OPPO Find X3 Neo review

Why oh why must you be so expensive?
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5

The OPPO Find X3 Neo is a fantastic phone, but at this price point, a lack of wireless charging and waterproofing is a big disappointment.

Quick verdict

The OPPO Find X3 Neo is a fantastic phone with zippy performance, a great camera setup and beautiful aesthetics. If it was waterproof and supported wireless charging, I’d almost say it was perfect. However, the lack of these features combined with a $1,199 price tag is a real let down, especially when pitted against the likes of the Google Pixel 5, iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21.

Pros

  • Beautiful display
  • Highly capable cameras
  • Speedy performance
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • No waterproofing
  • A little overpriced

The OPPO Find X3 series is finally here, and given how impressed I was with the Find X3 Pro, I was super keen to give the more budget-friendly X3 Neo a try. Though slightly cheaper, the X3 Neo’s specs are, for the most part, flagship-worthy. I’ve loved my time with the phone, and had it been $200 cheaper, I would’ve been singing its praises. However, a couple of minor deficiencies really make me question how well it stacks up against the competition.

OPPO Find X3 Neo price

A little high considering two big flaws.

OPPO phones have always provided good value for money, but as its flagship series, the Find X3 lineup was never going to be cheap. The top-of-the-range Find X3 Pro will set you back a hefty $1,699, while the little sibling X3 Neo comes in at $1,199. In the grand scheme of premium smartphone pricing, it’s nothing too far out of the ordinary.

However, a high price comes with high expectations, and while the OPPO Find X3 Neo meets most of them, it falls short in two areas: no waterproofing and no wireless charging. Considering pretty much every other phone in this price range (including the iPhone 12, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and even the $999 Google Pixel 5) has both these features, it’s a bit disappointing.

On a plan, you’re looking at paying around $34 per month over 36 months or $51 per month over 24 months. Currently, the Find X3 Neo is only available through Woolworths Mobile. Check out the plans below.

OPPO Find X3 Neo design and display

All-round good looking.

With the Find X3 Pro, OPPO went in a pretty different direction from last year’s model, creating glossy, futuristic design that was slightly reminiscent of a spaceship. Though it’s part of the same lineup, the Find X3 Neo looks vastly different from its more expensive sibling.

The shiny, curved backplate has been replaced with a textured, shimmery, matte glass material and comes in either Starlight Black (which I tested) or a more iridescent Galactic Silver. The quad camera is laid out vertically, rather than in a square-shaped hub seen on the Pro. Overall, it makes a really aesthetically pleasing package.

OPPO Find X3 Neo back

As for the display, it’s just as stunning as we’ve come to expect from OPPO. The 6.55-inch curved Super AMOLED screen is big, bright and ultra-vibrant, interrupted only by the selfie camera in the top right corner. It doesn’t have the same buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate as the Find X3 Pro, but 90Hz is certainly not bad, either.

OPPO Find X3 Neo front

OPPO Find X3 Neo camera

Capable of some stellar shots.

If there’s one thing OPPO does consistently well, it’s their cameras. The Find X3 Neo is no exception, boasting a powerful rear quad-cam setup with a 50MP primary shooter, 16MP ultra-wide lens, 13MP telephoto lens and 2MP macro lens. Sure, it lacks the bonkers microscope lens found on the X3 Pro, but realistically, that’s not something most users will miss.

In my testing, I found the X3 Neo’s camera to be on par with most other smartphones in the same price bracket, including the iPhone 12 Mini (which you can see a comparison with in the gallery below). Colours are true-to-life, especially with a little help from OPPO’s AI Scene Enhancement, while videos are spectacularly crisp, even in the dark, thanks to Ultra Night Video.

The 32MP selfie cam, too, is just as good as you’d hope for the cost, and comes with a cool feature I haven’t seen on many smartphones – dual-view video. It’s perfect for capturing both what you’re seeing, and your reaction to it. See below for my “reaction” to the very exciting process of going onto my balcony.

dual view video

OPPO Find X3 Neo features and performance

Last year’s processor is still damn zippy.

When the Find X3 series was announced, we were a little disappointed to learn that the Neo wouldn’t have the same next-gen processor as the Pro, but rather the same chipset as last year’s Find X2 Pro (Snapdragon 865). On paper, an older processor isn’t exactly appealing, but in practice, it’s still so zippy, most users wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway, especially with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.

Playing mobile games is a total breeze on the Find X3 Neo, with nary a skipped frame or spot of lag to be found, even in resource-intensive games like Asphalt 9. ColorOS’s onboard ‘Game Space’ feature is also nice to have, allowing quick access to brightness controls and frequently-used apps, and it also shows how much CPU and GPU is in use.

Speaking of ColorOS, OPPO’s Android skin is perhaps my favourite outside of stock Android. It’s attractive, intuitive and incredibly customisable. It does, however, come with a few apps that most users probably won’t need. If you’ve been an Android user for a while, chances are you’ll want to stick to the Google Photos app, so having OPPO’s own Photos app seems a little redundant.

OPPO Find X3 Neo battery life

More than fine on 4G.

With no 5G network available in my area, I couldn’t quite push the OPPO Find X3 Neo’s battery life to the limit. However, with 5G still in its infancy, most users will find themselves in 4G land for some time to come, with 5G simply being a nice future-proofing tool at the moment. And in 4G land, it thrives.

I routinely got two full days out of a single charge (sometimes more, sometimes less) with moderate use. It’s a real powerhouse. For most phones, having 5G enabled typically cuts the battery life in half, so we’d expect about a full day out of the Find X3 Neo with 5G on, which is still pretty decent given the current state of 5G phone batteries.

Because this is OPPO we’re talking about, fast charging is pretty much a guarantee. The Find X3 Neo can go from 0 to 100% in just 35 minutes with the included 65W charging brick. That’s about the fastest we’ve seen so far in a smartphone.

On the downside, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the Find X3 Neo does not support wireless charging. If you’ve become accustomed to plopping your phone on a Qi-enabled wireless charging pad at the end of the day to recharge, you’ll have to reacquaint yourself with the ol’ USB-C cable.

Is it worth it?

Maybe wait for the price to drop a little.

The OPPO Find X3 Neo is a fantastic phone, but at this price point, the lack of wireless charging and waterproofing is a big disappointment. Considering how many other similarly-priced (and even cheaper) smartphones have these features, I can’t say I’d pick the Find X3 Neo over the competition. It’s a real shame, because shortcomings aside, it’s hard not to love this phone. It’s an absolute joy to use, and if the price dropped a little (even by $100 or so), I’d have no hesitation recommending it.