The Good The sharp OnePlus 3 camera, powerful processor and durable, fast rechargeable battery make a combined result when considering its low cost.
The Bad The camera has a distinct bulge. Power users may be frustrated that the phone does not have a replaceable battery or extended storage.
The Bottom Line Priced at $ 400, the OnePlus 3 is the best budget Android phone you can buy, with premium looks and feel, and performance fast enough to move your head to any high end on the market.
Fall 2016 update
In June, OnePlus 3 looked at the limits of what a mid-range phone can deliver. For $ 399 or £ 309 (about $ 590) you get an unbeatable processor, a smart 16MP camera and a long-lasting battery. You also get fast performance that competes with much more expensive Android scams such as Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 . Its greatest limitation is that it supports only carriers using GSM technology; that’s everyone in the UK and Australia, but only AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, which excludes Verizon and Sprint customers.
However, in August the landscape changed again with the introduction of Asus ZenFone 3 and Huawei Honor 8. ZenFone 3 relies on aesthetic elements iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S but delivers mid-range features at a very competitive price. Starting at $ 249 for a 32GB model (£ 170 or $ 350), this is just a fantastic deal – but is currently limited to people in Asia. The phone is expected to be launched in the US, where it is likely to be unlocked, and in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2016.
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So far, we’ve only had a preview of the Honor 8, but we like the look of its glossy, reflective coating. This is similar to last year’s Huawei P9, which featured two rear cameras, a slim design, high power and a bright screen, but the 32GB Honor 8 comes at a much more affordable $ 400 compared to the P9 2015 entry price of $ 650.
In short, the mid-range phone market in 2016 is breaking into excellent options, including the OnePlus3, ZenFone 3 and Motorola Moto G4 (and G4 Plus). What a time to be alive for loving phone cops.
Editors’ note: The original OnePlus 3 review published in June 2016.
Last year, my idea of a fantastic, high-end budget phone was something like the Google Nexus 5X – slightly smaller than your regular flagship, with a decent but not thoughtful camera and processor that, while not in Top Class, still made the gameplay and streaming movies is interesting. But for less than $ 400, it was the best you could get.
OnePlus 3 changes everything. For $ 399 or £ 309 (about $ 590) you get an unbeatable processor, a smart 16MP camera and a long lasting battery. You also get fast performance that competes with ruling (and more expensive) Android Championships such as theSamsung Galaxy S7and LG G5.
Like all OnePlus phones, the handset only works with carriers using GSM technology. That’s everyone in the UK and Australia, but in the US that means AT&T and T-Mobile (it won’t be compatible with Verizon and Sprint users, unfortunately). But unlike previous launches, you won’t have to wait for an invitation to get your hands on it. OnePlus is releasing it to the masses right at launch and you can order it from the OnePlus website. This is great news for anyone in the market for a new handset, because the OnePlus 3 hits enough high marks to be your next phone.
Design: Top grade metal looks
With its new aluminum body design, the OnePlus 3 looks better than any previous OnePlus device (which had a plastic or glass backing). He still looks like HTC 10 and other smartphones, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing – 10 is a pretty good phone. If you do not like the metallic look of this slim and attractive device, OnePlus offers wood, bamboo and other materials.
The right edge is the familiar OnePlus switch. Not only can you push this feature to turn notifications on and off, but also enable priority notifications. At the bottom of the display, the home button acts as a fingerprint sensor and at the bottom edge is a speaker, a headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port for charging.
The back panel has a rear camera that protrudes from the outside of the phone. Many famous phones do this too, including iPhone 6S . It does not damage the camera and does not interfere with its use, but the bulge of the OnePlus 3 is quite thick and a little unattractive.
Despite all this, the phone has a lot to like. The 5.5-inch 1080p display is bright and sharp, and I like the way its edges bend smoothly down. In addition to the display and charging port, there are also bevelled parts that are interesting to capture and capture light.
All in all, the OnePlus 3 has a really higher aesthetic than its predecessors, and it’s good enough to beat most budget phones. Not only does it have premium features on the inside, but with its aluminum construction and fine detailing, it now puts out a premium look to match.
Software and other features: Keep it clean and simple
The device has its own OPP OxygenOS interface that runs on Google Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (though it can be upgraded to Android N later). In addition to a few Google service options, there are hardly any pre-installed (read: potentially annoying and unnecessary) apps on the phone. And you can download and install anything you need from the Google Play Store.
You will also receive a Shelf feature for OnePlus signature. Shelf is an additional homepage that gives you access to the latest apps, favorite contacts, and any other widgets you want to add. I found it useful when I wanted to quickly check an email or record an item, but if you’re not a fan you can turn it off.
With OxygenOS, you have a lot of space to customize the interface. You can select different accent colors for menu items and change the color of the LED notification. You can also download your own icon packs and turn on the control buttons. There are also many gesture controls, such as double tapping to wake the screen (a feature found on many LG phones) or drawing an O shape to launch the camera.
One of my favorite flavors is the night mode, which tintes the display to reduce eye strain when looking at a screen in the dark. The feature just appeared on Android N and was introduced in iOS 9 as Night Shift. Finally, OnePlus 3 will see the return of the Near Field Communication chip (missing from the last two flagships of OnePlus). NFC is now considered the standard among smartphones, allowing them to communicate wirelessly with other NFC enabled entities – an important consideration for mobile payment services such as Android Pay .
How to set up the OnePlus 3’s look and feel by Lynn La01:46Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle 3 Reasons to Believe in OnePlus 3 Advertising AutoplayOnOff 00:00 01:50 Settings
Cell. Take great photos without trying to really try
The quality of the photos on the device’s 16-megapixel camera was reliable, and I was impressed by the bright, clear images. In well-lit situations, colors were true to life (especially white shades), and objects were sharp and focused. Still, photos are still clear and even in dark settings or complex lighting environments. Check the image quality of the sample photos on the page. And be sure to click on each image to see it in full resolution.
As for the camera itself, it worked smoothly, and I didn’t notice any latency or latency. OnePlus kept the interface very simple, and I appreciated the minimalistic, intuitive interface. The camera is automatic High dynamic range shooting that will allow the camera to decide when it is best to take HDR images. There is also an HD mode that can be turned on, which improves the clarity and clarity of the image. (Note: I disabled both of these settings in the photos above.)
If you want more control over your photos, manual shooting lets you adjust things like ISO and white balance. But you can also shoot raw for more editing control after you’ve taken the shot. As for the video, the camera has 4K videos as well as delayed and slow motion movies.
Equipment and Performance: A demonstrative (demonstrative) class demon of speed
I have looked at several phones that have the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor as the OnePlus 3. They all worked so fast and smoothly that it was difficult to distinguish them with the naked eye if one of them was definitely “faster” than everyone else. But when I used OnePlus, I could tell that things were working really fast. (It’s important to note that the device also has 6GB of RAM, compared to the 3GB or 4GB you typically get from high-end mobile phones.) Tasks such as launching Google Now, calling the keyboard and opening the app drawer were noticeable. fast. Even during setup, when it filled the home screen with previous programs, restarted or logged my fingerprints, it was all done quickly and without problems.
The phone was also not very hot during landmarks. With the other phones I’ve tested, I usually feel warm to the touch after a jog. But the OnePlus 3 managed to stay pretty cool during the process and didn’t warm up during charging (more on that later). This means that its processor and battery do not work overtime to complete a task that gives you a more efficient device.
Compared to its competitors, OnePlus 3 has won each of the best flagships in all of our tests, including both Geekbench 3 tests and IceMorm Storm Unlimited 3DMark. OnePlus 3 also released the dominant Android phone, the Galaxy S7.
The phone has a 3,000mAh non-removable battery that easily lasts for a day with light and high usage. During our lab test for continuous video playback (in airplane mode), it took an average of 14 hours 17 minutes, which is much longer than almost all its competitors (though it didn’t beat the Galaxy S7’s time of 16 hours).
The device also has Dash Charging, which is a OnePlus-branded charging technology (and different from the Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 technology you hear from other mobile phones). This basically means that the battery charges very quickly but does not overheat. When I checked it, the phone shot from 0 to 65 percent in 30 minutes and 96 percent in an hour. OnePlus 3 also remained relatively cool during charging. Full charging took about 1 hour 15 minutes, which is pretty fast, considering that other phones with QuickCharge 3.0 feature take about 1.5 – 2 hours to charge.
OnePlus 3 Specification Comparison Table
|OnePlus 3||Samsung Galaxy S7||LG G5||HTC 10||Google Nexus 6P|
|Display size, resolution||5.5 inches; 1,920×1,080p pixels||5.1 inches; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.3 inches, 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.2 inches; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.7 inches; 2,560×1,440 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.01×2.94×0.29 inches||5.6×2.7×0.3 inches||5.88×2.90×0.30 inches||5.7×2.8×0.35 inches||6.3×3.1×0.28 inches|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||152.7×74.7×7.35 mm||142.4×69.6×7.9 mm||149.4×73.9×7.7 mm||145.9×71.9×9 mm||159x78x7.3 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.57 oz (158g)||5.4 oz (152g)||5.61 oz (159g)||5.7 oz (161g)||6.3 oz (178g)|
|Mobile software||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Camera||16-megapixel||12-megapixel||16-megapixel, 8-megapixel wide||12-megapixel||12.3-megapixel|
|Processor||2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapgradon 820 processor||2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||2GHz eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810|
|Storage||64GB||32GB, 64GB (varies by region)||32GB||32GB, 64GB (varies by region)||32GB, 64GB, 128GB|
|Battery||3,000mAh (nonremovable)||3,000mAh (nonremovable)||2,800mAh (removable)||3,000mAh battery (nonremovable)||3,450mAh (nonremovable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Home button||Home button||Back cover||Home button||Back cover|
|Special features||Notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging||Water resistant||Pull-out battery, two rear cameras||OIS on front-facing camera, BoomSound||Pure Google Android OS|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$399||AT&T: $695, Sprint: $650, T-Mobile: $670, Verizon: $672, U.S. Cellular: $672||AT&T: $689, Sprint: $576, T-Mobile: $630, Verizon: $624, U.S. Cellular: $636||$699||$499 (32GB), $549 (64GB), $649 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£309||£569||£539||£569||£449 (32GB), £499 (64GB), £579 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||Converts to AU$590||AU$1,149||AU$1,099||AU$1,099||AU$899 (32GB), AU$999 (64GB), AU$1,099 (128GB)|
I try to remain skeptical of anything that causes such noise as OnePlus phones. After the first two flagships, OnePlus has developed a loyal fan base. But here, the OnePlus 3 is delivering on its promise.
However, it will not satisfy everybody . It will not work with media using CDMA technology and it is not waterproof like Galaxy S7 and certain Sony Xperia and Motorola Moto tube. Power users also do not like the lack of a removable battery or extended storage. And because it is not Nexus , you will not receive OS updates directly when available on Google. But if these things are not your top priority, OnePlus 3 should be the next phone.
Many of the problems we’ve seen in the past with OnePlus phones have been solved – the annoying invitation-only system is missing, the camera is solid and the software is stable. Even its limited use with certain 4G LTE ranges (which was a problem for the OnePlus One and the mid-range OnePlus X) was resolved.
The rest is an amazing and affordable device. Priced at £ 399 or £ 309 (around US $ 590), you get serious specifications that are comparable, if not better, than other high quality androids that earn you $ 100 more at full price. And they are all neatly wrapped in attractive design. When so much is said about a product, the manufacturer must deliver something outstanding. In this case, OnePlus certainly did.