Oppo N3 review: Motor head

Motor head

Hristo Zlatanov, 26 December 2014.

Oppo N3 360-degree spin

The Oppo N3 is a hefty device by any measure. At 161.2mm tall, 77mm wide and 9.9mm thick, it's a tad thicker than its predecessor but a little lighter - still a hefty 192g.

It's looks immense compared to a 5.5" LG G3 (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, 149 g) and it can even give the 5.7" Samsung Galaxy Note 4 a run for its phablet money (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, 176 g).

The 5.5" Apple iPhone 6 Plus (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm, 172 g) is shorter and thinner and even the 6" Motorola Nexus 6 (159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm, 184 g) is shorter and lighter.

Ample retail box

Oppo, as usual, offers a generous retail package for its flagship smartphone. We're treated to their latest quick charger - the VOOC mini rapid charger. It's got a 5A A/C adapter that's said to charge the N3 up to 75% in just 30 minutes.

Next up is a fine pair of headphones with brushed metal accents, a set of various earbuds, a SIM ejector tool, a microUSB cable and the O-Click Bluetooth remote 2.0.

The O-Click remote works just like it did with the N1, pairing with the phone via Bluetooth. You can make the phone ring the remote or the remote ring the phone.

The O-click easily fits on a keychain, so you'll no longer scramble for misplaced keys. It works the other way around too - finding a misplaced phone.

The remote can be set to start beeping if you walk out of connection range to make sure you don't leave without your phone. The O-click will also flash upon incoming calls or messages if you have the phone on silent and it can also double as a camera shutter remote. This time around, it can also control the rotating module.

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The Oppo N3 retail box contents

Design and build quality

The Oppo N3's body is a mixture of polycarbonate and metal - what Oppo calls industrial-grade aluminum alloy 7075 micro-arc frame.

The design of the N3 follows the one of its predecessor, a tall forehead above the screen, housing the rotating camera, and a subtle chin accommodating the controls. The corners of the N3 are ever so slightly rounded but the phone still feels sharp and solid in the hand.

The aluminum frame feels a little cold to the touch, especially if you haven't been holding the device in your hands for a while. The matte surface on the sides provides enough grip.

The front houses the 5.5" 1920 x 1080px IPS LCD of around 403ppi. Above it is the most interesting part of the Oppo N3 - the motorized lens. On the front it houses the earpiece and the proximity sensor.

Under the display sit three capacitive buttons for menu, back and home. The keys are hard to spot against the black panel unless backlit.

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The Oppo N3 front and the motorized lens

The bottom of the Oppo N3 forms a subtle chin, which gets lit up by the N3's notification LED, forming what Oppo calls Skyline Notification 2.0.

The chin is part of the aluminum frame, which runs all around the device. At its bottom, are the main microphone along with a micro-grilled loudspeaker.

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The bottom arc • Skyline notification

The back is a matte polycarbonate surface with a metal Oppo logo near the top and a fingerprint scanner directly under it, which Oppo calls Touch Access. The software can handle up to five fingerprints and scanning doesn't involve swipes - just place your finger on it and you're good to go.

It acts as a button and trackpad as well - you can press it up or down and you can also control the camera and scroll through webpages with it, similarly to the O-Touch area on the back of last year's N1.

The second, noise-reducing microphone is directly below the motorized lens. The lens itself is housed in a premium plastic body with a faux leather finish.

The lens itself is slightly elevated on a metal plate of its own. Etched inside are two round elements - the dual LED flash and the 16MP camera lens itself. The optics are Schneider Kreuznach certified.

The lens can be moved 206 degrees with a finger but can also be moved via the touchscreen while in the camera app and also with the O-Click Bluetooth remote.

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The Oppo N3 back

The right side of the Oppo N3 has the 3.5mm headphone jack located high on the side. Under it is a volume rocker with pleasing press feedback.

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The Oppo N3 right side

The ejectable compartment is on the left side of the Oppo N3. It houses the main nanoSIM card and features a second microSIM compartment that doubles as a microSD card slot.

The power button is on the left - we found it very responsive although we needed some time to adjust to its location.

At the bottom left sits the microUSB 2.0 port.

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The Oppo N3 left side

There're no controls on the top of the Oppo N3 - this is where the rotating camera module is.

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The Oppo N3 top

The Oppo N3 is big and extra solid, the construction looks and feels premium. If Oppo had settled for a non-rotating camera lens, the phone's top and bottom bezels could have obviously been a lot smaller. Truth be told, the Oppo N3 is too big for a 5.5" device - but it has a better reason than most. The sturdy aluminum frame feels extra sharp and precise, too.

Reader comments

No it isn't, this phone is nothing like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.

  • aj

Can,somebody.tell me how to use the finger scan button as a trackpad button

  • Sid

Copy Of Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc s