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OPPO F3 Review: Legit Groufie Experience For Less

OPPO's latest #SelfieExpert has taken the country by storm. As a matter of fact, the world's number 4 global smartphone brand has announced that they sold more than 22,000 units of OPPO F3 across the country in just 3 days.
OPPO F3 Review: Legit Groufie Experience For Less
OPPO F3 review

Previously, we unboxed and shared our initial thoughts and some sample photos of the said device. After more than 2 weeks of regular usage, here's our full review. Find out if this newest dual selfie camera smartphone is the one for you. Also, is it worth all the hype?


Display Quality

Good quality LCD
Good quality LCD

Coming from the HD TFT display of F1s, OPPO upgraded the screen of F3 to FHD IPS. It still retained the 5.5 inch screen size, but the sharpness is so much better now at 401 pixels per inch.

Good quality 1080p screen

Like most IPS panels, the display quality of this handset is close to fantastic. Output is quite bright (good enough for outdoor use) and colors are vivid and energetic. It saturation level is also enough (won't make output yellowish). Blacks are also deep enough and viewing angles are excellent. Not AMOLED level, but great for an IPS screen.

It has auto brightness, eye protection mode, and 10 points of multi-touch with upgraded touch access as well.

Audio Quality

Speaker quality is good, not bad, but not exceptional. Quality is decent (enough clarity and detail separation) with acceptable almost non-existent bass (due to small speaker size) overall. Soundstage would have been better if OPPO used a dual speaker setup though. Loudness level is a little above-average.

Thru headphones, the story is different. This handset has the ability to produce tons of bass. Yes, we are talking about both mid and even sub-bass. It'll just muddy the mids a little and lessen overall clarity of the frequencies. But, fans of heart thumping bass will enjoy this one.

Sound isn't on HiFi level though, but with proper EQ adjustment, getting natural tunes is quite possible. We just wished it to have more details and better detail separation. It has the ability to go loud as well.

Like the OPPO F3 Plus, the regular OPPO F3 has two microphones. One on top and one below. Quality for voice calls are close to excellent. Generally, capturing the details on voice recordings on quiet areas won't be a problem at all. For outdoor and noisy environment use, there will be some struggles.

Battery Life

Almost 11 hours!

OPPO has upgraded the battery of F3 to 3,200 mAh from just 3,000 mAh coming from the F1s. But, the screen resolution was also upgraded to full HD. It means that this handset will consume more power than the F1s with HD resolution only.

Impressive battery life!

Fortunately, the battery life of the OPPO F3 can still be considered as excellent! In our benchmark test, it clocked a score of 10 hours and 51 mins. Yes, that's more than 30 mins lower than the F1s score, but anything above the 10 hour mark is good.

In my personal actual usage (social media, some games, and lots of selfies), I recorded a screen time of 7 hours and 50 mins. That's good! It even has a low power mode and battery optimizations to further extend battery life. Charging time is 2 hours from 0 to 100 percent.

Camera

Main camera behind

Behind, the F3 is equipped with a 13 MP f/2.2 shooter. On paper, it's very similar to what we saw with the older F1s. But, this time OPPO highlights that can shoot better lowlight photos and has a better stabilization using its "Anti-Shake 2.0" technology. We assumed that it could some sort of electronic or software stabilization, not OIS like the higher-end F3 Plus.
Camera modes available

Anyway, most midrange OPPO camera phones, the F3 is loaded with Ultra HD, GIF maker, double exposure, and gorgeous color filters. The usual auto HDR function and expert camera mode is still there as well. For the expert camera, it has the same up to ISO (up to 1,600), shutter (up to 16 secs), and manual focus. Again, it isn't as robust as the software of other phone makers with better and more controls.
The expert camera mode

For the camera quality, focus speed of this machine is average in speed. Shutter speed is very quick though. Even on HDR mode, it'll need you less than a second to capture your subject. Focus on subjects up to 2 seconds near is possible as well.

Picture quality is great, midrange grade

Picture quality is great for its price too. We generally enjoyed its ability to take vibrant photos with great color accuracy at the same time. Meaning photos aren't dull, but not oversaturated. It isn't flat, but there's enough color punch.

Grains, however, will be more visible compared with the F3 Plus with wider f/1.7 opening to let more light in. Dynamic range will also suffer in lowlight. Don't get us wrong, for its class, the F3 is still a capable lowlight shooter. Use the flash, HDR, and expert mode for better photos.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight auto HDR
Daylight auto HDR
Sunset shot
Sunset shot
Indoor, close-up
Indoor, close-up
Trying produce bokeh in lowlight
Trying produce bokeh in lowlight
Long exposure via expert mode
Long exposure via expert mode
Light trails, long exposure
Light trails, long exposure

Selfie Camera

Dual selfie camera!

Technically, the F3 has the similar dual front camera setup found with the F3 Plus. That's the main reason why this handset very special. You'll get the same regular and wide angle mode at 16 MP f/2.0 w/ AF + 8 MP 120 degrees wide angle lens for less!
Selfie camera modes
Selfie camera modes

The settings are also identical with the F3 Plus. The filters are still there together with the bokeh "background blur" mode and intensive beautify levels. The 8 MP 120 degree secondary lens still can wow and fit a lot of people in a distorted fish-eye like frame.

Again, the image quality in front ranks among the very best if not the best out there. It has quick focus and shutter speed. Tap to focus for sharper images are also available. Like the F3 Plus, shots on daylight has plenty of details with ample saturation. It also has acceptable lowlight performance.

Arguably, this is the most exciting and feature packed selfie camera yet!

In lowlight, shots are still great, but more grains will be visible. Slight loss of detail would also be present. You can use the screen-flash when needed. However, it won't be just as good and natural looking compared to the soft-light flash.

Selfie Camera Samples

Groufie in daylight
Groufie in daylight featuring Manila Mash, Jaja Ramirez, and Angel Macaraig
Beautify vs beautify with bokeh
Beautify vs beautify with bokeh
Beautify bokeh in a well-lit condition
Beautify bokeh in a well-lit condition
Beautify bokeh indoor
Beautify bokeh indoor
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor groufie
Indoor groufie
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie featuring Techpinas and Pinoytechblog
Wide angle mode in lowlight
Wide angle mode in lowlight
Selfie flash
Selfie flash
Captured using the wide angle mode
Captured using the wide angle mode

For videos, this handset can shoot up to 1080p FHD videos on both back and front. The camera behind has acceptable object tracking, but it is shaky due to lack of optical image stabilization. Colors are the same compared to taking stills as well.

The front cameras can shoot FHD videos in wide angle mode!

In front, the quality of selfie videos is acceptable for normal mode. Interestingly, it can shoot videos in wide angle mode. Results taken with the selfie videos aren't as shaky compared with the rear camera.

Video Samples



Performance

Benchmark scores

Most sub PHP 17K handset are already packed with at least Snapdragon 625 chip, Helio P20, and Helio X20. However, OPPO opted for the "weaker" MT6750T chipset for dual camera support. Performance is decent for its purpose of social media usage and taking a lot of photos though.

Performance is decent for its purpose, but we expected a faster chipset!

Fortunately, OPPO paired this handset with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage with dedicated micro SD card slot up to 128 GB. With that, OPPO F3 users may multitask a lot and install or store lots of files and apps.

Note: Will add sample gameplay tomorrow, stay tuned!

Some heavy games are still playable though. NBA 2K17 will load properly on mostly low and medium settings.
OPPO's Color OS skin on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS
OPPO's Color OS skin on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS

For the OS, the F3 is boots with Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system out of the box. On top, it runs with OPPO's very own Color OS 3.0 skin. It's iOS like in style and overall look, but fortunately, this skin is clean and doesn't have annoying bloats. It's also one of those heavily skinned OS that isn't that annoying for me. It even has lots of gestures, features, security, and maintenance features.

OPPO also upgraded the fingerprint scanner in front. It's now using a "solid state" fingerprint reader that's now faster and more accurate. In one touch, your device will be unlocked. We also noticed that it works even when our fingers are moist.

Telephony-wise, both dedicated dual SIM card slots works. GSM and LTE signal quality are decent, but not as strong as the F3 Plus with six string antenna band design. GPS are also okay and Bluetooth works all the time. OTG support is also present in the settings area.

Pros - Sturdy metal build, Gorilla Glass 5 protected screen, vivid FHD resolution, ample 4 GB of RAM, large 64 GB storage, decent battery life, capable main camera, great dual selfie camera, wide selfie mode wows, dedicated micro SD card slot, super fast fingerprint scanner, nice signal reception
Cons - Not much change in design, chipset isn't the fastest for the price, bokeh blur doesn't work well all the time

Verdict

For its target users, anyone who loves to take awesome selfies or groufies all the time, the OPPO F3 did a splendid job. It's also a smooth performing handset with sturdy build quality, pleasant display, good main camera, and long battery life.

The general performance of this handset is also smooth sailing for its more lifestyle-centric purpose. It's great for most social media apps, multitasking, and even some 3D games. But again, we expected a higher-end and faster chipset for the price.

Build / Design - 3.75
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.25
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 3.75
Average - 4 / 5
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