My last review of an Oppo smartphone was the Oppo F3 Plus. Today I’ll be taking a look at its younger sibling, the Oppo F3. Priced at LKR 49,990/-, the Oppo F3 is available in most retail mobile phone shops around Sri Lanka and authorized dealers islandwide.
Similar to the Oppo F3 Plus, the Oppo F3 too has Oppo’s standard packaging. Slide out the outer cover to reveal the inner box and you have access to the phone along with other accessories such as USB-A to MicroUSB cable, charging dock and earphones. Another box inside this box contains a clear rubber/plastic cover and reading material along with a SIM tray ejector tool.
The Oppo F3
The Oppo F3 and F3 Plus share similar design aesthetics. And indeed, they both look like a mix between an Apple iPhone 7 complete with vertical lines on the top and bottom of the back of the phone and a OnePlus 3T. I’m not saying the device doesn’t look good. Rather, it looks quite polished with an Aluminum unibody which is pretty standard for smartphones these days. Available in colors of Gold and Rose Gold, the Oppo F3 measures 6.04 x 2.96 x 0.29 inches and weighs around 153g.
Located at the bottom of the device are the MicroUSB port, the microphone, 3.5mm audio connector and the loudspeaker. The right side of the device has the power/lock buttons along with the SIM tray and the volume rocker is located on the left. Buttons are quite firm and sturdy and pressing the button feels satisfying without the usual wobble seen in other smartphones. At the bottom of the display you will find the navigation bar consisting of Recents, Home and Back keys. The Home Button also acts as a fingerprint sensor.
The back of the Oppo F3 is completely flat with the word “Oppo” etched towards the middle of the phone. Located at the top left are the Camera lens and LED flash.
What makes the Oppo F3 tick?
The Oppo F3 sports a 5.5” Full HD IPS display capable of displaying 16.7 million colors, which are bold and bright. In the middle of the night, at maximum brightness, it does feel like a solar flare went off in your face but you can set the brightness to adjust accordingly. It also has an eye protection mode that essentially tints the display yellow to cope against low lighting and conditions where the lighting may injure your eyesight.
In terms of connectivity, it supports dual SIM functionality and dual standby if you use two different connections for different needs. In terms of storage and memory, you’re looking at 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. You can also add upto 256GB of storage via a MicroSD card in the SIM tray.
Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find a Mediatek octacore processor is what keeps the Oppo F3’s heart beating backed up by a Mali-T860MP2 GPU. This means that when you’re not using your phone for selfies or Snapchat, you can also use it for a bit of gaming on the go as well. You’ll see more about gaming benchmarks further on. The speaker located at the bottom is pretty standard in terms of loudness and clarity. I did notice that there was a noticeable distortion in audio at maximum volume but apart from that, it’s your run of the mill speaker. Moving slightly up, the Home Button is not exactly a button but rather a haptic sensor that vibrates when touched. It also acts as the fingerprint sensor. Unlocking the Oppo F3 via the fingerprint unlock is quite fast and the sensor is very accurate
The Oppo F3 – The Software
We’ve covered Oppo’s proprietary ColorOS Operating system, which is basically Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow skinned with Oppo’s own list of features. Similar to Huawei’s EMUI and Xiaomi’s MIUI Operating systems, ColorOS has the usual set off apps from Google such as Gmail, YouTube, Chrome etc. Moving on to the user interface itself, it’s extremely fluid and smooth and with 4GB of RAM, you’ll hardly find yourself needing to clear your recent apps. ColorOS also has a bunch of customizations. Some examples are: motion gestures when you receive a call, the ability to display the network speed, display battery percentage, manage which apps can show notifications and even customize your lockscreen with images that you can either automatically download or use your own photos.
There is no app drawer and all apps installed are on the home screen. If you’re not a fan of that, you can install a custom launcher such as Nova Launcher or Action Launcher. These also have additional customization that the standard launcher doesn’t have. Again, the icons and interface look quite similar to iOS, especially the Settings icon and the camera interface.
In the mood for some music? Well the Oppo F3 comes fully equipped with a media player that supports multiple audio formats. Plug in your earphones and you can adjust the equalizer and tune it with Real soundtrack technology. Sadly, there’s no radio. But if you are a fan of Spotify and TuneIn Radio, then basically your musical needs are set.
The Selfie Expert
We’ve seen this tag on both the Oppo F1S and Oppo F3 Plus. Basically, what this means is that Oppo has concentrated a majority of their technology onto the front camera. As such, you have a 16 MP and an 8 MP dual camera in front and a 13MP rear camera. Both cameras have a variety of modes such as Normal, Time Lapse, Panorama, Beauty and a whole lot more. There’s also an “Expert Mode” to have a host of other features such as manual ISO settings, manual shutter speeds and the ability to capture RAW images. If you’re taking a selfie with the front camera, you also have the option to switch between the two cameras. This allows you to fit more people into your photos. You can even take a 3-5 second burst images which is then converted into a GIF.
With regard to video, the Oppo F3 can record 1080p@30fps. Video quality is good but depends solely on the lighting of your surroundings. If things go dark around you, just use the inbuilt flash.
Benching the Oppo F3
By now I’m pretty sure you know what our benching process is. If you don’t, well, we basically use Antutu and GeekBench, two of the most popular benchmarking tools for Android smartphones. They are both known for stressing a phone to its limits. A typical test takes around 5-10 minutes depending on the hardware of the device.
Racking up a score of 52456 in Antutu places the Oppo F3 below the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
GeekBench 4 sees the Oppo F3 at the bottom of the pack being beaten by the LG Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S5 and even the LG G3, all of which are 2+ year old devices. In terms of multi-core performance, there’s a slight improvement where the Oppo F3 beats the OnePlus 2 and trades blows with the Huawei Nexus 6P. Again, not mind blowing performance, given that both those devices are much older than the Oppo F3.
In terms of battery, the Oppo F3 comes with a non-removable 3200mAh battery. Sufficient enough to get through a normal day of work, but if you tend to be a power user who uses and switches between multiple apps, then you’ll probably find yourself scrabbling towards the charger around lunch time. Speaking of charging, the Oppo F3 doesn’t support fast charging which is a shame given the price tag. It would certainly make things easier because if your phone is low on battery, you can just leave it to charge and by the time your lunch break is over, your phone would pretty much be fully charged. That being said though, the included charger does a good job of charging the Oppo F3 from completely dead to fully charged in around 90 minutes.
With around 2-3 hours of screen on time, and me playing Pokémon Go and browsing Facebook, and Instagram, the phone actually died just as I got home. It should be noted that actual usage though depends on factors such as screen on time, network signal quality and how much you actually use the phone and its apps.
For a price of LKR 49,990, the Oppo F3 certainly has its pros and cons. For pros, it does have a quite a competent front camera setup compared to other competing phones in the price range such as the Samsung Galaxy J7. Not to be outdone, the rear camera too has its fair share in the limelight shooting some pretty clear daytime shots and acceptable night time stills (due to the f/2.2 aperture). Fun additions such as filters and a GIF creator help spice things up and adds a dash of humor with a pinch of creativity. In terms of pure CPU performance though, it could do better. Then again, you’re not going to be running benchmarks 24/7, so for everyday work such as editing documents on the go and managing your daily tasks and routines, the octa-core processor should suit you to a T.
Have you used the Oppo F3? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.