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OnePlus 3 Review

OnePlus 3 - The Flagship killer Review!

OnePlus 3 is the 3rd smartphone released by the 2 year old Chinese company known as OnePlus! Termed by the company as a flagship smartphone killer, does it really hold onto its name as a flagship killer or is it all just a hype? Read on to find out.

Image result for oneplus 3
(Updated on 2nd March 2017!)

OnePlus 3 Design - Review

Honestly, the phone looks absolutely gorgeous. the design is a complete masterpiece and in my opinion to completely realise it, you need to hold the phone, wrapped around by your hands(XD).
The OnePlus 3 boasts a metal and glass uni-body premium space-grade aluminium alloy design with an excellent finish. Its rear made of aluminium, has got the same type of non-shiny look like the Iphone. 

The screen size being 5.5 inch, the phone should have been too big to be easily used, at least that's what I thought but the OnePlus 3, seems to be quite easily usable. The OnePlus 3's design is plainer, thinner (at just 7.3 mm, it is one of the thinnest phones out there) and much more refined than its predecessors. 

OnePlus 3 features an exclusive alert slider that lets you move through 3 customizable settings, without even taking out the smartphone. OnePlus 3 is available in two colour variants- Graphite colour and Soft Gold colour, with a custom sandblasting finish that will bring out a natural metallic lustre in your OnePlus 3.

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Like the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus 3 doesn't have a memory card slot. However with the 64 GB internal storage of the phone, there shouldn't be any reason for concern. The fingerprint scanner which sits below the display, a non-clicky pad is extremely responsive, fast and reliable. There is a dual Sim slot on the left side of the phone. However OnePlus fans may find the fact irritating that the phone backplate can be no longer removed and changed with a backplate as per your choice. But OnePlus' selection of official ultra thin cases do make up for this as you can choose from five different colours and materials.

OnePlus 3 Performance - Review

Now this is where OnePlus 3 bests all its competitors! With 6 gigbyte of LPDDR4 ram and Snapdragon 820 quad core processor (same as S7's but the combined core performs slower than Samsung's S7 in benchmark tests), it flies through every task u ask it to perform... whatever the task may be, no matter how demanding the task may be. 

"OnePlus 3 Snapdragon 820 processor has two cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and the other two clocked at 2.15 GHz"

  • LPDDR stands for Low Power Double Data Rate Random Access Memory. Unlike the desktop, low power RAM has a smaller bit bus, but this makes it more power efficient. LPDDR4 aims to double data rates till 3200 Mb/s over LPDDR3 and is more power efficient. The bandwidth targets 17 GB/s per die, but  it can still be arranged in a dual-channel config to attain much faster speed.
With Such High Specs, Games Should be a Breeze for The OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3 Gaming benchmark tests

Add to that OnePlus 3 uses UFS 2.0 technology which moves data three times quicker than the ubiquitous eMMC5.1. OnePlus 3 also features the Adreno 530 graphics card which is slightly faster than the ARM Mali T880 MP-12 GPU, that Samsung's S7 uses. Its fingerprint scanner can unlock the phone in just 0.2 seconds, even from a sleeping screen. Fashioned out of premium ceramic, the fingerprint scanner learns your fingerprint and progressively improves over time, so your scans get even more precise over time.

(READ: Google Pixel vs Samsung's S7- Which is better)

Bechmark tests comparison for performance --- source: PhoneArena

OnePlus 3140007.66
Samsung Galaxy S7136695
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge128191
Google Nexus 6P60007
OnePlus 250188
OnePlus One37599.6
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
OnePlus 359
Samsung Galaxy S753
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge52
Google Nexus 6P36
OnePlus 245
OnePlus One28.8
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
OnePlus 330
Samsung Galaxy S729
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge28
Google Nexus 6P17
OnePlus 215
OnePlus One11.8
Vellamo Metal
OnePlus 33678.66
Samsung Galaxy S73632
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge3198
Google Nexus 6P2361
OnePlus 22258
OnePlus One1714.3
Basemark OS II
OnePlus 32118
Samsung Galaxy S71943
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge1761
Google Nexus 6P1894
OnePlus 21068
OnePlus One1190

 OnePlus 3 Software - Review

Image result for oxygen os for oneplus 3

OnePlus 3 uses Oxygen OS, over the Android which some people like due to it looking quite close to stock Android. It runs Android 6.0.1, and while it looks like pure stock Android, Oxygen Mod gives you certain customisation options that stock Android doesn't have. 

One of the notable features of the Oxygen OS, is its dark mode, which turns the Apps page and settings menu dark, putting less strain on your eyes, when the lights get dim around you saving battery power and not keeping you up for a significant amount of time after you keep the phone. 

With the help of OnePlus 3's integrated proximity sensor, the phone can detect when it’s been removed from your pocket, putting the display on automatically when it senses it is being taken out.

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Dark mode settings page

OnePlus 3 Launcher natively supports home screen and screen-off gesture controls, User Interface customizations, and custom icon packs. Oxygen OS now features a Night Mode, which uses special hardware to filter blue light and reduce eye strain in the dark. You’ve got the breathing room needed to customize to your heart’s content.

Also, OnePlus has now released Oxygen OS 4.0 which is the Nougat update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T.

Here's the changes you will get:

  • Completely redesigned notification area
  • In-line reply support has been refined
  • Split screen Multi Window Capability is now available
  • You can double tap to easily switch between the last two apps.

OnePlus 3 Camera - Review

Camera is the biggest short-fall of OnePlus 3. To give a better camera experience, the phone's cost would have increased substantially. The OnePlus 3 comes with a 8MP front camera and a 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, OIS, phase detection, and a much better autofocus than its predecessor. OnePlus 3's camera performs very well in day testing. Compared to the Iphone 7, it provides much greater detail and sharpness in objects located at a distance. Although the OnePlus 3, provides a much greater exposure than its Iphone counterpart, the pictures clicked by OnePlus seems to tilt the White balance more in favour of green. Also OnePlus 3 seems to go overboard with the colour saturation. The day time pictures clicked by the OnePlus 3 seems quite fine and since OnePlus is known to provide several camera tweaks with their Oxygen OS updates, expect the camera processing to get more and more improved.
Daytime OnePlus 3 Camera test
Daytime OnePlus 3 Camera test

Night time OnePlus 3 camera test
Night time camera test - OnePlus 3

As you can see, at night, the OnePlus 3 camera isn't as great as the flagships like Pixel or the Galaxy S7. Still then an improvement from the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus 3 beats the Nexus 5X, in low light images. 

OnePlus 3 camera

OnePlus 3 camera

OnePlus 3 camera

Worth mentioning is the fact that it has now no problems focusing in the dark which was rather difficult and irritating in the OnePlus 2. OnePlus 3 video recording has improved much compared to its predecessor, and is truly a wonder in terms of its price. 

OnePlus 3 Display - Review

Display is yet another space where the OnePlus 3 falls short(not much though) of most flagships. Previous OnePlus models featured IPS LCD screens, which lacked the texture, vibrant colours and feels of Amoled display. However with the OnePlus 3, the smartphone was released, with Super Amoled display, one of the best screens yet in 2016. But it has one deficiency. In 2016, when most smartphone displays are getting armed with QHD display, the OnePlus 3 has a Full HD display. 

OnePlus 3 display
Not the best display but good enough for regular use

Though a full HD display ought to be sufficient for a smartphone, OnePlus 3's 5.5 inch screen size makes the display somewhat bland. With a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and pixel density of 401ppi, its viewing angles are superb, with far less reduction in brightness when you view off-angle compared to the OnePlus 2’s LCD panel. Compared to the S7's display, OnePlus 3's colour looks somewhat overcooked. Still, this is the display that OnePlus aimed for calling it Optic Amoled, that is OnePlus' tweaking of SAmoled.

OnePlus 3 display
Overcooked colours but then that's just what OnePlus wanted to offer

Image result for samsung galaxy s7 vs oneplus 3 design
Though it offers a crisp display, the OnePlus 3's display(left) looks highly overcooked

Still, it isn't that you would feel the display falls short, unless you place it side by side with a QHD display. However the display does become a notable drawback, when you use it to watch VR, considering OnePlus' recent release of OnePlus VR headset. At 433 nits, OnePlus 3 is bright enough for both outdoor and indoors. 

Display test100% brightness
Black, cd/m2White, cd/m2Contrast ratio
OnePlus One0.75598799
OnePlus Two0.303991334
OnePlus X0.00340
OnePlus 30.00433
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)0.42403953
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)0.00338
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)0.00353
Samsung Galaxy S70.00391
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note0.47442940
Oppo F1 Plus0.00351
ZUK Z1 by Lenovo0.393961021
Xiaomi Mi 4c0.284521609
Xiaomi Mi 50.516281227
LG G40.435321238
Sony Xperia Z3+0.687891158
LeEco Le Max 20.304261444
Samsung Galaxy S60.00363
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)0.00421
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)0.00425

Sunlight Contrast Ratio

  • OnePlus 34.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S74.376
  • Samsung Galaxy S64.124
  • OnePlus X3.983
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)3.789
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus3.709
  • Xiaomi Mi 53.24
  • Huawei Mate 82.949
  • Sony Xperia Z3+2.824
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 22.567
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo2.382
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)2.378
  • LG G42.317
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note2.254
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)2.249
  • OnePlus Two2.165
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S2.095
  • OnePlus One1.961

Grey scale accuracy of OnePlus 3 is a little poor along with blue-shifting which becomes apparent, right when you switch on the phone. OnePlus released an update for this problem which takes care of this problem, almost entirely. Summing it all up, it is extremely unlikely you shall dislike the phone's display! You may even fall in love with it. A full HD display is quite sufficient for almost all your needs, so you needn't worry! With the release of Oxygen OS 3.2, OnePlus has brought a sRGB calibration mode to the OnePlus 3. which tunes the display for an even more finer look!

OnePlus 3 Battery - Review

OnePlus uses a 3000 mAh non removable battery, which is quite sufficient for an all-day use. Its Snapdragon 820 processor and LPDDR4 Ram also uses quite low battery power. 

Though the display, sucks most of battery from the phone, there is no cause for worry, as OnePlus 3 uses dash charge, which can get a power-dead phone to 60% battery life with just 30 minutes of charge. The Oppo and its industry-leading VOOC tech, that is the dash charge doesn't let drawbacks like overheating occur, which one expects at such a massive power charge. What Dash Charge does is that it increases the current pressure without significantly increasing the voltage difference resulting in low heat generation during the charge.

Even if you play games, stream movies, the charge speed shalln't drop, and that is quite an amazing feature of the Dash Charge
In the retail package, you shall also find a dash adaptor, which will provide you a massive 4A-5V charging capability. OnePlus 3 uses a USB Type-C port for charging, data and also USB host scenarios. 

OnePlus 3 Price

In this category, the OnePlus 3 is a winner. No smartphone released yet can beat it. At such a low price, OnePlus 3 has made it into one of the flagships in the smartphone market (related: best smartphone 2016). OnePlus 3 is available at the lowest price in at this link at Rs 27999.

OnePlus 3 Summary

Wrapping it all up, the OnePlus 3 is truly a beast among phones, a flagship killer. Offering incredible specs and boasting an incredible design, that too at such a small price, the OnePlus 3 is the best value-for-money smartphone 2016 has yet too offer. Sure, its display and camera are not up to the mark, but then what it offers at such a low price, is just more than what a person just can imagine. To defend OnePlus' honour(XD)! to better the quality of its camera, make the phone water-resistant, the phone's price would rise sharply and OnePlus is just Anti-Price. So at Mid Range Price, this phone is a Must Buy for anyone who wants a Flagship Smartphone!

Okay, so where is it available? The following links just show that!

OnePlus 3 Lowest Price

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As an Update, OnePlus has recently released the OnePlus 3T, which is NOW, the best Value For Money Phone. Read about the OnePlus 3T here!


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