Product Overviews

The Oppo N3 is the Best Phablet in Its Price Class

By October 29, 2014 No Comments
The Oppo N3 has the best front-facing camera available on a phablet.

The Oppo N3 has the best front-facing camera available on a phablet.

Phablets are the future of smartphones.

Don’t believe me? One look at Newegg’s list of best-selling smartphones should be enough to convince you. Eight of the top ten devices on the list have a display larger than five inches and the only two holdouts (Gold iPhone 5S and Space Gray iPhone 5S) will soon be replaced by the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Before you know it, every phone on this list will be a phablet and you’ll probably own one.

Defined as having screens between five and six inches, phablets are no longer considered “too big”. This large display has become the standard size for many smartphones and for good reason: It makes everything better.

And one phablet that offers something you won’t find anywhere else is the Oppo N3.

The Oppo N3 is Different

The Oppo N3 doesn’t feature the latest processor, best screen, or even the most RAM. But it has something that most smartphones lack and many people want: A good front-facing camera. And for the N3, this means having the most unique camera available today.

The N3 features a motorized camera that rotates 206° and allows you to capture images unlike any other smartphone. And with most smartphones having a front-facing camera between 1- and 4-megapixels, the N3’s 16-megapixel sensor is guaranteed to take the best selfies you’ve ever seen.

Oppo N3

Oppo N3 Camera Specs

  • Sensor
    • 16MP
  • Flash
    • Dual-Mode LED
  • Aperture
    • f/2.2
    • OmniVision OV16825
  • Scene Modes
    • Normal, Ultra-HD, Colorful Night, Beautify, HDR, Panorama, Audio Photo, GIF mode, Double Exposure, Auto Panorama, Super Marco, After Focus, Raw
  • Video
    • 4K Video @ 30 fps, 1080p Video @ 60 fps, 720p Slow Motion Video @120 fps

Having a high quality front-facing camera is something that’s not available on the vast majority of smartphones. This is somewhat perplexing when you consider how many people use apps like Skype, FaceTime, and Hangouts to communicate with each other. And with over one million selfies being taken each day, the need for a better front-facing camera has never been greater.

A Front-Facing Camera Matters

Oppo isn’t the only manufacturer improving front-facing cameras on smartphones. The HTC Desire 820 and Lenovo Vibe Z2 both have high-resolution 8-megapixel front-facing cameras. The Microsoft Lumia 739 and Sony Xperia C3 are both branded as “selfie phones”. But the Oppo N3 is the only smartphone that has a front-facing camera as good as the one on the rear – because it’s the same camera.

While new phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus, Galaxy Note 4, and Nexus 6 try to outperform each other in terms of performance; the N3 only offers modest hardware – about 75% of what it could be capable of. This doesn’t mean the N3 can’t compete with the competition, because it’s still powerful enough to do everything you need.

Oppo N3 Full Specs

Display: 5.5-inch AMOLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 403 ppi
Processor: 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad-Core (MSM8974AA)
RAM: 2GB
Camera: Rear/front: 16MP, f 2.2, OV16825 sensor, 4K video @ 30 fps, 120fps.
Front: 5MP, 80 degree wide angle
Battery: 3,000 mAh, VOOC fast charging
Storage: 32GB, 128GB expandable
Networks: GSM850/900/1800/1900
WCDMA850/900/1700/1900/2100
FDD-LTE B1/3/4/7/8/17/20/28-a/28-b
TD-LTE B40
Connectivity: GPS, microUSB 2.0, WiFi a/b/g/n, 5GHz, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
Software: Android 4.4 KitKat, Color OS 2
Dimensions: 161.2×77×9.9mm, 192 grams
Colors: White

 The specs may not make the N3 the most powerful phablet on the market, but the price reflects that. At $649 it’s cheaper than Apple’s and Samsung’s flagship phablets and costs the same as Motorola’s entry-level Nexus 6. But is a camera enough to convince you it’s a better phablet than the rest?

While most phablet owners use the front-facing camera on a daily basis, it’s not the primary purpose of their device. One of the biggest reasons people own a phablet in the first place is because of the display and while the N3’s isn’t bad, it’s definitely not as good as it could be.

The N3 does offer more than just a quirky camera. It has a fingerprint reader that makes the phone secure and an O-Click remote that allows you to control music playback, snap photos from a distance, and find your phone in case you lose it. And while these features can be very useful to owners, it may be hard to convince people to pay top dollar for a phablet that has good (not great) specs and the best front-facing camera of all time.

Or will it?

What do you think? Does the Oppo N3’s camera make it the best phablet available today? Is a front-facing camera a consideration when buying a new smartphone? Does the price tag of the N3 reflect its specs? Let us know in the comments below! 

Ivan Barajas

Author Ivan Barajas

More posts by Ivan Barajas

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  • Michael says:

    The one plus one is a well priced phablet at 300$ with a 5MP front camera with a 13MP rear camera. At half the price and better hardware it maybe the best phablet.

  • Eric Hidle says:

    The camera swivel is a mechanical disaster waiting to happen. The interconnect WILL wear out and the camera WILL stop working, eventually.

  • Eric Hidle says:

    I have a One Plus One and I like it, although I do not like the “phablet” form factor. It is useful but too large to carry around in a pocket.

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