ColorOS seemed well optimised with the hardware back in the F1 Plus. This time around, things have only got better. UI and software performance was flawless and the same can be said about gaming thanks to the Snapdragon 653 chipset inside.
Games like Real Racing 3, Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt Xtreme worked well on the highest settings and without dropping or skipping any frames. This smartphone indeed makes for a great gaming smartphone as well and that 4000mAh battery ensures that you can keep playing for quite a while before the juice runs out.
But as with every performance oriented smartphone, the device gets a bit warm. After half an hour or RR3 which is pretty graphic intensive, the phone became warm but not too hot or hot enough for me to close the app. The 4,000mAh battery left me gaming longer without the need to worry about making it through the day.
Call quality was pretty good. Audio was pretty loud through the earpiece and I often found myself turning down the volume by a few notches to keep my ears intact. Output through the headphones while listening to music was a great experience thanks to Dirac and the built-in equaliser was an added bonus too. Audio output through the speakers was both loud and clear. Oppo has done a fantastic job at keeping audio clear even when you max out the volume. The speaker is top notch.
The primary camera on the Oppo F3 Plus is a 16MP Sony IMX398 sensor. It’s a good one and with an f/1.7 aperture delivers good pictures in daylight with noise being under control.
The sharpness levels were spot on, but the details in the images don’t hold up when zooming into an image beyond 40 percent. The textures look a bit flat even in broad daylight, but the colours remain well saturated. My best guess is that the F3 Plus’s noise removal works overtime and kills the details. The camera has a tendency to overexpose, and it does so very frequently. Even HDR images can’t save the day at times.
There’s no OIS, and this becomes a major problem after the sun sets. Images shot have almost no detail, look flat and showcase lots of luminance noise. In short this is not a good smartphone for low light shooting in Auto mode.
Switching to the front-facing camera, I expected better. But frankly speaking, that was not exactly what I got. Maybe I expected a bit too much after the impressive F1 Plus, but the results of the selfies were not that exciting.
The front facing dual camera setup uses a 16MP unit through a standard lens while an 8MP unit is used with a 120 degree wide-angle lens. There is a toggle in the camera interface to switch between the two just like on the LG G6, only in this case it’s on the front of the device instead of the back.
The cameras produced good images in daylight with the usual over exposure problem. The metering system seemed to not work right as I often found myself in the dark when there was a light source behind me. This was not the case with the F1 Plus.
Move to low light and the cameras keep the noise in control but kill the details along with it. The results are not that impressive and the images can get blurry with little movement as the focussing system struggles to lock on quickly, which is not the case with the primary camera.
The lack of OIS was clearly felt and would have improved the situation by a large margin.
Indeed, the Vivo V5 Plus does a better job at selfies and captures a lot more detail along with better image processing.
Video recording was pretty good and delivered great 4K clips and Full HD video.
The battery inside the Oppo F3 Plus has grown along with the bigger display. And Oppo indeed seems to have squeezed the 4,000mah battery in tight considering how slim the device is for a phablet. Using our standard PCMark Work battery life test, we got a about 8 and half hours of continuous screen usage until the test halted at the usual 20 percent mark.
While it appears to drain fast when fully charged. That drop in battery life stops dropping quickly after the 90 percent. Post that, it goes on and on like the Duracell bunny. I managed to get over 2 hours of calling with just 5 percent of battery life. Which is pretty impressive as to how much you can squeeze out of this device. Turn the Low power Mode on and you can easily get at least 3-4 hours or even more.
And that is not the best part. Oppo’s VOOC fast charging means that you can get 2 hours of talk time with just a 5 minute charge. The phone speeds up while charging from 0-70 and then slows down a bit as it nears the 100 percent mark in a little over an hour which is good for a 4,000mAh battery.
Verdict and Price in India
With my experience of the Oppo F1 Plus in mind, I really wanted to like the Oppo F3 Plus, despite its larger than usual size. The design was spot on, the hardware is powerful and the battery life is great. But its imaging chops are a let down when you have used the F1 Plus and see how much more it delivered last year, something that is clear from its success in sales for Oppo as well.
Last year’s all-rounder has turned out to be a brute with less finesse. Oppo does get plenty right and at a Rs 30,990 asking price, it sounds like a good deal. But with the OnePlus 3T around in the same price range, it does not come close to the 3T’s raw performance numbers and also in the camera department.
Looking for selfies? The Vivo V5 Plus is a better deal and even better than the OnePlus when it comes to selfies, even with its Snapdragon 625 inside. If you have a lower budget, you could consider the Xiaomi Mi Max Prime, which also has a large display but is priced almost Rs 10,000 lower. Oppo F3 Plus does offer better construction quality and slightly better camera performance than the Mi Max Prime though, hence the price premium.
Publish date: March 23, 2017 5:10 pm| Modified date: March 24, 2017 2:16 pm
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