WHAT WE LIKED:
* Premium build
* Good rear and front cameras
* Good display
* Good loudspeaker
* Triple slot
WHAT WE DIDN’T:
* Heats up while gaming
* No VOOC Flash Charge
* No Nougat update yet
Selfies, whether you’re fond of them or not, is one of the driving factors for device-makers to produce smartphones with good front cameras. OPPO is one of those brands that continue to heavily invest in the said feature and one of their latest offerings is the OPPO F3.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The OPPO F3 is the smaller sibling of the OPPO F3 Plus that launched in March. Both phones sport similar looks, but not exactly identical especially under the hood.
The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch display, which is slightly smaller than the 6-inch found in the earlier F3 Plus. Above it are the earpiece, sensor and the 16MP and 8MP front cameras, while down below is the capacitive Home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Covering the entire fascia is a 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5.
On the left is the volume rocker, while on the right is the power/lock button and the tray that can accept two nano-sized SIM cards and a microSD card.
Looking up top is the secondary microphone, while down at the bottom is the loudspeaker, microUSB port, main microphone, and the headset port.
Flip it on its back and you will see the 13MP camera and the LED flash.
On the hand, the F3 is as premium as the F3 Plus. It has a metal body with two thread-thin metallic bands that line the contour of the device. The finish is smooth yet able to resist smudge and fingerprints.
Since it’s shorter, narrower, thinner, and lighter than the F3 Plus, it’s easier to hold. The curved sides and edges also make it comfortable in the hands.
DISPLAY AND MULTIMEDIA
The F3 uses a typical IPS LCD display with In-Cell technology that was developed by LG. This new implementation has been introduced since 2012 which reduces the thickness of the LCD by integrating the digitizer, touch input, and LCD screen into one layer.
Compared to the F3 Plus, the F3 has a smaller screen at 5.5-inches with full HD resolution. That said, it packs more pixels per square inch than the F3 Plus at 401ppi. The thin bezels also make the screen pop-out which enhances the device’s great colors and good viewing angles. It’s also vibrant enough for outdoor use under strong sunlight.
Given that it has a great screen, we’re glad to report that it also has a good loudspeaker. It’s loud and rich which makes it a nice device for watching movies or listening to your tunes on-the-go.
OS, UI, AND APPS
Software is handled by ColorOS v3.0.0i which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. If you have used an OPPO phone in the past, the UI uses a simple layout, ditching the app drawer in favor of multiple home screens. It’s attractive, easy to use, and employs colorful icons.
Even though it’s a smaller variant of the F3 Plus, we’re glad that OPPO didn’t skimp on the memory and also equipped it with 64GB. Pre-installed apps are kept to a minimum like basic Google apps, which cannot be uninstalled, and WP Office.
That said, you’re still left with a sizable 51.6GB of usable storage out of the box. Should you wish to expand it, there’s a dedicated microSD card slot (up to 128GB) which is a huge advantage over hybrid types like the F3 Plus.
The F3 is equipped with a 13MP f/2.2 rear shooter, which is a bit of a downgrade compared to the F3 Plus’s 16MP f/1.7. Still, it is capable of producing really good photos with plenty of details and rich colors. It’s still good in slightly dim conditions like when the sun is about to set but not so much when it’s already dark.
As for the main stars of the show, the F3 has two front cameras for selfies. Just like the F3 Plus, it has a 16MP main shooter and a secondary 8MP wide-angle. The 16MP camera is for high-resolution solo or couple selfies, while the 8MP wide is for group shots. Unlike the rear camera, the front cameras suffer in low light especially the 8MP wide-angle. There’s an on-screen flash but not strong enough compared to a dedicated LED flash.
When it comes to in-camera features, the F3 has tons. The rear has HDR, Time-Lapse, Beauty, Panorama, Ultra HD, Double Exposure, GIF, and Expert Mode. The front camera, on the other hand, has all of it except for Ultra HD and Expert Mode but has a Bokeh effect mode while using Beauty.
As for video recording, the all cameras maxes out with 1080p resolution at 30fps. Quality is good with nice audio pick-up from the microphones.
PERFORMANCE AND BENCHMARKS
The F3 is powered by Mediatek MT6750T octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, Mali-T860MP2 GPU, and 4GB RAM.
It’s not as powerful as the F3 Plus with its Snapdragon 653 octa-core CPU and Adreno 510 GPU, but it’s more than enough to handle the tasks we threw at it. Gaming is not an issue and can run Injustice 2 and Mobile Legends in High Settings. However, we noticed that it gets really warm at the back just across the camera.
Check out the benchmark scores below:
* AnTuTu – 53,036
* Geekbench – 768 (Single-Core), 2,783 (Multi-Core), 2,174 (RenderScript)
Note: PC Mark and 3D Mark are not available due to the apps crashing when launched.
CONNECTIVITY AND CALL QUALITY
The F3 comes with your basic connectivity under the hood. There’s 4G LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth. There’s also GPS on board which works well outdoors.
What we like the most though is that we can freely use the two SIM slots without having to sacrifice a microSD card, unlike the F3 Plus with a hybrid setup. Mobile data works well with support for LTE Bands: 1/2/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/39/40/41. Call quality is good with noise cancellation.
Another downgrade of the F3 compared to the F3 Plus is the battery capacity. It only has a 3,200mAh and does not support Flash charging, unlike the 4,000mAh battery with VOOC Flash Charge found on the F3 Plus. Still, it was able to provide us with a good battery life, lasting around 9 hours mostly on WiFi with heavy social media use and light to moderate photo taking.
Our battery benchmarks got us 9 hours and 49 minutes on PC Mark, and 13 hours and 31 minutes on the video loop test (50% brightness, 0% volume in airplane mode), which is still good. Charging, on the other hand, takes a little over two hours from zero to full.
The OPPO F3 is a recommendable smartphone for those who are fond of selfies. At Php16,990/$342, it’s also a more affordable offering for those who don’t have a budget for the OPPO F3 Plus. There are trade-offs, of course, like the weaker MediaTek processor and lower rear camera resolution. Still, it’s not that bad since you’re also getting some advantages like triple slots, higher pixel density, and smaller, more comfortable build.
OPPO F3 SPECS:
- 5.5-inch In-Cell IPS LCD display @ 1920 x 1080 pixels, 401ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- MediaTek MT6750T 1.5GHz octa-core CPU
- Mali T860 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- Expandable via microSD, up to 128GB
- 13MP PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash
- 16MP + 8MP 120-degree wide-angle front cameras
- Dual SIM (Nano + Nano)
- 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS w/ a-GPS
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ColorOS 3.1
- 3200mAh non-removable battery
- 75.2 x 153.3 x 7.3 mm (dimensions)
- 153 grams (weight)