Vivo was the first smartphone maker to introduce a notch-less, full-screen display last year. And the trend has now caught up with other manufacturers too. The first half of 2019 is over, and we have half a dozen smartphones with a full-screen display with pop-up cameras. These include the Redmi K20, Realme X, OnePlus 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy A70, Oppo Reno and the Oppo K3 to name a few. We reviewed the Realme X recently and were impressed overall. Now, it’s time for the Oppo K3 Review.

The Realme X and Oppo K3 share a lot of similarities in terms of design, hardware and specifications. Both feature the same design, chipset, operating system and more. The differences come in the form of the camera sensor, RAM and storage, among other smaller things. The Oppo K3 is available via Amazon India at a starting price of Rs 16,990. Realme X, on the other hand, starts at Rs 16,999. Now, the question is, should you go for Realme X or Oppo K3? Let me answer that in my review.

Oppo K3 Review: Design

Off late, Oppo has been doing great in terms of smartphone design. This is evident if you look at the flagship Reno smartphone. The Oppo K3 is no different. You get laminated plastic back with smooth 3D curved edges. It not just looks beautiful, but feels premium too. There are two colors – Jade Black and Aurora Blue. I had the Aurora Blue color for review.

It features a dual-tone gradient back finish, and colors closely resemble Barcelona FC’s gradient. The phone has centrally aligned dual-camera modules along with an LED flash. The power button is on the left, whereas the volume buttons are on the right. The 3.5mm audio jack and USB Type C port are at the bottom.

The front is dominated by an edge-to-edge 5.5-inch FHD+ display with rounded corners. It is an AMOLED panel that offers punchy color reproduction and good viewing angles. The screen is pretty bright too, and viewing under direct sunlight isn’t an issue. The full-screen display is made possible thanks to the pop-up selfie camera.

The AMOLED screen has one more advantage, you get an in-display fingerprint scanner. It is an optical one, and is pretty fast in unlocking the smartphone. There is also face unlock, and every time the camera pops-up to unlock the phone. I found it to be quite quick as well. The only problem is, if the phone is in the pocket and the power button is accidentally pressed, the camera pops out, which could damage the camera.

Oppo K3 Review: Cameras

As I mentioned above, there is one key difference comes in the camera department. Both the Realme X and Oppo K3 come with dual cameras. But while the Realme X comes with a primary 48-megapixel camera + 5-megapixel (depth). Oppo has fitted a 16-megapixel primary snapper (f/1.7) with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Both are AI-enabled. The app interface is the same as you get on other Oppo and Realme phones. The camera supports nightscape mode for low light shots. There is dazzle mode that amps up the colors in photos by increasing the saturation.

The photo quality is a mixed bag. Day-light photos offer good dynamic range and colors. The camera also does 2X digital zoom and it is not bad either. The camera does struggle to focus when clicking close-up shots. Low-light photos are average. The nightscape mode offers marginal improvements, but the photos are just passable at best. Below are some samples.

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Talking about selfies, there is a 16-megapixel pop-up camera. It is able to capture decent photos with close to accurate skin tones and the dynamic range is good too. My problem is with the portrait mode, where edge detection is not quite up to the mark. Even after clicking multiple photos, I just couldn’t get the right picture. Below is the sample.

Oppo K3 Review: OS and Performance

Now, performance is one area where the Oppo K3 does not disappoint. It draws its power from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC paired with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The chipset and RAM combination, along with a well-optimized ColorOS 6 ensures a smooth experience. The ColorOS 6 skin is based on Android 9 Pie OS, and it has latest July 2019 Android security patch running.

Color OS also brings along some bloatware apps that can be a little annoying. For instance, there is Helo, which keeps sending notifications everyday, and they can be ugly at times. Then there is NewsPoint, which also keeps sending Bollywood, politics and other news. Thankfully, you can uninstall these apps if you don’t like. There is WPS Office, UC Browser, Webnovel, and DailyHunt all of which can be removed too.

Oppo has added boost option also which lets you clear cache and unwanted files. This not only clears some space on the disk, but also keeps the RAM free to ensure smooth performance. There is Game Space too, which clears RAM and background apps to ensure lag-free gaming. It also comes with smart dual-channel network to improve signal strength for better gameplay and reduce latency for games like PUBG and Asphalt 9: Legends. That app also blocks unwanted notifications for uninterrupted gaming.

Battery life

Be it using day to day apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Slack and more, or playing games, the Oppo K3 does not disappoint. The 3,756mAh battery with 20W fast charging ensures you can go all day long without needing a charge. I was able to get screen time of a little over 4 hours and 42 minutes. This included an hour worth PUBG session, watching a few videos on YouTube for 40 minutes, and the usual social networking – like Twitter, Instagram. Fast charging tops up the battery in about an hour and 20 minutes, which is another plus point.

Verdict: Should you buy the Oppo K3?

The Oppo K3 is a good smartphone in the mid-range segment. You get a good full-screen display with pop-up camera, a Snapdragon 710 SoC with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The performance is smooth, thanks to optimizations from Oppo. The fast-charging battery and battery life is good too. Camera performance is a mixed bag, but not too much to complain at this price point.

Talking about competition, you have the Redmi Note 7 Pro which comes with a slightly better camera and a slightly better chipset. Then you also have the Realme X, and choosing between Realme and Oppo will be a preference. The base model with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage of Oppo K3 is available for Rs 16,990. For the same price, Realme is giving 4GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The higher model of both brands come with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. And now the difference will boil down to design and camera preference. The Realme X with a 48-megapixel sensor offers marginally better camera performance. It will be up to users to decide which brand they prefer the most. Other wise, one can also look at the Samsung Galaxy A50, Galaxy M40 or the Vivo Z1 Pro.

FeaturesRealme XOppo K3
Price1699916990
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 710Snapdragon 710 SoC
OSAndroid 9 Pie with ColorOS 6Android 9 Pie
Display6.53-inch -FHD+, 19.5:9 aspect ratioAMOLED- 6.5-inch full HD+
Internal Memory4GB RAM + 128GB storage6GB RAM + 64GB storage
Rear CameraDual 48MP + 5MP16MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP16MP
Battery3,765mAh3,765mAh

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