OPPO Find 5 Reviewby Vivek Gowri on May 29, 2013 6:55 AM EST
The Find 5 relies on Qualcomm’s Fusion 3 platform, which in this case is a combination of APQ8064 and MDM8215M for cellular and voice communication. We’re pretty familiar with the 28nm MDM9x15, after seeing it in basically all of the Krait handsets last year. The MDM8215 is also a 28nm baseband, with the primary difference being the lack of LTE capability in the DC-HSPA+ only MDM8215. That’s the primary ding against the Find 5 hardware, though for a phone that was designed for Asian markets (except Korea), this is unsurprising as LTE networks have yet to hit China and the coverage is still very limited in India. Also on board are the WTR1605 radio transceiver (with GPS, GLONASS, and BDS) and Qualcomm-Atheros’ WCN3660 802.11abgn dual-band 28nm WiFi chip.
Like most of the rest of the Find 5 internally, the cellular hardware is pretty similar to the Nexus 4. Other than MDM8215M in place of the LTE-capable MDM9215M, much of the list reads identically. The network band support is also very similar, with the international/North American model of the Find 5 supporting 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/EDGE and 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz WCDMA. It’s interesting to note that the Find 5 doesn’t have pentaband WCDMA, with Band 8 (900MHz) missing on both the international as well as the Chinese domestic models. The primary hardware difference between the two is the presence of Band 4/AWS WCDMA in the international model, which as a T-Mobile user makes me happy (though almost the entirety of the Seattle area has T-Mobile PCS WCDMA coverage at this point).
No pretty speed graphs this time around, because I forgot to send the Speed Test results to my email before wiping the phone during one of the software updates and I didn’t want to run another 100 speed tests. Suffice to say though, performance was right where I’m used to in this area; T-Mobile’s DC-HSPA+ network is faster around here than it is in Tuscon, where Brian does a majority of his testing. The averages were right around 12Mbps down and 4Mbps up, with some expected variance due to environmental factors as well as quirks in T-Mobile signal strength in my area - the bottom two floors of my apartment building have terrible T-Mobile signal and always have (and the garage and elevator don’t get T-Mobile signal at all). The entirety of the Seattle area is consistently excellent, but my building specifically somehow is awful.
What is probably the most important thing to talk about with regards to the OPPO’s lack of LTE. The decision makes sense, as the largest regional market for this phone basically doesn’t have any LTE networks, but in terms of using it in the US where most devices have LTE these days, it’s a bit of a hard sell. If you use AT&T and live in an LTE-covered area, I’d recommend against. AT&T’s 16QAM HSDPA 14.4 network is not the greatest (Brian’s podcast rants about the lack of AT&T DC-HSPA+ are the stuff of legend) and network throughput absolutely pales in comparison to LTE. If you’re on T-Mobile, this isn’t a problem for now - DC-HSPA+ is pretty solidly quick and the LTE network is only just being rolled out. If you’re not in one of the 7 LTE regions, it’s not a bad idea, though it's worth noting that Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, and New York City, amongst other major metropolitan markets for T-Mobile, will likely get these networks sooner rather than later (and in Seattle particularly, we’ve seen the LTE lit up for a week or two earlier this year). So think pretty carefully about your choice of air interface and how important you think LTE capability is for you before picking the Find 5.