Oppo N3 review

Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Introduction


Oppo's at it again! After treating us to the unorthodox Oppo N1 colossus more than a year ago, this China-based handset maker is now trying to woo us with its successor, the Oppo N3. Oppo made a sturdy, well-built handset with an intriguing motorized swiveling camera, added an additional SIM card slot in the mix, and put a mostly similar price tag. However, is this recipe sufficient enough to make the Oppo N3 a household name? Let's find out!

In the box:

  • Oppo N3
  • manuals
  • wall charger
  • USB cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • O-Click remote control
  • headphones

Design

A large 5.5-incher that feels pretty solid in the hand

Solid. That's the first thing that will likely pop in your mind when you take hold of the Oppo N3 in your hand. In spite of its “merely 5.5” display, the behemoth measures 6.35 x 3.03 x 0.34 inches (161.2 x 77 x 8.7 mm) in size, making it noticeably bigger than, say, the 5.7” Note 4. Yet, we can't say that it's unwieldy, though handling the Oppo N3 will require a bit of getting used to. We can't say the same about its weight, mind you – you'll surely know when you have the device on you as it tips the scales at 6.77oz (192gr).

If you can stomach its sheer size, the Oppo N3 will pleasantly surprise you with its sturdy build. That said, we can say mostly good things about the build and the build materials. Its polycarbonate shell feels good in the hand. It has a moderate amount of grip and holds almost no fingerprints or smudges. The N3 has a protruding metal frame that surrounds the handset, with a prominent XXX on the bottom, separated from the body with a small gap.

The notification light of the device can be found near that gap; the loudspeaker is there as well. The hardware buttons (a volume rocker at the right and a wake/lock button on the left) are easily-reachable, quite responsive, and provide sufficient level of feedback.

 

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Front view | Side view
OPPO N3
OPPO N3
6.35 x 3.03 x 0.34 inches
161.2 x 77 x 8.7 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

OPPO N3

LG G3
LG G3
5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

LG G3

Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4



Display

The display of the Oppo N3 is completely disappointing and fails to impress

The 1080p, 5.5” LCD display of the Oppo has a very good minimum brightness of just 3 nits, excellent contrast (for an LCD panel), and…. that’s mostly it when it comes to its positive properties. All things considered, the display is the weakest and most sub-par aspect of the Oppo N3.

It's sharp enough, yet not as vivid as we'd like it to be, not to mention that you'll certainly have trouble under direct sunlight. With a color temperature of 8825K (far north of the 6500K reference point), the display is noticeably cold and blueish. Its color accuracy is also utterly disappointing – it does not only fail to match up with most of the targets on the sRGB color chart, the deviation from the perfect Delta E rgbcmy reference point also reiterates that the inaccuracy of the display. Grayscale color accuracy is unsatisfactory, too – the various shades of white tend to have a noticeable pinkish tint, whereas darker colors appear washed out. The viewing angles are mediocre, yet acceptable. In general, the Oppo N3 completely disappoints in the display segment.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
2.61
(Good)
3.1
(Good)
LG G3 455
(Good)
9
(Average)
1:997
(Average)
7099
(Good)
2.26
3.60
(Good)
2.86
(Good)
OPPO N3 426
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1852
(Excellent)
8825
(Poor)
2.55
10.89
(Poor)
11.12
(Poor)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 45.2%
0%
unmeasurable
13.7%
1.5%
24.2%
151.7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 68.8%
0%
unmeasurable
35.4%
1%
127.6%
231.9%
OPPO N3 83.3%
66.7%
81.5%
20.3%
0.8%
7%
39.5%
LG G3 84%
88.9%
88.6%
10.5%
6.2%
8.6%
73.8%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Oppo N3 review

Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Oppo N3 review
Introduction


Oppo's at it again! After treating us to the unorthodox Oppo N1 colossus more than a year ago, this China-based handset maker is now trying to woo us with its successor, the Oppo N3. Oppo made a sturdy, well-built handset with an intriguing motorized swiveling camera, added an additional SIM card slot in the mix, and put a mostly similar price tag. However, is this recipe sufficient enough to make the Oppo N3 a household name? Let's find out!

In the box:

  • Oppo N3
  • manuals
  • wall charger
  • USB cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • O-Click remote control
  • headphones

Design

A large 5.5-incher that feels pretty solid in the hand

Solid. That's the first thing that will likely pop in your mind when you take hold of the Oppo N3 in your hand. In spite of its “merely 5.5” display, the behemoth measures 6.35 x 3.03 x 0.34 inches (161.2 x 77 x 8.7 mm) in size, making it noticeably bigger than, say, the 5.7” Note 4. Yet, we can't say that it's unwieldy, though handling the Oppo N3 will require a bit of getting used to. We can't say the same about its weight, mind you – you'll surely know when you have the device on you as it tips the scales at 6.77oz (192gr).

If you can stomach its sheer size, the Oppo N3 will pleasantly surprise you with its sturdy build. That said, we can say mostly good things about the build and the build materials. Its polycarbonate shell feels good in the hand. It has a moderate amount of grip and holds almost no fingerprints or smudges. The N3 has a protruding metal frame that surrounds the handset, with a prominent XXX on the bottom, separated from the body with a small gap.

The notification light of the device can be found near that gap; the loudspeaker is there as well. The hardware buttons (a volume rocker at the right and a wake/lock button on the left) are easily-reachable, quite responsive, and provide sufficient level of feedback.


Front view | Side view
OPPO N3
OPPO N3
6.35 x 3.03 x 0.34 inches
161.2 x 77 x 8.7 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

OPPO N3

LG G3
LG G3
5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

LG G3

Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4



Display

The display of the Oppo N3 is completely disappointing and fails to impress

The 1080p, 5.5” LCD display of the Oppo has a very good minimum brightness of just 3 nits, excellent contrast (for an LCD panel), and…. that’s mostly it when it comes to its positive properties. All things considered, the display is the weakest and most sub-par aspect of the Oppo N3.

It's sharp enough, yet not as vivid as we'd like it to be, not to mention that you'll certainly have trouble under direct sunlight. With a color temperature of 8825K (far north of the 6500K reference point), the display is noticeably cold and blueish. Its color accuracy is also utterly disappointing – it does not only fail to match up with most of the targets on the sRGB color chart, the deviation from the perfect Delta E rgbcmy reference point also reiterates that the inaccuracy of the display. Grayscale color accuracy is unsatisfactory, too – the various shades of white tend to have a noticeable pinkish tint, whereas darker colors appear washed out. The viewing angles are mediocre, yet acceptable. In general, the Oppo N3 completely disappoints in the display segment.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
2.61
(Good)
3.1
(Good)
LG G3 455
(Good)
9
(Average)
1:997
(Average)
7099
(Good)
2.26
3.60
(Good)
2.86
(Good)
OPPO N3 426
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1852
(Excellent)
8825
(Poor)
2.55
10.89
(Poor)
11.12
(Poor)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 45.2%
0%
unmeasurable
13.7%
1.5%
24.2%
151.7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 68.8%
0%
unmeasurable
35.4%
1%
127.6%
231.9%
OPPO N3 83.3%
66.7%
81.5%
20.3%
0.8%
7%
39.5%
LG G3 84%
88.9%
88.6%
10.5%
6.2%
8.6%
73.8%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and functionality

The Oppo N3 keeps it simple, little to no gimmicks on board

Android 4.4.4 KitKat is the OS that the N3 runs on, with Oppo's in-house ColorOS 2.0 UI atop. One of its distinct traits is the lack of an app drawer, which is similar to Apple's iOS, Xiaomi's MIUI, and Meizu's Flyme OS. Then again, Oppo's ColorOS is not as streamlined as some of the aforementioned rivals. It's somewhat bland and lacks character, yet the smooth and fluid interface makes it up for that, though. Thankfully, you can customize the OS with a panoply of different themes.

A double-tap-to-wake/sleep feature has also made its way to the Oppo N3, which proves to be quite useful on such a large phone. We have several motion-launch gestures on board, too – when your device is locked, you can draw an “O” sign to launch the camera, “II” to change music tracks, and a few others.

At the rear of the phone, we have a fingerprint scanner that doubles as a wake button. Press it and it wakes the phone; keep your finger on it and the device unlocks. Our real-life tests showed that it works as intended in 9 times out of 10. Interestingly enough, it can also be used to control the motorized swivel camera, which is one of the more “show-stopping” features.

Similar to the Oppo N1, the N3 comes with an O-Click remote control accessory. It connects via Bluetooth and comes with a single large button, which doubles as a notification light. It flashes when you receive a notification and also allows you to either locate the Oppo N3 or control the camera shutter.

Processor and Memory

A perfectly-sufficient hardware setup

Inside the N3, we have a quad-core, 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AA, paired with 2GB of RAM. That's a potent hardware combo, which proves to be powerful enough for almost any task at hand. Although you might seldom undergo some interface lag and stutter here or there, the N3 generally performs in a decent fashion. We had no gripes with the way Oppo N3's hardware performed – it's not an ultra-spec'd powerhouse, but does the job impeccably.

The amount of native storage is 32GB, roughly 26 of which are available right out of the box. Should that space end up being insufficient for your needs, you can always throw a microSD card in the mix as well.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 49480
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 41185.33
OPPO N3 40165
LG G3 30634
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 2731
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1230.33
OPPO N3 1620
LG G3 1322
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3644
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3041
OPPO N3 3504.3
Sunspider
Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 797.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1087.87
OPPO N3 903.3
LG G3 947.2
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 27.9
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 25.9
OPPO N3 23.5
LG G3 20.7
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 11.2
OPPO N3 9.9
LG G3 7.5
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1470
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1038.67
OPPO N3 1282.5
LG G3 951
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1062
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1112.67
OPPO N3 948
LG G3 950
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3295
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3259.67
OPPO N3 2811.6
LG G3 2545
View all

Internet and connectivity


Apart from Oppo's own browser, the N3 also ships with the way more popular Google Chrome. Regardless of which one you put your faith in, you'll usually be treated to a smooth, no-frills browsing experience. Text appears sharp enough and try as you might, there's no lag in store.

The Oppo N3 is a dual-SIM _phone_ and has slots for a micro- and a nano-SIM card. Connectivity-wise, we have support for a wide range of both FDD and TDD LTE bands. Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, and ac are all present.



Camera

A very good and handy camera

At the top, we find the highlight of the device – its motorized swivel camera module that rotates at 206 degrees and can be used either as a regular, rear-positioned shooter or as a potent front-facing snapper. It houses a 16MP camera with a Schneider Kreuznach lens that has an aperture of F/2.0. You can turn the Oppo N3’s camera either manually, via the fingerprint scanner on the back, or with a gesture inside the camera app. It rotates quickly, yet it feels a bit wobbly when resting in its default position.

Speaking of the latter, it has many different camera modes in store – apart from the usual HDR, Beautify, and partially-manual controls, the Oppo N3 also has a few intriguing ones. Take Auto panorama for example – it slowly swivels the camera and captures a panorama. The camera can also capture RAW images, which is something you don’t see every day.

As far as image quality is concerned, the camera generally performs rather well. Usually, it exposes the scene correctly, without any noticeable color aberrations. Unfortunately, it tends to add some noise here or there, which is visible when you zoom in. The color temperature of the photos is a bit on the colder side, which results in a slight blueish tint, but generally speaking, the color reproduction is natural enough. Almost all of the images we took, especially the selfies, had a perfectly acceptable amount of details – only a few turned out noisier.


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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
OPPO N3 2.4
3.4
527
474
LG G3 2.7
4.3
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 2.8
2.8
353
273
Google Nexus 6 4
No data
393
303
View all

The Oppo N3 is capable of recording 1080p videos at 60fps and slow-mo 720p ones at 120fps. The camera focuses relatively slowly, but at least the videos are correctly exposed and with almost no “rolling shutter” effect present. The amount of detail is acceptable; colors are pleasantly warm as well.


Multimedia


We have Oppo's suite of multimedia apps on board the N3 – Music, Videos, and Photos (their names pretty much speak for themselves). The video player, in particular, will play any of the more popular video formats, and if you can stomach the inaccurate display, you'll mostly enjoy watching video clips on the N3's 5.5” screen.

The audio player does not boast a surplus of features and keeps things clean, providing audiophiles with just a basic set of controls and settings. As far as audio is concerned, the Oppo N3 performs fairly well – the loudspeaker at the bottom is rather loud, though the quality of the sound is average at best. The handset has a user-adjustable sound equalizer, dubbed MaxxAudio, which is turned on by default and tends to boost volume even further, to the point where sounds become distorted. Leaving that option off generally paves the way for clearer sounds and more pleasant audio experience.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 0.98
OPPO N3 0.63
LG G3 0.57
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 0.41
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 75
OPPO N3 72
LG G3 81
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 85
View all


Oppo N3 review
Call quality


We had almost no gripes with the call qualities of the N3. The earpiece is loud, clear, and generally has a natural voice reproduction. The microphone, on the other hand, performs fairly well, too, but sometimes it tends to either distort or muffle your voice, which might leave your call partner wondering what you've just said. Then again, this will only happen once in a while.

Battery


Oppo N3 review
The 3,000mAh battery at the back of the Oppo N3 provides a battery life that is mediocre at best. It lasted for 6 hours and 25 minutes in our battery life test, which is sub-par in comparison with similar Snapdragon 801 devices, such as the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5, both of which achieve better results despite donning batteries below 3,000mAh. In stark, yet quite pleasant contrast, the Oppo N3 charges from 0% to 100% in 90 minutes, which is courtesy of Oppo’s VOOC technology.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 8h 43 min (Excellent)
Google Nexus 6 7h 53 min (Good)
OPPO N3 6h 25 min (Average)
LG G3 6h 14 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 95
Google Nexus 6 98
OPPO N3 90
LG G3 120
View all

Conclusion


The Oppo N3 is definitely not a bad phone, but it leaves a prominent “meh” aftertaste in our mouths. While it's certainly an improvement over the Oppo N1 in certain areas, it also proves to be a serious downgrade in some substantial ones. We can't help but feel that Oppo is running in one and the same place with the Oppo N3, and although it has several noteworthy merits, it generally failed to woo us. We tried to get to like it, but it has some serious drawbacks, like the under-performing display and the mediocre battery life, among others.

Considering its flagship price, the Oppo N3 should have been way more refined than it currently is – it can hardly hold a candle to the contenders in the same price range. The sum of money we are dealing with is $649 – that's the same price tag that a Google Nexus 6 or an unlocked Apple iPhone 6 flaunt.

Oppo's track record of making polished and slightly more affordable phones, like the Oppo Find 7a, makes us think that it could have definitely made a better N3 – it's beating us what prevented it from achieving this.

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