I have been quite critical of Oppo recently, but this is mainly due to the confusing naming scheme of their phones, rather than the actual hardware itself.
With the launch of the Oppo Find X2 Pro, which has the same appearance of the Reno3 Pro 5G, Oppo have launched what could be one of the best premium phones of the year.
Admittedly, we are not through the first quarter yet, and there is not a great deal of competition yet, the Huawei P40 Pro, and OnePlus 8 could change this.
But for now, I think Oppo has the most appealing phone that has been announced, and what I would choose over Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or the S20+.
The chipset in the phones is one of the main reasons why I prefer the Oppo. For the UK and the EU, on the S20, we get the Samsung Exynos 990, it is an excellent 5G equipped chipset, but it is just not quite as good as the Qualcomm equivalent.
Benchmarks have already indicated the SD865 performs better than the Exynos 990, and the Samsung chipset often doesn't have quite as good power efficiency as the Qualcomm.
The Oppo comes with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 512GB UFS 3.0 storage as default.
The S20 has multiple options, both the Ultra and Plus have 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and either 128GB or 512GB of storage.
Display and Design
Samsung has copped some flak for the S20 design; many people classing it as ugly. Personally, I am indifferent to how a phone looks, I am just going to put it in an ugly rubber case to protect it anyway.
That being said, the Oppo is much more attractive than the Samsung which has a beautiful curved display. The Pro model has either a ceramic or leather back, which are features that used to be reserved for the over-priced special editions many brands offer.
With the Oppo you get a 6.7 inch AMOLED display running at 1440 x 3168 pixels with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch-sensing.
The S20 Ultra has a 6.9 inch display running at 1440 x 3200 pixels, and its 120Hz refresh rate is limited to FHD resolution, while QHD you can get 60Hz. Samsung claims they will fix this via a software update.
The S20+ has the same screen spec, but the display is the same size as the Oppo at 6.7-inches.
The Find X2 is a large and weighty phone, but still a bit more hand-friendly than the Ultra. The ceramic model has measurements of Ceramic: 165.2×74.4×8.8mm / 207g whereas the vegan leather one is a little lighter at 200g
The Ultra is 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm and 222g while the Plus is 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm and 188g
This is where things get interesting. The S20 Ultra is the most significant upgrade to a Samsung camera we have seen in year, and by the numbers, it is a ridiculous specification. Unfortunately, those impressive numbers don't appear to have impressive initial reviewers, with many people complaining about the quality. Samsung is planning on updating the phone to improve things, so I suspect it will get a lot better throughout the year.
With the Ultra you get:
- 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm,
Periscope 48 MP, f/3.5, 103mm (telephoto), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 10x hybrid optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1.4µm, Super Steady video
0.3 MP, TOF 3D, f/1.0, (depth)
Then with the S20+ the spec is a little different with:
- 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
- 64 MP, f/2.0, (telephoto), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x hybrid optical zoom
- 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1.4µm, Super Steady video
- 0.3 MP, TOF 3D, f/1.0, (depth)
Then the Oppo Find X2 Pro has two 48-megapixel sensors (of different types) and a 13-megapixel periscope zoom camera.
The primary camera on the X2 is the brand-new flagship Sony IMX689 sensor. Still sporting 48-megapixels and using pixel-binning for an improved quality 12-megapixel image, the new 1/1.43-inch sensor has a light-sensing area 96% bigger than the previous generation – with a 130% increase in light-sensing sensitivity.
The result of this has allowed Oppo to achieve the highest rating on the DXOmark camera review website. Though it is worth noting, the S20 hasn't been tested yet.
Since the awful publicity Samsung got from their exploding batteries in the Note 7 from 2016, Samsung has been a little coy with their battery sizes. This year, they have finally put a sizable battery in to compete with the competitors.
With the Ultra you get a 5000 mAh battery with a 45W charger and 15W wireless. Then the S20+ you get a 4500 mAh battery with 25W charging and 15W wireless.
Oppo doesn't quite match the Samsung as it only has a 4,260mAh battery, but the 65W charging will give you a full charge in 38 minutes. The SD865 should be more efficient than the Exynos, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Oppo has the same if not better battery performance than the S20 Ultra with its larger screen.
Oppo has finally introduced IP68 dust and waterproofing rating on the X2 Pro, though the normal X2 is only IP54. I find this an important feature, living in the UK it is not uncommon to be caught out in the rain, and I am also a keen runner where the phone is often exposed to quite a bit of sweat.
All the Samsung models have IP68.
None of the phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack and the Find X2 lacks expandable memory, whereas the S20 has microSDXC which shares a SIM slot.
All the phones have NFC and access to Google Apps (unlike Huawei).
All these phones cost a lot of money, this years 5G equipped flagships have upped the prices of flagship phones yet again.
For Samsung pricing is:
- S20 Ultra
- 128GB – £1199
- 512GB – £1399
- S20 Plus
- 128GB – £999
For the Oppo, we don't have official UK prices yet, but this will be €1,199 so I would expect £1099 making it £100 cheaper than the S20 Ultra with less storage, or £100 more than the S20+ but also with less storage. So as far as price goes, the Oppo is a clear winner.
Sadly, it looks like Oppo won't actually launch the phone in the UK until May, in my opinion, this was a mistake they made last year with the Reno 10X Zoom.
In the months following the launch, the hype dies down, and other phones come to market which ends up being an appealing alternative. This was particularly true last year with the P30 Pro ending up being consumers hands before the 10x Zoom.
In this case, it looks like the P40 Pro and the OnePlus 8 will both end up having phones to market before the Oppo.
If it was possible to buy the Oppo right now, that's the phone I would go for. It ticks every box I want from a phone, and even though that price is ridiculous, it is still cheaper than the S20.
Considering it is not possible to buy the Oppo right now, I am going to wait and see what Huawei and OnePlus have to offer in the next month or so.