“The OnePlus 3 offers a 5.5-inch FHD display, 16MP/8MP cameras and 64GB storage”
We’ve said this innumerable times before, and we’ll say it again. For a smartphone brand with just three models in its kitty, OnePlus sure has managed to build up considerable hype around itself and its offerings. Its debut device, the OnePlus One (review), came out of nowhere to grab the enviable title “the flagship killer”, and piggybacked on its super combination of loaded specs and affordable pricing, along with a unique invite-based selling model to make everyone sit up and take notice. Its sequel, the OnePlus 2 (review), was also a lot of phone for the money, and the brand went the VR way to launch it… an industry first. Then came the OnePlus X (review), which was a compact, yet loaded phone meant for those who lay a lot of emphasis on one-handed usage. And now, it’s upping the game with the OnePlus 3, a smartphone which seems set to create ripples in the smartphone segment on a global level.
For the very first time, OnePlus is turning to an all-metal design, and considering the other options currently available in the market, the move hardly seems surprising. Carved out of a single slab of space-grade aluminium alloy, the new OnePlus 3 is a mere 7.35mm thick. The brand’s signature Alert Slider that gives you direct access to Android’s notification settings is present on the side, while a fingerprint scanner is present below the screen… integrated into the home key and promising unlocking times of 0.3 seconds.
Up front, a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display forms its window to the world, featuring 2.5D curved glass protected by Gorilla Glass 4. OnePlus says that the 0.75mm bezels help give the phone a premium design, and the display boasts a dual-polarising layer and custom-engineered gamma corrections for a better viewing experience. A screen protector comes pre-installed.
As expected, OnePlus has chosen the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC to provide the horsepower, and that, combined with an industry-leading 6GB of RAM should make sure you don’t encounter any performance-related issues. The internal storage stands at 64GB, but there’s no way to expand it. The OnePlus 3 is a dual-SIM dual standby smartphone, and for connectivity, offers 4G (including FDD-LTE band 3 and TDD-LTE band 40), Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS and USB 2.0 over its Type-C port. A 3,000mAh battery powers the show, and features the brand’s Dash Charge tech for quick charging. Dash Charge promises 60 percent charge in 30 minutes, and the brand says it has incorporated five safety measures to safeguard the charger and the phone. As per OnePlus, the Dash Charge tech shifts most of the power management process from the phone to the charger, and thereby prevents device overheating.
Photography prowess, as usual, is a big part of the story. The OnePlus 3 sports a 16MP primary shooter, utilising a Sony sensor with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and optical image stabilisation. It also incorporated electronic image stabilisation (EIS) for videos. The phone supports 4K video capture, offers manual controls for stills, and can also shoot photos in RAW. For selfies, you get an 8MP front shooter with f/2.0 aperture and support for shooting full HD videos.
As far as the software platform is concerned, the OnePlus 3 runs the latest version of OxygenOS, with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. All the features we’ve seen earlier on OxygenOS are there – including a near-stock interface, tons of tweaks and customisations, the dedicated Shelf panel that lists recent apps and contacts, screen-off gestures, control over app permissions, night mode and Swiftkey keyboard for text input.
All things considered, the OnePlus 3 is looking like an extremely compelling smartphone, and notably, there are no invite-related hassles to go through this time if you’re interested in buying, as the phone will be available to buy directly via Amazon starting 12.20 am on June 15th. The launch offers include a year’s subscription to Saavn Pro, double data benefits to Idea subscribers for a year, accidental damage protection for a year, and promotional credit on the Amazon Kindle app. A range of accessories, including back covers in different finishes and a Dash Charge car charger will also be made available.
The OnePlus 3 can be yours for Rs 27,999, a pricing we think looks extremely attractive, and makes it the most affordable phone in India to boast 6 gigs of RAM. The LeEco Le Max 2 (first impressions) which is priced at Rs 29,999, also features 6GB RAM and was actually announced earlier, but is yet to go on sale. The other contender that the OnePlus 3 would go up against will be the ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe (first impressions), but we don’t have an inkling of it launch date or pricing in India yet. The Xiaomi Mi 5 (review) is another powerful rival present in the same price range. No doubt, the OnePlus 3 ticks all the right boxes, but it takes a lot to impress us and the new handset will need to deliver on all fronts… our full review will be up shortly.