The Oppo Find X3 Lite is one of the best budget smartphones around
The Oppo Find X3 Lite has enough in its performance and camera quality to make it an excellent value-for-money choice down at the affordable end of the smartphone market – though you will have to make compromises to get yourself a handset at this price.
Comes with 5G support
Speedy 65W wired charging
Great value for money
Quirky ColorOS software
No wireless charging
Lots of competition
By David Nield last updated 31 May 21
The Oppo Find X3 Lite is, as the ‘Lite’ branding suggests, the affordable model in the Find X3 range, and it’s absolutely a contender for the list of the best cheap phones available right now. In our detailed T3 review, we’ll explain everything you need to know about it.
As we’ll get on to, the phone sits right at the bottom of the lower mid-range section of the market in terms of how much it costs. Go any cheaper than this, and you really are delving into the bargain basement, with all of the shortcuts and trade-offs that are involved.
The Oppo Find X3 Lite certainly has other features to tempt you in besides the price – including a large 6.43-inch AMOLED screen and 65W fast charging – and by the time you’ve finished reading our detailed review, you should know whether or not it’s right for you.
As the budget option in the Oppo Find X3 range, the low price point of the Lite mode is one of its key selling points: in terms of official retail price, the Lite is £320/AU$450 cheaper than the Oppo Find X3 Neo, and £720/AU$950 cheaper than the Oppo Find X3 Pro. You can save yourself quite a bit of money if you’re happy with the compromises that the phone makes.
You can pick up the Oppo Find X3 Lite SIM-free for £379 or less from outlets such as Amazon, Very, Argos, John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse and Oppo itself. If you’d rather buy it from a network, you can get it from EE, O2 and Vodafone. It’s out and available now in the UK, though it won’t be coming to the US.
In Australia, you can grab one outright for AU$749 from the likes of JB-HiFi, The Good Guys, MobileCiti and Officeworks, while networks selling it on a plan include Optus and Woolworths Mobile.
The Oppo Find X3 Lite may not cost you very much, but the design and finish of this smartphone don’t feel cheap at all. Okay, it’s not got quite the finely crafted curves and the premium materials of the very best handsets on the market, but it’s still well put together in a solid if unspectacular way. There’s nothing at all distinctive about the design, but it is perhaps worth noting that there is a 3.5mm headphone jack here, which is now something of a rarity on a smartphone.
When it comes to the display, the 6.43-inch AMOLED screen is better than you might expect at this price: it runs at a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz, making it one of the sharper and more fluid displays you can get on a phone for this amount of money. In use we found it agreeably bright and sharp, though as with the overall design, you can definitely tell the difference between this and the very best phone screens on the market at the moment.
The only interruption with the screen is the now familiar punch hole notch for the selfie camera, up in the top left-hand corner. The bezels around the side of the display are thin and even, with the bottom bezel just slightly thicker than the others. Around the back, the rear camera array is tidy and compact, with only a small camera bump to deal with. Overall, it’s a design that we like, though you wouldn’t really describe it as anything out of the ordinary.
There’s no waterproofing or dustproofing for the Oppo Find X3 Lite, but then you really wouldn’t expect it at a phone selling for this price. Galactic Silver, Azure Blue and Starry Black are your colour options (our review model was Starry Black), though these aren’t solid colours – Oppo has finished the Find X3 Lite with a neat gradient effect, which adds an extra touch of style to the overall package.
The Oppo Find X3 Lite comes with a competent enough camera, though shots can be slightly oversaturated at times, and images taken in low light aren’t anything to write home about. You’ve got a single-lens 32MP selfie camera here, and a quad-lens 64MP wide + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth rear camera – like several other manufacturers, Oppo stuffs extra lenses in its more affordable handsets that aren’t really much use.
Pictures and videos certainly come out crisp, bright and well balanced on the whole, with plenty of details captured by that 64MP main sensor (and the ultrawide option is handy to have as well). The results you get from the rear camera are more than good enough to satisfy most people we think – shutter speed is snappy, and large contrasts between light and dark areas of images are handled well.
When light is at a premium, the Oppo Find X3 Lite can struggle at times, with noise and blurriness creeping in. The dedicated night mode is among the better ones we’ve seen – it actually does make a noticeable difference most of the time – but it does mean you have to keep the camera and your subjects steady for a good couple of seconds. The quality is better than you might expect at this price, though not by much.
In terms of battery life, two hours of video streaming – with display brightness set to the very maximum and the volume level set relatively low – knocks the 4,300mAh battery level down from 100 percent to 79 percent, so expect around 10 hours of movie watching. More generally, we were impressed at how well the phone holds its charge, and most days you’re going to have plenty left in the tank when you get back home in the evening. You don’t get any wireless charging, but you do get super-fast 65W wired charging.
Under the hood, the Oppo FInd X3 Lite comes running the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, and that’s paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space (which you can’t expand with a memory card). That puts the phone some way short of the fastest handsets on the market at the moment, but it offers enough in terms of power and performance to keep most users satisfied.
We certainly didn’t notice much in the way of lag or slowdowns while using the Oppo Find X3 Lite – it’ll even run demanding games quite happily, though you might not get the same sort of frame rates as you would on a more expensive flagship. Advances in mobile technology mean mid-range phones are perfectly capable these days, and the Oppo Find X3 Lite is more evidence of that: we managed to get Geekbench 5 scores of 612 (single-core), 1804 (multi-core) and 1272(OpenCL) in our tests.
When it comes to the other features on offer, we should mention the 5G support: we’ve got to the stage where all but the cheapest phones now launch with 5G connectivity, even if networks around the world are only slowly rolling out the technology. It’s definitely worth having in terms of future-proofing your phone, but it’s not really a major draw any more – with so many phones now offering 5G, it’s not a standout feature for the Oppo Find X3 Lite.
For accessing and unlocking the smartphone, there’s a fingerprint sensor embedded under the display, which is par for the course nowadays – you may or may not prefer it to having one on the back of the handset. Helpfully, Oppo provides a clear plastic case and a screen protector in the Find X3 Lite bundle, though you’re not under any obligation to use either of them.
Lower mid-range smartphones offer a whole lot of value at the moment: they can be less than half the price of top-end flagships and yet they’re fast enough, and well designed enough, and with good enough cameras on board to keep most people happy. The Oppo Find X3 Lite matches that description, but then so do a lot of other phones around this price point, which makes it difficult for any handset to stand out from the crowd.
We’re not completely enamoured by the ColorOS software that Oppo puts on its phones, and while there’s Android 11 underneath, we’d prefer a cleaner, more minimal operating system. There’s no wireless charging here, and no waterproofing or dustproofing, and while the display and performance are decent they’re not quite top notch – all trade-offs you have to make to spend so little on a phone.
On the plus side, you do get a lot back for your money – and that’s really all you can ask for from a purchase like this. In all the key categories that matter the Oppo Find X3 Lite stands up well, and if you’re shopping around this sort of price level then it’s definitely a device that deserves a place on your shortlist.
It maybe lacks a real stand out feature, but the 65W fast charging and 5G connectivity are enough to pique our interest, and with a solid design and a nice big, bright screen this is a smartphone that won’t let you down at all. Just make sure you check out all the other handsets you can get for slightly less, slightly more, and this exact price.
Dave has over 20 years’ experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.
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