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Oppo Find 5 Review: A Phone Of Firsts From A Brand To Watch

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

Has a relatively unknown Chinese manufacturer of high-end home theater equipment actually created a flagship Android smartphone capable of going head to head with the industry's established heavyweights? We take Oppo's S4 Pro-powered Find 5 for a spin.

Whether you're talking about paint, toys, or electronics, there's this stigma hanging over Chinese production that affects the way a lot of think about quality. Although many of the stories we hear are no doubt steeped in fact, there are also plenty of beautifully designed products that we simply never get to see here in the U.S. For evidence of this, you don't need to look much further than Oppo's recently-eclipsed smartphone, the Find 5.

If the name Oppo doesn't ring any bells, that's probably because the company was only established in 2004 and is typically known for its high-end home theater equipment, specifically the BPD range of Blu-ray players. Oppo's first entry into the world of Android-based smartphones arrived in July 2012 with the Finder (X907), which was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8620 dual-core SoC. It also came equipped with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED+ display sporting a 800x480 reslution and, of course, Android 4.0. Although the phone was not aimed at the North American or European markets, and didn’t receive much attention in the press, it was notable for two reasons. Having a thickness of just 6.55 mm meant that it edged out the Huawei Ascend P1 S by 0.03 mm, making the Oppo Finder the world's thinnest smartphone at the time. The Finder was also known for being literally as as tough as hammer, and capable of being used as one in a pinch.

In contrast to its spiritual predecessor, the Find 5 (also known as the X909) clearly has broader ambitions of being a global phone able to compete on equal terms with any other high-end smartphone. To that end, the Find 5 offers an array of desirable features, including Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core SoC, a 13 MP rear camera, broad network support, and one of industry's first five-inch displays with a 1080p native resolution. Following its unveiling at the aptly titled "The Fifth Element" launch event in Beijing last December, the Find 5 arrived on North American shores in February 2013 as an unlocked device selling directly from the manufacturer with a very competitive unsubsidized price of $499 and $569 for the 16 GB and 32 GB models, respectively.

Oppo Find 5 (X909)
SoC:
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064
CPU Complex:
Qualcomm Krait 200 @ 1.5 GHz Quad-Core
GPU Complex:
Qualcomm Adreno 320 @ 400 MHz Quad-Core
Memory:
2 GB LPDDR2
Display:
Five-inch IPS LCD, 1920x1080
Corning Gorilla Glass 2.0
Camera:
13 MP AF HDR rear with f/2.2 aperture and dual-LED flash
1.9 MP front
Storage:
16 GB or 32 GB NAND
Cellular Radios:
UMTS / HSPDA / HSUPA / HSPA+ / HSPA+42 (850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
I/O:
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz)
Wi-Fi Direct with Miracast
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
NFC
microUSB 2.0
Battery:
2500 mAh Lithium-ion (non-removable)
Dimensions:
141.8 x 68.8 x 8.9 mm, 165 g
OS:
Android 4.1.1 with Custom Skin

On paper, the Find 5's technical specifications and attractive price point certainly seems to offer a compelling combination, one that could potentially allow it to compete in one of the industry's most demanding segments and establish Oppo as a top-tier smartphone manufacturer alongside the likes of Apple, HTC, LG, or Samsung.

Although the Find 5 is fairly dated at this point, it's still available as Oppo's mid-range model. Besides, the company is continuing to develop top-tier hardware at great off-contract pricing, and has even become the first manufacturer to use a custom ROM by default, with a CyanogenMod version of the company’s new flagship available soon.

Display 18 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 2 Hide
    khaledegy200 , December 25, 2013 12:43 AM
    looks quite good.
    btw The audio and storage rows in the first page are mixed up.
  • 0 Hide
    Mr Fender , December 25, 2013 2:59 AM
    Hey guys, you forgot about their ColorOS - now it's basically the official firmware of OPPO Find5.
  • 0 Hide
    marclee37 , December 25, 2013 5:56 AM
    I live in Hong Kong ssp, I see there are much many other China brand good looking good quality Android phones- 2gb ram is a norm, 3gb ram started to appear. 1080 screen, 5" screen, 13M cam, these are basic general spec, for price no more than US$320.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , December 25, 2013 6:16 AM
    Being unlocked, it is a perfect go-to phone for trips abroad. As far as hardware, the only "downside" is the lack of LTE bands in it's radio.
    SOftware is where it lacks, though. I got this because Oppo promised frequent updates to the OS, and TBH the Android-based variant it came with was not too bad of an experience. Then it became clear that the development team does not really know what they're doing (same minor but annoying bugs with every release, now barely coming through with 4.2, etc). They could have given CyanogenMod the kernel and drivers and let them pick up the development. CM-based ROMs are functional, but still plagued by bugs that come from lack of access to proprietary code.
    Basically, their approach (at one point there were 2 or 3 versions of ROMs in development, none out of a beta state) stretched them way too thin, and it shows.
    Last but not least, ignoring many requests of just embracing AOSP and let the plethora of apps do the rest was not a smart move on Oppo's part.
  • 1 Hide
    danlw , December 25, 2013 10:40 AM
    As an Audioholic, I have heard of the Oppo name. Their Blu-Ray players are considered by many in the high-end community to be top quality. In fact, Lexicon, a maker of ultra-elite electronics, actually stuck a $500 Oppo BDP-83 inside a new case and sold it for $3,500! (Audioholics: Lexicon BD-30 Blu-Ray Player (Oppo BDP-83 Clone) Review)


    With this phone, however, I doubt Apple will stick it inside their own chassis and call it ther own. It is mildly interesting, but as is often the case, forays into new market segments by otherwise high quality manufacturers are often precarious.

    By all means, get an Oppo Blu-Ray player. As far as the phone, they need to get through their growing pains.
  • 2 Hide
    batman4u , December 26, 2013 7:28 AM
    why a review on a phone thats been on the market for a whole year already
  • 0 Hide
    programit , December 26, 2013 1:39 PM
    Why isn't the phone compared to current versions of others. I see you put it against the latest iphone and a 16 month old dates Samsung S3. Why not the S4 or Note3 which are current models and hence what it is up against.
    It seemed a bit biased and not truly giving a comparison with current market phones.
  • 0 Hide
    UVB076 , December 26, 2013 3:06 PM
    @programit, this phone is a year old.
  • -3 Hide
    nebun , December 26, 2013 6:38 PM
    got to love the iPhone 5s....like it or not....it's the best all around...the benches speak for themselves...did it mention "NO CRAPWARE and FAST OS UPDATES"
  • 0 Hide
    allanitomwesh , December 27, 2013 1:48 AM
    About damn time! Now write something about the Find 7 and it's 2K display.
  • 0 Hide
    clownbaby , December 27, 2013 4:55 AM
    The Nexus 5 exists which places the relevancy of this phone in the obscure.
  • 0 Hide
    dnoonie , December 28, 2013 3:33 AM
    OPPO Digital, maker of the BDP line of blu-ray players is not the same maker as this phone. OPPO Digital is and California USA based company.
  • 0 Hide
    ahmed1231 , January 8, 2014 3:44 AM
    i want this mobile www.earaby.com
  • 0 Hide
    Pedro Miranda , January 24, 2014 2:15 AM
    Dear writers, on the hardware section of this review you mention the following "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" but so far doing all of that I could not make it work. Could you please point me to your source. I searched online but apparently no one has managed to activate this or find a workaround. Thanks for your help. PS - this phone rocks and for 299€ in Europe it beats similar competitors.
  • 0 Hide
    allanitomwesh , January 24, 2014 3:38 AM
    If you activate it via root you still need a powered otg dock like Sony's. Look in third party development at OPPO Forums
  • 0 Hide
    Gilbert Gong , February 1, 2014 2:42 AM
    Oppo has made Chinese market phones before the Finder, the Finder was just the first to get some international attention. Here is a link to their current Chinese market phones: http://store.oppo.com/mobile They are definitely distinctive among the Chinese makers for targeting higher quality (typically Chinese phone makers aim for the low price market, leaving the middle/higher end for foreign makers).
  • 0 Hide
    Gilbert Gong , February 1, 2014 2:51 AM
    Also, Oppo has been around since 2004 and began by making MP3 players and some other portable electronics. I don't have any numbers, but in China they appeared to be a reasonably decent sized company. When living there in 2011-2013, they had stores in many retail locations, on par with other brand presences (such as HTC, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, etc).Other Chinese makers have good specs, but the Oppo phones were the only ones I ever saw with (relatively) good quality. I bought a Finder soon after seeing one in person.
  • 0 Hide
    bums , March 2, 2014 9:12 AM
    Oppo find clover not GOOD , not have a kernel for USB OTG, not good use electronic bands, if you everything people say good you must update kernel for USB OTG