Smartphones with pop-up selfie cameras are getting affordable and common day-by-day. One of the most affordable smartphones to feature a motorised pop-up selfie camera is the Oppo K3. The smartphone provides users with a fullscreen display without the use of a notch or a punch hole and that’s what it sets it apart in the under Rs 20,000 price segment.
Oppo K3 starts at Rs 16,990 and stands as a good competitor to devices like the Realme X and the Vivo Z1 Pro. The phone is the successor to the Oppo K1 launched last year, which was the first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor at that price point. I have to say that Oppo has improved the quality of the polycarbonate when compared to the Oppo K1. But I still recommend that you use this device with a protective case as the back gets covered in fingerprints easily. But the body feels quite sturdy for the new Oppo K3.
Oppo K3 looks quite similar to the Realme X and Oppo F11 Pro. If you were to remove the branding from the back it would be quite hard to differentiate the devices.
Oppo K3 specifications: 6.5-inch full HD+ AMOLED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor | 6GB/8GB RAM | 64GB/128GB internal storage | 3,765mAh battery | 16MP motorised pop-up selfie camera | 16MP+2MP rear cameras | ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie
Oppo K3 Price in India: Rs 16,990 for 6GB RAM/64GB storage and Rs 19,990 for 8GB RAM/128GB storage.
Oppo K3 review: What’s good?
The 6.5-inch AMOLED display might be cumbersome to use for some, but I found it quite nice. I appreciated the extra real estate on my screen for videos and gaming. The screen adjusts to the light around you well and I had no problems viewing it in bright outdoors or in the dark.
The AMOLED panel has good colour saturation and high brightness. The images seem quite good and have that extra punch of colour to help them stand out. Due to it being an AMOLED display utilising an overall black theme with dark wallpapers will also help you in saving a lot of battery.
Oppo K1’s USP was the in-display fingerprint sensor, which for the time was quite good. The company has worked on the technology a bit more and improved it. I really liked the performance of the in-display fingerprint sensor on the Oppo K3 as it is quite fast and smooth. The company has also provided its consumers with another way to unlock the device, Face Unlock. I found the Face Unlock to be better than what I have seen from the company in the past.
I never liked Oppo’s ColorOS skin a bit in the beginning. But it has now improved. My major issues were that Oppo’s smartphones did not come with an app drawer and to access the quick settings toggle, I had to swipe down from the bottom, which is not the case on most other Android devices. The company has fixed all of this and made Oppo’s ColorOS quite usable. There is an app drawer and accessing settings is no longer confusing. Another welcome change is the USB Type-C port on the Oppo K3.
Speakers on the phone are quite good and can give you a good experience while consuming media or playing games. The overall sound experience is enhanced thanks to the support for Dolby Atmos.
Oppo K3 is backed by a 3,765mAh battery, which is the same capacity battery that has been used in the Realme X. The 3,765mAh battery of the K3 managed to impress me. In our video loop test, we got a battery life of around 15 hours and 36 minutes, which is quite impressive. During my daily usage, the device lasted till the next working day with around 30 per cent battery left. With heavier usage, I was still able to get a full day’s worth of battery. Oppo’s VOOC 3.0 charging is one of the standards to match in the smartphone market. The phone would get to 50 per cent charge in just half an hour and was fully charged within one hour and 17 minutes.
Oppo K3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor paired with an Adreno 616 GPU. The processor performs exceptionally well, which is what one would expect. The device was able to handle all of my daily tasks including making calls, replying to emails, taking images, browsing social media, playing games and more with ease.
Multi-tasking and multi-browser is a breeze. During my tests, I opened 27 apps and continued to switch between them rapidly, the phone did not kill off any of the apps and did not show any lag while doing this. In the multi-browser test, I tested five browsers with 20 tabs opened up in each one of them. I switched between all of the browsers and tabs, and only at very rare occasions I was finding the page to be reloaded.
Oppo K3 was able to run graphic intensive games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends smoothly without any lags or stutters at high graphic settings. The gameplay experience was quite good, and playing games with the surround sound effect and good microphones improves the overall experience. Another good point to note is that the device doesn’t heat up much while playing games in high resolution for long periods of time.
Cameras is an area where the Oppo K3 is different than the Realme X. The Oppo K3 comes with a 16MP primary sensor on the back with an f/1.7 aperture paired with a 2MP depth-sensing camera. One of the best things I found about the device was its focus and shutter speed. The Oppo K3 quickly focuses on the subject after which a user can simply click the shutter button to grab the photo.
Images taken in good lighting conditions came out with good colours, saturation and detail. The HDR mode worked quite well. It took some time and stable hands to grab good photos in the HDR mode. The device also comes with a new mode called Dazzle Colour, which made the colours in the images pop a bit more than usual. The Night mode is something I did not find that good and would want the company to work on it.
While taking photos, the AI mode is turned on. I would recommend that you turn it off as it makes the colours pop a lot and softens everything, thus making the image look highly edited and not that good at times.
Images taken with the Oppo K3’s 16MP motorised pop-up selfie camera in good lighting conditions turn out well. The selfies have details, accurate colours and a good amount of exposure. I would once again recommend that you do not use the AI beauty mode.
Oppo K3 review: What’s not so good?
Even though Oppo has made changes to its ColorOS skin, it doesn’t mean that all is well. The company still bundles a number of bloatware apps onto it. This is an issue as I like to only download the apps I prefer on my phone and have no extra bloatware. Thankfully Oppo lets users delete all of the bloatware apps that come bundled with the device.
The device doesn’t come with any sort of an LED notification light on it. Some Android users will miss this though I would not call it a dealbreaker. You will need to keep your eyes on the always-on display, which lights up to provide users with the necessary notification updates.
The Oppo K3 doesn’t fare that well in taking images in low light conditions. The shots taken are okay enough to use on social media websites, however, the details remain weak, images look grainy and dark. Shifting to the night mode does brighten the images, but the noise remains.
While testing out the portrait mode of the front camera, I found that the device is not able to make a really good background blur and the edge detection is also not accurate. The front camera also struggled while taking photos in low light conditions.
Oppo K3 review: Verdict
Both the Oppo K3 and the Realme X are similar phones with a few differences here and there. Still, I found the Oppo K3 to be a really good performer under Rs 20,000. The device has good performance, battery and cameras. My major cons were the low-light performance, which is still an issue for phones in this segment. If your budget is under Rs 20,000, Oppo K3 can easily be considered given what it offers.