Oppo’s mad N3 smartphone is here, and it has a motorized, rotating camera

Oppo, the firm behind the crazy N1 smartphone with its rotating camera module, is back with the equally mad Oppo N3. Leaked and teased over the past few months, the new device has been made official at an event in Singapore. Its claim to fame? A motorized rotating camera module.

Rather than manually flipping the lens round to alternate between rear and front-facing views, a swiping gesture in the camera app sees the module quickly spin round, reducing the need to reposition the phone, or your face in the viewfinder. It’s also handy for taking panoramic photos, because the lens now moves itself. It’s quirky, unique, probably pointless, and utterly mad. We love it.

A new O-Click remote control comes with the N3, and the updated controls can be used to move the lens around, letting you explore new ways of taking photos. The main benefit of the N3’s rotating module is all your pictures will be taken with the same 16-megapixel, f2.2 Schneider-Kreuznach-lensed camera. Oppo has installed a software package it calls Ultra Image 2.0, which includes a slow motion mode, an ultra macro mode, manual operation, and an HD Picture mode for creating highly detailed, 64-megapixel images. Other features include 4K video recording, and the ability to shoot images in RAW.

The N3’s screen measures 5.5-inches and has a 1080p resolution, while the processor is a quad-core Snapdragon 801, along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage memory. The device is quite thick at 9.9mm, and it weighs 192 grams. Oppo has fitted its “Skyline” notification light at the bottom of the aluminum chassis. On the rear of the phone is a new fingerprint sensor, replacing the touch sensitive panel found on the N1. This time it can be used to unlock the device, and secure files and photos, the latter of which can be done straight after they’ve been taken.

How much will you pay for the Oppo N3? It’s priced at $650 without a contract, and it should be available before the end of the year, although an exact release date hasn’t been confirmed. Finding the phone in a local store is highly unlikely, but Oppo has its own online shop for selling its hardware, so it won’t be too hard to seek out if you’re tempted.


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