OPPO has been selling its phones in the Kenyan market for as long as I can remember. However, from about three or so years ago, the Chinese company stopped bringing its flagship phones here and focused more on the Reno and A series, which are affordable for Kenyan buyers.

The 2022 strategy has however changed and picks from 2019 when the company revealed the Reno 10x zoom for local consumption. The Find X5, which is the smaller sibling of its leading 2022 high-end smartphone the Find X5 Pro was launched locally a couple of weeks ago.

The Pro model will not be sold here, but that shouldn’t matter because the phones are largely the same and offer nearly an identical experience.


It also goes a long way to mention that the Find X5 is not cheap at KES 100K, which puts it in the same territory as the S22 by Samsung, the Xiaomi 12 Pro, and other high-end handhelds from Apple. Is this a phone you should buy though? The short answer is yes, but let’s try to make sense of that purchase decision in the next couple of paragraphs.

Specs

Weight: 196g

Screen: 6.55 AMOLED, 120 Hz, HDR10+, 1000 nits peak brightness, 1080 by 2400 pixels, Gorilla Glass Victus

Chip: Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660 GPU

Memory: 8/256 GB

Software: ColorOS 12.1, Android 12

Main camera: Triple, 50 MP main with OIS, 12 MP telephoto with 2x zoom, 50 MP ultrawide

Selfie: 32 MP punched in the screen

Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p all the way to 240fps

Battery: 4800 mAh, 80W wired charging, 30W wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging

Security: fingerprint reader under the display

Colours: White, black, purple

Difference between the X5 and X5 Pro

If you are still wondering why the Find X5 Pro didn’t get here, then I need to put some things into perspective. First, the normal X5 shares the same camera hardware as the Pro. However, the Pro ups the game with better optical image stabilization using both sensor and lens shift on the main snapper. The rest of the cameras are the same, including the selfie. The Pro has a larger cell as 5000mAh, includes faster wireless charging, and swaps the Snapdragon 888 with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

That’s not all: the Find X5 at our hand does not have an LTPO screen, although other features are shared between it and the Pro model. On a day-to-day basis, there isn’t much of a difference between the two screens, so you shouldn’t worry about that.

While the differences exist, the Find X5 is a true flagship, sans the year-old chipset (that shouldn’t matter at this point, to be honest). The screens are excellent, battery life is more than stellar and tops up fast, the software is well-tunes, and the smartphone feels every bit as fast as any other top-tier Android flagship out there.

In the box

Phone makers are becoming selfish with what they pack with their phones, but OPPO has stuck to its guns with a fairly generous package. Besides the phone, which has a think screen protector, you also get a case, an 80W adapter, and a durable USB-C cable for charging. What you don’t get, however, are earphones, but chances are you already own a pair, and I would rather forego them than a charging brick.

The feel

The Find X5 feels different, although it still packs some familiar design elements. For instance, its camera island is not a square, it is actually trapezoidal. This makes it unique from other familiar-looking camera islands.

Where it feels ordinary, at least for high-end phones, is the slightly curved display and back. This makes the phone feel thinner than it really is and does a nice job of masking the camera hump. Still, the curves do not have sharp edges as you would find in modern phones (the modern iPhones, and OPPO’s Reno devices from 2021 or so). Still, I would have loved a flat panel, but this works and does appear to handle palm rejection quite exceptionally.

You would also appreciate the device without a case. The back glass panel is frosted, meaning it does not show fingerprint smudges. The sides also house several antenna lines. OPPO also chose to put the volume button on the left, and the power button on the right. The rest (USB opening, one of the speaker grill, and SIM card slot) ate at the bottom. Nothing too strange here.

Generally speaking, the phone is built well and feels every bit as premium and you wouldn’t confuse it for a mid-ranger at all. It can get slipper, though, so make sure it is dressed in the included case just to be on the safe side. It is also not as big for a 6.55-incher. It also does not top the scales past the 200g mark so it should feel light enough on your palms.  

Battery performance and charging

The 4800 mAh cell in the Find X5 is not as big (even the most budget devices usually have more than 5000 mAh juciers). However, considering that the display is not as big and that the device supports 80W fast charging, the battery size is more than sufficient.

I can use the device for more than 12 hours (mixed usage, jumping in and out of social media apps, utility apps, and the camera) with no issue. In case the phone gets low on charge, it can still be topped up fairly fast at less than 40 minutes (thanks to SuperVOOC). Only a few phones in this category are capable of this wicked fast charging technology. Samsung and Apple have never really gone mainstream with faster charging and limit their adapters to 25W or thereabouts. Only Chinese phone makers are exploring turbo fast charging tech, and there haven’t been concerns about battery performance longevity ever since the technology started becoming mainstream.

Overall, this is to say that you do not need to worry about the battery performance of the Find X5 as it’s big, and tops up faster than what you get in other phones.

Speakers

I have been a fan of stereo speakers in Samsung’s high-end devices. They have some of the best-sounding setups around. OPPO has the same pair of speakers, and they sound glorious with more than enough loudness, punchiness, and bass. However, they do not quite match what the competition offers (mainly Samsung), but that is not a bad thing because there are chances you might pick your earbuds for music anyway.

I also noticed that the speakers are tuned using Dolby Atmos, which is ON by default. Do not turn it off because they sound better when the feature is left ON.

The screen

As said, the 6.55” screen is curved and has all the features of a modern device (refer to the spec sheet above).

In the software, there are some colour presets that you can choose based on how you want the display temperature to be displayed. There is also the Nature Tone Display feature that decides colour calibration for you based on ambient conditions.

If you choose to play an HDR video from Netflix or YouTube, the display will sense this and tune up the brightness. However, while it makes video look great, it makes the display use a little bit more power. It also might be uncomfortable watching a very bright video in low-light conditions.

Finally, colour accuracy is great to my eyes, and I did not find any issues with how content was displayed.

The software

We have talked about ColorOS so many times on this platform. In short, the skin is fast and packed to the brim with a lot of features. It is also complimented with Android 12 theme features that match the colour scheme of the device based on the colour of your wallpaper.

I, however, did notice that ColorOS 12.1 does not support third-party icon packs, which is a bummer because I do not like switching to Nova Launcher just to play around with the interface (Nova also does not have a Google Discover page, and you need to install a Companion app just to get it working, and that is an extra step that I shouldn’t have to take).

Generally speaking, if there is a software feature that you like, then there are high chances that ColorOS has it.

And if you are coming from another OPPO device, then navigating around the Find X5 should feel familiar.

Camera

The selfie is a 32 MP shooter

Main camera: Triple, 50 MP main with OIS, 12 MP telephoto with 2x zoom, 50 MP ultrawide

Selfie: 32 MP punched into the screen

  • The camera app is the same as what you would find in other OPPO phones.
  • You can switch between modes by swiping on the viewfinder.
  • The ‘More’ menu has additional modes. You can choose to re-arrange them to access your favourites fast.
  • You cannot use the macro mode if you activate 2x zoom or the ultrawide snapper.
  • You can shoot portrait videos.
  • There is a dedicated Night mode.
  • There is a Pro mode for all its cameras to adjust exposure, ISO, white balance, manual focus, and shutter speed if that is your style. On my side, I use the camera based on how it was shipped from the factory.
  • There is a Movie mode for videos. It just gives you more options to adjust your video settings.
  • The camera samples are of great quality. Details are solid, and colours look natural.
  • There is an AI setting that adjusts settings based on the environment. All it does is just boost colours.
  • Indoor camera performance is equally great.
  • Do not shoot using the 50MP mode because the images do not look as great.
  • I am glad there is a 2x telephoto here. I would take it over any other secondary lens.
  • The ultrawide snapper can also function as a macro camera because it has AF enabled. It is also a better macro snapper because of the resolution (we are used to seeing 2MP macro lenses).
  • Portrait mode images are mostly consistent.
  • Selfies are good enough for social media sharing.
  • While other Snapdragon 888-equipped phones can shoot 8K videos, the Find X5 does not. I am okay with that, and so should you.
  • 4K videos are solid.
  • The ultrawide camera can also capture 4K videos.

Summary


There are a lot of things to say about the Find X5, but I can sum them up in a couple of points. The screen is class-leading. The phone is built well, it has great battery performance and is very fast although it has a 2021 chip. Speakers are great, haptics are equally good, and the software experience has enough tricks to keep you busy for a day.

However, the phone is a little too expensive at KES 100K. It also does not have any kind of water and dust protection, which should be normal for the price. In some cases, some may think that its camera performance is not consistent, and they might have a point. Lastly, the phone launched at the wrong time when Samsung is about to bring its foldables. Will the Find X5 compete with these big boys? Probably not because Samsung has a bigger brand name. However, rivalry is always good because it affords customers more options to choose from, and that goes a long way in producing better devices.

Screen6.55"
1080 x 2400 pixels
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
120Hz refresh rate display
HDR10+ suppport
1000 nits peak brightness
OSAndroid 12; ColorOS 12.1
CPUSnapdragon 888 5G

Marisilicon X image signal processor
GPUAdreno 660
RAM8GB RAM + 5GB virtual RAM
Storage256 GB
Main cam50MP wide + 13MP telephoto + 50MP ultra wide

Hasselblad Color Calibration
Selfie32 MP
Battery4800mAh battery

80W SuperVOOC wired charging
30W AirVOOC wireless charging
10W Reverse wireless charging
FeaturesUnder the display fingerprint reader
ColoursBlack, White, Purple
Price Ksh 99,999

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]

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