The name OPPO doesn’t bring with it either the history nor the brand visibility of other premium brand smartphone makers stateside. But around the world the phone maker has skyrocketed to prominence, only trailing Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi in total global sales annually. The brand’s flagship device, the OPPO Find X5 Pro stands toe-to-toe in the specs race, outfitted with an impressively brilliant 120Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and 80W SuperVOOC fast wired and 50W wireless charging. It’s an Android-powered powerhouse, a fine sequel to the Find X3 we use.
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But in reality specs alone won’t garner much attention in the ever crowding field of similarly outfitted premium devices with copy+paste designs, something OPPO addresses with OPPO Find X5 Pro’s distinctly curvilinear sculpted ceramic case.
OPPO claims the OPPO Find X5 Pro requires 168 hours to sculpt the organically-inspired curves of the mobile device’s back, one that wraps around the camera housing to eventually rise to a gentle elevation – a “volcano-like” camera bump that could be very well imagined as something conceived by a James Turrell sketch.
The ceramic back design is cited as a first, a material choice with superior scratch- and crack-resistant properties superior to glass – and one allowing OPPO’s design team to utilize the microcrystalline material strengthened by 1000-degrees Celsius heat into its organic shape in stark contrast to the flattened slabs the majority of devices now represent. OPPO’s engineers had to engineer a novel if not tedious process carving the panel into shape like a sculpture, with over 2,000 individual control points used to create its seamlessly organic curves. After this molding process, the phone casing is then machining and polishing to a sleek finish before introducing the Hasselblad engineered camera elements.
This step in assembly itself introduced additional challenges for OPPO’s engineering and design team, as removing the camera lens ring for a cleaner look required precise positioning so that these elements did not seem either too high nor too low. The final design required not only for the camera lens elements to be positioned under the ceramic housing at precisely 0.10mm, the thickness of a human hair, but dividing the ceramic battery into three groups based on their incredibly small variations of thickness; similarly each of the Find X5 Pro’s three lenses were grouped based on their measured thickness to be best matched to their closest ceramic cover for a precise depth fit.
Like OPPO’s previous and comparably sculpted Find X3 – a device with a similar (but glass) back design – the Find X5 Pro stands out as a device to hold and feel, daring use without a case. It helps the ceramic back is naturally more resistant to fingerprints than glass back devices, with reputedly twice the strength as its glass back counterparts. But beyond these specs, what’s most admirable is OPPO has made the effort to design an object rewarding users with a degree of tactile gratification sorely missing with most mobile devices today.