- Dash Charging
- Optic AMOLED display
- Still relatively affordable
- Alert Slider is very useful
- 6GBs of RAM!
- No MicroSD available
- 1080p Display
- Even more expensive than OnePlus 2
- No Front facing speaker
I finally received my OnePlus 3 phone and have everything set up! Purchased it on June 23rd, 2016. Receiving the shipping label on June 25th and by the 29th, it was in my hands and using it. Initial reaction to the phone thus far has been positive. The 6GB of RAM is a nice feature to have, the Dash Charging is amazingly fast. I was able to charge the phone from 19% to 89% within 30 mins time frame. The phone has ran very fast. Obviously, since it’s powered by the latest and fastest Snapdragon 820 process currently available. The fingerprint reader is much faster than the OnePlus 2 and I thought the OP2 with HydrogenOS was fast enough as it is. The battery life on the phone so far has been really good considering it only has 3000mAh.
A gripe I have with the phone is the protruding camera lens. This was one thing I didn’t like when I had the Galaxy S5 and the Note 4. However, with the Sandstone case, it smooths out the back. The phone does have the look and feel of an HTC and that is not exactly a bad thing. HTC does make pretty nice phones. Take their HTC One for instance. It is a very well designed phone despite the lack of units sold.
In terms of specs for the OnePlus 3, it rivals that of flagship devices from well-known manufactures such as Samsung’s Galaxy S7, iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, Moto Z Force without carrying their hefty price tag. Sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU. (OnePlus 3T was released with the Snapdragon 821, a slightly overclocked and tweaked version of the 820)
Unlike the mentioned flagships, the OnePlus 3 pulls one over them by including not 4GB, but 6GBs of RAM. Making it the first Smartphone to hit the market with 6GBs of RAM.
Storage wise, there is only 1 option which is 64GB. Unfortunately, they did not include expandable storage option like they did with the short run OnePlus X. The phone does support Dual Sim though like the OnePlus 2. (OnePlus 3T now includes the option for a 128GB model)
The fingerprint scanner is much faster this time around. Not that the OnePlus 2’s fingerprint scanner was any slow to begin with. The fingerprint scanner on this, when compared to the Galaxy S7 and iPhone seems to be much faster.
Screen size has remained the same at 5.5” running the same resolution of 1080×1920. (Still not 2K or 4K display for VR) However, they switched from IPS panel to their own version of AMOLED display called Optic AMOLED.
Unlike their previous phones OnePlus has released, OnePlus has decided to use an all-aluminum build for the 3. This is a very welcome design decision since it makes the phone feel much higher quality compared to the previous designs. Though the design does kind of resemble HTC’s phone a little. However, they didn’t get rid of the traditional Sandstone texture. It’s but built onto the phone like the One, or available as a SwapStyle cover like the 2. You can retain the same Sandstone feel in OnePLus’ 3rd iteration of the device via their Sandstone finished case. Though this would cover the beautiful aluminum finish of the phone but it’s worth it since the aluminum finish makes the phone quite slippery.
OnePlus decreased the capacity of their battery from 3300mAh from the 2, to 3000mAh (though at the time of writing this, they had recently launch an updated version of the 3 known as the 3T with a 3400mAh battery as well as faster processor)
However, they made up for this by including their own version of Quick Charge. It’s very similar to Oppo’s VOOC Charging, if not the same. OnePlus calls it Dash Charging. This is a proprietary technology which requires their own charger and cable. Dash charging allows you to quickly recharge your phone from 0 to 60% in just 30 minutes. One of the main advantages from Dash charging over conventional fast charging such as Qualcomm’s Quickcharge 3.0 is that the voltage regulation is handled on the charging brick instead of the phone. This moves the heat generated from the charge away from the phone and onto the brick itself, enabling you to use the phone while charging without it heating up too much. Perfect for late night mobile gaming right before sleep.
Dash Charge charges at a rate of 5v 3.5amps, while conventional charges use 5v 2amps. Other quick charging methods use higher voltage at lower amps. You can pick up a normal Dash Charged enabled wall adapter, or a car adapter. At the time of writing, OnePlus has not announced a Dash Charge compatible power bank for charging on the go.
Battery Life for me on this phone has been pretty decent so far. It is able to last at least a day on a full charge with Bluetooth turned on full time for my Android wear watch and some light Boom Beach. I am not a heavy user and I still recharge my phone overnight. Though I don’t really need to worry about forgetting to charge as I have a DASH charger at home and in the car. I can charge the phone back up to full by the time I get to work.
OnePlus continues to refine their OxygenOS on their OnePlus Device, releasing Oxygen OS 3.0 (Based on Android Marshmallow) when the 3 came out. The experience has gotten a lot better than when it first came out, and the company has been fairly good about their updates. The good thing about this is that since the phones are sold direct to the consumer, there are no 3rd party companies involved in screening the updates. The user gets them directly as OnePlus released them. OOS 3.0 and 4.0 brings you as close to stock experience as possible with a little OnePlus customization. Which personally, is a welcome addition. Not too bloated.
At the time of writing, OnePlus has officially released Oxygen OS 4.0 running Nougat.
What’s also gotten much better Is the OnePlus launcher. Introduced in Oxygen OS 2.0 I didn’t enjoy using it as much and quickly switched to Nova Launcher as a replacement. For the OnePlus 3. I am still using the OnePlus Launcher. The shelf is much more useful now. Though I don’t use that as often. It’s at least slightly more customizable than before
Since I covered both the OnePlus One, and 2 mentioning about the horrible invite system. I figured I’d mention it here as well. Or, shall I say lack thereof. OnePlus has finally learned from their 3 previous launch issues and gotten rid of their invite system completely. This marked the death of OnePlus’ most hated feature. The invite system. OnePlus 3 launched their phone worldwide and open to everyone at the same time and could quickly fulfill off their orders.
Thought his phone is probably the best phone OnePlus has released to date (3T withstanding, since it’s a minor upgrade), there are some cons about this phone that I want to address.
The lack of 2k or 4k display makes it bad for VR, especially since the OnePlus 3 was launched through VR. However, this is probably the best 1080p display I’ve ever used as well as the benefits of a lesser demanding resolution, makes it better for overall battery life and gaming performance. Less pixels to push.
No waterproofing. Though not completely necessary, the phones they’re mainly competing with has included some sort of dustproof and water resistant rating. Making them capable of going in relatively dusty environments and going into water without worrying about damage to the phone.
The aluminum design, though very premium feel, makes the phone slippery. I would recommend getting a case to protect it.
Front facing speaker would be nice to have. As well as expandable storage via the second Nano SIM like them did with the OnePlus X would be a nice feature. Even Samsung’s Dual Sim option supports either a second SIM card or a MicroSD option.
That camera bump. It seems like camera bumps are a popular trend. With smartphone manufacturers trying to make their phones as thin as possible, the camera bumps are inevitable. I would prefer it not have a bump and be a little thicker. So they could use that extra space for a bigger battery.
Samsung has incorporated Wireless charging into their phones, I was kind of disappointed not to see this utilized in OnePlus. Maybe on the 4?