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OnePlus 3 review

8.9/10 AVG.
RATING



8.9/10
Informr score
The OnePlus 3 currently has an Informr score of 8.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 53 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Great battery life
  • All-metal chassis
  • Blazing performance
  • 6GB of RAM
  • Dual SIM support
  • High level of software customization options

What's bad

  • Finicky camera
  • No microSD support
  • Non-removeable battery
  • Concerns about memory availability
  • Proprietary cable/charger required for quick charging

With their first few releases, OnePlus attempted to disrupt the mobile flagship dynamic--proving you don’t have to pay top-tier prices for a top-tier experience. While results were questionable, there’s no doubting that they’ve earned a bit of a following. With their latest device, the OnePlus 3, they’re trying again to defy standards.

Does the phone live up to the hype? We’ve dug deep into the best reviews on the Internet to bring you this summary!

Let’s begin!

One the outside, the OnePlus 3 is polished yet unassuming. Many reviews noted that the design shares many of the visual elements of HTC’s latest phones. It’s aluminum unibody chassis features a slim fit for pocketability while the side buttons offer easy access to phone features without having to stretch your hand across the rather large facade. Alphr spend some time with the phone and declared, “The OnePlus feels robust and refined in all the right ways.” The Verge echoes this sentiment, calling it “an incredibly well-built device.”

The only complaint amongst reviews on the design, comes from the camera. While many other flagships feature flush or near-flush cameras, the 16+ MP rear-lens on the OnePlus 3 creates an obvious bump. It’s not enough to cause instability when laid flat or risk damaging the camera, but it was enough for several reviews to point it out.

Heading around to the front of the phone, you’ll find the 5.5-inch 1080p Optic LED display, a capacitive home key with fingerprint scanner and two capacitive buttons--both of which can be programmed to do other things or disabled entirely in the settings. Alphr noted that the fingerprint scanner is “as responsive and reliable as you’d hope it to be.”

Reviews on the screen were mostly positive. The Verge put it to the test and described it as “bright, vibrant, easy to see outdoors, and at 401ppi, plenty sharp enough for human eyes.” While reviews generally applauded the brightness, clarity and detail, they were all quick to point out that it falls prey to the color issues typical of OLED screen. Alphr noted, “Certain graphics and icons take on a strangely candy-color, neon quality.”

To help you make the most of the screen, OnePlus went with a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor. As with most of 2016 flagships using this processor, reviews noted no issues with performance. Unlike most of flagships, the phone sports an unheard of 6GB of RAM--though there’s a bit of controversy over how much the phone actually uses. CNet put their test model through the paces and came out with nothing but praise, saying, “Tasks like launching Google Now, calling up the keyboard and opening the app drawer were noticeably swift.” Alphr was equally positive, saying, “The phone feels ultra-responsive, and there’s pretty much nothing I’ve found that fazes it.”

Also like most flagships this year, the OnePlus 3 is running Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 alongside their Oxygen OS. Unlike many of the interfaces on offer currently, reviewers appear to love the changes made by OnePlus. SlashGear says, “Customization should be key, here, from a company that says they're all about the absence of compromise in all things. And they are, for the most part - they certainly make a good effort of making a best-in-class device, that's for sure. OnePlus has created a nice set of very basic modifications for Google's Android.” Better still, no reviews mentioned the UI bogging down or cluttering up the phone.

One downside to those looking to store their movies, music or a large collection of games on the phone is that is doesn’t support microSD cards. However, with 64GB of internal storage, there should be plenty of room to stay entertained or productive--even on lengthy commutes or flights.

While the 3,000mAh battery might seem average at best on paper, reviews on the overall battery life are positive. Perhaps this is a benefit to the 1080p OLED display compared to the 2K+ displays on many recent flagships. Every review we found a runtime of at least a full day, even under heavy use.

OnePlus also uses proprietary DASH Charging quick charging. Alphr hooked up their demo phone to the wall and found, “Using the charger supplied in the box, the OnePlus 3 reached 50% in 23 minutes, 75% in 35 minutes and 100% in 1hr 14mins.” However, the way that DASH works requires both the cable and charger from OnePlus to work. So expect to spend a little more on replacements or car adapters--both available direct through OnePlus--if you want to take advantage of that speed.

If you’re looking for a great camera, the OnePlus offers a 16+ MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and phase-detect autofocus. The front-facing camera is a beefy 8+MP. Reviews on the cameras are mixed. There were few faults found in image quality, with CNet saying, “In well-lit situations, colors were true-to-life (especially the white hues), and objects were sharp and in focus. In dimmer settings or environments with tricky lighting, photos still turned out clear and evenly exposed.” Same goes with the front camera. Alphr noted that it “captures a truly scary level of facial detail in selfies.”

However, many found that shutter delay was a problem. Especially for low-light shots. Also, color was inconsistent across shots. Reviews seem to agree that when it takes great pictures, they’re on par with the best on the market. Unfortunately, getting consistent results is a bit tricky.

On-the-go buyers will find the inclusion of NFC and dual SIM support convenient additions. There’s also USB Type-C connectivity for hassle-free hook ups--though the DASH Charging means you’re stuck carrying an extra charger and cable to take advantage of speedy top offs.

Overall, it appears that OnePlus is finding its stride with their latest release. For the price, compromised are virtually non-existent. The Verge agreed, saying, “The OnePlus 3 might be the first affordable phone that truly makes good on the promise to be as great as the high-priced flagships. It hits all the marks for what an Android phone should offer in 2016, and it does so at a price that’s significantly less than the competition.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Wirecutter

A fast CPU and more memory than most flagship phones, the OnePlus 3 also has a durable aluminum body and the best camera on any phone in its price category.

- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
Tech Advisor

The OnePlus 3 is another amazing smartphone from the Chinese company as easily its best effort yet. It's a little bit more expensive than its predecessor but it's still a ridiculous price considering the design, build and hardware on offer which matches rivals but also beats them in some areas. Ther...

- Chris Martin, Tech Advisor
Phone Scoop

OnePlus managed to create a compelling handset in the 3. The phone covers all the necessary bases to be deemed a flagship, and yet it doesn't even come close to flagship pricing.

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop
Beta News

It is hard to find something not to like about the OnePlus 3. It is an impressive smartphone that you can get used to and enjoy right away. The OnePlus 3 offers everything that you can want for $399, and possibly more, and it is, without a doubt, one of the best smartphones that you can get this yea...

- Mihăiță Bamburic, Beta News
Make Use Of

All in all, a solid, impressive device let down by questions over the longevity of the battery life. But hey, fast charge to the rescue!

- Christian Cawley, Make Use Of


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Screen Size
5.5"

The OnePlus 3's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3000 mAh battery. OnePlus's performance ratings are 1968 minutes, 483 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

OnePlus 3 Specs

Overview
Release date June 14, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /850/900/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EV-DO, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 6 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.394 W/kg
Body: 0.323 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 795 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 483 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1968 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 3 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Graphite, Soft Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.3 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm (6 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 158 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX HD
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, DivX, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Self-timer
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MP3, OGG, QCP, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, DivX, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Additional Sensors: Fingerprint sensor
Related Links Manual (PDF)
OnePlus 3 Reviews
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