Lightning fast fingerprint sensor
Worthy customisation options
Proprietary charging tech
Although it's not as affordable as the OnePlus One and even a few bucks more than the last year's OnePlus 2, the OnePlus 3 is the finest option by the Shenzhen maker.
Google’s Android has brought many new entrants into the limelight in the recent past. OnePlus is among those players. The Chinese company entered the smartphone world with the launch of the OnePlus One just a couple of years back. However, it gained huge popularity in such short span — thanks to its “flagship killer” offering. While the first model from OnePlus disrupted the market to some extent due to its efficient experience, the company weren’t able to result in the same success with its second flagship OnePlus 2 and the affordable OnePlus X. Both the smartphones faced heat from other Chinese offerings. All that was the history of the company that was started from a small office in Shenzhen in 2013 and so far spread across 42 countries worldwide. But as we’re living in 2016, we now have a refreshed OnePlus. It comes through the newly launched OnePlus 3. The new smartphone not just have an all new hardware to take on the competition but also a more compiling design than that of its predecessors to influence the market.
OnePlus 3 review
We’ve been using the OnePlus 3 at our labs from the time of its launch in India. So here’s our an in-depth review.
What’s in the Box
The OnePlus 3 is available in the Indian market with a price tag of Rs. 27,999. It comes in a rubberised box that features a numeric three on the top.
Once unboxed, the red and white colored OnePlus 3 box shows the handset unit that hides a quick start guide, SIM eject tool, USB Type-C cable and an AC charger with Dash Charge support.
The quality of the in-box content is as superior as just of any other flagship offering. The company missed bundling a decent headset. Nevertheless, the smartphone comes preloaded with a screen protector to resist minor scratches.
OnePlus brought a revolution to the smartphone market with its ‘Sandstone Back’ featuring OnePlus One. Shortly after the success of its rough back panel, the Shenzhen-based company had also introduced its ‘Bamboo’ panel. But with the swift change in the smartphone market, the OnePlus flagship model moved forward and got a whole metal design.
Yes, the OnePlus 3 is the company’s first handset with a unibody aluminium build. You won’t notice any major difference if you already owned a high-end HTC model — particularly any HTC One M series device. There are soft curves against sharp lines and a slim 7.3mm profile. Also, there is a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 panel on the front.
If we believe OnePlus founder Carl Pei, the OnePlus 3 sports the world’s thinnest bezels around the display panel. We found that the bezels on the either sides of the smartphone are so thin that you might even accidentally touch the screen when holding it in your palm.
The front side has a home button — embedded with a fingerprint sensor — and two touch-sensitive keys for back and recent app operations. There is also an LED notification light, earpiece and a couple of sensors on the front panel.
On the left, the new OnePlus smartphone has a volume rocker and physical Alert Slider. The Slider lets you toggle between three notification states, including Silent, Priority and All.
The right side has a power/lock key and a SIM card slot with a proprietary tray that can hold two nanoSIM cards. The tray doesn’t have a hybrid SIM card slot that could enable storage expansion on the OnePlus 3.
The smartphone has a complete bare design on the top, but its bottom has a USB Type-C port, drilled holes for the loudspeaker, primary microphone and a 3.5mm jack. There are also two screws that hold the screen on the smartphone and enable the unibody construction.
Since OnePlus ditched its iconic ‘Sandstone’ finish, the OnePlus 3 has a metal back. There is a hump for the primary camera sensor, an LED flash and an engraved OnePlus logo. The back panel notably secures the non-removable battery pack of the smartphone and comes equipped with an NFC chip.
With the all new build, the OnePlus 3 weighs 158 grams. This is lighter than most of the other flagship offerings but few grams heavier than the Apple iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7.