Advertisement

When it comes to good looking phones coupled with some nifty features, O+ is certainly up there on the list. One of their latest offerings, the O+ Ultra 3.0, boasts a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a whopping 144GB of storage, an Ultra HD camera, and a 4700mAh battery. Quite a good recipe i’d say. But how does it perform as a day to day driver? Does it justify its PhP 8,995 price tag? Let’s find out in this full review:

Design and Build Quality

The overall design of the Ultra 3.0 isn’t anything striking, but like some people say, simplicity is beauty, and that is certainly the case here. The front is covered in 2.5D curved glass, which is a nice touch as it adds a more premium feel. The side panels are in a different color (in this case, gray) which gives a good contrast to the design. The back has a matte finish to it which makes it easier to get a good grip during one-handed operation. Overall, the device does feel solid and well-built.

Advertisement

oultra_3_unit2

Up front is the 5.5-inch 720p display, LED Notification Light, the slew of other sensors, and Front Facing Camera with Flash

oultra_3_unit8

At the back is an 8MP Camera with Flash. The back is also removable, giving you access to two Micro SIM Card Slots. I’m not sure what they were thinking here, but for me, its easier to pop out a SIM Tray from the side than to remove the back cover, especially considering that the battery is non-removable, and there is no MicroSD card slot.

oultra_3_unit9

oultra_3_unit21

On the right, you’ll find the Volume Rocker and Power Button, which despite being a little wobbly, are clicky and responsive.

oultra_3_unit5

Up top, you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack

oultra_3_unit7

Down bottom, are two speakers and a standard MicroUSB port

oultra_3_unit6

Display

The 5.5-inch 720p display has a cold color temperature, which is soothing to the eyes, but makes colors appear less-pleasing. And while brightness is excellent, text isn’t that sharp, and some icons appear a little washed out. And while it’s not the best 720p display out there, it should be decent enough for the average user. Still, a bump to 1080p wouldn’t be so bad though, considering the screen size.

oultra_3_unit1

Performance

O+ Ultra 3.0 Quick Specs

  • 1.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 2GB RAM, 144GB of Internal Storage (As Marketed)
  • 5-inch HD Display, 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 8 MP Rear Camera/ 5 MP Front Camera
  • 4700mAh Battery
  • Dual SIM (2 x Micro)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Benchmarks

General Use

While the Ultra 3.0 handled day to day tasks such as Email, Web Browsing, Social Media, YouTube Videos, Music, and a Picture Taking with no issues, there are some things that I think should be pointed out.

While the device is being advertised with 144GB of storage, you will only be able to use around 128GB, as the remainder is reserved for use by the operating system. Take note that the operating system alone took 16GB from the advertised total storage.  Personally, that’s more than enough for me, but I can tell some people aren’t going to be happy about it. Basically, the absence of a MicroSD card slot takes away the flexibility of adding more storage space when the need arises.

According to O+, as total storage goes up, the more storage has to be reserved for the operating system to use.

Also, the device isn’t LTE ready, which is really a big letdown. Most devices at this price range, and even some cheaper one’s are, so I’m not really sure where they are coming from by not including what I think is a very essential capability.

Gaming

The Ultra 3.0’s processing package was powerful enough to handle DJ Max Technika and Asphalt 8, but If you’ll notice from the gameplay video below, there were some instances in Technika that my input was not immediately recognized by the device, fortunately, the game’s low-spec mode can solve that. Asphalt 8 was less problematic, as it ran without any issues, at least on Medium setting.

 

Audio

The sound coming from the speakers noticeably lacks clarity, though base is present. It’s also not that loud compared to other devices, even when maxed, and it’s almost the same case when using headphones. Overall, the audio quality from this device is decent at most.

oultra_3_unit11

Camera

The 8 MP rear shooter which they claim as an Ultra HD camera, takes decent photos at best. Focus takes a few seconds; and even at good lighting conditions, there was a noticeable amount of graininess to the photos. Sharpness could use some work too. Colors are, however, represented accurately at least.

The 5MP front camera does do a good job of taking good selfies though:

The default camera interface only covers the basic shooting modes like Panorama and Face Beautification. It does however give you the option to tweak some elements such as ISO, White Balance and Exposure from the settings menu, and as always, you can just opt to install a 3rd party camera app.

Software

One good thing about this device is that it comes with Android 6.0 out of the box, and I think O+ has actually done a good job of keeping the bloatware to a couple of apps. Most of the UI is stock, which in turn contributes to better performance. Navigating the UI is generally smooth and I like the way they tweaked the icons to make them more colorful and feel more lively.

Battery

The 4700mAh battery is a monster. Using my video test which involves looping a video at 50% brightness and 80% volume, The Ultra 3.0 was able to churn out around 13 hours of on-screen time in a single charge. And considering the thin form factor of this phone, it’s amazing that they were able to fit in a battery of this capacity. Charging time, however, is about 3.5 hours from 1% to full. This is actually good considering how big the battery is, and the absence of any fast charging capability.

oultra_3_unit14

 

Verdict

While the O+ Ultra 3.0 has certainly a couple of tricks up its sleeve such as excellent battery life, stock Android, and a good design. There are however, more things that are seemingly questionable about it. The processing package is only decent at best, and so is the display. Sound quality is even less than that, and the absence of LTE and expandability makes it even a little unattractive for some. To top it off,  they’re asking an PhP 8,995 pricetag. It’s by no means a bad phone, but I think that considering to repricing it a little lower can make more highly competive in the smartphone space.

The Good

  • Overall Design
  • Stock Android (At least most of it)
  • Excellent Battery Life

The Not So Good

  • Decent performance at best
  • Display Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • No LTE Capability
  • No MicroSD Card Slot
  • Price

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.