If you liked the OPPO F3 Plus but having a gigantic 6-inch display isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, OPPO still got you. What we’ll be looking at today is the OPPO F3, the smaller brother of the F3 Plus.
The OPPO F3 Plus was one of the first smartphones to ever feature a dual front-facing camera, a feature that’s apparently trendy nowadays. The OPPO F3 still pretty much carries everything that the F3 Plus has, but only at a smaller footprint.
But the thing is, is the OPPO F3 worth it? Does the dual-camera setup work the way it should? Other than taking selfies, can the device satisfy its users in other aspects? Let’s figure that out.
Video Review of OPPO F3
Design and Build Quality
The OPPO F3 shares pretty much the same design cues with its larger brother. This thing has a 5.5-inch screen, while its bigger sibling is a 6-incher. While the OPPO F3 is still undeniably big, it still feels small and compact, especially since I just came from a review of a large device. For me, this smartphone has just the right size and weight. Not too big, but also not too small.
The OPPO F3 is also beautifully crafted in unibody metal, which is standard for a device in this caliber. And if it weren’t still obvious for some, this thing really looks like an iPhone. The reminiscent looks came from its all-white face, subtly rounded corners, and the metal back plate. All of which are the staple looks of Apple’s iconic smartphone.
Probably one distinguishable difference between this device and the OPPO F3 Plus is the missing six-string antenna bands. The said design touch is not on the OPPO F3, which is really disappointing considering that despite it is visually minuscule, it brought an extra spice to the handset’s almost boring look. Plus, it seems like the only design aspect that this device has that can’t be found on the iPhones.
At the front of the device, we have the said 5.5-inch Full HD display, the 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel front-facing cameras, the earpiece, ambient light and proximity sensors, the capacitive recent apps and back buttons (both of which are backlit) and the fingerprint scanner.
At the top, we only have a microphone for noise cancellation while at the bottom we have the built-in speaker, microUSB port, the primary microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The loudspeaker on the OPPO F3 works well. It has well-balanced sound, the low frequencies a.k.a bass parts are audible, while the highs/treble are not painful in the ears. The drivers inside also outs decently loud volume. It can surely fill a quiet room.
Related: OPPO A39 Review
At the left, we have the volume controls. On the other side, we have the SIM tray that can house either two nano SIM cards or swap the other one to a microSD of up to 128GB. We also have the lock/power switch on this side.
The buttons on this smartphone feel tactile and satisfying to press. They also have an ultra-thin profile, which compliments the overall sleek look of the device.
At the back, we have the 13-megapixel primary camera with dual-tone flash. We also have some tiny lines which I’m guessing to be the antenna bands. And of course, we have here the OPPO logo and the ugly compliant signs.
The OPPO F3 has a 5.5-inch Full HD In-cell display, which has a 1920 x 1080 resolution and is being populated by 401 pixels-per-inch.
If you noticed, the company used a slightly different panel for the OPPO F3, even different from the F3 Plus’s IPS display. This thing has an In-cell display panel that’s projecting everything in your eyes.
For a quick hardware lesson, these in-cell displays basically eliminate the touch sensor module of the display and combine it to the actual LCD panel, thus, creating a single layer. With this type of display technology, the entire display panel will have a thinner and lighter profile when compared to other display technologies out in the market today. This will then translate to an overall lightweight smartphone, or giving an extra room for the engineers to beef up the hardware inside. Say, a having a larger battery.
Quality wise, the images it can produce is almost comparable to an IPS display. Colors are good with the just right saturation; contrast is also impressive with deep blacks. And of course, the sharpness is something you might really expect for a 1080p panel. Combined with its large 5.5-inch dimensions, watching videos, or playing games are enjoyable on this smartphone.
Hardware and Performance
We have a MediaTek SoC that’s powering the OPPO F3. A processor of choice that may raise the eyebrows of a lot of people. A lot of smartphone “enthusiasts” would rather go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered device if they will be shopping in the sub-Php15k category. However, it looks like the OPPO F3’s nature isn’t really directed to those who are always hungry for processing power. This thing still has an octa-core processor, and a lot of novelty features that almost justifies that price tag.
With that said, we have a 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750T octa-core processor, backed with 4GB of RAM and a Mali-T860 GPU. Still some pretty interesting set of hardware, despite the second-rate branding.
So, how does it perform? Well, it was fine. The device was able to cope-up with my daily use. I was able to game comfortably with decent frame-rates. From SIM City: Build It, a simulator that’s processor-demanding, and EA Sports UFC which can be stressing in the graphics side of things. On the downside, the chipset’s thermals kind of increased after intensive gaming.
Th 4GB of RAM was also able to take everything well. I was able to open and switch between different applications seamlessly.
Overall, if you’re a casual user who is more into social media and other day-to-day applications, and just casually gaming on the side, then you will be satisfied with the OPPO F3’s performance.
The OPPO F3 has the same home button/fingerprint scanner implementation with the F3 Plus. The company used the iPhone 7-like approach on this one by removing the mechanical button. It’s now only the fingerprint scanner, which also acts as a home button when you tap it.
And just like the sensor found on the bigger variant, the one we have here also has the same impressive performance. The sensor has a success rate of almost 90% when reading my fingers. You can instantly jump to the home screen even when the screen is off and locked.
I still have the same beef with OPPO’s interface design on the F3. Other than the slightly outdated Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s the slightly annoying ColorOS 3.1 interface that they have implemented on this device that ruined it for me. I would love to see a stock Android look for my Android, not an iOS copycat. But that’s just a personal preference.
We have seen a lot Android Nougat-powered devices coming out today, some of them even released right before the OPPO F3. And what makes things worse is that it is clearly not sure if this can be updated to a newer version of Android considering that they will still have to tailor it to work well with their own ColorOS interface. Based on their history with the OPPO F1s, it would take months (or a year) before the update would arrive.
But nonetheless, I’ve still seen a lot of people liking the interface of the OPPO F3. They favor its simple, minimalistic and iOS-ish looks. Which, in my opinion, actually doesn’t look that bad.
OPPO used the same Helvetica Neue on the system fonts, the native apps’ icons look identical with Apple’s – the buttons on the drop-down menu, the settings menu, the lock screen, and probably the most identical of them all, the camera app.
Now we head over to the highlight feature of this device – the camera. To start, we have the highlight of the show, the dual-front facing cameras. OPPO used a 16-megapixel sensor and an additional 8-megapixel one with a wide-angle lens. There’s no front-facing flash, but its software can lit the screen up to beam additional light. These cameras are also backed with tons of software filters, a whole system dubbed as the Beautify effect.
The two front cameras on the OPPO F3 helps the users to take group shots, without the worry that some subjects might not fit in the photo. On the other hand, if you chose to take only a picture of yourself, there’s the 16-megapixel sensor to make sure everything is sharp and doesn’t have distorted corners. Also, with two cameras pointing in the same direction, you can take images with a shallow depth-of-field, or more commonly known as the Bokeh effect.
The 16-megapixel sensor on this thing can surely take impressive selfies. The images that I was able to produce looks really bright, even at low-light scenarios. The contrast and saturation are also decent, for as long as you set the focus right, and the sharpness is on-point. The Beautify 4.0 also works well for its purpose.
Other than the Beauty effect, the front-facing camera also has other different modes: Gifs and Double Exposure.
The secondary 8-megapixel front shooter also shares the same characteristics. Despite having a 50% cut on the resolution, it was still able to take decent photos. It can take images with good exposure, decent color, and contrast. And while it is not as sharp as the 16-megapixel that’s beside it, the difference is barely noticeable.
The wide-angle lens is also not just perfect for taking group shots, but it also works well when you’re taking a selfie with a large object in the background. Say, you’re traveling alone and you like to take a selfie with an amazing background.
And despite its impressive front-facing shooters, the OPPO F3 still has a primary camera at the back. We have a 13-megapixel shooter that comes with a dual-tone flash.
The images you can take on this thing is equally impressive. Impressive colors and contrast, sharpness are on point, the dynamic range is decent and the depth-of-field is surprisingly good.
The OPPO F3 comes equipped with all the essential mediums for you to stay connected. This thing can take two Nano SIM cards, both capable of 4G LTE connectivity.
There’s also a WiFi 802/11 a/b/g/n. Both of them worked well. The mobile network garnered interesting speed test results, although it would actually depend on the geographical location. The WiFi antenna was also able to connect seamlessly to our home network, with good strength reliability.
This thing also has Bluetooth 4.0, which played nice with both of my wireless headphones and speakers. There’s also a GPS and A-GPS in tow. Although it would have been nice to see NFC present on this thing, despite its not-so-mainstream feature.
The OPPO F3 has 3,200mAh non-removable battery. This is a capacity that’s common to smartphones with the same screen size. The longevity that I was able to get from it is was also pretty conventional.
The F3 took around 10 hours before it went from 100% to 20%. That result was generated during moderate to heavy usage. Which includes web browsing, scrolling through different social media applications and streaming videos online.
With that result, it is safe to say that the OPPO F3 can last you for a whole work or school day. Just like most device, you would still have to recharge this thing every night.
It looks like OPPO created a fine follow-up to the F3 Plus. However, since they are pretty much the same device, the OPPO F3 also took the things I hated about its Plus version.
Like what I have said earlier, the OPPO F3 runs on an outdated version of Android. This can be a huge deal-breaker for a lot of people, especially those who value the software side rather than the hardware.
Also, I think this handset is a bit pricey for what it is. At a price tag of Php16,990, there are already a few alternatives out there that offer better features.
But like what I said in our F3 Plus review, not many handsets have two front-facing cameras in this market.
Also, other than the good set of cameras in front, the sensor found in the back can also take good quality photos. There are also other highlights like the impressive display and one of the fastest fingerprint scanners today.
To wrap it up, I really think that the OPPO F3 is a decent smartphone overall. However, I think people should just wait for a little while until the price goes down a little bit. That’s just me, though, because selfies and groufies aren’t really my thing.
Pricing and availability
If taking selfies and group photos is really your thing, then head on and buy the OPPO F3. You can purchase it on all OPPO stores and kiosks nationwide for Php16,990. It’s also available for installment via Home Credit.
OPPO F3 Specs
- Android 6 Marshmallow, ColorOS 3.1
- Dual SIM
- 5.5-inch Full HD In-cell display, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~401ppi
- 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750T 1.5GHz octa-core processor
- Mali T860 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera
- 16-megapixel + 8-megapixel wide-angle front cameras
- Fingerprint scanner
- WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, WiFi hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS, A-GPS
- 3200mAh battery
- Good display
- Fast fingerprint scanner
- Great front-facing camera for selfies
- Design is elegant but boring, typical iPhone-ish look
- Android Marshmallow, Not Nougat
- A bit pricey