 Pro continue to thrill, or by taking away its most out-there feature, does it lose some of its X factor?
Do we lament the front-facing pop-up camera's absence? Well, no, not really. As much as we loved watching the original Find X's camera moving into place, that impressive example of engineering has been solved in the Find X2 Pro with a simple punch-hole camera.
That design decision leaves the Find X2 Pro's screen to be the star of the show. And it really is a shining star. Large, bright, resolute, super smooth, and colourful. Plus it doesn't drain the battery too quickly, as we found with Samsung's Galaxy flagship phones.
The Find X2 Pro feels altogether more straight-laced and serious. But serious can be very good indeed. With this kind of top-drawer screen, oodles of power, very versatile cameras, and a considerable battery with fast-charging, the Oppo Find X2 Pro knows how to command attention (if you pick the orange vegan leather one anyway - the black/grey is a little dull).
Initially we thought we'd be put off by the ColorOS software, but that's not been of bother. With Huawei's presence looking more questionable in Europe, it looks as though Oppo has come out fighting to take that spot in the flagship phone space. The X2 Pro's problem? That the OnePlus 8 Pro exists for less money.
Oppo Find X2 Pro
- That 120Hz OLED screen is stunning - for resolution / colour / refresh rate
- Really powerful spec will take anything you throw at it
- Solid battery innings - and even better if you tweak settings
- ColorOS software much improved over previous outings
- Versatile triple camera system is impressive
- Night mode can't beat the camera competition
- ColorOS software won't be everyone's favourite (we find it fine)
- No wireless charging
- Black design is a bit non-descript (orange vegan leather looks more interesting)
- Camera unit protrudes a lot
- OnePlus far cheaper for similar
- Black (all ceramic rear finish): 164.9 x 74.4 x 8.8m; 207g
- Orange (vegan leather finish): 165.2 x 74.4 x 9.5m; 200g
- In-screen optical fingerprint scanner
- IP68 water-resistance
- Dual stereo speakers
The trend for multi-colour gradient phone rears seems to be dying down in 2020. It's now all about simple elegance and use of materials. Keeping things simple, the Find X2 Pro comes in two options: a ceramic black, and a vegan leather orange - the latter which brings a refreshing alternative to the normal black slab.
The ceramic model doesn't necessarily exude that material finish though, but the etched circular emblems all over the rear (you'll need to look very, very close-up to see them) give it a very subtle texture. The black, as pictured, we'd call more grey, really, in a metallic kind of way, and it absolutely adores fingerprint smears - a little bit too much, just as we said of the Oppo A5.
As we say up top, there's no mechanised pop-up camera unit that can rise from the top of the phone. While that removes a lot of the faff and some of the fun when taking selfies, it also brings a new feature as a by-product: IP68 water-resistance. As there's no moving parts, it's easier for Oppo to seal the handset, ensuring it's water-resistant (the rules state in 1.5m of water for 30 minutes, but like many handsets we've seen the reality is often many times longer than this - not that we've stress tested it here).
Around the back of the phone is where the protruding rear camera section lives. And boy does it protrude. Leaving this phone sat on a table is rather irksome, because it wobbles about so much. You might want to consider a case to level things out, to aid with your OCD. It seems increasingly normal for cameras to be designed like this these days, but that's the trade-off: you want capable cameras, you've got to accept some wobble.
Other features are on the nose when it comes to flagship expectation: there's an in-screen fingerprint scanner, of the optical kind; while dual stereo speakers make for a loud output that doesn't seem too one-dimensional or just from the tail-end of the phone. As is also typical, this also means there's no 3.5mm headphone jack or microSD card slot expansion - the latter unnecessary, given the 256GB storage on board this Pro device as standard. It's a single SIM solution, though, when we were expecting it to be dual SIM.
- 6.78-inch OLED display, 19.8:9 aspect ratio, QHD+ resolution (3168 x 1440)
- 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sample rate (4.2ms)
- 800 nit brightness (1200 nit max peak)
- HDR10+ certification
To look at, the Find X2 Pro is screen dominant, thanks to a 6.78-inch diagonal, spread in an elongated aspect ratio - which we think is the right choice for one-handed holding, none of this 21:9 super-slim nonsense, or the older and chunkier 16:9 aspect, such as on the too-wide iPhone 8 Plus.
There's little bezel to concern yourself with on the Find X2 Pro, too, although Oppo hasn't gone all-out with a waterfall display, like you'll find on the Vivo NEX 3. Still, the bezel really is minimal, while the punch-hole camera is dinky and not obtrusive, plus Oppo hasn't opted for a dual front-facing camera, so it's not the larger-scale black bar that you'll see on the Huawei P40 Pro. It's all rather neat and tidy.
There's stacks of resolution too, with this panel cramming in more pixels than you're likely to truly need. That's ideal for watching downscaled 4K streams, though, especially as this phone will be 5G, with no 4G-only variants in the European market. We've not been able to test out 5G on our review handset though (no nearby networks during lockdown make that an issue).
It's the added extras of what this screen can do that will gather the most interest though. If any of this sounds familiar then, well, that's because this screen is an echo of the OnePlus 8 Pro. That means a 120Hz refresh rate, which means double the frame-rate for super smooth playback. It's got frame-insertion to make videos smoother too. It's a 10-bit panel, so there's even more colour. It's calibrated, it supports DCI-P3 colour space, HDR10+ high dynamic range, and all that good stuff.
But the thing is, a lot of that is potentially superfluous. Having 120Hz available doesn't mean everything runs better: not every app or game supports that refresh rate. That said, by the end of 2019 the list had grown from just a handful of titles to around 175 options, so the support is growing from a developer standpoint. Whether a game can maintain that fixed frame-rate - a lot will fluctuate depending on how much action is happening on screen - is also questionable, and if your astute brain sees a drop from such a high rate, you may be better just running it at 60Hz constant, knowing it'll be consistent.
That's our due dilligence in pointing out that 120Hz isn't always what it's cracked up to be. That said, having been using this phone for many weeks, we immediately noticed the silky smoothness around the operating system's screens once we had moved out of our previous device. You know what? We rather like 120Hz's potential.
The other feature is frame insertion. As a lot of content is shot at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, that's miles off the refresh rate of this screen. To counter this, inserting black frames and/or frames produced from the content can give the impression of a smoother playback. Problem is, it can make things look hyper-real and, in part, is the bane of many movie producers' lives, as it produces the so-called 'soap opera effect' - where classic cinema looks like it was shot in your front room. You can opt to turn this processing on or off, via the O1 Ultra Vision Engine in the settings, which handles all this processing. It's good the have the controls, although even with it activated we've not noticed it adding anything of note.
Oppo is now saying this screen is on par with Apple and Samsung thanks to DisplayMate A+ certification through its device-by-device calibration. We're certainly impressed by the screen, but we do find the calibration here perplexing: the Vivid (P3 gamut) is actually less vivid than the Cinematic option, which is bizarre; while the Gentle (sRGB) mode is more how we'd expect a movie mode to be (yellow and flatter). At least there's some customisation available.