OPPO launched its latest "selfie expert" to remind everyone that it still has the best game. The all-new F3 Plus comes with a series of improvements, with prime focus on the front camera and battery, while an impressive design follows.
International Business Times India got a hands-on experience with the new OPPO smartphone for review, and we dug deep into the phone's hidden gems and charms. Did the F3 Plus impress us like the F1 Plus? Well, you'll have to read on to find out.
After using the F3 Plus for a week now, which comes equipped with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based ColorOS 3.0 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 octa-core chipset, there's a lot to debate. There have been many things, which made us go "wow," and some features where we wished there was more. Let's discuss them in detail, shall we?
The 'Wow' factor
OPPO smartphones are quite popular for their cameras; in fact, this company based its entire branding on that very factor and it is only justified the company delivers on it.
OPPO has never fallen short of giving its best, be it the premium F1 Plus or the mid-range F1s smartphones. Now with the F3 Plus, the company is continuing its signature trend. OPPO F3 Plus' biggest highlight is the front-facing dual camera, which has the capability to bring together large groups into one frame without using a selfie stick, and we sincerely mean it.
We tested the front camera for its wide-angle coverage, and nothing about it was worth picking on. There are two lenses, 16MP and 8MP with 120 degree wide-angle, to make sure you capture the best of selfies and group selfies (groufies if we may call it). The Beautify and other camera features are pretty much the same. There's a new blur effect in the Beautify mode, which blurs the background to bring out the subject with bokeh effect.
The rear camera is nothing short of impressive. In fact, we found the rear 16MP shooter, which has a large f/1.7 aperture lens, dual PDAF and 1.4um big Pixel Resolution to be better than the front dual camera for shooting portraits and landscapes in both daylight and low-light conditions. We must note that the screen flash in the front camera certainly helps in dim-lit areas.
That's the camera. Moving on, the next feature that grabbed our attention was the battery. The sizable 4000mAh battery packed inside the metal unibody of the F3 Plus is quite the charmer. During our review, we tested the battery life of the F3 Plus to last a full day, with 4G LTE data turned on, calls, messages, social networking, music and mild gaming sessions. That was quite impressive on its own, but OPPO also added its proprietary VOOC charging support in the F3 Plus, which is a life-saver for those who are always in a rush. In just 30 minutes, the phone's battery charged from 30 percent to 70 percent, which is quite sufficient to keep you going for most part of the day.
The third change we couldn't help but notice in the F3 Plus is the subtle change in design. The front part is kept the same, complete with camera, bezel-less display and a capacitive touch Home button with fingerprint scanner. The main changes took place at the back of the phone. The F3 Plus has a micro-arc frame and it is so perfectly curved that it not only looks good but also gives a solid grip.
The traditional antenna lines at the back also got a makeover to make them look more stylish with two 3-string antenna bands. The rounded edges and a mirror finished outline around the handset make the phone visually appealing.
The fingerprint scanner, which is integrated with the home button of the phone, is undoubtedly one of the best we've seen so far. It is no doubt the previous OPPO phones had similar efficiency with the biometric scanning, but it is good to see the company continue that with the same amount of dedication.
On a day to day to basis, the F3 Plus ensures reliability and lag-free performance. We tested it for games (like the Brothers in Arms), and the only problem we faced was the overheating of the device. Watching videos, even movies, did not feel uncomfortable. It has a Snapdragon 653 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage to run the show. The large display with Full HD display makes it a great choice for binge-watching. Long photography sessions and shooting videos in 1080p resolution did not make it hang. Overall, it is a good phone with decent value for gamers.
Among all the other things, OPPO's ColorOS UI is worth the praise. It is not too far from stock Android experience and not too close to it. It is well balanced and delivers an iOS-like experience to say the least. The UI is greatly optimised and not once the UI or any apps crashed upon us during the review. In fact, we haven't received any complaints concerning OPPO's UI, which makes it one of the best ones out there.
We were wowed by several things in the F3 Plus, but not everything. The dual selfie camera is OPPO's strongest selling point in the F3 Plus, but we had very high expectations. For one, we wanted a better bokeh effect. It appears as if the handset is unable to differentiate the subject from the background. You can blame us for expecting too much as we have been appalled by the iPhone 7 Plus' portrait mode. But for a company that has a tagline "camera phone," it is important to stay ahead of the trend.
The next concerning factor with the F3 Plus is the screen size. It has a 6-inch display and we really appreciate the slim bezels to make it as handy as possible, but it is still too large to handle while you are doing other tasks. Messaging with one hand for long can even stress your fingers, but you can counter that by using two hands. As for movie buffs and avid photographers, we would understand the need for such a big screen.
Some things really need to change... in a big way
We really like the subtle changes OPPO made in the F3 Plus but is that all? That's the question we kept asking ourselves. There is no doubt the F3 Plus is one of the most beautiful looking smartphones in the market (we couldn't stop comparing it with the iPhone 7 Plus, too), but just to keep an edge over the current trend OPPO could have done something refreshing. But that's just us. OPPO's focus is clear. Better camera and a reliable battery will certainly attract buyers, and consumer demands are what matter.
But speaking of innovation, OPPO did show something impressive at the MWC 2017 last month. We hoped to see at least a hint of that in the F3 Plus. The 5X camera zoom technology outperforms many great cameras in smartphones. But that's just in the initial phases of testing. It would be great if OPPO could add some features like the Beautify to level with its 5X camera zoom technology. That's again a long way from what consumers are demanding right now. So no harm done here.
OPPO F3 Plus - the smartphone continues the tyranny of delivering what consumers demand. It has the power, the looks, and longevity in terms of battery. If you are looking for a power-packed smartphone that gives you just what you need at an affordable price point, OPPO F3 Plus is something you can certainly consider.
Some features like a dedicated microSD card, dual SIM support, real-time photo editing tools like expert mode, UltraHD, SuperGIF, generous amount of built-in storage, and exclusive features like speed optimisation, battery saving mode, privacy protection and security tools, long screen captures and eye protection mode, give the added advantage to users.