Flagship head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs OPPO Find X2 Pro

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Another week, another comparison and possible way to go. It's raining smartphones here! In terms of raw specs, at least, this is one of the imaging flagships of 2020, though it remains to be seen how it fares in my camera testing. The Find X2 Pro impresses on almost every other level, running Android and with impeccable tech specs. The only fly in the ointment is perhaps the 'Color OS' skin on top, but at least OPPO isn't tainted by a USA trade ban and so, unlike Huawei's similar P40 Pro, this one has full Google services and applications. Phew!

Lumia 950 XL and OPPO Find X2 Pro

Lumia 950 XL and OPPO Find X2 Pro

Lumia 950 XL and OPPO Find X2 Pro

As usual, just for fun and curiosity, I've shaded in green an obvious 'win' for either device. Any row where a winner would be totally subjective is left uncoloured. Or, where all devices are utterly excellent but in different ways, I've given each a 'green'(!)

[By the way, if you're viewing this feature on a phone then the table may well cause you problems. Try viewing in landscape mode? Failing that, go view this on a laptop or tablet!]

  Microsoft Lumia 950 XL OPPO Find X2 Pro
Date first available November 2015 March 2020 
Current price, availability No longer officially for sale, though it's often on clearance prices if you're lucky and at outrageous profiteering prices due to rarity (if you're not!) Around 1200 Euros, depending on which importer you buy from. So around £1100 inc VAT. Apparently an official UK release is imminent, but still bet on £1000 minimum.
Dimensions, form factor, weight

152 x 78 x 8mm, plastic chassis and replaceable backs (plastic/leather/wood etc, from Mozo, as modelled here!), 165g, bezels are comparatively small

165 x 74 x 9mm, 217g, taller and narrower. Heavy, but reassuringly so. Metal frame with 'vegan leather' (or ceramic) back. Supplied with an excellent clear TPU case.
Durability No specific durability metrics, though the fact that the back comes off will help enormously for water damage, i.e. taking out battery and cards immediately, drying out the internals, even unscrewing the motherboard from the guts of the phone. I'm old-school here! All damage to the back or corners is trivial through replacement of the rear, but the screen's exposed, of course. The plastics used should absorb shock and, anecdotally, I've never bothered putting a case on any Lumia. Just saying. I think that fact is significant.

IP68 rated for water and dust. Thumbs up. Gets the win here for the use of something other than glass on the back, and for the in-box clear case. Plus the Lumia's parts aren't always available anymore.

Operating system, interface Windows 10 Mobile, (dismissable) virtual controls, as needed, now officially updated to W10 Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3, Autumn 2017) with security to 'January 2020'.

Android 10, April 2020 security, gesture controls available, or navigation buttons on-screen. A fairly standard Google interface, throughout, though with the slightly amateurish 'Color OS' skin and OPPO first party applications.


5.7" AMOLED (1440p at 16:9 aspect ratio, matching most video media), Gorilla Glass 4, ClearBlack Display polarisers help with outdoor contrast, excellent viewing angles. Screen area is approximately 88 cm2

Glance screen available (in various colours) for always-on time, day and notification icons, plus some detailed info from a specified app.

6.7" 1440p AMOLED, 19.8:9 ratio, Gorilla glass 6, screen area is roughly 112cm2

Also excellent and pretty good outdoors in the sun. In fact, slightly better than the Lumia, and with far more screen, admittedly in a taller body. A win by a nose!

Always on 'Glance' display with time, date and color notifications (off by default, but trivial to toggle on).


LTE, NFC (all uses), Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, integral wifi tethering, Bluetooth 4.2 (all uses).

Continuum connectivity to use a wide range of first and third party UWP apps on external displays as secondary screen, independent of the phone display. Includes the new NexDock 2, transforming the Lumia into a Windows 10 S laptop, effectively.

LTE, NFC (all uses), Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac/ax, integral wifi tethering, Bluetooth 5.1 (all uses). 

Processor, performance Snapdragon 810 chipset, 3GB RAM, faster than it's ever been now on the Fall Creators Update though still slower for almost everything than on the Android phone. Multi tasking and app resumption is excellent though, at least with all the modern UWP apps
Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM, lightning fast at everything
Capacity 32GB internal storage, expandable via (cheap) microSD to extra 256GB 256GB or 512GB, no expansion.  No microSD is a black mark, but then again surely 256GB is more than enough for almost everyone in 2020? To get this much space out of the box has to edge a win here.
Imaging (stills)

20MP PureView f/1.9 1/2.4" BSI sensor, Phase Detection auto-focus, dedicated camera shutter button and launch key, 1.5x lossless digital zoom (in 8MP oversampled mode, and lossy digital after that), OIS. 'Rich Capture' produces customisable HDR shots and 'dynamic flash', with triple LED illumination. Outstanding shots in most light conditions, with just focussing issues in low light as an Achilles heel.

Main camera: 48MP, f/1.7, 1/1.43", omnidirectional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
Telephoto (periscope) camera: 13MP, f/3.0, 1/3.4", 5x optical zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
Wide angle: 48MP, f/2.2, 1/2.0", AF

An imaging head to head is next, don't worry. Early results show horrible over-sharpening at 1:1, enough to lose the comparison here. If you value zoom then 5x and over shows an easy win for the OPPO, mind you. But I'm upset by the totally unnecessary sharpening, as it shows that OPPO doesn't really know what it's doing here.

5MP front camera 32MP, f/2.4
Imaging (video) Up to 4K, optically (and optionally digitally) stabilised, with 'Best photo' 8MP grabbing built-in, plus Rich Recording and HAAC microphones for high quality, gig-level stereo capture. Up to 4K video capture, with EIS, high quality stereo audio capture. 
Music and Multimedia
A tinny mono speaker by modern standards, though as ever you can trade volume for fidelity in a simple tweak on Lumias. Excellent stereo speakers, with Dolby Atmos adding appreciable bass and clarity, very impressive. And worlds better than the 950 XL's tiny (and tinny) monstrosity!
3.5mm headphone jack, A2DP+AptX, plus a decent internal DAC, so great wired and wireless headphone audio too.  No 3.5mm headphone jack, so reliant on a Type C DAC/dongle (not supplied, though you do get some Type C in-ear headphones in the box) and/or Bluetooth audio.

Windows 10 Maps is now pretty mature and impressive, especially once you've learned the live traffic routine trick! Offline maps save a lot of data bandwidth for those on tight contracts or anyone in a low signal (data) area. But it's all looking a little neglected in 2020 compared to the bells and whistles in Google Maps.

Google Maps is now the gold standard in phone navigation, tied in with many other Google services and offering true real time navigation around traffic issues, even at local level, along with offline maps that auto-update.
Cortana/Voice Cortana was in theory now mature and well integrated, though functionality has been falling away and most attempts to rouse her end in failure in 2020. Google Assistant is baked in and works well, far superior to the dying Cortana in 2020, due to the investment that Google has put in over the last few years.
Battery, life  Removable 3000mAh battery, and the ability to change cells are a positive here (and you CAN still buy decent spare batteries), plus USB Type C Power Delivery (up to 3A, so 15W) and 1A Qi wireless charging built-in also helps. However, a Lumia running Windows 10 Mobile will now discharge in 24 hours even if you don't use it much.

Sealed 4260mAh battery, gets easily through a day, though depends on the use case for the phone. Type C port supports proprietary ('65W SuperVOOC 2.0') fast charging, which is good to see though I can't for the life of me work out why there's no Qi wireless support as well - at this price! Disappointing.

Cloud aids Windows Photos syncs at full resolution and quality across all signed-in devices, subject to your OneDrive tariff (stingy, unless you have Office 365), should you have thousands of images in the system. Plus Windows 10 backs all your media, application data and settings to a separate backup folder system, tariff-free on OneDrive, for easy restoration on a new or factory reset phone. Google Photos does a great job of organising photos and syncing them across all signed-in phones and tablets, albeit at 'reduced' quality (re-compression server-side). 
File compatibility As with all Windows phones, plugging into a Windows PC gives full drag and drop to the phone's user file system. Plugging into a Mac is more problematic, though seems to work under Catalina. Plugging into any PC gives immediate MTP file access, plus this works on a Mac on all OS versions, with Google's Android File Transfer utility, for drag and drop of all user files. Seamless and lightning fast.
Biometrics  Iris recognition ('Windows Hello') works well unless you wear varifocals(!), but takes a couple of seconds (including an animation!) in real world use. There's also no official way of paying in shops using this.

An in-screen fingerprint sensor is optical and is very fiddly to set-up. However, once registered, it's foolproof and reliable. Works to authenticate transactions too, as you'd expect, with Google Pay or in the Play Store. Face unlock is also present for convenience sake - and works well, but it's not secure enough for finances and purchases.

Applications and ecosystem  Windows 10 Mobile had most (though not all) mainstream apps and services covered, though some are dropping away now - see my guide! Often third party clients are involved, mind you, there are companies who hate Microsoft so much that they simply refuse to write for Windows, it seems. And 'long tail' niche/boutique apps are hard to find for real world companies and shops.

The might of Google and Android's app ecosystem - everything is available and almost always in first party form. 

Upgrades and future Windows 10 Mobile is now effectively out of support. From now on, it will be useable but with more and more service caveats applying. Still, 'end 2019' was a full four years since the Lumia 950 XL was launched, so it's hard to complain. OPPO has a slightly chequered history of updates, but the company seems serious about world domination now so let's assume that this will get good support through 2020 and 2021.

Lumia 950 XL and OPPO Find X2 Pro

All leather, eh?


Adding up the green 'wins' (for fun?!) gives a 12-5 win to the much newer device, which is about as expected - the Find X2 Pro is a thoroughly lovely piece of hardware. My attention was drawn to the imaging pretensions of each phone camera, of course, so that will be next in my sights.

Your comments welcome. The biggest impediment to switching to the Find X2 Pro will be its purchase price, so might I suggest that this make its way to various 'to consider' lists for when this appears second hand in the near future?