Friday, 31 October 2014

Oppo N3: First impressions

Oppo N3: First impressions

Oppo has pulled the wraps off its latest flagship, the N3, a successor to the N1. The company launched the device amidst grand fanfare in Singapore and we had the chance to play around with the device to find out what it’s like to use. Here are our first impressions.
Design and display

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The Oppo N3 is easier to use one-handed than the N1
This is Oppo’s top-of-the-line model sporting a premium look. The aluminum chassis ensures that the device is durable, while being as lightweight as it can. It’s not as massive as its successor, thanks to the new reduced display size – down from 5.9 inches to 5.5. inches. It should be noted that the huge display was considered one of its weakest points, so it’s good to know that Oppo has been listening.
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The 1080p Full HD display is bright and vivid, and with the high pixel density of 400ppi, there shouldn’t be much to complain about. It also gets a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 for added protection against scratches and should be able to withstand rough use.
The device is fairly portable and easy to use with one hand, if not for longer durations. In bid to make it look expensive, the company has also added a faux-leather stitching around the rotarised camera.
Camera
Oppo has maintained the highlight of the device – the swivel camera – that can be used to take rear as well as front photos. However, it has added a big improvement in the form of the motorised ability that automatically rotates the camera 206 degrees, without the need to manually rotate it. All one needs to do is open the camera app and then swipe your finger downwards to rotate the camera to click your selfie. It can be moved upwards to take it back to the earlier position. It worked quite well each time we did it.
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Notice the faux-leather stitches around the 16MP camera
Besides, you can also control the camera via the ‘Touch Access’ on the rear side and the all new O-Click 2.0 remote. Another improvement comes in the form of the 16MP camera, which has been upgraded from the 13MP we saw on the N1. It’s a true-selfie phone and quite capable of taking some really good self-shots. However, we can ascertain this only once we’ve tested its camera abilities in different conditions.
Software
Just like other Chinese brands, Oppo ships with its own customised version of Android OS. The all-new N3 runs on the latest version of the Color OS 2.0. It is based on Android Kitkat and has introduced a more minimalistic look. Navigating gets really easy once you get used to it.
Other specifications
The N1 disappointed with the Snapdragon 600 chipset, but Oppo has now spruced up the processing power by opting for a Snapdragon 801 chipset in the N3. It’s also backed by 2GB of RAM, which should provide plenty of horsepower for running apps and games at a lightening speed. It seems speedy enough to run everyday apps and we didn’t experience any lags during our limited time with the phone.
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The fingerprint scanner is positioned just below the Oppo logo
The fingerprint scanner works in a similar fashion as in most of the devices, but is housed on the rear instead of the home button. It let you add up to five fingerprints. Oppo also claims to have improved the battery life drastically with the new VOOC technology. It packs in a 3000mAh battery. However, we will know the exact battery life only once we conduct our loop tests.
Bottom Line
With the Oppo N3, the company has tried to add all the elements required in a high-end device along with gimmicky features such as a fingerprint scanner and a 16MP swivel camera. It has tried to tick all the boxes with the Full HD display, Snapdragon 801 processor and a large battery, but one of the crucial factors that remains is the pricing.
The Oppo N3 is launched for $649 that translates to approximately Rs 41,000. The device is expected to launch in India soon. While the exact availability or pricing details are not disclosed yet, it is expected to be priced the same. This could prove as a hindrance, considering Oppo will be competing with seasoned OEMs like HTC and Samsung, and not the budget segment like Xiaomi and others.