OK. I know that the Oppo Find X3 Lite has been around for a while now. So, why am I reviewing it?
The answer is elementary, my dear reader. Phones get cheaper over time — just look at the iPhone SE. On the face of it, the Find X3 Lite should still be a pretty competitive device for the price, but is it?
2022 has been a belter of a year for budget blowers so far. Has this 2021 model aged well? Let’s find out.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Price and configurations
Currently, the Oppo Find X3 Lite is available in one configuration: 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage for a list price of £379 or €449. There is no availability in the U.S. However, if you are dead set on getting one, you can pick up a model and get it delivered internationally for around $500.
Taking the U.K. pricing into account, you’ll notice it’s regularly discounted to £299, which brings it in line with the likes of the Realme 9 Pro+ (£249) and the OnePlus Nord 2 (£369). You can pick one up in Galactic Silver, Starry Black or Astral Blue.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Design
If I was to sum up the Oppo Find X3 Lite design in two words, it would be “stylishly generic.” Sure, the phone has a nice, slick back to it with a pleasing two-tone finish. But this is a slab just like any other slab, with no real individuality or personality.
To most, this isn’t a problem — this is a world of monolithic combinations of Gorilla glass and plastic. Sure, there’s the occasional folding model thrown in for good measure, but it’s worth pointing out to those who want something individualistic.
It is sleek and lightweight though, coming in at 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches and weighing 6.1 ounces. This comes in at thinner than the OnePlus Nord 2 (0.32 inches) and lighter than the Realme 9 Pro+ (6.4 ounces).
This is the epitome of keeping things simple, which I prefer personally, but for those who want something that stands out, you won’t find it here. Sticking to the positives, the size, shape and weight feels good in the hand, with all buttons placed within reach for one-handed operation and a case is included in the box for those of a clumsy disposition (like me).
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Display
The Oppo Find X3 Lite packs a 6.43-inch AMOLED panel with a 2400 x 1080 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.
As you’d expect from OLED, colors are punchy and vivid, but without HDR 10+ support, the contrast ratio isn’t as deep as you’d expect from a screen like this, meaning the Realme 9 Pro+ and OnePlus Nord 2 offer a better picture.
That’s not to say this is bad. It’s decent for the price and without comparing it to these two, you’ll be more than happy with the image quality. Spells on the Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness trailer radiate off the screen with bright color thanks to the claimed peak 750-nit brightness.
Fair warning, though, that refresh rate is not dynamic. It’s common in cheaper phones, but also lends itself to a greater power draw and weaker battery life. If you’re in a pinch and need to keep your phone going for longer, restrain the display to 60Hz in the settings.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Audio
Alongside that colorful AMOLED display comes a strong mono speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack for a decent overall audio experience.
Don’t get me wrong, having sound just come out the bottom is a little lop-sided when watching videos in landscape mode. But even when put under the high volume pressure of pop punk like State Champs’ “Everybody But You,” the speaker holds its own without any distortion.
Meanwhile, for more immersive listening, this does have Bluetooth 5.1 with Qualcomm’s aptX HD technology for great sound through the best wireless earbuds, and the headphone jack is a welcome sight for anyone still rocking old Sennheiser cans like me.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Performance
The spec sheet reads very much like an early 2021 budget Android phone, but don’t use that as a reason to count it out. While spec chasers will jump on anything with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or 888 chips, the Snapdragon 765G in here is still no slouch for the day-to-day essentials.
With a multi-core Geekbench 5.2 score of 1,848, this falls behind the MediaTek-armed likes of the OnePlus Nord 2 (2,697) and the Realme 9 Pro+ (2,318).
But in real-world use, this isn’t something you’re really going to notice outside of processor-intensive apps and games. You’ll experience a little slow down if you tried to throw Call of Duty: Mobile at this, and any intensive edits on Photoshop Express will leave the processor whirring a bit to complete.
For the casual user, this is more than enough for 99% of things you will do, but given the price, you can get more power for less.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Battery Life & Charging
Let’s start with the good: the 65W fast charging is great to have, and it means you can juice from empty back up to 100% in just under 35 minutes in my own testing.
However, the 4,300-mAh battery inside is smaller than I’d like to see in a phone at this cost. Both the OnePlus Nord 2 and Realme 9 Pro+ pack 4,500-mAh cells, and while that difference sounds small, the end result is the Oppo Find X3 Lite dying before the day is over.
On a typical day, my usage is split between a few hours of web browsing, listening to podcasts and Spotify all day, some social media use, an unhealthy amount of check-ups on my stock portfolio, finishing up with some gaming and YouTube videos in the evening. With all of this, the Lite was dead by 8 p.m., whereas the other two were left with around 10-15% remaining.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Cameras
Round the back of the Oppo Find X3 Lite, you’ll find a 64MP main shooter with an f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and two 2MP f/2.4 snappers for macro and depth respectively. This is a pretty standard camera array on paper, but there are two things that stand out here.
That main camera has a wider aperture than the OnePlus Nord 2 and Realme 9 Pro+, and while Oppo’s color science tends to make everything a little too vibrant for my tastes, that additional light does help this capture a little more detail in more difficult lighting situations.
And the main camera has a closed-loop focus motor and phase detection autofocus: both things its competitors lack. The end result is some damn fast autofocus, at speeds normally reserved for phones far more expensive than this.
But after all of this neat innovation, the end result is just pretty average. The main camera produces decent levels of detail, but with a contrast ratio that adds a dullness to each picture, which is overruled somewhat by the over-the-top color. The ultra-wide, just like most of the budget-tier, is grainy with some warping issues around the edges. And it should come as no surprise that the macro and depth cameras don’t really add much to this formula.
Video-wise, you’re getting up to a 4K 30 FPS picture with HDR and the ability to shoot 1080p slow mo at 120 FPS. Again, that color-rich picture is a detriment to a good contrast ratio, which pairs with the middling gyro-EIS to give you something that’s OK for filming birthday parties and not much else.
Flip to the front, and you’ll find a 32MP selfie hole-punch camera with an f/2.4 aperture. It produces some nice results with balanced detail and color. So balanced in fact, that it frustrates me to see Oppo do good stuff up front, but not round back.
If you only need something to snap pictures with friends and family, this will be fine, but don’t expect it to blow your mind.
Oppo Find X3 Lite: Color OS 11
Oppo’s own ColorOS 11.1 Android skin offers an impressive level of customization, live wallpapers and a minimal amount of bloatware.
Not only that, you can personalize the always-on display effects and change fingerprint sensor styles. Plus, Color OS 11 has one of the most comprehensive widget/app layout tweaking systems out there — altering the grid density and utilizing custom app icons. Plus, you’ll find nice privacy options in here too, such as app locks and a file-by-file permission manager.
One problem, though. There is an Android 12 update that’s being rolled out slowly across X3 Lites and while three years of security updates have been confirmed, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see another version update.
Compared to the OnePlus’ commitment to two software updates and three years of security updates, this is disappointing. And while the Realme 9 Pro+ is given the same time frame as the Find X3 Lite, it hasn’t been around for a year, so users will get an Android 13 update.
If that’s not a problem for you and you don’t care about software updates, then there’s no need to fret, but it’s worth knowing!
And that’s the story of the Oppo Find X3 Lite: a decent all-rounder that hasn’t aged well.
It’s a decently powerful smartphone, complemented by fast charging, a vivid and smooth display, sleek hardware design and Color OS is a nice, clean Android skin to use on the day-to-day.
However, the camera produces below-average results, the battery life isn’t as long as I’d like, you’ll probably be stuck with Android 12 (whenever you get it) and the pricing is a little out-of-whack with the current crop of best budget phones in the UK.
As for what to get instead, I’d look toward the likes of the Realme 9 Pro+ or wait just a short while for the Oppo Find X4 Lite.