OnePlus 3 Review – Full phone specifications
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OnePlus 3 Review – Full phone specifications

OnePlus 3 Review – Full phone specifications

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’ is the motto of One Plus, the ambitious Shenzhen-based start-up, and producer of smartphones founded in 2013. And following the release of their latest smartphone, they may just be living up to that motto: the One Plus 3 is a genuine flagship killer; one that is moderately priced enough to make the big boys cast a worried look behind.

Let’s just get it out of the way first the One Plus 2, released in 2014, failed to live up to the expectation created by the success of the One Plus. According to One Plus founder, “people have very, very high expectations. We got very lucky with the first device, and people wanted more. We have to balance expectations with what we’re capable of”. In other words, the company was still too small to accomplish what had come to be expected of it in so little a period.

It’s safe to say that it did not live up to its billing as the 2016 flagship killer.

Cue the One Plus 3.

OnePlus 3 review - infographic
OnePlus 3 review – infographic

This latest iteration from the smartphone start-up seems to be something else altogether. The company from Shenzhen may just have its flagship killer… and its costs just $399.

Armed with a whopping 6 GB of RAM, the One Plus 3 is powered by 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. It runs on an Android 6.0.1 and uses a 3000mAh non-removable battery.

It is a dual SIM phone, accepting two Nano-SIM; supports a wide array of connectivity options including; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, 3G, and 4G, and also comes loaded with a heap of sensors like Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope.

The One Plus 3 dimensions measure: 152.70 x 74.70 x 7.35 and it weighs 158.0 grams.

That covers the basics now on to the fun parts

OnePlus 3 Design
OnePlus 3 Design

One Plus 3 Design

When the One Plus company boasted that they went beyond bear specs and paid focus on design with the One Plus 3, they weren’t blowing the usual loud horn. This is maybe the biggest upgrade from the unfortunate One Plus 2 to the One Plus 3. The metal Uni-body is carved from a single slab of aluminum alloy and rounded at the edges to give a firm, yet subtle grip to it. It’s clear that the call of the fans for a more premium look than what had previously been on offer with the first two phones had reached the ears of those in charge.

Of course, it smacks of the fair amount of copy work that is prevalent in the smartphone industry today, copying bits off HTC, Samsung, and iPhone, but the end result is great and speaks well of the One Plus 3. Every time you see it, you just want to grab it; feels great in the hands.

There are two colors that you can choose from: graphite or dark gray and more recently soft gold.

On the front, the graphite design is black, as opposed to white for the gold. The only feature worthy of note on the front is the indented fingerprint scanner-come-home-button that is found underneath the display.

Principally owing to the huge amount of RAM memory, this scanner is pretty quick, taking a quoted time of 0.3 seconds to unlock.

On either side of this, you have two touch sensitive navigation keys that only come alive when touched.

At 7.35 mm in thickness, the One Plus 3 is among the flattest smartphones available on the market.

The only drawbacks to the design seem to be with the positioning of the stereo speakers and the lack of an option to expand on the 64GB storage via microSD. The stereo speakers positioned on the side will never sound as good as if they were placed in the front facing your ears. Then there is always the risk of you closing and stifling it off with your palms while gaming or watching a movie. The storage issue is most likely a consequence of the unibody design itself.


OnePlus 3 Display

The One Plus has a 5.1 inch Full HD AMOLED display that is miles ahead of the LCD based display of the One Plus 2. And while it is not on the same level as QHD which is a mainstay with the major players like Samsung and Apple, it still offers some really sterling color quality even at 50% brightness. The display also features a dual polarizing layer which One Plus insists makes the phone more easily visible when it broad daylight. You might still struggle to see once the phone is turned directly towards the sun, however.

The display goes right to the very rounded edges which give a more wholesome display.

Battery & Dash Charge

The 3000mAh battery built into the Uni-Body is capable of going one and a half days, which is not a far cry from 2 days boasted by the company.

Like other phones built on Google Marshmellow software, Google Doze mode allows you to leave the One Plus 3 on standby all night and lose only a few percent of battery level. If you are still scared of leaving your phone on, you need not worry: the One Plus 3 allows you to set up and alarm and have it boot your phone when its time.

Where this phone really shines in this field though is Dash Charge technology that allows you to gain a day’s worth of battery power in just 3o minutes. With Dash Charge, you can get up to 60% battery power in just 30 minutes. Using Dash Charge, fully charging up your phone could be done in just 75 minutes. All this can be done without the phone getting overheated like other smartphones. The trick behind this clever innovation is the thick USB cable that dissipates heat as it pumps 20W of power to the phone.

OnePlus3-review camera
OnePlus3-review camera

OnePlus 3 Camera

The One Plus 3 comes with a 16MP SONY sensor camera at the back and an 8MP camera on the front for selfies. While not in contention for best camera, you can prepare yourself for some colorful and stunning displays. It also boasts 4K recording.

There is a feature called Dynamic Denoise which smoothens out any of the graininess you are bound to encounter in your average low light photo. HD mode exists for boosting sharpness and clarity, while you can use HDR for balanced exposures under harsh lighting.

You can also manually alter the shutter speed and focus, as well as the brightness and contrast, in order to get the ideal shot.

Like we mentioned above, it is not a contender for a camera of the year, but once you get the hang of it, you will feel no qualms putting up a few on your social media accounts.


OnePlus 3 Software:

The One Plus 3 runs on OxygenOS that is built on the Google marshmallow this year. The edge that OxygenOS has over other android operating systems is the level of customisation afforded the user in a whole bunch of things concerning the interface like customizing LED notifications, selecting the specific app notification you want, and many other things, It makes for an even more exciting and customizable piece of software than you would expect.

There is also the shelf, a second screen to the left of the regular home screen where you can type memos and quickly get in touch with your favorite contacts or launch your most-used apps, plus view the weather, date, and reminders. Typical of OxygenOS type interface, you can switch it off if you prefer.

This is definitely one area where the One Plus 3 is at the fore with the very best.


Great Design

Adequate Life Battery

Great Software

Fast and Accurate Fingerprint sensor

Great Price


No Expandable Storage

Side Placed Stereo Speaker

Sub-Par-Low-Light Photography

All in all the One Plus 3 packs a serious punch for an affordable price, a sure sign that the One Plus company has its nose pointed squarely in the right direction. Noted in the past for not shying away from touting its products as flagship killers, they seem to be right on the money with this one.



Review Overview
  • DESIGN9.0
  • CAMERA8.0
  • BATTERY9.0
8.8Overall Score

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