The Oppo Find X3 Neo probably won’t get the attention it deserves. It sits one step below the Oppo Find X3 Pro, and sells for hundreds of pounds less.
However, instead of limiting features and design elements, Oppo has chosen to use some slightly lower-quality hardware instead, which most people are unlikely to notice.
Despite its price, the Find X3 Neo includes a decent dedicated zoom camera and can shoot excellent low-light photos. It features a high refresh rate OLED screen like many of the best phones around. Unlike the OnePlus 9, it sports a glass and metal design rather than the plastic seen in several unnervingly expensive phones.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo’s spangly finish is divisive; ColorOS is few folk’s first choice of interface; and the handset comes with last year’s flagship Snapdragon processor at its heart.
Nevetherless, if you want a more affordable high-end phone that doesn’t leave you feeling as if you’ve missed out then the X3 Neo is one of the best mid-range phones around.
Oppo Find X3 Neo price and availability
The Find X3 Neo costs £699/€799. There’s no USA availability right now, and a straight conversion puts the handset at around $950. You may look at this and think, hmm, that isn’t a great deal when the OnePlus 9 costs £629/€699/$729. However, the Find X3 Neo sits closer to the pricier version of the OnePlus 9 since it comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
It does represent a significant jump in price compared to the Find X2 Neo, though, of around £100.
Oppo Find X3 Neo design and screen – A handset that cuts no corners
- Sparkly finishes
- Metal and glass, with barely any plastic in sight
- Slim 8.7mm depth
We live in a time where phone designs are being downgraded, even on the best Android phones. Screen are getting less curvy, and plastic is becoming more commonplace – on expensive phones, too.
You won’t find such cuts on the Oppo Find X3 Neo. Its front is curved glass. Its back is curved glass with a finger-charming texture, and the sides are aluminium. There’s a smidgeon of plastic along its top edge, but you’re unlikely to touch that part of the device – and it’s coloured, so becomes part of the visual aesthetic of the phone.
This “visual aesthetic” isn’t something that all will appreciate, however. I have the off-white version of the Oppo Find X3 Neo, and it’s the sort of phone you might develop if you took a OnePlus 9 Pro and focus-grouped it with a bunch of 8-year-olds.
Viewed from the right angle, the matte finish fires a rainbow of colours off its back. Oranges and blues cascade into each other, turning to greens and purples at a more extreme angle. It’s sparkly. It’s bold. And it may not be what you expect having seen images of the handset online.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo looks similar to a OnePlus, minus the classy reserve of those phones. I don’t hate it, but I strongly suggest you consider if this is what you want. The darker version of the Neo also has a sparkly finish, minus the rainbow lightshow.
The Find X3 Neo also lacks a water-resistance rating, although this shouldn’t be a surprise at this price.
I have no other complaints about the Oppo Find X3 Neo’s outer hardware. The combination of the curve of the front screen and aluminium sides feels lovely – a clear cut above the OnePlus 9. Its 72.5mm width shouldn’t be a stretch for most hands accustomed to today’s sizeable devices, and the in-screen fingerprint scanner is fast.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo speakers, too, are solid. There are two: one sits along the bottom edge of the handset, and you’ll find the other above the display. They aren’t quite as loud and beefy as those on the OnePlus 9 Pro – podcasts may struggle to compete with the sound of a kettle boiling 30cm away – but they’re punchy.
Oppo has chosen to include a 6.55-inch OLED on the Find X3 Neo. It has a 2400 x 1080 pixel screen, not the 1440p one found on the Find X3; and it has a 90Hz refresh rate, not the 120Hz of the Find X3 and the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Theoretically, this should result in a slightly less-smooth scrolling motion than seen with the OnePlus 9, which also has a 120Hz display. However, I’ve noticed slight motion trails when scrolling black text on a white background. Nevertheless, it’s still going to scroll smoother than an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Colour is designed to match the rich DCI-P3 colour standard, so tones look vivid.
Plus, the Find X3 Neo includes the feature that I’ve found makes the most difference when switching from a lower-mid range phone to a higher mid-range phone such as this: a backlight booster. This ramps up the brightness to ~1100 nits when the phone senses it is in more dazzling environments.
The feature proves a godsend if you’re shooting photos on a bright day; the preview image simply isn’t that clear on lower-end screens that have roughly half the peak brightness.
Oppo Find X3 Neo camera – A match for the OnePlus 9 series?
- Wide/main/zoom combo is great for a mid-range priced phone
- Takes okay zoomed images at up to 5x
- Poor macro
The Oppo Find X3 Neo has four cameras, three of which are well worth using. The fourth is a 2-megapixel macro that takes poor photos and which seems to have been included here primarily to make up the numbers.
The main camera benefits from a rather lovely 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor. OnePlus uses this same sensor in the 9 Pro’s ultra-wide camera, which would usually be a red flag as secondary cameras tend to be of lower overall quality. But Oppo also employs the IMX766 for the main and wide cameras in the more expensive Find X3 Pro. Clearly, this is no junk sensor.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo also includes a 16-megapixel wide and a 2x zoom, which uses a 13-megapixel Samsung sensor.
I carried out much of my testing before looking into the Find X3 Neo’s tech specs, to evaluate its photos without being swayed by the hardware.
The camera app here presents as if it has a periscope zoom. There are 2x and 5x zoom presets, and all of my favourite photos are 5x shots.
It’s counterintuitive, since in this mode, the Oppo Find X3 Neo uses a “hybrid” crop of the 2x zoom. Image quality only just holds up at 5x, but the phone uses a tailored image-processing profile that makes photos look completely different to a manual crop of the 2x zoom.
This is one of the better hybrid zoom modes I’ve seen in a mid-range phone. However, in certain lighting conditions the Find X3 Neo seems to revert to using a crop of the primary sensor even at 5x, resulting in weird-looking oversharpened images. And, at times, there’s significant purple fringing at 5x.
I wish the Oppo Find X3 Neo had a true 5x periscope zoom, but that would have been a big ask at this price. Nevertheless, I have a lot of time for this 5x feature, warts and all.
The Oppo Find X3 Neo primary camera captures lovely images at 1x, with a tendency towards a warm colour cast. The OnePlus 9 Pro’s colour accuracy is better than the Find X3 Neo much of the time, but this phone didn’t take any shots where I questioned the reasons that such colour tone decisions were made.
Its 16-megapixel wide camera isn’t at the same level as the OnePlus 9’s, but it’s sharper than the iPhone 12’s.
I like Oppo’s approach here. It has spread its budget to offer you an impressive main camera and both a good wide and zoom, rather than leaving out any bonus focal lengths. And it means you can have more fun taking pictures with the Oppo Find X3 Neo than you can with a OnePlus 9. Fun m