If you’re due and upgrade and you want an ultra-flagship phone, the OPPO Find X3 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra are two of the best options right now. But which is best?
OPPO Find X3 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra [Specs & Hardware Compared]
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||OPPO Find X3 Pro|
|Dimensions||165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm (6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 in)||163.6 x 74 x 8.3 mm (6.44 x 2.91 x 0.33 in)|
|Display Size||6.8 inches||6.7 inches|
|Display Tech||Dynamic AMOLED 2X||LTPO AMOLED|
|CPU||Exynos 2100 or SD888||Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888|
|RAM||12GB||8GB or 12GB|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||256GB|
|Camera Tech||108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS|
10 MP, f/4.9, 240mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video
|50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS|
13 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 2x optical zoom, PDAF
50 MP, f/2.2, 110˚ (ultrawide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, omnidirectional PDAF
3 MP, f/3.0, (macro)
|Video||[email protected], [email protected]/60fps||[email protected]/60fps|
|Software||Android 11 + ONE UI 2.1||Android 11 + ColorOS 11.2|
|Fast Charging||25W & 15W Wireless||65W & 30W Wireless|
|Front Camera||40 MP||32 MP|
|Color Options||Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, Phantom Brown||Gloss Black, Blue, White|
|Price||VIEW LATEST DEALS||VIEW LATEST DEALS|
As you can see above, the main differences here relate to the camera tech and the battery size. The OPPO Find X3 Pro is more focussed on macro photography, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is all about long range stuff, thanks to its telephoto lens. Both phones, however, have very good cameras.
With battery life, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the larger battery (5000mAh vs 4500mAh) but the OPPO Find X3 Pro supports 65W wired charging, 30W wireless charging, and 10W reverse charging which is obviously way more useful than a mere 500mAh.
You won’t have any issues with either phone with respect to battery, but with the OPPO Find X3 Pro you will be able to quickly top the phone whenever you need a few additional hours. Fast charge is a really useful feature, especially when it is 65W, so in this respect, I’d be inclined to go with the OPPO Find X3 Pro.
With respect to design, I think I prefer the look of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra; I really like its camera module – I find it more visually appealing than OPPO’s integration on the Find X3 Pro, although this is entirely subjective.
Both phones have an IP68 rating and both cut a very handsome figure, although the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the larger and heavier of the two Android phones which actually surprised me because OPPO phones tend to run VERY heavy.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm, 227g
- OPPO Find X3 Pro Dimensions: 163.6 x 74 x 8.3mm, 193g
Price & Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is available literally everywhere on all major networks and carriers. The OPPO Find X3 Pro, however, is NOT available in the USA, so if you’re reading this from across the pond, you’re out of luck when it comes to getting an OPPO phone in 2021.
As you’d expect, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the more expensive of the two phones. Here’s a breakdown of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s price versus the OPPO Find X3 Pro’s cost (please note: these prices are for the base model versions of each phone):
- OPPO Find X30 Pro – £1,099 / AU$1,699
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1,849
OK, that’s the basics out of the way. If you want to know more about these two phones, read on as we take a deep-dive into their design, specs, hardware, and software.
OPPO Find X3 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – Which Should You Get?
From the front on, both the Galaxy S21 Ultra and OPPO Find X3 Pro look kind of similar. You have an expansive black OLED display with curved edges on both models. The OPPO Find X3 Pro’s display is slightly smaller than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s but not by much – its a 6.7in panel vs a 6.8in panel.
Both phones use 120Hz refresh rates on their screens, although the OPPO Find X3 Pro has a slightly higher resolution (1440 x 3216 pixels vs 1440 x 3200 pixels) which is largely down to it being ever so slightly smaller. With pixel density, you’re looking at 525 ppi on the Find X3 Pro and 515 ppi on the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
- Galaxy S21 Ultra – Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1500 nits (peak)
- OPPO Find X3 Pro – LTPO AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, BT.2020, 500 nits (typ), 1300 nits (peak)
Both phones rock OLED screens but it is Samsung’s panel that is the brighter; it will achieve 1500 nits at its peak, whereas the OPPO Find X3 Pro can only reach 1300 nits. Is this is a deal breaker? No. But this is a comparison, so it needs to be noted.
Specs & Hardware
The Galaxy S21 Ultra runs on either the Snapdragon 888 or the Exynos 2100; if you’re in the US, you’ll get the SD888. Everywhere else gets the Exynos 2100.
Both are 5nm SoCs and both are great performers. You also get 5G as standard with both and advanced multi-thread processing and image processing abilities.
With performance, overall, you won’t have to worry about anything with either chipset – they’re both monumentally potent. Like certain versions of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the OPPO Find X3 Pro runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 platform .
With RAM, you have a choice of either 8GB or 12GB with the OPPO Find X3 Pro. The Galaxy S21 Ultra ships with 12GB of RAM as standard, although the S21 Ultra does cost quite a bit more. Either way, more RAM is usually a good thing, so long as you can afford to pay for it.
Galaxy S21 Ultra Camera Specs
- 108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
- 10 MP, f/4.9, 240mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
- 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
- 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video
OPPO Find X3 Pro Camera Specs
- 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS
- 13 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 2x optical zoom, PDAF
- 50 MP, f/2.2, 110˚ (ultrawide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, omnidirectional PDAF
- 3 MP, f/3.0, (macro)
Both of these phones have great cameras, but I do think the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a slight edge here. Its main camera is a 108MP module and it has plenty of additional lens for things like ultrawide shots and telephoto zoom.
The OPPO Find X3 Pro is no slouch in this department, however; it has a solid main sensor (50MP), a great telephoto lens, and a macro lens for ultra-close-up shots (up to 60x zoom), something the Galaxy S21 Ultra lacks.
Similarly, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 8K video recording while the OPPO Find X3 Pro sticks with 4K. As I said above, both are very solid options from the perspective of camera tech, but I do think the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the edge in this department – it basically gives you more of everything.
But if you’re more interested in macro photography, the OPPO Find X3 Pro is obviously the one to go for. You’ll still get excellent performance elsewhere too, but for ultra close-up work it is definitely the superior setup to the S21 Ultra. Me personally? I’d still go with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Software & UX
Both phones run Android 11 and both phones come with their own, custom software. On the OPPO Find X3 Pro you have ColorOS 11.2 and on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, you have the ONE UI 3.1.
Both are great-looking Android skins but, again, I think Samsung has the slight advantage here. This is largely down to my own personal tastes; I prefer the look and feel of ONE UI 3.1. But ColorOS 11.2 is still a very impressive UX, especially when OPPO has been doing this for a far shorter time than Samsung.
With the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you’re also guaranteed three major Android updates. This is important and something that gives the Galaxy S21 – and Samsung phones, in general – a major advantage over other Android phones. You will probably get Android 12 on the Find X3 Pro, but it is not guaranteed.
You also get things like DEX support with the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the S-Pen which are definitely cool bonuses. Don’t get me wrong, I love my OPPO phones but I think in this respect Samsung, through its experience and infinitely higher resources, has the smaller company pegged.
Wrapping Up: Which Flagship Should You Buy?
OK, first things first: if you’re in the US, you cannot buy the OPPO Find X3 Pro, so there’s that. Both of these phones are great options, however, especially if you’re planning on dropping A LOT of money on a phone in 2021.
I’ve tried to be as fair as possible to both phones but, given certain core elements in play, I do think the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the slightly better option. It has a more advanced camera (in most respects), it comes with more RAM, and I personally think it looks better (although this is entirely subjective).
Samsung offers a richer software experience too, with three major Android updates guaranteed, as well as things like DEX and the overall design and functionality of ONE UI.
I do really like OPPO phones, and the OPPO Find X3 Pro is a fantastic new addition, but give the choice between these two, keeping their prices in mind, I would almost certainly go with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra because it has certain core elements locked down, namely Android updates and things like DEX, that the OPPO phone cannot compete with.
And given how much these phones cost, stuff like this is kinda important!
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.