The Oppo N3 is the company's second cameraphone phablet and it brings improvements on both those fronts. For starters it's now a tad smaller thanks to a 5.5" 1080p display, instead of a 5.9" one.
The rotating camera module on the top has seen changes as well. It can now rotate on its own - Oppo calls it Motorized Camera. The module rotates 206 degrees and can be rotated using the touchscreen or automatically.
The camera has been improved as well. It uses a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with a 16MP resolution, Schneider Electric optics, f/2.2 aperture, UHD video capture at 24 fps and Ultra image 2.0 suite.
The latter features pro-like modes such as slow shutter, ultra macro mode, Auto panorama with support for up to 64MP of resolution, tracking focus and RAW image support. The camera also has a dual-mode LED flash.
Camera aside the Oppo N3 has an industrial grade aluminum build, fingerprint scanner on the back, which it can use to unlock the phone, encrypt images and as a trackpad.
There's a Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330. The processor is a quad-core unit with each core pumping tasks at 2.3GHz. The storage is 32GB but you expand it up to 128GB via the microSD card slot.
The Oppo N3 relies on a 3,000mAh battery to power its latest phablet and has added support for VOOC rapid charging. The N3 can go from zero charge to 75% in just 30 minutes of plug-in time and promises to go 2 hours of calling after just 5 minutes on A/C.
The Oppo N3 is also dual-SIM with one microSIM and one nanoSIM both capable of stand-by at the same time. Interestingly the microSD card goes in the microSIM slot so you either have dual-SIM or expandable storage, similarly to what Huawei did with their Mate7.
The plastic on the back of the Oppo N3 feels premium and high-grade to the touch. It's matte which we prefer as it would be less scratch and smudge-prone.
The faux leather stitching around the Motorized camera is subtle but we would prefer the Oppo N3 without it. The fingerprint scanner is more than just a pad to run your finger through. 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 fingerprint scanner works very fast. Once we set up our fingerprint it was instantaneous to unlock the Oppo N3. It can memorize up to 5 fingers and the phone software can set up different guest accounts specific to each fingerprint user.
The Motorized camera module works really fast. It easily rotates the full 206 degrees if you press on it with a finger but you can also control it through various other means. In the camera app a if you hold and swipe up or down the module will rotate slowly. If you just swipe in either direction the module does a quick rotation. There's also a button for rotating the camera. The second generation O-Click remote also controls the rotation of the camera module via its multi-directional button.
The outer aluminum frame of the Oppo N3 extends a little towards the bottom of the phone and hides the speaker grille behind it.
The display of the Oppo N3 isn't the sharpest around if you look at it on paper. But look at it in person and you'll see there's no problem with the 401ppi of sharpness. Colors are punchy and pronounced and we liked the viewing angles as well.
Overall the phone doesn't feel as big as last year. We like Oppo's move to a smaller, if not small, screen diagonal. The fingerprint scanner is also easy to reach at the back and overall we like the feel of the phone in our hands. It's beautifully crafted which you can tell from the first time you set your fingers on its aluminum and matte plastic body.
As for the O-Click remote, it has moved in the opposite direction. It's now more advanced but also bigger. The button on it is multi-directional and can be used to control the camera of the Oppo N3 and not just locate the phone in a room.
The O-Click remote used to look high tech and cool but now just looks like a nicer-quality, white DSLR remote. Still it feels nice in the hand and probably will be easier to lose thanks to its larger size.