The Oppo Find X3 is official, and it’s all about colour fidelity

When it comes to smartphone announcements about colour, most users look forward to a glossy back that ends up in a phone case shortly afterwards. Oppo’s focus on colour with its new Find X3 series is different. With its new smartphones, the manufacturer wants to offer particularly good colour fidelity in recordings and on the display.

The mention of the new Find X3 series almost became a marginal note at Oppo’s presentation at Inno Days 2020. The new phones are scheduled for release in 2021, but much more detail on the individual models is not yet available. However, Oppo will probably stick to its strategy of offering a standard model together with a cheaper Neo version and a more expensive Pro model. So two generations of the Find X series have already been released.

The announcement should be especially exciting for photo fans, Netflix enthusiasts, and videographers. Oppo will integrate full-path colour management from the moment the picture is taken by the smartphone camera, through playback on the display, to the output of the image as a file. This should prevent a loss of quality during signal processing, Oppo said in a press release.

Recording, viewing, output

The Find X3 Series will be the first to use image sensors with DOL-HDR technology. Here, several exposure times are combined in one image, which results in a detailed image with a very high dynamic range. As an application scenario, Oppo suggests taking pictures in high contrast situations, for example when shooting with backlighting.

The DCPI-P3 colour space covers more colours and can therefore display true colours more realistically. / © Oppo

By using the modern HEIF format, the captured images also contain more colour depth, as they are saved with 10 bits instead of 8 bits. Apple already uses this format in its iPhones, among other things, and the latest generation also includes a new ProRAW image format.

Oppo has also optimised the calibration of the displays so that the advantages of recording and storage are not lost when viewing via the smartphone display. Even with the Find X2 Pro, Oppo continues, the display’s slight deviation from natural colours could be measured. In addition, the manufacturer is using a more neutral colour value for calibrating the displays and wants to give content creators more control over the colour of their videos.

Opinion: is Oppo getting carried away here?

Reading the Oppo press release, I had to think of another manufacturer that announced a particularly good colour rendering as a new big feature of their smartphones. Sony introduced the Xperia 1 in 2019 and promised that even professional film crews will work with the phone’s true colour display. Although the Sony Xperia 1 was not bad at all, a real purchase criterion is probably not the lifelike colours of mobile phones.

In my experience, users prefer to see rich and vibrant colours on a mobile phone display, a requirement that led to the great popularity of Samsung’s AMOLED screens. Sure, the display of the new Find X3 models will adapt to the needs of users, but why all the presets? Especially since Oppos use of exposure stacking to create HDR images and storing them in HEIF is not necessarily new.

What is your opinion about especially colour-fast displays in smartphones? Is that a reason to buy or rather a nice addition for you?