Sunday, 25 April 2021 16:48

Review: OPPO Find X3 Lite 5G offers much more than the basics

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The Find X3 Lite 5G. The Find X3 Lite 5G. Supplied

Last year, OPPO released three 5G smartphones in its flagship Find X line. This year, the company has done likewise, seeking, one guesses, to again cater to all segments of the Australian populace which want to invest in devices that incorporate the new technology.

The Find X3 Lite 5G is the cheapest of the three devices launched by OPPO — or rather, I should say by B.B.K. Electronics, the owner of the brand — this year. But even that is a relative term; at $749 is it not cheap by any means.

However, given that other brands sell for well over a thousand, and some even approach the two-thousand mark, the X3 Lite is relatively cheap.

find x3 lite close up

Close-ups are nicely defined even in poor light.

Ultimately, it depends on what a prospective user is looking for. OPPO's approach is to cut down on a few features compared to the top of the range flagship model — in this case, the Find X3 Pro 5G — and put it out in the market. There are two other models in this range: the Find X3 Pro ($1699) and the Find X3 Neo ($1199).

Given that OPPO is now selling well in many other countries, and Australia is just one of the smaller markets, the pressure to sell is not that much. That's my impression, by the way.

So to the phone itself. It looks for all appearances like the A91 which I am using at the moment, with the main difference being the shape of the rear cameras. In size, the device is about the same: 159.1mm x 73.4mm x 7.9mm.

5g speeds

Wouldn't anyone kill for these speeds?

And it is also about the same in terms of weight. The innards, however, differ a great deal.

The phone has a Snapdragon 765G SoC plus 8GB of memory. In that respect, it is a big step up from the A91 that has a Mediatek SoC.

The X3 Lite has two refresh rates, and using it at 90Hz feels very, very smooth, especially for gaming and videos. It, however, means less battery time and the maximum I was able to run with this rate on was a full day.

The time taken for charging matches the manufacturer's claims: it charges from zero to 100% is less than an hour. A user who does not fancy the higher refresh rate can always use the bog standard 60Hz. I did not test out how long it would last at that refresh rate.

long shot

Distance shots are also pretty good.

One thing which the X3 Lite did for me was to open my eyes to the increasing amount of garbage — that is the only term I can use — that is being dished out with Google's Android mobile operating system.

The Find X3 Lite comes with Android 11 with ColorOS 11.1 draped over it, the latter being the skin that OPPO and its brethren — vivo and OnePlus — use. A variant of the system is also used by realme, a brand in which OPPO's owner has an interest.

The number of apps which cannot be removed is increasing by leaps and bounds and it's beginning to strongly resemble Microsoft's approach: use our apps or die. This is no fault of OPPO; Google will only license its system on its own terms.

And if one wants to sell in Western markets, then apps like YouTube, Maps and Search are all mandatory. Huawei has suffered because American sanctions have cut it off from these very apps.

night vision

Taken around midnight. YMMV.

But then in the mobile market, the only option is to invest in a phone that uses Apple's walled garden. The outlook does look somewhat grim.

Testing out the Find X3 Lite gave me a chance to sample, after quite some time, the 5G that Australia offers.

Unfortunately, though I wanted to test out the Telstra coverage, I had to give it a pass as the base 5G plan offers 40GB for $55 a month. Plus there is no coverage in the suburb where I reside.

For a freelancer, Optus made more sense: the base 5G plan costs $39 and offers 10GB. It does have 5G coverage in parts of my suburb. So it was really a no-contest.

The results are pretty impressive as can be seen from the screenshot that I have used.

daylight

During autumn, Melbourne is always somewhat grey.

When Apple last launched a smartphone, it made a big virtue out of the fact that it was not providing a charger with the device, justifying this on the grounds that it was cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions by doing so. Of course, the insight that you would have to pay about US$20 for a charger in the event that you did need one was never mentioned. And the tech media, slaves to a man/woman when it comes to Apple, also kept mum.

OPPO, one is glad to say, does not indulge in such hypocrisy. There is a charger in the box. There are also two other inclusions which speak of common sense: a pair of headphones and a standard headphone jack.

The device has been available on pre-order since 1 April in Astral Blue and Starry Black for an RRP of $749.

Specs

Size: 6.4 inches (diagonal)

Type: OLED

Screen ratio: 91.7%

Dimensions: 159.1mm x 73.4mm x 7.9mm

Weight: about 172g (Starry Black, Astral Blue); about 180g (Galactic Silver)

Refresh rate: Up to 90 Hz

Touch sampling rate: Up to 180Hz

long viewResolution: 2400 x 1080 (FHD+)

Colour gamut: Vivid mode 93.28% DCI-P3, 135.13% sRGB Gentle mode 73.72% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB

Pixels density: 410 PPI

Contrast ratio: Static maximum 1000000:1 (typical)

Brightness: 430 nits (typical); with a maximum of 600 nits in sunlight (typical), and a local peak brightness of 750 nits

Rear Quad Camera

64MP main camera: f/1.7; FOV 80°; closed loop focus motor

8MP Ultra wide-angle camera f/2.2 aperture

2MP macro camera f/2.4 aperture

2MP mono camera f/2.4 aperture

Front camera

32MP selfie camera f/2.4 aperture

Image stabilisation: Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS)

Shooting mode:

Rear camera: 4K(30fps), 1080P(60fps/30fps),720P(60f ps/30fps)

Video slo-mo:1080P(120fps),720P(240fps)

Front camera: 1080P/720P 30fps

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Mobile Platform

8GB RAM + 128GB ROM

RAM: LPDDR4

ROM: UFS2.1

Battery capacity: 4300mAh (typical)

ColorOS 11.1, based on Android 11

WLAN: Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n/; WLAN 2.4G/WLAN 5.1G/WLAN 5.8G; Supports Wi-Fi Display and Wi-Fi tethering.

Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.1

Bluetooth Audio Codec: SBC/AAC/APTX/APTX HD/LDAC HD audio

USB Interface: USB Type C

Earphone jack: 3.5mm

NFC: Supports Android Beam, HCE, and UICC

Geomagnetic sensor

Proximity sensor

Optical sensor

Accelerometer

Gravity sensor

Gyroscope

Pedometer

Sound: Dolby Atmos

Inside box

Phone

Earphones

USB data cable

Charger

SIM ejector tool

Protective case

Safety guide


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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