OnePlus 3 Review


The OnePlus 3 is finally here and does it signal the end of paying too much for your phone?

Lets get started with the obvious, the OnePlus 3 is a great phone, its not perfect, but its a great phone. I can wholeheartedly recommend buying it to anyone looking for a high end phone with £309 to burn, heres why:

The first impression you get when you’ve finished unboxing your oneplus 3 is how well built the phone feels. The cool aluminum body of the feels surprisingly light in the hand and leaves you wondering how they managed to get a large screened 5.5 inch device feel this good.

Turning on the device gives you a glimpse of what some reviewers call the OnePlus 3’s major compromise: the screen. Sure it’s not ultra high resolution like the Samsung S7 family but aside from those phones I can’t say I’ve seen a phone look much better. Colours look good without being over saturated, brightness is decent, outdoors it manages fibe. I have to describe it as a very good 1080p panel, the only real reason it might let you down is when you use it for VR as then you find there will be pixels showing. There are updates planned to allow for SRGB and we will see in the future how this expands

Moving on to the headline feature, speed, and this thing flies. In benchmarks it seems to beat every phone out there and I have come from iOS and thought android phones to be slower than a 6s but was more than impressed. The Snapdragon 820 plus the 6gb of RAM the device packs, shows that OnePlus is serious about killing flagships. The 6gb of RAM has been controversial in that the phone will rarely, if ever, use it to prevent battery loss but the phone never felt slow despite this. Carl Pei has said that he intended to make battery as good as possible for the average user but understood full well that the powerful OnePlus community would be able to mod to unlock the device if they wanted and said this was the best way to let the average user get what they need but leave the options open for the more technical user. Performance is no slouch however with an Antutu score of a staggering 139764, you know this phone is going to deliver.

Speaking of which lets get this out of the way guys, the battery life on the OnePlus 3 is….okay. It’s not perfect but it does the job and gives you much more than something like my iPhone 6s. Optimisations in android 6.0 marshmallow and the doze feature clearly help with the phone loosing barely any power overnight if left on doze. Other issues are caused by location services which typically drains battery more quickly. In a typical day I found i got from 8.30am until about 5pm before things started getting dicey. This included social media notifications pretty constantly, a few calls, a video or two, camera usage of about 10 photos, 1 hours music streaming, the odd flick on tinder (yes I’m single, form an orderly queue…), and then some email.

Charging though…Dash charge is a revolution and I think OnePlus are being careful offering 60% at 30 mins when in many cases I was getting close to 70%. This kind of charging fundamentally changes your opinion of your phones battery. Running low ? Just pop it on for a bit and before you’ve remembered to check you have massively increased your battery.

It’s not a perfect solution, the argument for larger battery when a phone has a camera hump made by MKBHD rings true, but its a monumental difference for people who are on the go all day, come home to change and go out. In that changing time you could actually fill your phone back up for the night ahead.

Oxygen OS is refreshingly clean as far as a manufacturer OS goes, you have the shelf waiting for you where you would normally find google now on the google launcher, by swiping left, and this lets you set certain widgets and memos, as well as the weather to come up, I found google now to be more useful overall but I think others might like it. Other than that it feels like OnePlus know not to mess around too much, the extra customisations feel purposeful for power users but, to put it simply, my mum would never find them or be worried about them. Overall it’s a solid effort by OnePlus to give customers a little more without causing problems ( Looking at you Samsung).

Overall, the reason I feel this phone is so strong is that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, I can go to the Apple website right now in the UK and pick up a 6s Plus 64gb for £699 or I can go to the OnePlus site and pick up a OnePlus 3 64gb for £309. Both phones are lightning fast, have great cameras, good if not the best screen quality, fast fingerprint readers, and a large amount of storage. One has dash charging, runs android if thats what you prefer and comes in £390 cheaper. I could literally buy two and still have change, its insane. Now I know Apple has always charged a premium for its devices and people point to android competitors in the mid range that come in with great pricing, but this phone isn’t competing in the mid range, its a true flagship in all but screen, and even there its still the same resolution as the flagship Sony X Performance for example. Again comparing it to the S7 edge (and you really can) £639 vs £309, I could take one and throw it away and still have saved money. 
To conclude, I know money isn’t the way people pick there phone every time, but this phone is the first flagship you can buy without losing out on something. In the past, OnePlus one might have sacrificed build quality, OnePlus 2 sacrificed silly things like NFC. The OnePlus one has none of these drawbacks, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt more likely to recommend a phone to someone.

Go online and order one and get yours unboxed.

If you want to see more camera images I will be testing the phone out on instagram at steven_r_harris or if you want to ask questions tweet at steven_r_harris there.

Like what you read? Give Steven Harris a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.