Android manufacturers seem to be on the right track, as we recently launched a number of new, affordable phones that don't have a hole or notch in favor of an all-screen display. The best part is that these new phones – like the Redmi K20 (review) and Realme X (review) – aren't even as expensive. Realme's former parent company, Oppo, recently launched the Oppo K3 – its own version of Realme X. It is strikingly similar to Realme's current flagship.
The Oppo K3 has the same asking price as both versions of the Realme X and shows only slight differences to the design, the RAM and memory combinations as well as the technical data of the rear view camera. With a starting price of Rs. 16,990, is the Oppo K3 a good alternative to mobile phones like the Redmi Note 7 Pro (test) and the Vivo Z1 Pro (test)? Let's find out.
Oppo K3 design
This isn't the first time we've seen design similarities between Oppo and Realme phones, but the Oppo K3 is the most striking similarity so far. The dimensions and weight of the two phones are almost identical. As with the Realme X, the Oppo K3 can be a bit cumbersome to use with one hand. The laminated back also stains easily, but we didn't see too many scratches during the review period. The polycarbonate body of the Oppo K3 feels high-quality and robust.
The arrangement of the keys is identical to that of the Realme X. There is a dual SIM compartment on the right, but no expansion of the internal memory is planned. The single speaker, USB Type-C port, and headphone jack are at the bottom and the pop-up selfie camera is in the middle. It also has sapphire crystal protection for the sensor.
The 6.5-inch AMOLED display on the Oppo K3 offers Full HD + resolution and Gorilla Glass as scratch protection. A screen protector is pre-assembled, which can be annoying quickly because the edges feel rough. The AMOLED panel produces powerful colors and has good brightness. Here is a built-in fingerprint sensor that can be quickly authenticated.
The Oppo K3 is available in the colors Aurora Blue (which we have) and Jade Black. The two-tone purple and magenta finish looks striking, and the lamination creates some cool visual patterns when light falls on it.
The scope of delivery of the Oppo K3 includes a VOOC 3.0 quick charger, a USB-C cable, a protective cover, a SIM eject tool and a warranty brochure.
Oppo K3 specifications and software
The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, a relatively low-power chip with good CPU and GPU performance. The Oppo K3 is available in two variants – one with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage at a price of Rs. 16,990, and the other with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage which is priced at Rs. 19,990. We have the 64GB version, which offers a reasonable amount of storage, although in the long run it may not be enough if you collect media files and WhatsApp forward.
The Oppo K3 also supports dual 4G VoLTE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, USB OTG, GPS and the usual sensors. There is no notification LED on the phone, but you can activate a permanent screen that shows a clock and warnings about missed calls and text messages, but unfortunately not much else. The Oppo K3 has an FM radio that was missing on the Realme X.
The Oppo K3 runs on ColorOS 6, which is based on Android 9 Pie. Our device also had the latest Android security patch for July. The user interface is easy to get used to and offers a number of different shortcuts and gestures that we recently saw on phones like the Realme X itself. The Oppo K3 also features Dolby Atmos, which is enabled by default when the phone's speaker is used.
In most cases, ColorOS won't spam you with unnecessary notifications, which is the case with some custom skins like Xioamis MIUI. The Oppo AppStore app does this a little if you've just set it up, but you can turn off push notifications in the app's settings.
There are a number of pre-installed third-party applications like NewsPoint, UC Browser, Dailyhunt, etc., but they can all be uninstalled when they are not needed.
Oppo K3 performance and battery life
Testing the Oppo K3 gave us a keen feel for Deja Vu as we only used the Realme X recently and the overall experience is very similar. The phone feels a bit bulky in the pocket, and one-handed operation isn't the easiest, even if you have big hands.
The Oppo K3 can sometimes feel a bit slippery, but luckily there is a suitable case in the sales packaging. Android runs well; The surface feels fluid and we didn't notice any warming. The back gets a little warm when playing, but it's the normal way.
Speaking of which, the Snapdragon 710 SoC in the Oppo K3 has good integrated graphics functions and can even execute graphically demanding titles without any problems. We tried the usual suspects like Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile, both of which went well with high graphics settings.
The large display may be awkward for normal use, but it's a bonus when watching movies or games. Thanks to the good color saturation of the AMOLED panel and its high brightness, media are generally very pleasant. In addition, the speaker amplified with Dolby Atmos sounds full and gets quite loud.
The Oppo K3's pop-up camera has a very fast eject and retract mechanism that makes face recognition work seamlessly. In poor lighting conditions, the screen compensates for the lack of light, so you can still unlock the phone with your face.
The Oppo K3 has a 3,765 mAh battery that has exactly the same capacity that is used in the Realme X. Not surprisingly, the results of our battery loop test were also very similar. The Oppo K3 ran 14 hours and 46 minutes in our own HD video loop test and easily ran for a day and a half under normal use with workloads like social apps, video streaming and a little camera use, a bit of gaming and a few calls. The included quick charger can charge the phone from zero to about 52 percent in half an hour and to 91 percent in an hour.
Oppo K3 cameras
The rear view cameras of this phone differ from the Realme X not only in the arrangement, but also in terms of the sensors used. The Oppo K3 has a 16 megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of 1: 1.7 and an auto focus with phase detection. There is also a 2 megapixel depth detection camera for portrait mode.
The Oppo K3's autofocus system is fast and doesn't take much time to focus on a subject. There's also hardly a shutter delay, so saving photos is quick once you press the shutter button. In landscapes with daylight, we noticed good details, colors had a nice saturation, and HDR worked well to balance the exposure.
The camera app also has the "Chroma Boost" function that we saw on Realme phones. Only here it is called "Dazzle Color". The same applies to the night mode, which is simply called "night" instead of "night landscape". Close-ups showed good sharpness and level of detail, although the camera's AI can over-emphasize the primary colors a little too much, which sometimes makes them seem a bit disturbing.
Photos taken indoors under artificial light also performed well. There was a lot of detail, colors looked fine and there was not much noise. The focus speed was pretty good too. When shooting outdoors at night, the Oppo K3 managed to get relatively clean shots, but the details were a bit weak. This can be fixed with the Night Shot mode, which improves the brightness of dark areas, corrects overexposed areas and highlights more details in a scene.
The Oppo K3 has a 16 megapixel selfie camera that takes good selfies even in backlight. The HDR is very effective here and manages to get good details on your face while objects in the background are still well exposed. The camera struggled to capture good details in low light, although the screen flash helped a bit. We also found that the default settings for skin smoothing beautification are somewhat aggressive. So it's best to leave them off. Selfie's shot in portrait mode does not have a very pleasant blurring effect and edge detection is poor.
Portraits of people taken with the Oppo K3's rear view camera in standard mode had good details, but the skin tones were a bit warmer. However, shooting in portrait mode does not result in a very satisfactory blur effect. Skin structures are automatically smoothed (both face and hands) and the blurring effect is somewhat unnatural. Edge detection is good, however. The phone does better when shooting objects in this mode.
For videos, the Oppo K3 can record with a resolution of up to 4K, but without stabilization. The image quality is good, but the colors appear slightly enhanced. Continuous autofocus is very fast and there is absolutely no hunting when the focus is switched between two subjects. You get stabilization at 1080p, which works well. In poor lighting conditions, the picture quality is above average and the noise is well suppressed.
The camera app is easy to use and there is an option to activate Google Lens via the viewfinder as well as the standard recording modes such as time-lapse, panorama, expert and slow-motion.
The Oppo K3 has enough merit to make it a decent all-rounder, but Oppo couldn't have found a worse time to launch this phone. The 64 GB model we have is just as expensive as the basic version of the Realme X (review) with 128 GB storage space. On the other hand, the Oppo K3 has 6 GB of RAM compared to 4 GB on the Realme X. The cameras also differ slightly, and in our experience the Oppo K3 is almost the same as the camera performance of the Realme X. No doubt that these two phones will contribute to each other in sales because they are very similar.
Your choice will ultimately be limited to your preference for color and may even be based on the availability of one or the other. With the two basic models, we tend to use the Realme X, because despite the lower RAM memory you get twice the storage space, which in our opinion is much more valuable, especially since you cannot use a microSD card with the Oppo K3. Competitors like the Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) and the Vivo Z1 Pro (Review) either offer more storage space or at least the option to expand it at about the same price.
The Oppo K3 is an exclusive online phone and only available through Amazon. However, due to the open sale, you should most often, if not always, have it in stock. The Realme X, on the other hand, is available in online flash sales and should soon also be available in offline Realme stores.
The top-end version of the Oppo K3 has the same RAM and storage space as the corresponding Realme X and is also priced the same. Choosing one of them ultimately depends on which brand you prefer and which is more readily available, as you can't go wrong with either.