Oppo Discover X3 Professional Assessment: Oppo Overkill

The Discover X3 Professional sees Oppo decide up proper the place the Discover X2 Professional left off, emphasising a colour-accurate 10-bit show, equally (and exceptionally) succesful major and ultra-wide cameras, and super-fast charging.

Throw in a microscopic lens and curved glass digicam module and you’ve got a telephone that builds on the most effective of what got here earlier than whereas nonetheless carving out its personal id.

And sure, at £1,099 it’s costly, belonging to the brand new class of super-flagship alongside the likes of the Galaxy S21 Extremely and ROG Cellphone 5 Final. However in case you can afford a telephone of this calibre, then proper now the Discover X3 Professional is the one you can purchase.

Design & construct

I think it’s no exaggeration to recommend that the Discover X3 Professional will go down as probably the most memorable telephone design of 2021, even when it doesn’t win everybody over.

Whereas most high-end telephones are slabs of glass with digicam lenses protruding awkwardly from one nook, Oppo has as an alternative curved the glass itself to satisfy the lenses the place they sit, incorporating the module seamlessly into telephone’s again panel.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t a fan of what felt like an ungainly answer to the design drawback, however over the past week the X3 Professional has received me over. Very similar to the tiered module favoured by Vivo within the X60 collection, the curve has the impact of constructing the entire telephone really feel sleeker and slimmer. Greater than that although, it’s a design selection that concurrently attracts the attention whereas making the digicam really feel like a necessary a part of the telephone, reasonably than an additional element bolted onto the rear.

That’s particularly exaggerated on the Gloss Black mannequin I’ve been reviewing, on which mild shimmers and warps across the curved lens mount. It’s a horrendous fingerprint magnet although, so in case you desire, there’s a matt blue mannequin obtainable too, with white and orange leather-based variants additionally on supply in some markets – although not within the UK.

The lenses right here sit nearly flush – the principle and ultra-wide sensors every venture by a millimetre or so – and actually, the entire telephone is fairly slender at simply 8.26mm thick – although it’s nearer to a centimetre at these lenses. That makes it thinner than the in any other case equally sized S21 Extremely, however extra importantly, at 193 grams it’s greater than 30g lighter, which is a big distinction meaning the telephone is definitely comfy to make use of one-handed.

All that curved glass hasn’t gotten in the best way of sturdiness, with IP68 water and dust-resistance, and Gorilla Glass 5 discovered on each the back and front of the telephone – although admittedly it’s not the newer and more durable Gorilla Glass Victus.

That’s actually the one compromise you’ll must make from a design perspective right here, as long as you don’t thoughts the sheer measurement of the factor – considerably of a necessity if you would like the roomy 6.7in show, regardless of Oppo’s finest efforts to avoid wasting house elsewhere.


Talking of that show – what’s on supply is a curved 6.7in AMOLED panel with a dynamic refresh price as much as 120Hz, a QHD+ decision and 10-bit color depth.

That latter spec is what Oppo needs to focus on, emphasising that the Discover X3 Professional can show over 1 billion colors. The corporate included a 10-bit panel on the Discover X2 Professional as nicely, however this time round it’s supporting the show with that it calls a “full-path 10-bit Color Administration System.”

That’s a flowery manner of claiming that along with the show, the digicam system can be able to 10-bit color images, and the telephone is ready to encode, retailer, and decode the ensuing photographs with 10-bit color too. Which means there’s no lack of color accuracy or vary at any level within the course of – no less than till the picture leaves your telephone.

In fact, that largely issues with regards to your personal images, and when it comes to Instagram or Netflix, or recordsdata from elsewhere, you’ll nonetheless be restricted by their native bit-rates; that means that is a kind of options that is still overkill for many customers.

Apparently, Oppo is making an attempt to ship color accessibility too. The telephone presents varied color palette choices to enhance visuals for several types of colour-blindness, and a color imaginative and prescient take a look at to assist ship a personalised color profile to finest fit your imaginative and prescient.

Everybody will profit from the HDR10+ certification for suitable media no less than, and along with 10-bit color depth, there’s 100% protection of the DCI-P3 gamut, so that you’re getting phenomenal color vary. In the meantime, a 0.four JNCD ranking ensures professional-grade colour-accuracy too. Once more, that is largely overkill, however no less than you understand the X3 Professional has received it when it counts.

Apart from, you’ll be able to’t argue with Oppo’s show prowess elsewhere. The adaptive refresh price – from 5Hz to 120Hz – retains the telephone easy and snappy when it must be, and conserves energy the remainder of the time. It runs concurrently with the 3216×1440 QHD+ decision too.

Final yr, Oppo delivered the most effective telephone show ever within the Discover X2 Professional. This yr’s panel is even higher. Want I say extra?

Specs & efficiency

From a design and show perspective the Discover X3 Professional is pretty distinctive, however on the within, I’ll admit you’ll discover a tool that’s just about par for the course for a 2021 flagship.

The Snapdragon 888 chipset is right here, in fact, paired on this case with 12GB of DDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. There’s solely the one setup obtainable, and it’s additionally price noting that there’s no assist for increasing the storage by way of microSD.

Between the chipset and the RAM, there’s a whole lot of energy beneath the hood right here, although curiously the X3 Professional barely under-performed in CPU-focussed Geekbench assessments; with outcomes nearer to a few of final yr’s Snapdragon 865 flagships than this yr’s Galaxy S21 Extremely and Xiaomi Mi 11 – although it held its personal higher on the graphical assessments that finest point out gaming efficiency.

The problem appears to be considered one of temperature administration – as assessments go on efficiency appears to degrade, and the chassis itself will get a bit heat to the contact.

I haven’t seen this type of over-heating in day-to-day life, solely whereas benchmarking, and equally, the telephone has by no means felt sluggish in regular use. I do fear that intense gaming periods would produce the identical thermal throttling although, and it does appear notable that proper now this telephone isn’t fairly matching different Snapdragon 888 rivals for pure efficiency.

Past processing energy, the 888 means 5G, with 13 5G bands lined guaranteeing near-global assist. It’s additionally a dual-SIM system, with assist for each bodily and eSIMs. Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC are additionally all supported.

As for safety, fingerprint unlock is dealt with by an under-display optical sensor that’s been each quick and dependable in my testing, although face unlock can be obtainable.

Battery & charging

That is one other space the place Oppo has determined to construct on what’s come earlier than, reasonably than take any radical steps.

Like its predecessor, you’ll discover 65W fast-charging included within the Discover X3 Professional, which is quick sufficient to ship 96% of the telephone’s battery again in simply half an hour in my testing.

Not like its predecessor, it’s paired with assist for wi-fi charging. It’ll go at as much as 30W speeds utilizing a suitable Oppo AirVOOC charger (bought individually) however works wonderful on customary 5W and 10W Qi chargers too. You additionally get 10W reverse charging for different telephones or equipment.

The 4500mAh battery is definitely a bit bigger than final yr’s, and in accordance with Oppo battery life has been improved additional by the dynamic refresh price show.

The result’s a telephone that’ll final a day comfortably, and often a bit over. It’s not precisely distinctive battery efficiency, but it surely’s commendable for a flagship – which usually undergo on this space, because of the upper energy elements – and there’s little cause to complain right here.

Digital camera

If the show and design are two of the important thing pillars of the Discover X3 Professional, then the digicam is the third – and inextricably intertwined with each, because it lies on the coronary heart of that curved glass design and 10-bit promise.

These are removed from the one noteworthy factors about this digicam setup although. Let’s begin with the principle shooters: Oppo is pitching this as a ‘twin major’ digicam system, the place each the usual lens and the ultrawide are on equal footing.

Each use the identical 50Mp sensor – Sony’s IMX766, a 1/1.56” sensor – and each use All Pixel Omni-Directional PDAF, which helps discover focus factors even in dim lighting. The concept is that pictures taken from both lens shouldn’t solely be of comparable high quality but additionally match in tone, publicity and color.

Issues aren’t fairly so easy although, as the 2 lenses use totally different apertures – f/1.Eight on the usual and f/2.2 on the ultrawide – and solely the common lens helps OIS. That implies that slight disparities do start to creep in when lighting is worse, particularly in night time mode the place that stabilisation actually counts.

Nonetheless, in good lighting the outcomes are impeccable. Color consistency between the 2 lenses is the most effective I’ve seen on a telephone but, and people colors are punchy however pure. There’s additionally nearly no lens distortion in any respect on the ultra-wide, the end in a part of utilizing a freeform floor lens.

In low mild, the 2 cameras do pull aside a contact, however truthfully, even right here you would need to go in search of issues to seek out them. With its narrower aperture the ultrawide struggles only a contact to reveal low mild pictures correctly, and the principle digicam’s optical stabilisation helps that digicam’s night time mode photographs come out ever so barely crisper.

Each cameras maintain their very own in low mild although, even utilizing the digicam app’s customary capturing mode. The devoted night time mode is there for when circumstances are actually darkish or when there are shiny spots of sunshine interrupting a largely darkish atmosphere. It’ll even out these shiny spots, however like many night time modes, it tends to over-expose darkish areas just like the night time sky, with the common photographs generally placing a greater stability.

You’ll be able to take pictures in 10-bit color throughout each of those cameras, together with the telephoto, from both common pictures or night time mode, although you’ll have to show this on in your telephone’s settings. The ensuing photographs might be saved in HEIF, and labelled as 10-bit within the telephone’s gallery.

In fact, I can’t helpfully present you any, as a result of except your show can be 10-bit you received’t be capable of see the distinction – and that’s earlier than I get into the compression they’d undergo in importing. That’s pretty much as good an instance as any of how area of interest this performance actually is – for a choose few individuals it’ll actually matter, however most of us received’t see a lot profit till 10-bit assist improves elsewhere.

I discussed the telephone’s telephoto. Final yr Oppo included a 5x optical zoom telephoto on the Discover X2 Professional – on the time a relative rarity – and with this yr’s S21 Extremely transferring as much as 10x optical you’d suppose Oppo would attempt to hold tempo.

It’s thus a bit stunning to disclose that as an alternative the telephone ‘solely’ has a 2x optical telephoto digicam, which works as much as 5x hybrid zoom, and caps at 20x digital zoom. Outcomes stay good – distinctive 2x, good at 5x, and first rate sufficient past that – but it surely does appear uncommon that simply because the arms race for periscopic zoom lenses is heating up, Oppo appears to have dropped out of the battle.

The corporate instructed me that this was to create space for the twin major lenses; there’s solely a lot digicam one can slot in with out making the module itself unreasonably massive. It’s laborious to not surprise as an alternative although if it’s the brand new microlens that’s squeezed the periscope out.

That is one thing undeniably totally different, for higher and worse. A 3Mp, f/3.Zero microscopic digicam that may take photographs at as much as 60x magnification.

You’ll must press the digicam itself proper up towards your topic – the focal distance is measured in millimetres – and the lens has its personal tiny ring mild to make up for blocking out all the sunshine. Alternatively, you’ll be able to all the time take photographs at a distance for some extraordinarily blurry mild reveals.

For lack of a greater phrase, this digicam is ‘cool’. I’ve taken photographs of particular person LEDs on my pc monitor, or the construction of the cells on a plant leaf, that I by no means would have imagined a telephone may seize. You’ll must shimmy the telephone round a bit every time to seek out the main focus, however when you get it proper the outcomes are phenomenal.

In fact, I do must ask the plain query: will you truly use it usually? Most likely not. Maybe you’ll use it greater than you’d have used a 10x zoom digicam, maybe not – they’re each pretty area of interest. Both manner, I wouldn’t let your buying resolution hinge on the microlens, enjoyable as it’s to mess around with.

Swing round to the entrance and also you’re introduced with a 32Mp, f/2.four selfie digicam. This, too, delivers wonderful ends in good lighting however struggles extra in dimmer circumstances. It additionally helps each portrait and night time modes, however the latter is restricted by the slender aperture, so don’t count on outcomes corresponding to the rear setup.

Video is one other sturdy level, particularly for these assured sufficient to dive into the devoted Movie mode, with enhanced settings and controls. Assist for 10-bit color and HDR extends to video too, with BT.2020 color gamut and log recording choices for professionals.

The one curiosity is that recording caps at 4K at 60fps – greater than most individuals want, to make sure, however not the 4K at 120 we’ve seen some rivals off, and there’s no assist for 8K recording in any respect.

Software program

The Discover X3 Professional ships with Android 11 and Oppo’s personal ColorOS 11.2.

After a rocky begin, ColorOS has turn out to be top-of-the-line Android skins obtainable. I’ll admit that the aesthetic isn’t my favorite, however on pure performance, it’s laborious to knock Oppo.

You get a lot of the finest options of the inventory Android expertise, together with extras like improved multi-tasking choices, fast launch choices from the fingerprint scanner, and a particularly customisable always-on show.

Regardless of that function creep, usability isn’t impaired; the OS as an entire is clear, modern and simple to navigate.

Not like some rival manufacturers, Oppo doesn’t but promise a set variety of Android model updates or a set variety of years for safety updates, so future software program assist isn’t assured.

Value & availability

The Discover X3 Professional will go on sale within the UK from 14 April, although the worldwide rollout started earlier on 30 March – don’t count on the telephone to launch in North America although.

It prices £1,099/€1,149 – the very same value because the X2 Professional was final yr – and also you’re capable of order it from Oppo, Three, EE, Vodafone, Virgin, or Amazon within the UK, with pre-orders dwell now. Should you order earlier than 27 April you will additionally get a free Oppo Watch 46mm, AirVOOC wi-fi charger, and a protecting case for the telephone.

£1,099 actually isn’t low cost, however it’s truly rather less than the £1,149/$1,299 Galaxy S21 Extremely, which is probably the closest comparable rival – and that telephone goes up additional to £1,199/$1,349 for a similar 256GB storage. This additionally will get you a powerful 10x zoom periscopic digicam, however in fact, you’ll miss out on Oppo’s microlens and ‘twin major’ setup.

Then again, the Xiaomi Mi 11 prices simply £799/€799 for a 256GB mannequin and presents related core specs – albeit with a much less versatile digicam and no IP ranking. The OnePlus 9 Professional additionally undercuts the Oppo at £929/€999 for its 256GB mannequin, and even Oppo’s personal Discover X3 Neo shares lots of the core specs from simply £699/€799, although neither of these telephones impressed us as a lot.

In the end, there are diminishing returns previous that type of value, however in case you can afford to pay prime greenback for waterproofing, a placing design, or a top-tier digicam and show setup then the Discover X3 Professional actually appears to supply barely higher worth than Samsung’s providing.

Take a look at our full information to the most effective telephones we’ve examined to see just a few extra of the Discover X3 Professional’s greatest rivals.


The Discover X3 Professional is a flagship’s flagship, a telephone that’s deliriously costly and never ashamed of it. However hey, in case you can afford to drop greater than a grand and need to put money into the system you most likely spend half your time looking at – and all of your time carrying – then extra energy you.

And in case you are keen to spend that type of cash, then proper now that is the place I’d spend it. The show is the most effective round, the charging speeds and battery life are each distinctive, and the core specs are laborious to fault – although I’m hoping firmware updates will shore up the shaky thermals a bit.

The digicam might be a big a part of the attraction right here, and for probably the most half, I feel Oppo’s struck a sensible stability. The primary lens and the ultrawide are the 2 lenses most of us use probably the most, so I admire the transfer to make these the most effective they are often. I’m certain some will miss the periscope, however the included telephoto remains to be nice at decrease zoom ranges.

My solely actual hesitation is the microlens – a enjoyable toy to mess around with, however you do must surprise how a lot it provides to the general price of the {hardware}, and the way usually you’re actually possible to make use of it.

All in all although, there’s much more to love right here than dislike. Sure, a whole lot of it’s overkill, however at this value that’s type of the purpose, isn’t it?

Oppo Discover X3 Professional: Specs

Android 11 w/ ColorOS 11.2
6.7in, QHD+, AMOLED, Dynamic 120Hz, 10-bit curved show

In-display fingerprint sensor

Gorilla Glass 5 (entrance & again)

Aluminium alloy body

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888


256GB non-expandable UFS 3.1 storage

50Mp, f/1.8, 1/1.56″ foremost digicam with All Pixel PDAF and OIS

50Mp, f/2.2, 1/1.56″ ultrawide digicam with All Pixel PDAF

13Mp, f/2.four 2x telephoto digicam
3Mp, f/3.Zero microlens digicam
As much as 4K @ 60fps rear video

32Mp, f/2.four front-facing digicam
As much as 1080p @ 30fps entrance video

Stereo audio system


WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.2

4500mAh battery

65W quick charging

30W wi-fi charging

10W reverse wi-fi charging

163.6 x 74.Zero x 8.26mm


Launch colors: Gloss Black, Blue

About the author: SubSellKaro

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