If you read a lot about smartphones, you’ll know they are all the same. Ok, stick with me here. They all have big screens, powerful processors, super-duper features, and for the average user they are much of a muchness. That’s why mobile phone companies need to innovate to get some air in the crowded world of smartphone choice – Oppo have created something very cool, but potentially with limited appeal.
A 5.5 inch screen, quad-core processor, 3rd generation Gorilla glass screen, Oppo’s Vooc charging system which throws 75% charge into the phone in just 30 mins, these are all good things for many smartphone buyers.
When Oppo unveiled the new N3 phone at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre in Singapore though, there was one feature which stood out.
On previous Oppo phones the camera at the top could be rotated by simply flicking it around with your fingers, this meant the full quality “rear” camera most smartphones have could also be used as your front-facing camera – in so many phones the front camera is a much lower quality shot.
With the Oppo N3 they’ve gone one, perhaps many steps further.
When in the camera app, a swipe up of the screen will flick the camera from front to back, a swipe down will flick it from back to front. Quite simple.
Now, I’m not sure I’m that lazy that I can’t move the camera myself, so I’m looking at the N3 with something else in mind.
With the Oppo N3’s automated swivel camera, panorama mode on the N3 is something very, very different.
On almost every other phone, you choose panorama mode, then press the shutter. You are then given an on-screen guide to keep the camera at a certain level while you turn your body or twist your hand to capture the surrounding environment.
They are shaky and often poorly stitched together unless you have the steady hands of a doctor.
Oppo’s N3 is different. You choose panorama mode, hold the phone still and press the shutter. The camera swivels on its own. Capturing a fantastic panorama.
Go one step further – Imagine this. Grab a tripod with a smartphone clamp. Sit the Oppo on the tripod, choose Panorama and you should capture almost the perfect photo taking in a 206 degree rotation of the area.
I for one cannot wait to try that out.
Aside from that, the Oppo N3 is big and bulky, this is not the thin-line story of the R5 – the N3 is built for photography almost first and foremost and should match some of the best in class when put to the test.
There’s one other thing – down the bottom of the phone there is a space between the phone body and a small strap below it, this space houses a notification light so you can (like back in the good old Blackberry days) get flashing notifications of alerts, plus, even Oppo admit that this space will help absorb impact if you drop your phone (directly on its base)
Trevor Long travelled to Singapore as a guest of Oppo Australia