OPPO F3: Selfie Expert
Even before stepping out of the box, the Oppo F3 clearly states what it will do for you. It says Selfie Expert right there on the box, without leaving you in confusion. How well does it do the rest though?
I've tried the F3 Plus as well, so comparisons will abound. Straight off, this is a smaller, more compact, albeit a little bit more affordable repackaging of the Plus.
They've gone the traditional route. In terms of design, it is nearly the same as the F3 Plus. It ticks the boxes of the contemporary cues: rounded corners, rounded 2.5 glass edge, and a capacitive fingerprint sensor up front sans a button. I faced multiple, awkward attempts with the bigger F3 Plus, but this surprisingly worked each and every time.
The sim card tray is situated just above the power button on the right and it contains a dedicated memory card slot along with options for two nano SIMs. On the back, the main camera is placed on the top left corner where it juts out a bit. A thoughtful design element is the slight ring around the lens that prevents it from being scratched when laid flat on it back.
While it is superbly built, it blends in with most other phones out there. Oppo went for the popular design trends making sure it feels good in the hand and in the pocket.
5.5 inch is the perfect size for most people. The 1080x1920 display is the same as the F3 Plus, but being smaller, the pixels are packed tighter for a sharper display. Where it falls a little short is the display brightness on max output: it is a little dim, especially in bright sunlight.
The Oppo F3 runs ColorOS 3.0, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. There are plenty of customisation options in this OS that combines the key elements of Android and iOS. The app drawer is non-existent, meaning all the apps get placed smack-dab in the middle of the home screen. But if you love iOS, you will find more inspired items in the setting menu. Following that is the accurate gesture control that works brilliantly, using the standard V drawn on-screen for flashlight, O for camera, and so on.
The device is powered by the Mediatek MT6750T. It's a significant drop from the Snapdragon 653 of the Oppo F3 Plus. Paired to a Mali-T860MP2 GPU and 4GB of Ram, this has more support than most apps require. We got a score of 53,480 on AnTuTu. More test results in our online feature on Tuesday.
Oppo has been focusing quite a lot on mobile photography and has developed a good reputation in its home market. The Selfie Expert wants to take it a few steps further with the Facebook crowd presumably. While the rear 13MP Samsung camera is a pretty good choice, I wish they had kept the 16MP Sony unit from the F3 Plus. That's an f2.2 (F3) versus f1.7 (F3 Plus).
In spite of that, the photos come out well considering the price range. Images are quite clear with very low levels of noise in normal light. The colours are rather muted, which is more realistic as an output, but most people may prefer a bit of additional 'punch'. For that that they will need to tweak with a filter.
The HDR mode tries to stay in the background without overpowering the image, which is good as it subtly brings out the detail without creating a ghastly over processed image. Panorama stitching is done well, with high resolution and very good detail.
The dual lens selfie setup is quite simple. You get a 16MP standard shot, which creates the usual situation where some people get cut out of the frame. That's unhappy people right there. Or you can opt for the 8MP ultra wide 120 degree view where no one is left out and everyone is happy. Image detail between the two is comparable without a noticeable loss of detail.
Unfortunately the dual lens doesn't extend to cool bokeh effects from selective focus. You do get a simulated version on the standard selfie. It gently blurs out the background after it detects the people on the frame. Which is good if you're standing in front of a trash can just outside your favourite eating place in Dhaka. Because trash cans are everywhere.
Video recording is 1080p with a decent bit of preserved detail.
SIM: Dual nano SIMs
Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 5.5 inches, 1080x1920 pixels
Corning: Gorilla Glass 5
OS: ColorOS 3.0 based on Android 6.0
CPU: Mediatek MT6750TOcta-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
Memory: Up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal: 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
Camera: Primary13 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/3 inch sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video: 1080p@30fps, check quality
Secondary camera: Dual 16 MP (1/3.1 inch sensor size, f/2.0) + 8 MP, f/2.4
Connectivity: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with A-GPS, MicroUSB 2.0
Colours: Gold, Rose Gold
Price: BDT 25,990
Solidly built. Excellent fingerprint sensor that jumps into action. Screen is very sharp, but colours are muted and sunlight legibility is a little low. It's not a deal breaker though. The 3200 mAh battery has an endurance score of 68 hours or just about a day of heavy, regular use. Photos are clear and sharp with slightly muted, realistic colours, which you may or may not prefer. Nothing that a filter won't fix. The selfies are excellent and full of detail. It does what it says on the box: it's a proper selfie expert that won't leave anyone out. What you have is a competent, affordable phone that will ensure party moments with friends are forever.