The Oppo Find X3 Pro is one of the biggest competitors of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra to date. It’s hugely powerful, has high-end specs and features, and even has a smart micro-lens camera that you won’t find on other phones.
So can the Samsung Galaxy S21 beat Ultra? Well, not in all respects, but for some people it’s definitely a better choice.
We’ve tested both phones, but below we’ll directly compare them by reviewing both their specs on paper and how we found them in the field.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Design
The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a glass back and a metal frame, with the back usually being quite flat except for the camera bump that gently rises out of the housing in the top left corner. On the front, the Find X3 Pro has a slightly curved display with small bezels and a perforated camera in the top left corner.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a glass back and metal frame and the camera block is also in the top left corner, but it’s bigger than the Find X3 Pro and doesn’t protrude quite as smoothly. It also has a different shape because it is more rectangular than square.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a curved screen with small bezels, but the perforated camera is in the top center. So the designs of these two phones are not drastically different.
Both handsets are IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, but come in different sizes and weights, with the Oppo Find X3 Pro weighing 163.6 x 74 x 8.3mm and 193g, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra weighs 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm in size and 227g. The Samsung mobile phone is therefore slightly larger and thicker and significantly heavier.
Finally, while the Oppo Find X3 Pro comes in glossy black or blue, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown, so you have more color choices with Samsung’s phone – although you may not find every color in every region.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Display
The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with 1440 x 3216 pixels, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, HDR10 + support, 525 pixels per inch, and a maximum brightness of 1300 nits.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra now has a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with 1440 x 3200 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 Hz, HDR10 + support, 515 pixels per inch, and a maximum brightness of 1500 nits.
So these are very similar screens. They are both curved, have nearly identical resolutions, and similar features. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is slightly larger and brighter, but the difference is negligible.
Both phones also have a variable refresh rate, meaning they can run at much less than 120Hz if refreshing that fast isn’t an advantage.
However, the Oppo Find X3 Pro has some display features, but they can give it a slight edge. On the one hand, it can display a billion colors, covering more than 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, which is slightly more than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
It also has a “Full-Path Color Management System” that ensures that images and videos are not compressed or over-optimized between leaving the source and appearing on the screen. In practice, however, both phones have excellent displays.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Camera
The camera is a big focus for these two handsets, but they have some very different lenses. The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a 50MP f/1.8 main camera, a 13MP f/2.4 telephoto lens (with 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, and 20x digital zoom), a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 3MP f/3.0 microlens.
The latter works a bit like a microscope, allowing you to magnify close-ups up to 60 times for extreme close-ups with a level of detail that the human eye alone cannot see.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, has a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens (with 3x optical zoom), and a 10MP f/4.9 periscope camera (with 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom). ).
So the Galaxy S21 Ultra is much better at zooming in on distant subjects than the Oppo Find X3 Pro, but it doesn’t have the micro-lens capabilities of this phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also lets you film videos in up to 8K quality, while the Oppo Find X3 Pro tops out at 4K and the Samsung has a 40MP f/2.2 front camera, including Oppo’s 32MP f/2.4 One.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Battery Life
The Oppo Find X3 Pro packs a 4,500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging, 30W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging. In our test, we found it lasted quite well – in most cases, it helped us get through a day without a hitch, and it only takes about 40 minutes to go from empty to full anyway.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a larger 5,000mAh battery, but only 25W charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging, so it lasts much longer to charge juice. This phone also usually lasted at least a day between charges.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Specifications and Features
None of these phones are lacking in performance. The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a premium Snapdragon 888 chipset and 12 GB of RAM, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has either a Snapdragon 888 (in the US) or an equally powerful Exynos 2100 (in most other regions) and either 12 GB or 16GB RAM.
So go for the highest amount of RAM and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra may have a slight edge in terms of performance. In fact, it can go either way, because when we ran the Oppo Find X3 Pro through the Geekbench 5 benchmarks, we found that it doesn’t perform as well as we expected. In practice, however, these two phones should deliver more performance than almost any phone would require.
You get 256 GB of storage in the Oppo Find X3 Pro and a choice of 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Samsung mobile phone has an edge when it comes to storage, at least if you opt for the top model. Neither phone has a microSD card slot, so it’s worth considering how much storage you might need.
Both phones support 5G, both have an on-screen fingerprint scanner and both run Android 11 – but on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, this is covered with Samsung’s One UI, while on the Find X3 Pro it’s covered with Oppos ColorOS. These affect the look and some features but they are both good and the most important factor is the core OS which is the same on both.
Notably, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the company’s S pen stylus. It is sold separately but will be a useful accessory for some people and there is no equivalent for the Oppo Find X3 Pro.
Samsung S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro – Price and Availability
The Oppo Find X3 Pro will be available in the UK and Australia, but not in the US. It costs £1,099 / AU$1,699 (about $1,500), which is about as expensive as major competitors.
An example of this is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (which is available in the US, UK, and Australia) starting at $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1,849. That goes for 128GB of storage, though – you’ll pay even more for 256GB (the same amount as the Find X3 Pro) or 512GB.
Of the two, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is slightly cheaper, but both phones cost a lot.
So what now?
For now, the Oppo Find X3’s microscope zoom is a gimmick that works. It’s not convenient, but it sure is a lot of fun. Even my partner, who usually doesn’t think it’s on an iPhone, couldn’t help but grab the Find X3 to try out the camera. The result was several extreme close-ups of my nose, eyebrows, and arm hair, all too coarse to show here.
Some of the new camera features are very simple. When Huawei introduced the night mode on the P20 Pro and ultra-wide-angle cameras on the P30 series, they immediately became permanent fixtures. Others start as gimmicks and then become accepted features. When the 50x zoom was first introduced on the Huawei P30 Pro, it was a gimmick. But now that image quality and stabilization have been greatly improved, such a zoom is now a legitimate feature in both Huawei and Samsung flagships.
All this means that the most important thing is what Oppo does next. Samsung will certainly continue to refine its space zoom cameras to make mega-long zooms more useful and less cumbersome. Oppo’s microscope camera may be a one-hit-wonder, but it’s equally possible to refine and improve it — so you don’t have to press directly against the subject, for example — until it becomes a common feature, even in galaxies and iPhones.
Most flagship phones already have an absurd amount of camera lenses on the back. Oppo may have just given them a good reason to add another one.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra are two of the highest quality and most expensive phones available at the time of writing, and they are designed similarly.
Their screen specs are similar, they have similar premium builds, performance and software.
One of the main differences is the camera, which offers a wide choice between a large telephoto range (on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra) and the ability to take extreme close-ups (with the Oppo Find X3 Pro).
You also get a bigger battery with the S21 Ultra, but faster charging with the Find X3 Pro, and while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports a pen, you’ll have to buy it separately – and the phone alone costs more than the Oppo Find X3 Pro.
So these are all things to consider when deciding which of these ultra-premium phones to buy.