You have to hand it to Oppo: In the somewhat stale world of smartphones, many of which are currently very alike, it really tries hard to do something different.
On Tuesday, at an event in Paris, the company launched the Oppo Find X, a phone with a huge 6.4-inch screen that covers most of the phone’s face, and it even curves on the sides, a la Samsung’s Galaxy series. And the cameras? Well, the phone’s motor-powered top lifts up to reveal both the rear and the front camera.
This sounds similar to Vivo’s NEX, which was revealed last week, but the design is quite different. On the NEX, only a small rectangle pops up from the top of the phone to reveal the front camera. But on the Oppo Find X, the phone’s entire top side basically slides out, which appears to me to be the more elegant and aesthetically pleasing solution.
The phone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, instead relying on 3D face-scanning technology, just like Apple’s iPhone X. The result is a pretty stunning, monolithic device that has a 93.8 percent screen-to-body ratio, beating even the NEX by a solid margin.
The specs on this thing are as beefed up as possible. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor with 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a 3,730mAh battery. The front camera has a whopping 25 megapixels, while the dual rear camera system is a 20/16-megapixel combo. No headphone jack on this one, I’m afraid, and wireless charging is also absent.
On the software side, you get Android 8.1 with Oppo’s Color OS on top.
The Find X’s design has some potential drawbacks, though they’re hard to assess without actually using the phone for some time. For example, the phone’s top slides out every time you unlock the phone with your face, and while Oppo claims this happens in 0.5 seconds, I can see this getting tiresome if you unlock the phone often. There’s also the question of durability: You have to wonder how many times the electric motor powering the slide-out mechanism can do its thing before it breaks; for a heavy phone user like me, we’re talking dozens if not hundreds of slide-outs a day. Finally, how do you put a case on this phone?
Still, the Oppo Find X is definitely among the most interesting smartphones of 2018. The combination of near-bezel-less design and top-notch specs makes it arguably the most desirable flagship right now. And while the jury’s still out on the slide-out top, it’s a new approach that’s also a bit retro and I’m looking forward to spending some time with this phone and seeing how it works in real life.
One thing that makes this phone especially interesting is the fact that it’s coming to North America, though date of availability and pricing has not been announced.