And before you ask: The F3 Plus isn’t quite like the Vivo V5 Plus, another selfie-obsessed smartphone, as the latter is made with bokeh in mind. By contrast, this phone boasts a dedicated cam with a 120-degree field of view on the front, ideal for shooting groufies and getting more of the background in the frame — selfie sticks be damned.
It’s like the ultra-wide-angle lens round the back of the LG G6, except it’s looking at the action from the face of the handset. It’s certainly a different, if not interesting, take on the dual-cam concept. Only we’re not so sure it’s better this way, especially for those who do not travel widely, and with a group of people.
As for the rest of the hardware, though, the F3 Plus is as great as anything out of OPPO’s labs, and this is without question one of the most likable giant phones introduced so far this year. Suffice to say, we’re pretty smitten by its charms.
Retail pricing in the Philippines for the OPPO F3 Plus — gold or black — is set at P23,990 or roughly $477. Pre-orders start tomorrow, March 24th. In-store availability will begin on April 1.
Retail pricing in the Philippines for the OPPO F3 Plus — gold or black — is set at P23,990 or roughly $477. Pre-orders start March 24th. In-store availability will begin April 1st.
Upsized OPPO R9s
For those familiar with the R9s — which we previewed in detail a while back — the best way to describe the F3 Plus is that it’s a bigger, faster version of OPPO’s upscale midranger from 2016. The outside is identical, with the company using the same metal design it debuted on the R9s, while also employing six antenna lines that cut across the top and bottom sections of the F3 Plus, without calling too much attention to them.
The location of the buttons and ports remain exactly where they were on the former, although they might be difficult to access this time round because of the larger footprint. That said, if you think the R9s (or the OPPO F1s) is too much phone for everyday use, or if it’s the ultimate blend of handling and one-handed use that you seek, then look elsewhere.
And then there’s the iPhone comparison, to which we say, sure, it resembles a modern Apple phone — but to a lesser extent compared to previous OPPO models. For one, the charging connector is different and of the microUSB kind. There’s also a hybrid tray for accommodating either a second nano-SIM or a microSD card of up to 256GB.
The front features a fast and accurate fingerprint sensor embedded in its home button and a 6-inch LCD display, with sub-2mm bezels on the right and left sides. That home button isn’t clickable; rather, you simply need to tap it to go to the home screen, or unlock the device when the screen is off or locked.
The panel itself — besides its massive size and full-HD resolution — is sufficiently bright and works flawlessly under direct sunlight. Colors are about as vibrant as the technology can deliver, and viewing angles are fantastic both horizontally and vertically. OPPO has also included an eye-protection feature for nighttime viewing.
Also taking up most of the front is a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, besting most other high-end phones for scratch resistance. Speaking of protection, it just so happens that OPPO has slipped in a form-hugging, clear TPU case inside the box. It incorporates a raised lip that wraps around the sides of the screen, which should help protect it against drops.
Inside, the OPPO F3 Plus sees a Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 system-on-a-chip (though it’s recognized as a 652 by Antutu Benchmark and CPU-Z) coupled with 4GB of RAM and a roomy 64GB of internal storage. It has four high-end CPU cores and four low-power cores for efficiency, as well as routine tasks and applications.
The resulting performance is sprightly; flipping through apps is a breeze, and only the most demanding of them could throw up a stutter or two. Games like NBA 2K17, Super Mario Run, and Mobile Legends run without any issues — and without causing the phone to heat up excessively the way others might.
Long-lasting, fast-charging battery
You know what the say about big handsets: They also come with big batteries (well, most of them, anyway). The OPPO F3 Plus is no exception, squeezing a 4,000mAh battery into a 7.4mm-thick frame. It will last a full day and a half between charges, or even two workdays if you’re judicious with your power usage. Which is more than we can say for a lot of entries in the premium segment.
The 4,000mAh battery will last a full day and a half between charges, or even two workdays if you’re judicious with your power usage.
But that’s not even the end of it. The F3 Plus supports fast charging over a USB port using the included VOOC rapid wall charger. We can confirm it is indeed fast. Faster than what we’ve seen other phones of this size and class pull off.
Most days, it took under an hour and a half to fully charge the battery. At one point, we stood next to a socket as the phone was resting on a table and saw the battery indicator jump to 33 percent from 1 percent — after just 20 minutes of charging. For a 4,000mAh cell, that’s beyond impressive and puts the F3 Plus at the forefront of elite performance.
At one point, we stood next to a socket as the phone was resting on a table and saw the battery indicator jump to 33 percent from 1 percent — after just 20 minutes of charging.
A different ‘Selfie Expert’
Finally, there’s the “Selfie Expert” moniker, which is true for the most part. The 16-megapixel sensor on the front that sits behind an f/2.0 aperture lens (with a regular field of view) does an excellent job of consistently churning out quality selfies, even in tricky lighting conditions. In typical OPPO fashion, there’s a screen-flash feature to brighten up your mug even more.
Perhaps the only point of criticism for some is that the purpose of the secondary 8-megapixel camera isn’t to add background blur or bokeh to a photo, during or after the fact. Instead, it provides a much wider field of view — to 120 degrees, might we add — which not everyone will find useful, or as useful as one that simulates depth for dramatic effect.
Resized sample selfies taken with the OPPO F3 Plus. Click this for the original files
Of course, we’re working under the assumption the average user prefers bokeh-style depth effects to wide-angle ones, but we could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.
The back-facing camera, meanwhile, is also 16 megapixels, with f/1.7 lens and dual-auto-focus pixels for fast and accurate focusing, which really makes a difference when shooting video. And staying on the subject, the main shooter can record up to 4K video at 30 frames per second.
Resized sample photos taken with the OPPO F3 Plus’ rear camera
The OPPO F3 Plus isn’t revolutionary, but it’s a great pickup for ambitious selfie-takers and people with big hands and even bigger battery-life concerns. At P23,990, it’s beyond the reach of most users, though still cheaper than a plus-sized iPhone or Galaxy S handset. Phones like this don’t come often, so the competition shouldn’t be too tough for OPPO’s latest — but different — Selfie Expert.
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