The OPPO F3 banks heavily on its dual-lens front shooter, AKA ‘the Selfie Expert’. Essentially, it stands as a continuation of the OPPO brand’s mantra of providing smartphones that cater to social media and photography lovers. In this review, we will find out if the newest evolution of the ‘Selfie Expert’ deserves its booming popularity, mostly due to its strong front camera setup.
Upon opening the OPPO F3, we immediately get:
- OPPO F3 unit (1 pc.)
- Earphones (1 pair)
- Micro-USB charging cable (1 pc.)
- Travel Charger (1 pc.)
- Quick Start Guide (1 pc.)
- Important Information booklet (1 pc.)
- Clear jelly protector (1 pc.)
Build and Construction
In the F3, the size goes down to a more compact 5.5-inch smartphone. Not only that, but it still displays as many pixels as its larger F3 Plus counterpart. This already gets plus points in my book because it means that if you cannot afford an F3 Plus, you’re not losing much by opting for the original F3.
For the outer shell, it’s exactly the same as the OPPO F3 Plus. In fact, it also looks highly similar to the F1 as well, so it seems that OPPO is going for a ‘signature design’ that will allow consumers to remember what an OPPO phone looks like. On top of the display are the earpiece, front sensors, and the dual-lens front cameras. Meanwhile, on the bottom we have the capacitive buttons alongside the fingerprint scanner.
Moving on further, the left-hand side of the phone houses the power/lock button, plus the card tray for SIM cards and a microSD card. For the right, OPPO keeps it minimal with the volume-changing button. On the bottom, we will find the speaker grills, the micro-USB port, and the headphone jack port. Finally, the back portion of the device features the dual-tone LED flash alongside the main camera module. Of course, the main camera still pales in comparison to the dual-lens Selfie Expert camera, which clocks in at 16-megapixels. This is the real bread and butter of the phone, and definitely its biggest selling point.
OS, UI, and Apps
When it comes to the interface, the first few minutes with the phone should tell you that it runs on ColorOS 3.0, probably one of the few Android skins that I really like. Based on Android 6.0, this current iteration of the ColorOS doesn’t stray away from the stock Android default, which means that it’s accessible to anyone who’s ever used an Android phone. Overall, I like the ColorOS setup. In fact, I sincerely consider it one of the best Android skins in the market today.
In addition, OPPO also gave this device a hefty amount of memory, at 64GB. Fortunately, they also had the foresight to not load unnecessary apps on this phone as well! The only apps you get out of the box are the basic Google apps, and WP Office. That means users still get a generous 51.6GB of internal space left. And not only that, but users may expand this via microSD to 128GB. As I mentioned in the OPPO F3 Plus review, I simply love the choice to minimize bloatware for this phone, as it leaves space for users to customize their own device.
Now it’s time to get into the meat of the OPPO F3. To put it simply, the F3 delivers on its promises once again, thanks to a 13MP f/2.2 rear shooter, which isn’t such a bad drop from the F3 Plus’s 16MP f/1.7. What matters, of course, are the results, and I”m happy to announce that the quality does not disappear here. The F3 produces good photos with super-crisp details and loud colors. The only kind of weakness you’ll see involves taking photos in low-light situations, but this seems excusable since most phones have this problem.
The two front cameras, on the other hand, present a different story. Basically, these two comprise the selfie setup for the OPPO F3, and they deliver high-resolution solo selfies and great group shots. How does the OPPO F3 accomplish this? By using two cameras separately. For single or duo selfies, you get the 16-megapixel shooter. Meanwhile, for multi-man groufies, the 8-megapixel wide-angle lens will take care of the task. The selfies and groufies look absolutely clear, especially in good lighting. However, should users find themselves in a dim area, an on-screen flash will usually solve most problems. In terms of visual noise in pictures, they only appear in minute amounts in low-light pictures.
Finally, the F3 offers a bevy of in-camera features, primarily an Expert Mode and Ultra HD. The list also includes HDR, Time-Lapse, Beauty, Panorama, Double Exposure, and GIF. Both sides have access to these in-camera effects, although the front camera trades off the Ultra HD and Expert Mode for a Bokeh Effect feature in Beauty mode..
Performance and Benchmarks
The F3 runs on a Mediatek MT6750T octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, accompanied by a Mali-T860MP2 GPU, and 4GB RAM. Upon use, the power seemed sufficient, and didn’t mark much of a difference from the processing speed of the F3 Plus. Of course, this is based on actual use, since on paper the F3 definitely pales in comparison to the Snapdragon 653 octa-core CPU and Adreno 510 GPU.
With that in mind, it speaks volumes for the OPPO F3 that it can run games and high-graphics apps just as well as the OPPO F3 Plus. The only difference we could note would be the warmth emitted by the F3 after extended gaming sessions. After about an hour and a half playing Shadowrun Returns, the back portion felt warm, and lag began to appear. All in all, mobile gaming will not pose a problem for the F3.
Take a look at the benchmark scores for the OPPO F3:
- AnTuTu – 53,036
- Geekbench – 768 (Single-Core), 2,783 (Multi-Core)
- Vellamo – 1462 (Metal), 1787 (Multi-core)
The OPPO F3 rocks a 3,200mAh and unlike the F3 Plus, does not support Flash charging. This design and function decision by OPPO really boggles my mind, considering that the OPPO F3 Plus had these. Not only that, but it really takes away from the overall device since the smartphone would then be deprived of a great battery life.
Regardless, the OPPO F3 lasts for a respectable length of 9 hours, which means the F3 should survive an entire work day. On the other hand, the F3 goes as far as 13 hours during a video loop test. Overall, the battery performance isn’t bad per se, but rather, feels more of a downgrade. This rings especially true since I reviewed the OPPO F3 Plus first.
The OPPO F3 legitimizes the OPPO brand’s title of ‘Selfie Expert’, thanks to its good specs and dual-lens front camera setup. Not only that, but smaller factors like the flexible and adaptable ColorOS 3.0 Android skin and the competent rear camera certainly add to the appeal. If you need a smart device that will go well with your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter addiction, the OPPO F3 is definitely for you.
However, do note that the OPPO F3 Plus is superior in a lot of ways, and probably stands as a better choice, should you have the budget. I also have to admit that this phone does have a relatively worse battery than the F3 Plus. Overall, though, for a retail price of Php 15,990, this phone certainly delivers more than needed, especially if you just want a really good social media phone.
+ Great camera setup (front and back)
+ Good inner specs, notably the CPU, GPU, and RAM
+ Attractive outer design
+ ColorOS 3.0 is a delight to use
+ Cheaper than the OPPO F3 Plus, but does not give up a great deal of power
+ Versatile in-camera app
-Lower battery performance than the OPPO F3 Plus
-Under par processor and GPU than the OPPO F3 Plus
OPPO F3 Specs
|OS||ColorOS 3.0, based on Android 6.0|
|Processor||Octacore 1.5 GHz MT6750T|
|Display||5.5 inches IPS TFT Full HD (1920 by 1080 pixels), Gorilla Glass|
|Storage||64GB Expandable to 128 GB|
|SIM||Dual Nano-SIM microSD Card|
|Frequencies||GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz WCDMA: 850/900/2100MHz LTE Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/38/39/40/41|
|WiFi||2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Others||VOOC fast charging,|