Tuesday , October 17 2017

Oppo Find 5 — Review

Oppo Find 5 — Review

Late last year, Oppo announced their latest flagship device, the Find 5 and over the last few weeks, I have been putting it through its paces and seeing what I thought of this 5 inch phone. As smartphones increase in size, more and more companies are releasing phones at or above the 5 inch mark. Oppo decided that a 5 inch phone needed to have a resolution higher than 720p and instead went with a class leading 1080p display which we are now seeing in most of the new flagship devices. This was by far the best decision that Oppo could have made, as this phone has the best display of any that I have had the pleasure of using on a regular basis.

Import Only

The Find 5 was announced back in December 2012 and has been available since February 2013, but sadly, not in Australia. This is where Expansys comes to the rescue offering up devices like the Find 5 that simply wouldn’t be available in Australia otherwise.

Expansys currently have two versions of the Find 5 on offer, the 16Gb version in white, available for AU $529 and the 32GB version in midnight, available for AU $579.

Expansys also have several accessories available for the device, including, programmable NFC tags, the Oppo Easy Cover (available in several colours), as well as screen protectors.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • 5 inch 1080p display
  • Dirac HD audio
  • 13 MP camera

Cons

  • Heavy device even for its size
  • Customised software
  • Lack of 4G network support

Hardware

The Oppo Find 5 certainly does look nice. The front of the phone is dominated with a big slab of black glass with only a slim white bar across the bottom giving it any colour. The back has a nice subtle curve to it that makes the phone feel thinner than it actually is. Up the top of the device is the 13 MP camera with its dual LED flash and while this is where you would expect the camera to be, it is a little bit too close to the top of the device and I found myself covering the lense with my finger on several occasions. At the bottom of the device is a nice wide speaker grill. Turning to the edges of the device everything is pretty much where you would expect it to be. Volume rocker on the right hand side, power button on the left, micro usb port on the bottom and 3.5mm headphone jack up top.

Power

The Find 5 is powered by the Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon processor, also known as the Snapdragon S4 Pro, and while this is not the latest and greatest processor around I certainly wouldn’t consider this device slow.

Graphics are provided by the Adreno 320 and it comes with 2GB of RAM. Both of these specs are the same specs found in the HTC One.

While I don’t normally like benchmark tests, I couldn’t help but compare the performance of this device to the Huawei Ascend P6 that Chris reviewed, so here are the benchmark comparisons.

Metric Oppo Find 5 Ascend P6 HTC One
CPU 18,832 12,271 30,095
Memory 9,505 2,975 9,304
I/O 6,762 7,812 10,377
2D Graphics 500 525 1,000
3D Graphics 1,857 2,293 2,126
Total 7,491 5,175 10,580

As you can see from those results, the performance is very similar to the Ascend P6 which is not surprising considering both devices are running Quad-Core 1.5GHz processors.

How it feels

Although this is a 5 inch phone, it doesn’t feel too big. It has a nice slim design and although the back of the device is plastic is still has a premium feel to it. I think some of this may be the weight of the device which really makes it feel solid. Whenever I hold a flagship Samsung phone it nearly always feels cheap. It feels like it is going to fall apart and most of this is how light the phones are.

Having said that, the weight of the device is also a negative point. This phone is heavy. Weighing in at 165 g, it is 22 g heavier than the HTC One and a whopping 35 g heavier than the Galaxy S4. Everyone that has held this device has commented on how much it weighs.

With everything considered, the device feels good in the hand with a couple of sharp edges here and there and always feel comfortable.

Screen

The very first thing that I noticed about this phone is the screen. This is the first 1080p phone that I have used and oh how it has impressed me. The screen is crystal clear, images are crisp and the colours, oh the colours. I have heard plenty of people complain about the Galaxy Nexus display, but I have never really had a problem with it, until now. I simply couldn’t use the two devices side by side. It even made the colours on my Nexus 10 seem “off”.

Audio

After I got over the shock of the screen, the next thing I noticed was the audio. The sound quality and volume on the Find 5 is outstanding. While I must confess that I have never heard of Dirac HD audio, whatever they have done to the speaker in this device they got it right. On the back of the device Oppo have placed a small bump just below the speaker which keeps it off the surface and combine that with the slight curve to the back of the device and the audio is still crystal clear when you have the phone on a flat surface.

Camera

While the Find 5 has a 13MP rear facing camera I wasn’t blown away by the image quality. In comparison to my old Galaxy Nexus is does take some nice photos, but everyone knows the camera in the GNex is not the greatest. I managed to take some nice photos with the Oppo but for every good photo I managed to take, I took an equal number of bad ones. The camera has HDR and burst mode and these seemed to work as expected but then there is an option called beautify and I have no idea what it actually does, I simply couldn’t tell the difference. All in all this isn’t a bad camera, but when you start to compare it to devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4, it really starts to show it flaws.

Software

One of the biggest complaints I have about this phone is the software. I have been using Nexus devices now for a good two years and they have a nice look and feel to them. Most things work exactly how I would expect them to. Not so much can be said for the heavily customised version of Android 4.1.1 that comes with the Find 5. Sure it looks good, everything has the same look and feel to it and most of the pre-installed apps match the rest of the system.

Now that all sounds good doesn’t it, but there was something about it that I just couldn’t get used to. It is probably just the fact that I like my Nexus devices and they feel natural to me because I use them every day. However, if you have spent any time with MIUI, you will probably feel right at home as this software looks a lot like I remember MIUI looking the last time I played around with it.

The first thing that I noticed is that the built in contacts app doesn’t play nicely with my Google+ contacts and I ended up with a bunch of “Unknown” contacts at the top of my list. The second thing I noticed was the way the settings menu was split across four categories and I found myself hunting through several screens before I found the correct category, and the final point was the app drawer. I expect my home screens to be fully customisable with apps placed where I want them and grouped up how I like them, but I expect my app drawer to be an alphabetical list of all of my apps ready for me to find that app that I don’t use every day. Instead, the app drawer is like another set of home screen minus the widgets. Apps can be dragged around wherever you like as well as placed into folders. You can even place an app on a screen all to itself. Now all of this customisation would be great if the app drawer had the one basic function I want, an easy way to automatically organise my apps in alphabetical order. You simply can’t do it. You would need to manually move every app into its correct place.

I can already hear everyone saying “install a new launcher” and that is exactly what I did, but it still only solves one of the complaints I have.

Unlocked

While most manufacturers are locking down their devices as tight as they can and forcing you to use their software, Oppo have taken a very different approach with a fully unlocked bootloader. Oppo even go as far as providing links to four of the most popular custom ROMs that can be flashed to the device. These include AOSP, Cyanogenmod, Paranoid Android and PAC ROM.

While I have not flashed any of these ROMS due to the fact that this is a review device, the process looks extremely simple. Boot into fastboot, flash your preferred custom recovery and away you go.

Cyanogenmod even have a page with all of the instructions clearly written up.

While I have listed some of my issues with the stock software above, having the ability to flash a custom ROM certainly does solve all of my software complaints. With any of the custom ROMs listed above, you will be running Android 4.2.2 which will give you most of the latest features of Android and provide Nexus lovers like me with a more familiar base to work with. At any time you wish to return your device back to its stock configuration, all you need to do is a simple Google search and you will easily find all of the information you need.

Oppo Find 5

  • Qualcomm APQ8064 Quad-Core 1.5GHz Processor
  • 5 inch 1080×1920 full HD display at 441 PPI
  • 16 / 32 GB storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+/HSPA+42 (850, 1700, 1900, 2100MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Android 4.1.1
  • 2500 mAh built-in lithium-ion battery

expansys_logo200x108
Available on Import from Expansys
16GB White | 32GB Midnight

Conclusion

The Oppo Find 5 certainly is a nice phone. It has some really nice specs for a phone announced at the end of last year and an extremely attractive price.

The key features for this device are that beautiful 5 inch 1080p display and the amazing Dirac HD audio which both together make this phone a joy for media consumption and make most devices look dull in comparison.

The highly customised version of Android 4.1.1 and pre-installed software is where this device starts to falter, but a quick fastboot and flash later and you could be running Android 4.2.2 in its pure form or with all of the bells and whistles you could ever need.

I had no problems with the 2500 mAh Battery last a full day, but obviously the battery life will vary for different people and different use cases.

Although this devices doesn’t perform or feel as good as the HTC One, Oppo have priced the device extremely well and the $529 price tag from Expansys certainly is attractive.

All in all, this certainly is an attractive device for the money and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty with custom ROMs. Google+  

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