The New Dimension of Smartphones, OPPO Mirror 3 Review

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OPPO, The Chinese smartphones manufacturer is known for its unique products. The company started its operations in Pakistan about a year ago with a focus on the high end segment. However now it seems that the company has changed its strategy and introducing mid-range and low end devices to attract masses.

OPPO has recently introduced a mid-range smartphone, Mirror 3 in Pakistan for a price of Rs. 22,900. The device has a premium built quality and the performance is quite up to mark. We’ve got the chance to do a hand’s on review of this device for your consideration. So let’s start with the design.

Design:

OPPO phones are all about their unique design and premium build quality and the Mirror 3 is no different at all. It has slightly rounded corners and the UV anti-scratch coating on the back. The back also has a dotted pattern, termed as the polka-dot texture design. Due to its coating it shines a lot, may be that’s the reason it is called Mirror 3.

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The front side is dominated by the 4.7″ IPS display with 720 x 1280 resolution which converts to 312ppi pixel density. The protective coating also covers the front side, making it totally scratch less. Despite the fact that it has a low resolution the screen looks quite vivid and bright. IPS panel makes sure that the visibility is good from each angle and the sun light visibility is also reasonable.

The phone is 8.95mm thick and weighs 126 grams, it is comfortable to hold and you can easily operate it with one hand. The ports and key positions are regular, above screen you’ll find the front facing camera, proximity and light sensors and the ear speaker. Below the screen, there are three touch sensitive keys for menu, home and back.

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The volume rocker and the power/unlock key is located on the right, nothing on the left. The 3.5mm headphones jack is on the top along with the IR blaster (you can use phone as remote) whereas the Micro USB port is on the bottom.

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On the back you’ll find the 8-megapixel camera, coupled with a single LED flash light and the loudspeaker on the bottom. Under the hood there are 2 micro SIM slots and one micro SD card slot, which can take a card up to 128GB.

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The build quality of this device is very good as compared to other devices available in this price range. The scratch less body is one of the main selling points as you don’t have to take extra care of your phone.

Operating System and User Interface:

Mirror 3 runs on ColorOS 2.0, which is OPPO’s take on Android customization. The current version of Android on this device is 4.4 KitKat. As per my experience, ColorOS proves to be one of the best Android customization to date. Unlike others (TouchWiz, Sense, EMUI), it actually is very fluid and there isn’t much bloatware.

The basic functionality is pretty much same as Vanilla Android ─ however you won’t get any application launcher and all of your apps are placed on the homescreen. ColorOS tries make the smartphone usage easier by providing shortcuts and key combinations. The on screen and off screen gestures have the best implementation. Just like many other current flagships, ColorOS also includes gestures, but these are not limited to “double tap to wake up”. In the settings you can find a menu labelled as Gestures & Motion. This includes on-screen gestures as well as more than a dozen off-screen gestures.

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When the screen is turned off you can double tap it to turn it on, draw a circle to quickly initialize the camera or a “V” to open the flashlight application. There are several other off-screen gestures and you can customize their function. There are also many system-wide gestures, like swipe with three fingers to take screen shot, adjust volume with two fingers and turn off the screen with double tap on home key.

OPPO has included some very useful applications in ColorOS; like backup O-cloud, Guest mode, App encryption and Permissions monitor. These applications ensure the security of your data and give you much control over the phone, eliminating the need of rooting the device.

Hardware & Performance:

The OPPO Mirror 3 is powered by the 64-bit Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S410 processor, clocked at 1.2GHz with Adreno 306 GPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal memory and external memory card support up to 128GB.

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The performance of this device is quite good and you won’t notice any lag. Resource hungry applications and demanding 3D games like Asphalt 8 runs trouble-free on this device. The browsing experience on this device is astounding and the scrolling of pages and loading heavy websites is smooth and fluid.

The Smart Remote Technology (IR Blaster) gives you complete and overall control for electronic devices, which means that you can control your Television, Air-conditioner and other home appliances with your smartphone.

Camera:
This phone is equipped with a Sony 8-megapixel sensor with a wide f/2.0 aperture and a single LED flash. On the front there is a secondary 5-megapixel camera for selfies and video calling.

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The primary camera is very impressive, it produces accurate colors and the noise level is very low even in low light shots. The images come out bright and sharp. The interface of camera application is very simple and easy to use. You can start shooting images or record videos with two big sized buttons on the right and above them is the thumbnail box.

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The plugin based Pure Image 2.0 software, provides you different schemes for shooting photos in a variety of environments. You can use these plugins to bring more clarity to your images. It also offers 8-secods slow shutter mode for still and slow motion video. The camera on the front also produces reasonable image quality and it can record 720p videos too, moreover it has very good result for VoIP calling.

Camera Samples:

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Battery & Charging:

The OPPO Mirror 3 is embedded with the Fast Charge Technology which is not fast as VOOC, but as per company claims it charges 60% faster than other smartphones. For Mirror 3 it takes 90 minutes to fully charge the 2000mAh battery of this device.

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The battery manager app ensures that you phone could be used for a longer period. So if the power is less than 40% at night it will remind you to charge the phone and when the power goes down 10%, the super power saving mode automatically kicks in.

Pricing & Availability:
Mirror 3 is available across Pakistan at a price of Rs. 22,900, this phone comes with one year Warranty of OPPO Mobile Technologies Pakistan. It is currently available in two colors, i.e. Grey & White.

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The Verdict:

The OPPO Mirror 3 is an excellent device in this price range. As compared to other devices, it offers unique features and the ColorOS runs fluent and smooth than any other Android customizations. Despite the fact that it is a mid-range phone and have some limitations of screen quality and hardware, the overall performance is quite satisfactory.