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Review: New Oppo Smartphone, Pricey and Unconventional

If top-line handsets from Samsung, HTC, or Apple don’t thrill you, perhaps a walk on the smartphone wild side is in order. For a sky-high sticker price approaching $700, the unconventional Oppo Find 5 offers a quad-core processing punch, massive 5-inch 1080p display, Android Jelly Bean, plus a striking and modern design. The unlocked device also provides international GSM operability for all you globetrekkers. While the Oppo Find 5’s high cost of entry will scare away casual phone shoppers, this gadget’s distinctive style and impressive capabilities are certainly a draw to Android aficionados and mobile technology addicts alike.

When I first laid eyes on the Oppo Find 5 I was struck by its clean lines, thin rectangular shape and overall elegant appearance. Further accentuating the Find 5’s trimness is how its large screen sits flush with its bezel, and also how little bezel there is. This edge-to-edge display design tactic is all the rage these days, cropping up in phones such as the Motorola Razr M, HTC Droid Razr, and LG Nexus 4. Frankly though I think the Oppo design team took major cues from Sony, as the Find 5 could be a close cousin to Xperia handsets.

Clad in a soothing shade of frosty white, the Oppo Find 5 feels well-built too, especially the handset’s back that’s smooth, yet not slippery. Oppo equates the surface to sand, which I feel is a misnomer since the back panel has more of the cool roughness I associate with ceramic. I also appreciate the attractive strip of silvery metal that houses the phone’s camera and dual-LED flash array.

The Find 5 is hefty however, tipping the scale at a full 5.8 ounces. Even though the phone is a scant 0.35 inch thick, its other dimensions are downright unwieldy. At 5.6 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide, I often found reaching the top of the device all but impossible if my grip rested toward the bottom edge.

Thankfully Oppo had the foresight to place the power button in the center of the left side within easy reach of index fingers (right-handed grip), not the top. The right side holds a thin sliver of a volume rocker while a micro USB port occupies the bottom edge.

Mobile gear heads will drool over the Oppo Find 5’s list of premium components and software. Powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor backed up by a healthy 2GB of RAM, the phone doesn’t lack in terms of high octane hardware.

The phone’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software is pleasantly fresh as well, but there is one caveat. Like many mobile device makers, Oppo places its own UI skin over Android, which in the international version of the Find 5 (my test unit) was still beta. Oppo says it expects a more stable retail firmware by late February. Additionally, the company claims it’ll release two beta and one stable firmware version every subsequent month.

The Find 5’s interface shouldn’t throw experienced Android users for a loop as it closely resembles an iOS or Samsung TouchWiz layout. Case in point are large chiclet-style app icons, vibrant home screens depicting nature scenes, and a side-scrolling application tray.

To snap pictures, the Find 5 sports a high-resolution 13 megapixel camera. The sensor is also backside illuminated (BSI) and provides an HDR mode. You can also capture HD movies in 1080p quality. If you’re into fancy extras like burst shooting, panorama, or special filters though, you won’t find them here — at least in the software version I used.

The centerpiece of the Find 5 is its vast 5-inch 1080p display (1920×1080). Using IPS LCD technology, the screen created sharp details, wide viewing angles, and gets pretty bright as well. My only complaint is that at times the display was unresponsive, requiring me to repeat touches. Hopefully this is a simple software issue…

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One thought on “Review: New Oppo Smartphone, Pricey and Unconventional

  1. Michael Noel says:

    It's $499 and free shipping direct from OPPO! Where do you get your information that this is $700?

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