OPPO Mirror 3 is one of the latest mid-range Android smartphones which was launched earlier this year. It recently landed at our door step, all ready to be reviewed. As usual, before getting started with the in-depth OPPO Mirror 3 review, let’s get to know it a bit more. Mirror 3 unlike previous OPPO entry-level devices is not only easy on the eyes but also has improved offerings under the hood. It is available in only two colors White and Blue, and would cost you 22,900/- PKR (~230/- USD).
OPPO Mirror 3 comes in a cardboard box which is in a cardboard wrap. There is not much printed on it, just Mirror 3’s picture on the top and a few basic specifications at the back. Opening the cardboard box after sliding it out of the cardboard wrap, you’ll find the OPPO Mirror 3.
Underneath the device is the usual stuff, which is:
- 2000 mAh Li-Po battery
- Charging adapter
- USB cable
- Some reading material (Quick Started Guide, etc.)
Design & Build Quality
In comparison to the previous entry-level OPPO smartphones, the Mirror 3 has a lot better look and feel to it. It is 8.9mm thin which is not too much thick and not too much thin, hence providing the ideal grip a smartphone should have. Amongst the usual touch buttons, sensors and speaker grill, you’ll also find a decent chrome strip that goes around the edges on the front of the device.
Highlight of the Mirror 3’s design is not it’s front but the back. On the back, Mirror 3 has a simple and nice polka-dot texture which is covered with a scratch resistant UV coating. This coating is able to save the device from most minor cuts and bruises. You’ll also find the loud speaker grill on the back of the device, which is why when you put the device back side down, ring tone and notification volume is significantly decreased.
Left side of the device is clean while the right side hosts the volume rocker keys and the power button. Both of which are quite thin and can be uncomfortable for use. Not to forget, they feel quite delicate and might start troubling after sometime of use.
On the bottom of the device is the microUSB v2.0 port and a microphone. On the top you’ll find the IR blaster in the center and a 3.5mm headphone jack plus another microphone on it’s sides. The IR balster on the OPPO Mirror 3 allows you to use your device as a remote for a wide range of electronics.
OPPO Mirror 3 has a removable back-cover under which you’ll find the microSD slot, two microSIM (3G + 2G) slots and the battery. Sadly, battery blocks all the three slots therefore Mirror 3 does not support hot-swapping the microSD card or the microSIM cards.
Performance & Battery
OPPO Mirror 3 with a 64-bit 1.2GHz Quad-core processor with the Snapdragon 410 SoC and a Adreno 306 GPU. On paper it seems as if the device should be able to run Android flawlessly but regrettably that is not the case. That is mainly due to the fact that the Mirror 3 only has a 1GB RAM, out of which only ~300MB is free for use when no app is running. Another contributing factor is that Android v4.4.4 (KitKat) is 32-bit and hence doesn’t fully utilize the capabilities of the processor.
Keeping all that in mind, it is no shocker that the AnTuTu score of the Mirror 3 is not that good. However, you should not forget that Mirror 3 is an entry-level device. For which it performs quite well, it does lag time to time but most entry-level Android devices would do that so it should not be a deal breaker.
Battery timings of the OPPO Mirror 3 are quite average. It has an average 2000 mAh Li-Po which is user replaceable. Under normal usage it gets you through a day without needing a recharge. Mirror 3 also has a fast charging technology which is not as fast as the OPPO VOOC but still completely charges the device in 90mins.
OPPO has bundled the Mirror 3 with ColorOS 2.0 which is there customization of Android. Unlike other manufacturers, OPPO doesn’t include bloatware within there ColorOS. On the contrary, ColorOS is undoubtedly good but still needs quite a few improvements before it can compete with Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense UI.
ColorOS starts off at the lock-screen where it has the current date, time and weather information. At the bottom you’ll find the three icons to directly unlock onto the home, phone or messages app. You can also swipe left to launch the camera or swipe right to access different pages where you can add widgets.
Landing onto the home-screen you’ll immediately notice the missing app drawer. This is because the ColorOS follows the iPhone-ish approach and lays down all your app icons onto different pages of your home-screen. Since this is Android so in addition to app icons, you can also have widgets as one would expect.
OPPO’s ColorOS also comes with a very useful Security Center application. It had features such as memory cleaner, app encryption, permission monitor and guest mode which provide you a higher degree of control over your device’s data than a regular Android phone.
Other built-in applications include phone, messages, contacts, weather, photos, video, music and theme store app. All provide the basic functionality that one would expect from them. Though, some of the applications still need improvements e.g. at the moment contacts app doesn’t allow to link similar contacts.
An important set of applications that comes bundled with ColorOS includes Near Me Cloud and Backup & Restore. Both allows you to backup your data (contacts or sms), settings and applications. Near Me Cloud even allows you to find your phone in case it get’s lost.
OPPO Mirror 3 has a 8MP primary camera with a LED flash. Camera app on the OPPO Mirror 3 is quite simple in use. There are three buttons at the bottom (in portrait mode) which allow you to make videos, take pictures or goto the gallery. You can also drag open the tray and choose from different modes which include slow shutter, expert mode, beautify, HDR and more. Other camera settings can be accessed from a bar at the top.
Image quality of the OPPO Mirror 3’s primary-cam is decent for an entry level device. Images appear to be quite sharp and have true colors most of the time. Though, sometimes when there is a bright backlight, your images would appear darker than you might expect or in some cases indoor images might be dull as well.
Mirror 3’s video quality isn’t exactly breathtaking instead it’s average. Since there is no OIS, the videos do appear to be shaky if you’re moving while recording.
OPPO Mirror 3 Review Wrap-up
OPPO Mirror 3 is a decent entry-level device and for what it costs, it’s better than many of the competing devices. Build quality of the device isn’t exactly premium but it isn’t cheap either. Mirror 3 is quite simple, slim and the polka-dot texture on the back really catches your attention.
Underlying hardware of the Mirror 3 is also exactly what you can expect in an entry-level smartphone. Only if it had 1.5 or 2GB RAM, it could’ve probably been the best entry-level smartphone but still this isn’t a deal breaker since it runs quite smooth most of the times. Camera quality is also good enough for you to catch your memorable life moments. Also, the Mirror 3 quite easily lasts a whole day (under normal usage) and this is what most of the other smartphones offer.
All in all, OPPO Mirror 3 is a reasonable smartphone which can be a viable option if you’re considering buying a new entry-level Android device. What are your thoughts about the OPPO Mirror 3? Do share with us in the comments below.