OnePlus 3 Review

OnePlus finally has a genuine flagship killer thinks John McCann.

Third time’s a charm, right? Well, that’s what OnePlus will be hoping with its third-generation flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3.

True to its ‘Never Settle’ mantra, OnePlus is pushing forward with its ‘flagship specs for half the price’ game plan and with the new OnePlus 3 the signs are positive.

There’s no QHD resolution, nor is there a microSD slot, and users have just one internal storage option: 64GB.

OnePlus 3 Review

But if you can look past those minor shortcomings, and embrace the power, premium design and performance the OnePlus 3 is offering, this is the firm’s best-ever device.

With a Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB of RAM, 16MP rear camera, 8MP front snapper, fingerprint scanner and 3,000mAh fast-charging battery, the OnePlus 3 has the tools – on paper at least – to take on the big names.

The single biggest advancement is the design, OnePlus has answered fan’s calls for a more premium design, delivering its first metal uni-body smartphone in the OnePlus 3, cut from a single slab of aluminium.

The fingerprint scanner is much quicker at recognizing your digits and unlocking the OnePlus 3 than it was on the OnePlus 2, with a quoted time of just 0.3 seconds.

OnePlus says it’s faster than Apple’s Touch ID, and we’re inclined to agree with that.

It retains its dual-SIM capabilities, but offers no microSD slot; the second SIM slot in the likes of the Huawei P9 doubles as a microSD slot. OnePlus explain this away as a design decision.

There’s no QuadHD display here—something many ‘flagship’ handsets boast. It’s stuck with a 5.5-inch full HD panel on the OnePlus 3, but it has at least moved to an AMOLED panel, giving you brighter, punchier colors with a dual-polarising layer for outdoor viewing.

Packed with power OnePlus says its 16MP camera makes it hard to take a bad photo, with auto HDR, Phase Detection AutoFocus and Dynamic De-noise. You can also capture photos in RAW format, and the manual mode allows you greater control over settings such as ISO, white balance and shutter speed.

The OnePlus 3 is absolutely packed full of power. Qualcomm’s top of the range Snapdragon 820 processor is joined by a huge amount of RAM: 6GB! Performance is very good, with smooth navigation and swift app load times— but it doesn’t set itself apart from the pack. Running the Geekbench 3 returned a multi-core score of 5,425, placing the handset in the middle of 2016’s flagships. It also comfortably beats the OnePlus 2 (4795) and iPhone 6S (4417) from 2015.

Even with moderate use, most days I found myself switching on the Battery Saver as I hit 15% come early evening.

Our 90-minute HD video test saw the battery drop 23%, which is average.

True to its word, OnePlus hasn’t settled and is offering a more powerful and premium designed handset.

Quick charging is a big thing and the Dash Charge technology can replenish half the battery in half an hour. To work the phone does require the supplied charger and thicker USB C cable.

Specs
OS:Android
6.0.1
CPU:
Snapdragon 820
quad-core 2x
2.15GHz Kryo, 2x
1.6GHz Kryo
RAM:6GB
SSD:64GB
Display:5.5-inch, 1080 x 1920
AMOLED
Power:
3000mAh
Camera:16MP
main, 8MP rear
Comms:Wi-Fi
802.11 ac,
Bluetooth 4.2 LE,
NFC, USB-C
Sensors:
Fingerprint,
accelerometer,
gyro, proximity,
compass
Size: 152.7×74.7
x7.4mm
Weight:158g

NFC also makes a return as it enables Android Pay contactless payments. Android 6 is coupled with its own Oxygen interface and OnePlus provides tools for easy rooting, alternative bootloaders and there’s active CyanogenMod OS development in its favor. At the time of writing, the OnePlus 3T was also launched with an improved battery, CPU and various storage options, albeit for more than the OnePlus 3.

9 Total Score
OnePlus 3 Review

Improves on a number of issues and manages to keep the price low enough to worry the established names.

Add your review

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite (UK) 8GB RAM 128GB Storage SIM-Free Smartphone with 108MP Triple Camera - Pastel Lime [UK version]

£269.00
£249.00
 in stock
7 new from £249.00
1 used from £259.88
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of February 27, 2024 8:46 am

Features

  • 108MP Triple Camera with 3x Lossless Zoom and Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) - titanic main camera that captures clear, high-detail photos with 9-in-1 pixel binning tech that absorbs more light for brighter, more colorful images.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 Chipset - With up to 8GB of expandable virtual RAM that will have you swiping and switching between apps at blistering speed.
  • 67W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition + 5,000 mAh Battery - A day's power in just 30 minutes. SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charging and Battery Health Engine technology increase the battery's lifespan and prevent over-charging.
  • 6.7” 120 Hz Display + Dual Stereo Speakers - Lose yourself in your favorite movies and shows with a massive LCD display and a speedy 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate that saves on battery + 200% Ultra Volume Mode to tune into the dual stereo speakers.
  • OxygenOS 13.1 - Fast and Smooth experience and incredible features including Quick Start and Gaming Tools, with Game Focus Mode and improved app optimisation.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite (UK) 8GB RAM 128GB Storage SIM-Free Smartphone with 108MP Triple Camera - Chromatic Grey [UK version]

£274.98
£249.00
 in stock
Amazon.co.uk
as of February 27, 2024 8:46 am

Features

  • 108MP Triple Camera with 3x Lossless Zoom and Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) - titanic main camera that captures clear, high-detail photos with 9-in-1 pixel binning tech that absorbs more light for brighter, more colorful images.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 Chipset - With up to 8GB of expandable virtual RAM that will have you swiping and switching between apps at blistering speed.
  • 67W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition + 5,000 mAh Battery - A day's power in just 30 minutes. SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charging and Battery Health Engine technology increase the battery's lifespan and prevent over-charging.
  • 6.7” 120 Hz Display + Dual Stereo Speakers - Lose yourself in your favorite movies and shows with a massive LCD display and a speedy 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate that saves on battery + 200% Ultra Volume Mode to tune into the dual stereo speakers.
  • OxygenOS 13.1 - Fast and Smooth experience and incredible features including Quick Start and Gaming Tools, with Game Focus Mode and improved app optimisation.
7Review earns Amazon affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases. You can support the site directly via Paypal donations ☕. Thank you!
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

7Review
Logo