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Internal Hardware, Cameras, And Audio

Oppo Find 5 Review: A Phone Of Firsts From A Brand To Watch
By , Dorian Black

Internal Hardware

The Find 5 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) SoC with 2 GB of LPDDR2 memory. This combination seemed to be the norm for the last generation of flagship Android smartphones, enjoying use in a wide range of devices including the HTC One S, Google Nexus 4, and Sony Xperia Z. While it has certainly been surpassed by newer processors, including Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon 800, the S4 Pro is still quite capable in today's mobile workloads.

The phone features dedicated EMF shields, conformal coating on some the larger components, and a design that mostly utilizes pressure fittings that allow the phone to be easily serviced by any technically competent user with a case opener or guitar pick. One potential concern is that the shielding tape is prone to tearing, and thus difficult to reattach. Also, the motherboard doesn't include any crumple zones that might help to absorb impact and prevent components from popping off if the phone is dropped.

It’s probably no longer a surprise to anyone that Oppo chose not to include a microSD expansion slot, seeing as this features has transitioned from a must-have to more of a rarity in recent years. So, the 25 GB of usable space on our 32 GB model has to suffice. Users with a substantial media library or those who simply don’t have access to a reliable network might not see the cloud as a viable alternative to local storage, and should probably hold out for an expandable handset.

With regards to workaround solutions, you have the option of either streaming or transferring content from a Wi-Fi-enabled portable hard drive (we used a Kingston Wi-Drive) or USB On-The-Go (USB-OTG), which is supported by the hardware but requires SuperUser permissions and the requisite root access to enable on the Find 5’s stock ROM.

Unfortunately, the Find 5 doesn't include any form of wired video output such as a MHL, SlimPort USB, or micro-HDMI. Considering that the Finder supported MHL and that Oppo offered an official micro-USB-to-HDMI MHL adapter, its omission on the Find 5 is surprising. The Find 5 does, however, support wireless options like DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct. One potential explanation for this is that the company simply views wired outputs as legacy. Another (more plausible) reason is that Oppo sought to increase sales of its F-Box, a MiraCast “wireless sharing smart box” that allows the phone's display to be mirrored with a HDMI output. At the time of writing, the F-Box still isn't available in North America, though you can buy it through retailers like AliExpress for around $110 plus shipping.

Cameras

Oppo devoted a considerable amount of time touting the Find 5’s photographic prowess, with the bulk of the attention understandably focused on the 13 MP rear camera rather than the 1.9 MP Samsung S5K6A3 front camera.

The rear camera features Sony's Exmor RS IMX135 sensor (also fitted to the Sony Xperia Z), which includes a 1/3.06” stacked CMOS, f/2.2 aperture, and built-in HDR.

Oppo Find 5 Camera

Despite a solid list of technical specifications and the inclusion of a few interesting features, such as five-photo-per-second “Burst Mode” and 120 FPS video recording at 640x480, the camera's performance is simply average for smartphone optics. It's not nearly as impressive as Oppo’s PR material would have you believe.

In essence, this means that the Find 5 is capable of taking good photographs in daylight and well-lit indoor environments, but experiences a significant drop in quality (as seen above) when shooting at night or in low-light environments that rely on the device’s harsh dual-LED flash.

Audio

Moving on, it’s time to consider the device's audio capabilities. Although the Find 5's rear-facing stereo speakers don't lack clarity or overall volume, they suffer from the same tinny sound and lack of range common from most smartphone speakers. It certainly can't hold a candle to the HTC One's BoomSound audio and front-facing stereo speakers. Qualcomm-based devices generally offer a good onboard DAC, and the Find 5 is certainly no exception. These audio concerns simply aren't present when using the 3.5 mm audio connector.

The Find 5 also includes Dirac HD Sound technology and Dolby Mobile 3.0, which functions as an optional DSP/equalizer for the stock music application.

According to Oppo, this feature "optimizes the acoustic properties of the [bundled] earphones" to remove the "sound defects introduced by the earphone itself" in order to provide the "best possible mobile music experience". Since we were not able to quantitatively measure the impact of this technology, I can really only note that the feature was ultimately wasted on me because the bundled earphones didn’t fit comfortably in my ears, leading me to quickly swap them out for a pair of Etymotic ER7-MC5 in-ear headphones.

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