The OnePlus 3, released in 2016, marked a significant step forward for OnePlus. It was a device that truly began to challenge flagship phones from established brands in terms of performance and design, all while maintaining a competitive price point. Here’s an in-depth review of the OnePlus 3:
The OnePlus 3 was the company’s fourth smartphone and continued the brand’s “flagship killer” mantra. It combined top-tier specifications with a refined design, making it a compelling choice for those seeking high-end performance without the high-end price.
- Operating System: Initially shipped with Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with OnePlus’s OxygenOS skin, later upgradable to Android 9 (Pie).
- Display: 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Quad-core.
- Memory: 6 GB RAM with 64 GB internal storage (non-expandable).
- Camera: 16 MP rear sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, and an 8 MP front camera.
- Battery: A 3000 mAh non-removable battery with Dash Charge (fast charging).
- Other Features: Alert Slider, fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, and a metal unibody design.
- Performance: With the Snapdragon 820 and a whopping 6 GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 was a performance beast, handling everything from daily tasks to intensive gaming with ease.
- Design: The metal unibody design gave the OnePlus 3 a premium feel, a significant upgrade from the previous models.
- Dash Charge: OnePlus’s proprietary fast charging solution was incredibly fast, offering a day’s power in half an hour.
- Price: Despite its flagship-level specs, the OnePlus 3 was priced significantly lower than competitors.
- Battery Life: While the 3000 mAh battery was decent, it wasn’t the best in its class. However, Dash Charge somewhat mitigated this.
- No Expandable Storage: The device came with a fixed 64 GB of storage with no option for expansion via microSD.
- Camera: While good, the camera wasn’t quite on par with some of the best in the industry, especially in low-light conditions.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its segment, the OnePlus 3 faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S7: Offering a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, Exynos 8890/Snapdragon 820, and a standout camera.
- LG G5: With its 5.3-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820, and a modular design.
- HTC 10: Featuring a 5.2-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820, and a focus on audio quality.
The OnePlus 3 was announced and released in June 2016.
- Display Calibration: Early units of the OnePlus 3 faced criticism for their color calibration. OnePlus later addressed this with a software update.
- RAM Management: Despite having 6 GB of RAM, aggressive RAM management in the initial software versions led to apps being closed prematurely. This was also addressed in subsequent updates.
- General Software Bugs: Some users reported occasional software bugs and crashes, though many of these were ironed out in updates.
The OnePlus 3 was a significant milestone for OnePlus. It showcased the company’s ability to produce a device that could genuinely compete with the big players in the smartphone industry. With its powerful specs, premium design, and competitive price, it was a favorite among tech enthusiasts and general consumers alike. While it had its quirks, the overall package was compelling, solidifying OnePlus’s reputation as a brand that delivers value for money.