Story behind the premium flagship Oppo Find X5 Pro
Story behind the premium flagship Find X5 Pro: how OPPO’s engineers created a smartphone like no other.
Choosing a smartphone is far from an easy decision. With hundreds of models all fighting for your attention, it can be hard to separate the bad from the good, and the good from the great — especially when most handsets look and feel the same.
Crafting smartphones that perfectly blend stunning form and unparalleled function, OPPO’s designers and engineers have worked tirelessly, striving to push boundaries, innovate, and chase perfection with each and every new device.
Take the OPPO Find X5 Pro — a premium flagship handset born from never-before-seen pioneering engineering methods. Available in stunning ceramic, the curved nature of Find X5 Pro’s rear wraps elegantly and organically around the camera housing in an innovative volcano-like design to create an utterly seamless experience, look, and feel, that no other device comes close to matching. Building on their knowledge of creating a similar curved glass rear for Find X3 Pro, engineers had to overcome even more substantial challenges to help create a zero-compromise end result that met their exacting specifications (while surpassing and creating many industry standards in the process).
Inspired by nature
“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature” — Antonio Gaudi
Like Gaudi’s jaw-dropping architecture, the humble yet beautiful curve in nature has inspired artists and engineers for millennia. More recently, the curve has inspired OPPO’s entire Find X series over the years, allowing each handset to truly stand out from the competition, demanding attention from every angle.
Most rival handsets tend to bolt on unsightly camera bumps almost as an afterthought, making them appear separate from the device itself. In contrast, the smooth, elegant nature of Find X series sees the rear panel gently flow around the lenses themselves, forming a natural, striking volcano-like shape. The end result is a smartphone which beautifully and seamlessly incorporates the all-important cameras while channeling an incredibly striking, yet gentle energy.
OPPO’s engineers and designers have used all of their past experience to elevate the curve in the new Find X5 Pro even further. For the first time ever, a ceramic back has been used — not only for its superior properties to glass — but also for its stunning visual appearance. Hold Find X5 in your hands, and its sleek, organic shape is a work of art in itself, capturing and bending the light like the otherworldly hull of a futuristic spaceship, while remaining incredibly comfortable and natural in the hands. A truly covetable object for design lovers and tech fans alike, it’s a homage to nature itself.
Find X5 Pro’s ceramic back is made from a microcrystalline material that’s calcined at a temperature of 1000-degrees Celsius to create a texture that reduces fingerprints while being twice as strong as glass, with double the heat dissipation. The downside however, is that due to its strength, it’s a very tricky and unforgiving material to work with. The thought of creating Find X5 Pro’s precise, organic curved back from such a material seems impossible, but thanks to their drive and ingenuity, OPPO’s engineers have invented a process which sees the ceramic rear panel carved like a work of art with over 2,000 individual control points used to create its seamlessly organic curves. The road to victory was, however, far from easy.
Taming the ceramic panel posed some crucial hurdles for engineers to solve, and it took six months of research and development in moulding, machining and polishing process to create Find X5 Pro’s iconic curved rear.
A material that’s both incredibly strong and resistant to scratches and drops, ceramic is superior to glass in multiple ways, and was therefore the natural choice for a premium handset like Find X5 Pro, further pushing the boundaries of Find X3’s glass design. The downside to ceramic’s robust properties however, is that it’s difficult to machine, which is clearly problematic when it comes to producing Find X5 Pro’s unique curved rear design.
Using known existing manufacturing methods resulted in too large a cap between the ceramic rear cover and the camera housing, with less of a smooth curve gradient to boot — an unacceptable outcome. To combat this problem, engineers created a more precise machining method using two blades arranged at a precise 90-degree angle. While this improved the accuracy of the final product however, a new problem appeared — namely, the appearance of a straight-edged cutting line surrounding the sides of the ceramic cover, along with visible cutting marks from the machine blade lines. While such compromises are left unchecked in other companies, this was an unacceptable option for OPPO.
The solution was the creation of a completely new lift edge polishing process which refined the machined edges for a smoother, properly finished look. Initially, however, it was apparent that removing the manufacturing marks also ended up taking away too much of the ceramic material itself away, making the rear panel too small to properly fit the handset. To overcome this, engineers had no choice but to meticulously polish the ceramic’s edges in multiple stages, using a never-before-used four-axis polishing machine using micron-level diamond powder, Results from polishing stages were checked at regular intervals to then make minute, precise adjustments down to a staggering 0.005mm. The end result? A perfectly machined, premium ceramic rear cover that takes five whole days to produce, with a yield of 97% compared to 87%.
It might seem like overkill, but hold Find X5 Pro in your hands, and it will become immediately apparent that the premium results are unquestionably worth it. Reflecting and bending light around its curves like a freshly polished supercar, this is a handset that’s a joy to hold and admire.
One of the major design pain points in smartphones are their camera housing solutions. Most phones have unsightly raised bumps that dominate the design without adding excitement or finesse. We’ve already seen how Find X5 Pro overcomes this problem with its smooth volcano design which perfectly blends the camera housing into the rest of the phone. Beyond the shape however, OPPO’s engineers had another problem to solve — how to blend the lenses into the housing itself without any ugly protrusions or camera rings.
Removing the camera lens ring for a cleaner look means that the lens itself must be precisely positioned so that it’s neither too high nor too low. Too high and the lens will be vulnerable to damage. Too low, and you’ll lose the premium feeling of flushness flow, while being able to feel a dip in the surface.
The upshot of this is that the perfect placement of the camera lenses under the ceramic housing was determined to be 0.10mm, or the thickness of a human hair. As a result of direct assembly however, this number would often reach the thickness of two hairs. This seems utterly insignificant on paper, but anything less than perfect was simply not good enough.
To combat this, ceramic battery covers were split into three groups based on their incredibly small variations of thickness. The three lenses for Find X5 Pro were also grouped based on their thickness, and then matched to their closest ceramic cover to reach the perfect, precise depth in the camera housing.
While this sounds simple, because there are three lenses to take into account, there are 3x3x3=27 combinations in total. This is far too many for manual measuring and grouping, so OPPO has invested millions to develop specialised automated equipment to group matching lenses and rear covers automatically.
Find X5 Pro: born from excellence and for the future
Reading through the challenges conquered by OPPO’s engineers, it’s easy to see where they could have given up. After all, what difference does it make if a component is misplaced by the width of a single human hair?
In a world where smartphones are churned out to offer a minimal viable experience however, OPPO’s commitment to precision and perfection stands out. Devices like Find X5 Pro are the embodiment of hard work, dedication, and countless hours spent in the pursuit of the absolute very best product possible.
With new strides and discoveries being made continuously, OPPO will continue to lead the way for smartphone innovation, with new generations being built on the years of experience and learning before them.
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