OnePlus 3 Review – Design, Specifications, Pros & Cons

Apple and Samsung have been ruling the smartphone market since decades, and it’s quite impossible for a new company to break into the market and then get into the top 5 producers. Once the company gets through Apple and Samsung; there are Blackberry, Microsoft, LG, and HTC to beat. OnePlus has managed to come a long way in the smartphone market in a short period.

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3, the latest addition to the OnePlus family, is undoubtedly better than what the users expected. There is nothing wrong in saying that OnePlus 3 is the company’s most impressive accomplishment to date. Available at about $400, this smartphone has emerged as a serious contender for the $7-800 Andriod phones by the well-established companies. OnePlus 3 is here to stay and meet all the challenges because the invite system to order the phone is now gone.

OnePlus 3 Review

OnePlus 3 Specifications

Have a look at the full list of OnePlus 3 Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch screen
  • 1,920 x 1,080 pixel display (401ppi)
  • Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm
  • Weight: 158 grams
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • Adreno 530 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB storage (32GB variant may be offered in some markets)
  • 16MP main camera
  • 8MP selfie/front facing camera
  • USB-C port (Dash Charge 5V/4A)
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • NFC
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Oxygen OS (Android 6.0.1)

OnePlus 3 Design and Build Quality

OnePlus 3 Review

OnePlus has maintained a unique identity by staying far away from the conventional smartphone design, but this time, the case is totally opposite with OnePlus 3. It looks quite similar to HTC One but has managed to look stunningly handsome device. With a new aluminum unibody design, the latest OnePlus 3 looks better than all of OnePlus’ past devices which either had a plastic or glass finish. By adopting this design, OnePlus has also made the conscious decision to do away with StyleSwap covers.  However, if you are not a fan of the metal look of this slim and attractive device, OnePlus offers snap-on covers made of wood, bamboo, and other such materials also.

From that large camera sensor in the middle to the antenna lines around it, everything will feel quite familiar. The fingerprint sensor from the OnePlus 2 has also returned. The screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 4, and a single speaker and headphone jack alongside the USB Type-C port on the base of the handset. Made using an anodized aluminum unibody the phone looks slightly sleeker than the previous OnePlus models with its rounded design, and comes in two colors: Graphite and Soft Gold. Above the volume keys, the traditional activity slider is there which lets you easily change the notifications profile, without even looking at the handset.

OnePlus 3 Display

OnePlus 3 Display Review

With a display of 5.5-inches, OnePlus 3 is quite a large phone, especially considering the bezel itself is quite minimal. Although the bezel on the sides of the display could be considered minimal, the overall size of the OnePlus 3 can largely be attributed to the large bezels above and below the screen. The fingerprint sensor itself is similar to other handsets in that it allows you to unlock the phone in a fraction of a second without waking up the phone from standby.

The 5.5-inch, 1080p resolution display is bright, and the edges smoothly curve down into the bezel. There are also chamfered details around the display and charging port, which catch and reflect light in interesting ways. The capacitive keys have a very neutral design. While the display may not be QHD, the decision to go for an Optic AMOLED panel on the OnePlus 3 makes everything much more vibrant.

OnePlus 3 Camera

OnePlus 3 Camera Review

Photo quality on the device’s 16-megapixel camera is solid, and the images turn out to be bright and clear. This high-quality camera ensures that even in tricky lighting, the photos still turn out clear and evenly exposed. OnePlus kept the interface super simple, and the camera has automatic High Dynamic Range shooting, which will allow the camera to decide when it’s best to capture an HDR image.

Manual shooting mode lets the user configure things like ISO levels, HD mode, and white balance. When it comes to video, the camera has 4K video, as well as time-lapse and slow-motion movies.

OnePlus 3 OS and Performance

The device features OnePlus’ very own OxygenOS interface that runs on top of Google Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Aside from a few Google services, the handset doesn’t come with any pre-installed apps, which can be later installed from the Google Play Store. Then, there is OnePlus’ signature Shelf feature, which provides an extra homepage that gives you access to your recent apps, favorite contacts, and other selected widgets.

With OxygenOS, the users can choose different accent colors for the menu items and change the color of the LED notifications light. There are also plenty of gesture controls, such as double tapping to wake up the screen. The Night mode tints the display to reduce eye strain at night. This feature just arrived natively to Android N and was introduced in iOS 9 as Night Shift.

The OnePlus 3 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with an Adreno 530 GPU and 64GB of non-expandable storage. NFC aside, the OnePlus 3 brings the usual array of connectivity options including dual-SIM capabilities which are an out-of-the-box feature.

OnePlus 3 supports a bottom-mounted single-firing speaker which is an average performer. It has a quad-core Snapdragon 820, with two cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and the other two at 1.6 GHz. This is combined with an Adreno 530 GPU, 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. The Snapdragon 820 performs very well in the OnePlus 3, without the burdens that OnePlus 2 experienced with its easily overheated Snapdragon 810.

OnePlus 3 Battery

OnePlus 3 Battery Review

The OnePlus 3 comes with a non-removable 3,000mAh battery, which is smaller than both OnePlus 2 (3,300mAh) and OnePlus One (3,100mAh). OnePlus has introduced charging with a twist; Dash Charge. Plug the OnePlus 3 into the Dash Charge block using the chunky USB-C cable and the handset will regain 60% of its charge in just half an hour.

OnePlus has also reduced the amount of heat generated in the device during charging by shifting the main power regulator to the plug block. This also means performance isn’t throttled during fast charging, allowing you to continue playing your favorite games without excessive heat generation.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality with metal design
  • Top Notch Performance with 6GB Ram
  • Mostly stock Android, plus some neat features
  • NFC and Alert Slider Returns
  • Faster Fingerprint Reader
  • Dual SIM Support
  • Fast DASH charging
  • Available at only $399

Cons

  • Ships with a few minor bugs
  • Limited memory options
  • Smaller battery than OnePlus 2
  • No MicroSD Support
  • Dash charger doesn’t work with all cables

CONCLUSION

Simply, the best Smartphone under $400

OnePlus, the Chinese startup has finally managed to get everything right with the OnePlus 3. The biggest news around the handset is that OnePlus has finally dropped its dreaded invite system. OnePlus 3 is a great device that hits almost all the right notes; exactly what would be needed to make a ‘flagship killer.’ Battery life isn’t outstanding but, not many phones can do much better than daily charging.

The camera is good, but it’s not fantastic. Still, for $399, OnePlus 3, represents the best balance of price and performance you can find. Overall, OnePlus 3 is a reliable, refined handset offering a feature-set that’s hard to match.

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OnePlus 3 Review – Design, Specifications, Pros & Cons
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