“The Find X stands out as one of the most innovative smartphones we’ve seen in a long time”
As a kid, I used to have a weird obsession with spring-loaded switchblades, you know, the ones used by thugs in old Hindi movies. OPPO’s new Find X, in some strange way, reminds me of those gimmicky contraptions. Easily one of the most innovative phones I’ve seen in a while, the Find X’s mainstay is a retractable, motorised panel on top, which slides open to reveal the front and the rear cameras. This mechanism helps give this phone a truly bezel-less fascia, and a claimed screen-to-body ratio of almost 94 percent. But is it a gimmick just like the switchblades I alluded to earlier, or is there more to the Find X? This is what I’ll try and find (pun unintended) out with my first impressions.
One glance at it, and you’ll see how sexy the OPPO Find X looks. The glass sandwich design, the curved edges and the gradient colours (red and blue hues available, both of which change colours depending on the angle) just add on to the clean, mesmerising design. Since there are no buttons at the front and no cameras at the back, the phone has a seamless look.
That unbroken design is helped by the fact that there’s no fingerprint sensor either – the Find X uses face unlock to grant you access. In fact, the Find uses a mechanism not much different from the one used by Face ID on the Apple iPhone X, and utilises a bunch of sensors, a dot projector, a Flood illuminator and an infrared camera to map multiple points on the user’s face. The 6.42-inch FHD+ screen features an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, and except for slim bezels on the sides, stretches from edge to edge on the front.
The slide-out panel on top, which is really the biggest highlight of the Find X, pops open when you need to unlock the phone (using your face) or when you open the camera app. The sliding mechanism is smooth, and opens up pretty quickly. Apart from all the sensors and other wizardry that enables face unlock on the Find X, the front of that panel also includes the earpiece and an AI-enabled 25MP selfie camera. At the back of the panel are dual cameras with 16MP and 20MP sensors, offering features like portrait mode for bokeh, and even iPhone X-like portrait lighting effects. There’s OIS to reduce effects of hand shake, and AI features like auto scene detection.
As far as ports and button placement is concerned, you’ll find the volume buttons on the left and a power button on the right. The dual-SIM tray, USB Type-C port and speaker are all placed at the bottom. At the back, you won’t find (pun intended) anything except OPPO branding and the Find X label. Oh, and lest I forget – there’s no 3.5mm jack, so you’ll need to use the Type-C port for audio out.
From the inside, you’ll find (pun unintended) that the Find X is a beast. Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8 gigs of RAM and 256GB storage – it hardly gets better than this. The OPPO flagship is the third phone in India featuring the Snapdragon 845 chip, after the OnePlus 6 (review) and the ASUS ZenFone 5Z (review), and thanks to its powerful specs, promises smooth usage. A 3,730mAh battery powers the Find X, featuring OPPO’s proprietary VOOC fast charging technology that promises to deliver two hours worth of talk time with 5 minutes of charging. And as far as the software platform is concerned, the phone runs Color OS 5.1 with Android Oreo as base.
While a full review process will judge how well the Find X can shoot and how well it fares as a daily driver, there’s little doubt that it’s a loaded device worthy of a closer look if you’re out in the market for a premium flagship. Of course, that slide-out design means that the phone isn’t pally with cases, so you’d have to use it naked. There are apprehensions about how sturdy that design is, how well the sliding mechanism would work if dust particles get in, and whether the phone will be able to withstand drops and other types of abuse… but despite assurances from the brand, that’s something that also remains to be seen. At its asking price of Rs 59,990, the Find X faces competition from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (review) and the Huawei P20 Pro (review), both of which are powerful, compelling devices offering unique features of their own. Vivo’s NEX, which is due to launch in India very soon, will be a strong rival too, given that it uses a pop-up selfie camera to achieve a truly beel-less design. Whether the Find X can find (pun unintended) glory, manage to thwart the attack by its strong rivals and come up as a worthy option are questions I should have the answer to very soon. Watch this space.