OPPO redefines smartphone camera optics with flagship OPPO N3

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Sean Deng, CEO of OPPO Singapore with the OPPO N3
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Sean Deng, CEO of OPPO Singapore with the OPPO N3

OPPO today revealed its latest flagship Android smartphone — the OPPO N3, featuring a new auto-swivel camera featuring advanced optics, a world’s first.

Launched to a 1,200-strong crowd in Singapore, Sky Li, General Manager of OPPO’s overseas mobile phone business said, “The N3 is a perfect demonstration of our commitment to design and innovation.”

The OPPO N3 sticks to the successfully formula of the previous N1 — top-of-the-line specs and a unique rotating camera. This time however, the new device introduces a new trick — automated swivel, giving it the ability to rotate 206 degrees and take multi-angle shots, and automated vertical- and horizontal panorama shots.

New camera wizardry

The camera automatically swivels to the front when taking selfies. The swivel camera can be controlled in three ways – the O-click remote, gestures and touch.

The new 16MP OPPO N3 camera features a breakthrough mobile lens tech developed with Schneider Optics that can take 64MP high resolution images. Photography enthusiasts will be delighted that the new camera can capture in RAW format, something not seen since Lumia’s amazing PureView camera technology.

The camera module boasts a new 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, 30% larger than other smartphone cameras currently available and bigger 1.34 micrometer pixel size.

The next generation Pure Image processing technology — Pi 2.0 Plus brings advanced, intelligent camera features to the OPPO N3. Before you even press the shutter, Pi 2.0 Plus automatically sets white balance, optimum brightness, autofocus, face recognition and more.

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OPPO N3 live tracking
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Live tracking

A familiar N series

In terms of design, the OPPO N3 features an innovative hollow underside design that presents a light and textured feel to the phone, and shows user notifications. The hollow space houses the OPPO Skyline Notification Light 2.0.

There isn’t any major redesign of the N series form factor, as OPPO more or less stuck to the look and feel of the previous OPPO N1.

Specs-wise, the OPPO N3 is powered by a 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core chipset, not 805 as previously rumoured. It packs 32GB of storage, 2GB RAM and a 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display (403PPI) protected with Gorilla Glass 3. It is supports 4G LTE and a unique dual-SIM slot that is shared with the microSD.

OPPO N3 SIM tray
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Unique nano-SIM, and shared micro-SIM and micro-SD tray

Battery is rated at 3,000mAh. The OPPO N3 runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Color OS 2.0.

VOOC, OPPO’s outstanding proprietary rapid charging system is improved, this time, much smaller while providing effective rapid charging. A 30-minute charge will provide 75% battery life, while a five-minute charge allows for a two-hour call.

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Specs at a glance

  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD LCD (403PPI)
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
  • RAM: 2GB
  • ROM: 32GB (up to 128GB via microSD)
  • OS: ColorOS 2.0 (Android 4.4.4)
  • Rear/Front cam: 16MP
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (nano-SIM, micro-SIM)
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Colour: White
  • Functions: Fingerprint sensor, rotating camera, VOOC mini rapid charging
  • Network: 4G LTE
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Pricing and availability

The N3 will be available in the following markets: Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam and China.

Closer to home, the OPPO N3 will reach Malaysian shores at the end of December with an unconfirmed price range of RM1,998-2,098 (US$649).

Initial reactions

OPPO’s a new player in the smartphone race and in this short time has already made a mark for itself delivering some outstanding products and innovative technology. The swivel camera in the OPPO N3 might appear gimmicky, but once you’ve realised how useful it is for selfies, panoramas and acute angle shot-taking, you may not want to use any other smartphone camera.

The fact that it also shoots in RAW format is a big deal.

I’m not a huge fan of the form factor, nor the build quality per se, preferring the older Find 7, but it is distinct as a product, and will have its fans.

VOOC mini rapid charging is a big deal too, and I can attest to its effectiveness. Certainly not a marketing gimmick, if you were wondering.

Overall, a good effort by OPPO and a few party tricks that will help set it apart from the competition.

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