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Oppo N3 is a camera phone you probably won't want

News by Luke Jones on Wednesday October 29, 2014.

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Chinese brand Oppo held a launch event in Singapore today, and while the R5 grabbed attention as the world's thinnest smartphone, it is the N3 that is the star of the company's range. The new flagship arrived and once again showed off Oppo's unique way of getting the most from both the rear and front facing camera. However, there is more to this handset than just a funky camera housing even if it does have some problems.

Of course, the camera is where we will start though. Just like the N1, the updated N3 comes with a swivelling camera module that houses a 13 megapixel lens. This allows the user to utilize the same high resolution lens for both rear and front facing shots, almost a perfect snapper for the selfie enthused. The big change for the N3 is that the swivelling mechanism is now motorized, so the user no longer has to manually shift the lens.

The 13MP lens itself is the same component as was found in last year's N1, and while it would have been nice to see an upgrade, bumping megapixels for the sake of it is hardly necessary. Instead of changing the resolution, Oppo has upgraded the supporting tech instead, so the snapper here gets a sensor size of 1/2.3-inch with a pixel size of 1.34um. An F/2.2 lens certified by Schneider Kreuznach gives stunning low light performance according to Oppo, while the company's Ultra Image 2.0 software as new features such as RAW images, an ultra-slow shutter mode, 4K video recording, slow-mo video and more. Other features include "HD Picture" (to make super detailed 64-megapixel images), "Slow Shutter," "Beautify," "Professional," "Super Macro," "GIF mode"

This is a camera phone first and foremost then, but the N3 is actually solid in other departments though and its specs will appeal to all but the current flagship crowd. It gets a Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage space and a 5.5-inch 1080p display and capacitive navigation keys. There is also a fingerprint scanner on the back, but I am willing to bet it is a half-hearted attempt and not a proper Apple Touch ID competitor. Like the R5, the Oppo N3 comes with VOOC rapid charging which juices the device from 0% to 70% in 30 minutes, a nice feature alongside the 3,000 mAh battery.

The specs are entirely respectable, but when I consider the price of the N3 it is hard not to think it is very expensive for what it is. The device will cost $649 when it lands around the world in December, and that folks is iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 money. Without the cutting edge flagship specs, Oppo is really saying that you will have to pay for a camera that turns around, and that's a bit of a tough sell. The company will also have to get serious about software too, with the original N1 hardly updated since its release last year, still embarrassingly running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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