Philippines

OPPO Find X3 Pro review: Third time’s the charm?

Has OPPO finally found the flagship formula?

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Over the past three or so years, OPPO has been trying to rise above the reputation it built for itself — a smartphone brand for the masses. With the Find X3 Pro, the goal is clearer than ever: to be mentioned in the same breath as Apple and Samsung. And perhaps, fill the void that’s steadily growing as Huawei fights to keep its international relevance alive.

They can say otherwise, but it’s pretty evident with how rapidly their series of phones have shifted.

From the roots built upon the somewhat confusing F-Series and R-Series lines rose the best-selling budget and lower midrange phones in the A-Series. Then, there was the awkward crossroads between the Find X and the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom.

For a while, it looked like Reno was going to be the flagbearer with the aptly named Find X being the experimental premium line. Things quickly pivoted when the company launched a confusing set of Reno2s barely six months since the introduction of the Reno line.

OPPO Reno5

Fast forward to today and Reno is already on its fifth iteration in just three years. Meanwhile, Find X is in its third, four years after the first one was showcased in Paris.

Reno has since settled in the midrange and upper midrange arena, while Find X has taken the wheel as OPPO maneuvers to relevance in the upper echelon of smartphones.

Finding an identity

The first Find X and the Find X2 Pro share very little in overall characteristics. The only thing they had in common was being tagged as the best OPPO had to offer at the respective time of their releases.

The time in-between is pretty significant. One year and eight months to be precise. OPPO used that time to refine what it wanted to offer as its best. To a certain extent, it succeeded. The Find X2 Pro was a culmination of all the research and development it had poured into smartphones.

OPPO Find X and Find X3 Pro

Was it perfect? Not at all. The company may have overshot the pricing, and opted to not include wireless charging — a feature that had been present with its contemporaries for around two years at the time. Still, it was a step in the right direction.

The makeover wasn’t just in the hardware. ColorOS, the user interface (UI) that OPPO puts on top of Android also underwent a change. Things shifted software-wise when OPPO stopped trying to take a bite out of Apple and started breathing Oxygen.

It’s now less concerned about feeling like a weird amalgamation of Android and iOS. With its latest iteration, ColorOS 11.2 has, instead, embraced it being an Android and took lessons from sister brand OnePlus to deliver a smoother, cleaner UI.

Of course, there’s still the iPhone-looking camera module, but you know… baby steps.

Awakening Colour

Now that I’ve gotten that word vomit of a backgrounder out of the way, let’s dive straight into what a lot of people care about with these flagship smartphones — the image production.

Every phone maker has said this in all of their device announcements, but this time with OPPO, they truly meant it when they said they took extra care in how the hardware and software of the Find X3 Pro work together in producing quality images.

Here’s the quad-camera setup on the rear: 50MPSony IMX 766 sensor with optical image stabilization, 50MP ultra wide-angle lens, 13-megapixel telephoto camera, and 3-megapixel macro sensor. The setup is capable of 5x hybrid-digital zoom and 20x digital zoom. For selfies, there’s a 32MP camera.

Microscopic lens

But first, let me get the microscopic lens out of the way. Do I think it’s a gimmick? Yes. Should they have not included it on the phone? Not necessarily.

Features like this exist so there’s something new and different that can be talked about on the phone. And don’t get me wrong, IT IS pretty darn cool, just not practical. But if you’re the type who can fork out cash for a premium device then it’s nice for that device to be able to show-off something unusual.

Night mode 

The Find X3 Pro’s night mode is one of my favorite night modes on any smartphone. Most of the time it’ll give you an evenly lit scene with plenty of details retained. It captures an image that actually still looks like night time instead of a scene that looks like there’s a massive spotlight pointed at the photo you took.

Don’t get me wrong, it still does commit the sin of making a night time shot look almost like it’s day time. Take for instance the example below. The area was nearly pitch black and the software overcompensates by adding too much brightness to the scene.

However, this isn’t always a bad thing. Used on the right kind of scenery, it will produce an image that can draw some type of emotion or reaction from anyone who sees it.

Ultra wide 

There weren’t many opportunities to use the ultra-wide angle lens seeing as travel is still pretty restricted and I’m not about to show you how messy my room is. But the few times I got to use it produced some pretty looking pictures that I certainly wouldn’t mind sharing.

AI mode was turned on when these were taken for both the wide and ultra-wide shots. One of the key things to takeaway is how the Find X3 Pro delivers in its promise to give you similar (if not same) quality images for both lenses with the only difference being the wider field of view.

Wide

Ultra-Wide

Food 

If foodtography is your thing, you’ll have a blast using the Find X3 Pro. The shots we took really make the food look appetizing without it resorting to shooting up the saturation too much.

Even a shot like this that I didn’t put too much thought into looks pretty mouthwatering. I kid you not, I had people sliding in my DMs when I posted this as an IG and FB story asking how it tastes and where they can order. In case you’re curious too, you can message the Burger Garage FB page to order.

Indoor and lowlight 

Here’s an area where the Find X3 Pro also performed admirably. I’m just going to let the images speak for themselves.

Portraits and selfies 

The OPPO Find X3’s portrait mode shined the most, I think, when it was able to retain so much detail in the background in the sample below despite the other sample totally botching the HDR.

The thing about taking photos of people is how accurate it gets skin tones, and this smartphone does pretty well for the most part. In terms of color accurate capture, the Find X3 Pro is probably the Android smartphone that gets as close to natural as possible.

I’ve been particularly shy showing myself in front of the camera after all the pandemic weight I gained, so I left the selfies part for our Associate Creative Director MJ to scrutinize. Other than retaining detail and producing an all-around pretty good image, what caught his attention the most is how the beauty mode isn’t as aggressive anymore.

It’s still a hit or miss, especially with the beautify mode on, but it’s still able to produce favorable results especially when taken under good lighting. It doesn’t completely erase the imperfections on your face but does enough that you won’t want to retouch it and just upload right away on social media with the caption “Felt cute, won’t delete.”

This is an encouraging development from OPPO who’s a self-proclaimed selfie expert. To quote our MJ, “They made me embrace my scars more because it didn’t feel like I have to be shy about it.”

Other shots for your appreciation

If it isn’t obvious by now, we’re absolutely huge fans of how OPPO approached imaging for the Find X3 Pro. It’s absolutely one of the best smartphone cameras today. Here are a few more shots for your appreciation.

If you want side by side comparisons, we did a camera shootout of the Find X3 Pro versus the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra here, and versus the Mi 11 here.

Enjoyable mobile gaming

The last time I gamed on a smartphone as much as I have on the Find X3 Pro is when I was using the ROG Phone 2. That’s saying a lot since the latter is more geared for gaming while the former is more a do-it-all flagship.

I spent an entire Saturday afternoon levelling up on Call of Duty: Mobile simply because it was so fun to play on the OPPO Find X3 Pro. The combination of its performance specs — Snapdragon 888, 12GB RAM, 240Hz touch sampling rate — and the 6.7” AMOLED display made for a truly rewarding experience.

Aiming felt fast and fluid, my game NEVER lagged, and I was only held back by my own stupid gameplay mistakes. It is prudent to note that it does heat up significantly if you’re using 5G while you play. It also had a case on it while I played and that may have contributed to the heating but it wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t hold the phone anymore.

OPPO’s Game Assistant is also pretty darn helpful and easy on the eyes. I’m a huge fan of how it looks and how it delivers notifications. Instead of showing up as banners interrupting your game, notifications show up as tiny ticker-like text on your screen. It makes you notice it without demanding too much attention.

Media consumption 

I may have not said this enough up to this point but the display on the Find X3 Pro is absolutely gorgeous to look at without straining your eyes. The 120Hz refresh rate, contrast ratio, and peak brightness all contribute to a screen you wouldn’t mind being stuck with.

My jaw absolutely dropped watching TWICE Momo’s first solo Performance Project video on this screen.  It only has a speaker grille at the bottom but it gets significantly loud without distorting the audio.

Even when you hold it and accidentally cover the speaker, the sound doesn’t get too muffled that it becomes incomprehensible. Re-watching the United States of Smash moment by My Hero Academia’s All Might was just as impactful as when I first watched it on a TV screen.

Is the OPPO Find X3 Pro your GadgetMatch? 

Prized at SG$ 1,599 (which is around US$ 1,200), it’s actually a tad more affordable than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (SG$ 1798) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (SG$ 1969). But is it a worthy alternative against those two? The answer is a resounding YES.

Third time is indeed the charm for OPPO as they absolutely nailed everything about the Find X3 Pro. Notice how we didn’t hesitate to mention it in the same sentence as Samsung and Apple? That’s where OPPO is at now with this smartphone. They deserve a seat in the premium flagship table.

There’s always room for improvement. But the Find X3 Pro is as solid a foundation as any. OPPO only needs to stay the course now to completely overtake Huawei and claim its spot among the titans of the industry.

Gaming

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2: Price and availability in the Philippines

A immersive, gaming-centric experience like no other

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Legion Phone Duel 2

Lenovo continues to break ground on bringing the gaming world to a wider audience. As such, they launched the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel last year to do exactly that. Their own take on a proper gaming smartphone received a mix of adjulation and criticism, but it didn’t stop them. This year, they’re bringing the heat with the new Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2.

Legion Phone Duel 2

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 doesn’t necessarily stray away from its predecessor’s overall design. Although, with a 6.92-inch AMOLED display, it’s certainly a little larger for a good reason. Also, this time around, the Legion Phone Duel 2 sports a whopping 144Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support for clean and crisp gameplay.

Inside this machine, you will find a Snapdragon 888 5G CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 5,500 mAh battery for intense and extensive mobile gaming.

Legion Phone Duel 2

Another prominent gaming feature of the Legion Phone Duel 2 is its Octa-Trigger system. On the phone, you have eight airtriggers to map onto different actions during gameplay. In essence, it’s as if you’re already using a controller for your phone to play your games. Along with Lenovo’s Dual HaptiX technology, you can also expect precise touch feedback, as well.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is available for pre-order beginning June 18 until June 30, 2021. It comes in two colors in Ultimate Black and Titanium White, but only the former is available during the pre-order. As for the SRPs, here are the available configurations:

  • 12GB RAM + 256GB storage — PhP 39,995
  • 16GB RAM + 512GB storage — PhP 49,995

SEE ALSO: Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review: Raw gaming power

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Enterprise

NutriAsia’s EcoStation is a solar-powered sustainable hub

For a greener living in the city

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NutriAsia, the Philippines’ prime producer of condiments and sauces, launched a sustainability hub that contributes to green living.

Nestled within the busy Bonifacio Global City, NutriAsia’s EcoStation houses innovative features. For instance, there’s Select & Collect — a sustainable way of shopping and restocking your favorite kitchen staples.

Select and Collect

You can select your pantry essentials and pay through the website selectandcollect.ph. Afterward, you can choose your preferred time to pick up your purchases on the Select and Collect lockers at the EcoStation. Other options include the curbside of the JY Campos Center and the bring-your-own-bottle booth in the Mind Museum.

What the system does is encourage people to collect their purchases at their own time while using their reusable shopping bags. Less carbon footprint? Check. Reduced unnecessary packaging? Check. Minimized contact? Check.

Free water refill

Weirdly, bottled waters are expensive. NutriAsia’s EcoStation is a refresher that encourages people to embrace a refilling mindset. You can use your own containers, ideal for runners within the complex.

All you need to do is scan the QR code that will redirect you to the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) website, so you can generate a unique QR code to be scanned by the dispenser and get your free water refill

Sustainable from the get-go

More importantly, the Ecostation uses solar energy to power up the eco-friendly spot and irrigate the plants through an integrated watering system. NutriAsia’s EcoStation is strategically located at the bus stop along 30th street (beside Track 30th) in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines.

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News

Huawei FreeBuds 4i and Band 6 are now available at Globe Postpaid

You can grab them too at 0917 Lifestyle Store!

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Fan of Huawei’s latest wearables? Globe subscribers can now choose the best plans for the Huawei FreeBuds 4i and Band 6, or get these wearables with freebies on Globe’s online and 0917 Lifestyle Store.

Postpaid plans: Devices that match each other

These latest wearables are available now on Globe’s postpaid plans as free bundles to Huawei’s smartphones. If you are availing the Huawei Y7A, you can get the Band 6 at GPlan 999. With that plan, you are only cashing out PhP 500 and even better, getting a free thermos worth PhP 899. And as for the Huawei FreeBuds 4i, you can get it at GPlan 1499 with a nova 7i and free FreeBuds 4i clear case worth PhP 599.

Globe also has a smartphone and tablet bundle plan for those who wanted it. With GPlan 1499, postpaid subscribers can get a Huawei nova 7i to go along with a MatePad T 8 for a PhP 1,200 cashout.

Available also on 0917 Lifestyle Store and Globe Online Shop

Both of Huawei’s wearables can also be had at 0917 Lifestyle Store. There’s even a free thermos bundled with the FreeBuds 4i or the Band 6 for every purchase.

You may also snag these two at Globe Online Shop. As a bonus, there are freebies to go with every purchase too:

  • FreeBuds 4i — PhP 3,599 with a free protective case
  • Band 6 — PhP 2,599 with a free Bluetooth speaker
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