Review: Oppo N3
3.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $779
Manufacturer: Oppo

Selfie cameras are all the rage in smartphones, but what if you could have one phone camera that takes beautiful shots on one side, and can automatically flip to the front for your self portrait? That’s the idea with Oppo’s N3, with a camera that can shift position when you touch the screen.

Features

Oppo is certainly doing what it can to get its name out there, and after wowing people with its excellent but high grade Blu-ray players and headphones, the mobile division is putting in the hard yards to make phones that aren’t just another “me too” concept like so many others.

The N3 definitely appears to fall under this category, at least on paper, with some interesting inclusions and features designed to draw people in who might not be down for the whole “me too” game other smartphone makers are currently playing.

With that in mind, you’ll find some familiar technology on the Oppo N3, also known as the Oppo N5206.

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Under the plastic hood, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, clocked at 2.3GHz with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a microSD storage slot also found in the unit if you want to upgrade that storage amount considerably, with as much as 128GB able to be loaded in.

Google’s Android 4.4 runs here, the version known as “KitKat”, though Oppo does run a variation on the Android operating system known as Color OS, with this being the second generation of that platform, acting as an overlay.

Connections on the handset are fairly standard for a flagship handset, with 802.11a/b/g/n and even 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and Near-Field Communication. Mobile connectivity is catered for via 4G LTE, and just to make things a little different, there are two SIM card slots here, found in the form of a microSIM and a nanoSIM slot.

Interestingly, while you can have two SIMs running, one of the SIM slots — the nanoSIM — also takes the spot of the microSD, so if you want to upgrade the storage, you need to use a microSIM. If you use a nanoSIM, you can’t use the microSIM simply because the nanoSIM card takes up the spot of where the microSD card would go.

Depending on the type of SIM you currently have, this could make upgrades a little interesting, but is something we’ll get into in the review.

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You’ll also find a camera here, and unlike most other phones featuring two cameras, Oppo’s N3 goes for one, with a 16 megapixel camera with a flash on a special rotating mechanism that is motorised, allowing you to shift its position to both the front and the back, and do so either manually with your fingers or with an electronic control mechanism.

Then there’s the display, and for that Oppo is providing a 5.5 inch In-Plane Switching touchscreen offering a resolution of 1920×1080, with a pixel clarity count of roughly 401 pixels per inch, spot on with what Apple offers in its iPhone 6 Plus.

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As is the case with most smartphones, there are few buttons here, with a physical power button on the left edge, a physical volume rocker on the right edge, and a physical home button on the back with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the button. The rest of the buttons are soft buttons underneath the display, and these cater to menu, home, and back.