You must have heard of the adage that goes, “When it rains, it pours,” and that’s exactly what is happening in the Indian mid-range smartphone segment right now. Just when the dust around Realme and Xiaomi’s fight for the title of best mid-range smartphone is beginning to settle, OPPO has jumped into the arena. The OPPO K3, which was launched yesterday, joins the likes of Realme X and Redmi K20 in India. I was present at the launch event and managed to get my hands on the OPPO K1 successor for a brief duration, and here’s how I feel about the device.
The design of the OPPO K3 has what it takes to turn heads. OPPO has launched the K3 in two hues – Jade Black and Aurora Blue. While the former is a solid dark green colourway, the latter (pictured above) is a gradient finish that has blue and purple hues merging together with a wave-like pattern forming when the light hits it at an angle. The polycarbonate-clad device has a very glossy finish that looks premium, but is also very prone to smudges. You will find the power button with the SIM slot on right and volume buttons on the left. The bottom edge houses the 3.5mm audio interface, noise-cancelling MIC, USB Type-C port and speaker grill. On top, there is the hidden elevating mechanism for the selfie camera.
The OPPO K3 comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner, which the brand claims to be 28.5 percent faster and 10 percent more accurate than the previous generation. I am yet to put this claim through its paces, which will be done in the review. The OPPO K3 ships with a 6.5-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 91.1 percent screen-to-body ratio and Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The display was plenty bright and sharp in the dimly-lit venue.
Coming to the performance, the OPPO K3 ships with the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 AIE SoC under the hood. The processor is backed by either 6GB or 8GB RAM, depending on the variant. The former comes with 64GB storage and the latter gets 128GB memory, both UFS 2.1 standard compliant for faster data transfers. OPPO has also equipped the K3 with GameBoost 2.0, which enhances the overall gaming experience on the phone.
On the software front, the OPPO K3 boots the Android 9 Pie-based Color OS 6 out of the box. During my short time with the phone, the phone managed to switch between multiple apps with ease and animations were snappy as well.
Let’s talk about one of the highlights of the OPPO K3, the elevating selfie shooter. It is a 16MP camera that features a Sony IMX417 sensor with a 5P lens. Notably, this is the same selfie camera sensor as the one on the much more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro (review). The lens offers a 25mm-equivalent focal length, f/2 aperture and AI Beautification. For the safety of the pop-up camera, there’s Sapphire Glass lens cover and fall detection feature in place. OPPO claims that the camera takes 0.74 seconds to raise and can last over 5 years of usage, which is impressive.
As for the rear cameras, the OPPO K3 features a 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 primary camera backed by a 2MP depth sensor. The Sony IMX519 is yet another high-end sensor that has trickled down from the likes of OnePlus 6T and OPPO Find X. The camera app is loaded with features like Ultra Night Mode 2.0, Portrait Mode 2.0 and more.
Lastly, the OPPO K3 features a 3,765mAh battery, which is slightly smaller compared to the competition. However, it comes with support for VOOC 3.0 and USB Type-C, which should ensure quick top-ups. This is the same technology that’s present on the OPPO Reno and can charge up the battery in a flash.
With a starting price of Rs 16,990 for the 6GB variant and 19,990 for the higher-end model, the OPPO K3 shares its price tag with the Realme X in India. On one hand, the OPPO K3 offers more RAM (for the base variant) and support for expandable storage, while the Realme X offers more powerful 48MP + 5MP rear cameras. Therefore, it all boils down to the personal preference of the end-user in the end. Which one are you likely to pick among these two? Let us know in the comments.