OnePlus is still a relatively new smartphone manufacturer, but it’s clear they’re focused on making sure everyone knows who they are.
The OnePlus One was a solid first flagship from the company, offering premium specs and a unique design to folks who didn’t mind waiting in line to try it out. Then the OnePlus 2 arrived as the supposed “2016 flagship killer”, even though it brought a lackluster camera experience and no NFC to the table.
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Now the company is here with a new flagship device, the OnePlus 3. With an all-new design, top-of-the-line specs and some killer software features, the OnePlus 3 is on a mission to both win over critics and please OnePlus’ super loyal fanbase. We’ve got all the details, so let’s get to it and talk about the OnePlus 3!
OnePlus 3 design
One of the first things you’ll notice about the OnePlus 3 is its build quality. Unlike OnePlus flagships of years past, the OnePlus 3 is comprised of an anodized aluminum unibody that the company says makes for a strong, lightweight handling experience. The whole thing is quite thin, too. It measures only 7.35mm thin, and OnePlus made it a point to curve the edges to make the handling experience that much better.
With the switch to a metal unibody, though, that also means there are no StyleSwap covers this time around. Instead, OnePlus is offering official cases with similar textures and colors that would normally be available as a replacement backing.
Unfortunately, StyleSwap covers are no more
The device is available now in Graphite, and a Soft Gold color will be available shortly after launch.
Looking at the front, you’ll find the big 5.5-inch display, flanked by an earpiece on the top and front-mounted home button/fingerprint sensor on the bottom. The back of the device is quite simple, too. There’s a squircle camera sensor, and below it sits the camera flash and OnePlus logo. Because of the metal unibody, you’ll also notice there are two antenna lines on the top and bottom of the phone’s backside that break up the unibody look.
OnePlus 3 specifications and features
|Display||5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display
1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
Gorilla Glass 4
|Processor||Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Kryo: 2x 2.2 GHz, 2x 1.6 GHz
|Cameras||Rear camera: 16MP Sony IMX 298 sensor with PDAF, 1.12μm, OIS, EIS, f/2.0
Front camera: 8MP Sony IMX 179 sensor with 1.4μm, EIS, f/2.0
|Software||OxygenOS based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, Hall, Accelerometor, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light and Electronic Compass|
|Ports||USB 2.0, Type-C
Dual nano-SIM slot
3.5 mm audio jack
|Connectivity||GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
North America model: WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/8 FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17 CDMA EVDO: BC0
Europe/Asia model: WCDMA: Bands 1/2/5/8
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20
TDD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41
|Audio||Speakers: Bottom-facing speaker
Microphones: Dual-microphone with noise cancellation
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
|Materials and colors||Materials: anodized aluminum
Colors: Graphite, Soft Gold (Available shortly after launch)
|Dimensions and weight||152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm
Under the hood, the OnePlus 3 features some top-of-the-line internals. It sports a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, backed by an Adreno 530 GPU and – get this – a massive 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The jury is still out as to whether or not a smartphone needs that much RAM to perform high-intensity tasks like gaming and multitasking, but we can’t complain with the amount the OnePlus 3 offers. OnePlus does say that the 3 can perform tasks 35% faster than the OnePlus 2, and also features a 40% boost in graphical power.
The 3 is available in only one storage option – 64GB – with no microSD card support.
There’s also an improved ceramic fingerprint sensor that OnePlus says is more durable that improves accuracy with increased use. It can actually unlock the device in just .3 seconds from a sleeping screen, which is quite impressive.
While OnePlus decided to keep the same screen size with this year’s flagship, the type of display has changed. The OnePlus 3 features a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 4 and a pre-installed screen protector that comes in at a Full HD resolution. Unfortunately OnePlus decided to, yet again, employ a 1080p display on its flagship, instead of moving to a Quad HD resolution. Just about every other major flagship on the market made the switch to a Quad HD resolution almost a year ago, so it’s unfortunate to see this lower screen resolution on the 3. On a positive note, since the phone needs to light up far less pixels than it would with a Quad HD screen, this should have a positive impact on battery life.
The 1080p display is arguably one of the only blemishes on the spec sheet
Speaking of battery, the device comes with a non-removable 3,000mAh cell, complete with Dash Charge technology. What’s Dash Charge, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya!
Dash Charge is OnePlus’ quick charging technology. It’ll be able to get you more than a 60% charge in just 30 minutes. OnePlus also says that Dash Charge will help cool the phone, so you’ll be able to play high-intensity games and charge the phone at the same time without it getting hot.
Dash Charge will charge your OnePlus 3's battery to 60% in just 30 minutes
One of our biggest problems with the OnePlus 2 was camera quality, and it looks like OnePlus is doing its part to improve this area as much as possible. The OnePlus 3 has a 16MP rear-facing camera with a Sony IMX 298 camera sensor, phase-detection auto focus, OIS and EIS to help with photo and video stabilization, and an f/2.0 aperture. It can also record 4K video at 30fps, slow motion video in 720p at 120fps, and also supports RAW image capture, auto-HDR, manual controls, and a pixel size of 1.12μm.
The front-facing camera has an 8MP Sony IMX 179 sensor, EIS, a pixel size of 1.4μm and an f/2.0 aperture. It can also record 1080p video at 30fps.
On paper, the OnePlus 3's cameras seem very promising
The 3 is running OnePlus’ in-house built OxygenOS, which is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Of course, just like other Marshmallow-powered devices, the OnePlus 3 includes support for Doze mode, Google Now on Tap, application permissions, and much more.
The OnePlus 3 also has an unlocked bootloader and is completely carrier unlocked, too.
There are a few other features you should know about, like support for a system-wide Dark Mode, custom LED notifications, swappable hardware and software buttons, and a proximity sensor that will turn the display on when you wave your hand in front or take the phone out of your pocket.
OnePlus 3 pricing and availability
Like what you’ve seen so far? You can buy the OnePlus 3 from today in the United States and Europe through OnePlus.net for USD 399, EUR 399 and GBP 309. It’ll be available in India and China from tomorrow, June 15. And remember, OnePlus has finally done away with the invite system, so you can place your order now – no waiting in line.
Additionally, you can visit one of OnePlus’ new pop up stores in New York, London, Paris and Berlin on June 15. If you’d like see additional availability details, head on over to oneplus.net/retailers.
Are you a fan of the OnePlus 3 so far? What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments!