Aug 02 AT 9:01 AM Nick Gray 14 Comments

Review: Oppo Find 5

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The Android space may be dominated by Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG, but there are plenty of lesser known brands out there with unique devices that hold their own. The Oppo Find 5 is packed with an incredible array of specs, but can it really compete in a smartphone world dominated by the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Price: MSRP $499 (16GB), $599(32GB), but you can find it on Amazon for a little less

The Good

Design: The first thing you’ll notice with the Oppo Find 5 is the attention to detail. Oppo spares no expense; even the packaging features magnets in the lid to hold down the top flap. The device itself features a single glass panel that covers the entire front of the phone, giving the Oppo Find 5 a sleek look and feel reminiscent of the Sony Xperia Z. When turned turned off, the back-lit capacitive buttons fade away, and it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between the 5-inch display and the extremely thin 3.25mm bezel. While the phone features sharp corners from the front to its sides, the transition to the slightly curved back panel is more subtle, allowing the phone to rest very comfortably in the hand.

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Specifications: As much as we’d like to think that specs don’t matter, we’re all guilty of wanting the latest devices with the latest chips in an effort to justify our unhealthy phone buying habits. For the most part, the Oppo Find 5 delivers the goods. The phone is crammed with a quad-Core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, 5-inch 1080 x 1920 (441 PPI) IPS LCD display, 13 megapixel camera 16/32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSP, NFC, your usual array of sensors and a generous 2,500 mAh battery. In terms of specs, the Oppo Find 5 is a half-step behind the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it can go toe to toe with the HTC Droid DNA and the Motorola Moto X.

Battery life: If every phone needs at least one killer feature, the Oppo Find 5 certainly has one – battery life. The 2,500 mAh built-in battery is more than adequate. On average, the phone is able to keep a charge for 12.5 hours with nearly 3.5 hours of screen-on time when used as my daily driver. That’s a good hour longer than what I can typically squeeze out of my HTC One.

The Not-So-Good

Camera: Taking a picture with a smartphone should be simple and enjoyable, but there are still very few phones that can actually be used to replace a dedicated point and shoot camera. The 13 megapixel shooter on the Oppo Find 5 is enhanced by a UV and blue glass coated lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Like its competitors, the Find 5 features burst capture (20 images per second), panorama, HDR mode and slow motion video recording (120 frames per second), which are all easily accessible through the phone’s custom camera application.

The images produced by the Oppo Find 5 would be great, if you were to compare them to flagship phones from 2012. But they are not that impressive in a world dominated by the Galaxy S4. The only thing I was particularly impressed with was the seamless stitching of panoramic images.

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Software: The Oppo Find runs on Android 4.1 with Oppo’s own custom UI. The interface is fairly simple with a few “modern” looking widgets, custom tweaks to the stock Android applications and a launcher with some handy organizational features within the app drawer. While Oppo releases software updates to the phone twice a month and has great support on its forums, I’d recommend installing one of the dozen or so launcher alternatives form Google Play if you intend to keep your sanity. Oppo’s launcher is extremely laggy and riddled with bugs.

Fortunately, Oppo has embraced the development community with open arms and even promotes CyanogenMod and Paranoid Android ROMs on its main product page.

The Final Word

Since most people buy their phones through their service providers with a two year contract, the Oppo Find 5 will never gain a lot of traction. Its specs put it on the same level as HTC Droid DNA, and I honestly appreciate the design of the Oppo Find 5 over  that of the Samsung Galaxy S4. If you’re the type who enjoys owning a unique device with software that can be easily be modded, the Oppo Find 5 may be a great device for you. But if you’re looking for a reliable phone that works perfectly out of the box, I suggest you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z or the new Motorola Moto X.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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