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Oppo launches Find X5 Series, its first smartphone with its new MariSilicon X Imaging NPU: Digital Photography Review

In December, smartphone manufacturer Oppo announced the successful development of its neural processing unit (NPU). The 6nm chipset, MariSilicon X, includes the NPU, an image signal processor (ISP) and a custom memory architecture. The chip promises to improve the imaging capabilities of mobile photography, including a 20-bit HDR pipeline. Oppo has now announced the Find X5 Pro flagship smartphone, its first smartphone equipped with the MariSilicon X Imaging NPU.

Image courtesy of Oppo.

The MariSilicon X chipset can process up to 18 trillion int8 operations per second, (TOPS) at a rate of 11.6 TOPS per watt. As a reference, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max top out at 15.8 TOPS. Compared to a Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone, the MariSilicon X can process its AI noise reduction algorithm 20 times faster while using half the power. In December, we wrote, “MariSilicon X can process up to 8.5GB per second with shared DDR memory and uses a 20-bit HDR imaging pipeline that can run algorithms directly on RAW data, rather than using the compressed data as some other chipsets do. Oppo says applying its algorithms on the original imaging data yields an 8dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The NPU also uses what Oppo refers to as a Dual Image Pipeline with ‘double raw super sampling.’ What that means is MariSilicon X works with RGBW sensors to capture RGB and W signals separately then fuse the data together to get an ‘8.6dB improvement in signal-to-noise ratio and a 1.7x improvement in texture quality.’

Back to the new Find X5 Pro, the smartphone pairs the MariSilicon X with a dual flagship IMX766 camera system. The camera system promises a 4K Ultra Night Video mode. The advanced AI noise reduction (AINR) algorithm, designed in-house by the Oppo Research Institute, detects and reduces noise in ‘each frame, pixel by pixel, while preserving finer detail, skin tone, color accuracy.’ The resulting night video resolution is four times better with less grain and superior color reproduction. The Find X5 is the first Android smartphone to offer 4K Ultra Night Video.

The primary wide camera (25mm full-frame equiv, F1.7) has a 1/1.56″ 50MP IMX766 image sensor while the onboard ultrawide is a 15mm full-frame equiv. F2.2 camera with the same 1/1.56″ 50MP IMX766 sensor.. The ultrawide camera has a 110-degree field of view and also includes pixel binning to increase the effective size of photosites to improve low-light performance. The third camera onboard is a 52mm full-frame equiv. F2.4 ‘telephoto’ camera with a 13MP image sensor, which has 5x Hybrid Zoom and 20x Digital Zoom.

Image courtesy of Oppo.

The wide-angle camera includes a first-of-its-kind five-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) system that, when paired with proprietary algorithms, promises to counter hand shake better and provide sharper images at lower ISO settings, resulting in photos with less noise.

On the rear, the interesting ring light-equipped microscope camera that was on the Find X3 Pro is gone. On the Find X3 Pro, the 60x camera could get very close to the subject. However, the X5 Pro’s wide and ultra-wide cameras can still focus to 4cm.

Oppo has worked closely with Sony to customize an IMX709 sensor for the Find X5 Pro’s front camera. The integrated MariSilicon X promises better selfies with more texture and better color reproduction. The selfie camera automatically switches from 80- to a 90-degree degree wide-angle, allowing you to capture a selfie with more people in the frame.

Oppo entered a three-year partnership with Hasselblad earlier this month. The Find X5 series also incorporates Hasselblad’s Natural Color Calibration in Pro Mode and includes a range of ‘Masters’ filters. Hasselblad’s involvement promises natural color and a professional color profile.

Hasselblad ‘Masters’ filter – Radiance. Image courtesy of Oppo.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro features a 6.7-inch ultra-clear curved AMOLED display with WQHD+ resolution. The display shows 100% of the P3 color gamut. The 10-bit screen can display more than a billion colors.

In terms of battery life, the 5000mAh dual-cell battery promises an 11 percent improvement over the Find X3 Pro. The Find X5 Pro supports 80W charging and can be charged from close to empty to 50 percent full in just 12 minutes. It also supports 50W wireless charging, providing a full charge in 47 minutes.

The Find X5 Pro comes in white and black colorways. Image courtesy of Oppo.

The Find X5 Pro will be available from March 14 for €1299 ($1,446). The Find X5 will be available at the same time for €999 ($1,112). The USD conversion prices are for reference only, as prices vary by market. The Find X5 uses a smaller 6.5-inch 1080p OLED screen and includes a slower processor and less RAM.

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