- Eye-catching but pleasant camera-inspired design
- Impressive flagship performance
- All three cameras have nearly equal quality
- Global availability is still uncertain
If you don’t have a design that screams at the viewer, you’re unlikely to get any attention, let alone sales. That seems to have been the unspoken rule in consumer products, especially in the smartphone market, for the past years, giving rise to sometimes eccentric and often impractical designs whose novelty wears off easily. Just like in the larger design field, there seems to be a growing counter-movement in the smartphone industry where phone designs are starting to settle down into something more refined, less obnoxious, and, in some cases, almost minimalist. That said, there’s still plenty of room to make a positive impression with some unique aesthetic that will quickly set the phone apart from its peers. That kind of delicate balancing act is easier said than done, so we take a deep look at the new OPPO Find X6 Pro to see if it manages to pull that dance off with finesse and aplomb.
Finding a good design that manages to enclose the growing camera sensors in today’s smartphones is a true test of ingenuity and craftsmanship. Some manufacturers seem to be content on just slapping whatever design element is trending these days, though some thankfully give the phone’s second most important feature a lot more thought. It’s not easy to hide the fact that you have multiple large lenses on the back of your phone, and OPPO seems to have decided to simply embrace that fact but present it in a more pleasing manner.
The Find X6 Pro is part of the growing number of phones with a large circular island that encloses the imaging sensors on its back. In a way, it’s not exactly space-efficient because it takes up a lot more area than the sensors themselves. At the same time, however, it spreads out the circular form wider so that it doesn’t look like a wart on an otherwise flat, rectangular back. It also improves the phone’s balance, as we’ll see later.
OPPO’s adoption of a large circular camera design isn’t by accident either. It’s meant to emulate the design of a camera lens from a traditional camera or DSLR, and even the small details were chosen for that purpose. The grooves on the aerospace-grade aluminum bezel around the lens is reminiscent of the grip of camera lenses, while the orange dot on the bottom of that bezel is an homage to the alignment dot found on SLR cameras. Given how cameras have become a core feature of phones, it’s not exactly surprising that some try to look like one as well.
As always, the Find X6 Pro will be available in different colorways, but the one that will attract attention the most will be the brown vegan leather variant. The synthetic material doesn’t cover the entirety of the phone’s back, though, but leaves some room for a metal-like glass surface at the top. This dual-material design is also reminiscent of classic cameras that have some amount of metal at the top, with a different plastic or leather material for the rest of the body. The Find X6 Pro will also be available in Black and Green, both of which employ AG glass that has been polished to the point of looking and feeling like metal.
High-end flagships these days are usually either too heavy, giving your hand a strain, or too light, giving a bit of anxiety that you might accidentally let go of it. With a 6.82-inch screen and a weight of 218g, the OPPO Find X6 Pro is happily straddling the middle ground and gives owners a sense of confidence when holding the phone in their hand. Beyond those figures, however, the phone’s design also has a few qualities that improve its ergonomics.
The material on the back of the phone, for example, adds to the grip, though that’s mostly true for the brown vegan leather variant. The Green and Black glass models might be a different story, so it’s fortunate that OPPO includes protective cases inside the box. Amusingly, the case for the vegan leather Find X6 Pro mimics the phone’s dual-tone design, even though the material is completely made of TPU plastic.
The large circular camera design also gives the phone a more balanced weight distribution. Rather than having the thicker part of the chassis in a corner, having it in the middle and occupying almost the entire width of the phone’s back spreads the weight more evenly. It also means that the phone won’t wobble on your desk or any flat surface, remaining just as usable when laid down as it is in your hand.
There is really no fault to find with the OPPO Find X6 Pro when it comes to its specs. It is blazingly fast and responsive, which is what you’d expect from a phone running on a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 16GB of RAM, the latter of which can be expanded a bit thanks to virtual memory function. The same can’t be said for the internal storage, though, which is a fixed 512GB in this review unit. There’s a generous 5,000 mAh battery that, thanks to 100W SuperVOOC technology, can charge from zero to full in around 30 minutes. Wireless charging is no less impressive with a 50W AirVOOC that does the same trick in less than an hour.
The 120Hz 2K AMOLED screen is the star of the show when it comes to the front of the phone, and it’s touted to have one of the brightest panels in the market. Your mileage may vary due to settings and environmental factors, but it’s definitely vibrant and crisp under almost any lighting condition. The curved edges of the display may seem more like a holdover from a past generation, though, especially with many flagships now going flat on almost all sides.
If the phone’s design didn’t make it clear enough, the OPPO Find X6 Pro’s signature feature is, of course, its cameras. While almost all smartphone brands will, of course, make similar claims, OPPO really sets the bar higher with its 2023 flagship. It practically breaks down the wall between the “main camera” and “others” by using nearly the same quality hardware on all three cameras. To be precise, all three shooters use 50MP sensors, though their exact configurations still differ according to their purpose.
The “standard” wide camera, for example, gets a large 1-inch 50MP Sony IMX989 sensor that’s partnered with a 1G+7P element lens. The ultra-wide camera isn’t that far behind, with a 1/1.56-inch 50MP Sony IMX890 and a 110-degree field of view. Even more interesting is the telephoto camera that uses the exact same sensor but paired with an f/2.6 aperture lens, perhaps the largest for a smartphone periscope-style shooter. The telephoto camera can handle 3x optical zoom up to 6x hybrid zoom with little loss in detail. On their own, the cameras can take very detailed images and have no problems with low-light situations. They don’t, however, function just on their own.
There is, of course, OPPO’s in-house MariSilicon X Imaging NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that empowers the Find X6 Pro to deliver even more impressive shots, thanks to high-speed autofocus, intelligent resource management, and low-light processing. There is also OPPO’s proud partnership with Hasselblad that brings a distinct Portrait Mode look that simulates the optics expert’s classic lenses, such as the XCD30 and XCD80, to generate beautiful bokehs and portraits. And to prove that those shots were indeed taken in that special mode, there’s a Hasselblad Watermark function that adds details such as shutter speed, aperture, and the like to truly mark that impressive shot.
All in all, the OPPO Find X6 Pro delivers on what it promises, creating a balance between the three cameras, so you don’t have to make compromises in choosing one mode over the other. Transitioning between wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto is seamless and smooth, losing very little quality or detail in the process. It’s almost like simply switching between modes or lenses rather than sensors, which is the camera-like experience that OPPO is aiming for.
Smartphone makers naturally try to make their products durable and long-lasting in order to protect their reputation, but there always comes a time when disasters do happen. Unfortunately, companies don’t make repairing their own phones easy, except if it’s from official yet pricey channels. A phone’s durability goes a long way in making sure it stays in your keep a lot longer than usual. Its ease of repair, however, goes even further in prolonging a device’s life. Unfortunately, the Find X6 Pro isn’t exactly a shining example in that light.
It isn’t exactly a role model in terms of using sustainable materials, and OPPO has been rather silent about the phone’s composition. Vegan leather isn’t exactly a more sustainable option since it’s pretty much synthetic. It’s definitely a missed opportunity for OPPO to boast of its efforts and gains in this area, setting itself apart not just in its design but also in its concrete actions to protect its customers’ future.
If you simply look at the OPPO Find X6 Pro’s core specs, you might get the impression that it’s just another high-end phone in the market, one that has a fancy design on its back, particularly if it’s one made from vegan leather. That’d be selling it short, of course, because what OPPO brings to the table isn’t just another phone but a phone with a symmetrical design in more ways than one. The well-balanced form of the camera bump and the nearly equal qualities of the three cameras make the phone well-rounded in almost every aspect. Unfortunately, its biggest problem isn’t an inherent flaw but a marketing strategy.
As of this writing, there is no clear statement yet on whether the Find X6 Pro will reach its way to global markets. The 6,999 RMB (roughly $1,020) price tag for the 16GB/512GB model becomes a non-issue because it will be difficult to procure one in the first place. Even if you did get your hands on one, though, the lack of official Google Play Support also makes it a deal-breaker for most Android users anyway. That said, most OPPO Find X models do eventually find their way to other regions, so it’s not exactly a done deal just yet.
It’s hard to be attracted to phones with rather obnoxious camera bumps that call attention to themselves by screaming into your face. Admittedly, it’s perhaps harder to create a design that balances the contrasting goals of providing enough space for those cameras while keeping things pleasant and minimal. Very few have managed to succeed so far, and OPPO is perhaps a member of that small club. And it does so by embracing the camera enclosure for what it is while also paying homage to the true cameras that came before it.
The OPPO Find X6 Pro emulates the look and part of the feel of an SLR lens in a tasteful and unobtrusive style. It employs a contrast of elements to create a balance that is not only visual but also ergonomic. It also brings that theme of balance to its hardware, particularly with three cameras that are nearly equal to each other. In an industry that thrives on sensational designs and features, the Find X6 Pro is almost like a reminder not only to keep extravagance in check but also to maintain a well-balanced design for the benefit of the user.
Aki Ukita contributed to this review.