OnePlus 3 Review - The Affordable Flagship Killer For 2016?
|Our OnePlus 3 review!|
OnePlus 3 Specs
Display: 5.5 Inch FHD Optic AMOLED 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved screen and Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 2.15 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 820 quad core processor
GPU: Adreno 530
RAM: 6 GB
ROM: 64 GB
Back Camera: 16 MP f/2.0 IMX298 sensor w/ PDAF, OIS, and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX219
Battery: 3,000 mAh w/ Dash Charge 4A
OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow w/ Oxygen OS
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, Colors: gray, black, gold
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm
Weight: 158 g
Disclaimer: This OnePlus 3 is a review unit from Digits Trading for an honest review.
Unboxing / Accessories
|Everything inside the box!|
This cable is absolutely the thickest we've ever seen that is paired with a phone.
We were very confident that this cable won't wear down because of usual use unlike the competition. *cough*APPLE and Samsung*cough* Oh and the thickness of the calbe is just right, it never feels unwieldly thick. Inside the innercompartment under the hard plastic insert are the documentations and the quick start guides.
Build Quality / Design
|Main camera and OnePlus logo behind|
The OnePlus 3 is as premium as it can get. It is made with beautiful smooth glass with solid brushed aluminum that catches your eye like your old high school crush everytime you see it.
Beautiful Smooth glass and Solid Brushed Aluminum
Even with those sturdy materials, it still remains incredibly lighter than the competion. You will find the speaker, the USB C port and the volume rocker at the bottom. The textured silent switch on the left side. On the right, you will find the sim card tray and the power button.
|Single speaker, Type C port, single mic, and 3.5 mm jack below|
|Silent switch for alerts / notification, and volume rocker at left|
|Power button and ejectable dual nano SIM card tray at right|
We can't stress enough how the curve at the back makes it so easy to hold in our hands. The brushed aluminum also helps add friction to help prevent the phone from slipping through our hands.
Flagship design, great affordability!
The bezels aren't the thinnest and there's camera protrusion but it never bothered us. We also love the fact that we could customize the back of the phone with the OnePlus backplate accessories.
All its buttons are also easy to reach due to its standard placements. The fingerprint sensor at the home button is capacitive which took a while to get used to. Some people may miss the clicky feedback from a real button.
|Sharp and vibrant at the same time|
The 401 ppi 5.5 inch 1920 by 1080 FHD screen is good but not great. The colors are vibrant but not oversaturated and the images are sharp with great depth rendition and nice viewing angles but the screen is not that bright. At max settings, it is difficult to see the items on screen when outside with bright daylight.
|10 points of touch!|
Like any flagship, it has a smooth and responsive 10 point multitouch display that never gave us lag or inaccuracies with our touch experience.
At first we thought that this device is equipped with dual speakers below. Unforunately, only one of them acts as a speaker and the other one is the microphone. In terms of quality, it can deliver tunes with acceptable clarity and details. It also doesn't sound as muddy and distorted against other lower-end phones. However, but it isn't loud even on a quiet room in our opinion.
It did not come with an earphone in the box. This may have been on of the reasons why the price has reached it's super affordable level. Anyway, audio headphone output quality on this device sounds good enough even for audiophiles and great for casual listeners. It's bass heavy that most will like, but clarity and details are still there. To be precise, mids are thick, but might be too heavy for some. Highs are listenable, airy, and not that peaky. Soundstaging has good depth as well. It's driving power isn't the loudest around though.
For calls, microphone quality did an decent job. We've never had a caller telling us that they had difficulty with calls made to us with the One Plus 3. Audio from our video recordings turned out to be decent as well.
|Almost 10 hours!|
Battery life is better than your average flagship phone!
In real life moderate usage, it lasted from around 6 am to 8 pm only. It gets me through the day but intensive social media and youtube video viewing on 4G will drain it faster.
Charging time from 0 to 100 averages in the 60 minute ranges. What surprised us even more is that it never got hot while fast / dash charging! Crazy!
|The main camera behind|
Packing a 16 MP f/2.0 IMX298 sensor w/ PDAF, OIS, and LED flash the camera of OnePlus 3 has three notable modes: HDR, HDR-A and HQ. Then it has panorama, slowmotion, and manual camera settings.
Usually with more affordable phones, the camera quality takes a hit to help reduce the price. The OnePlus 3's primary camera is amazing. The pictures are sharp, vibrant and eye catching straight from the camera when in bright conditions. It can even do macro focus pretty close at around 3 inches near.
You can't however use HDR and HQ at the same time. We generally prefer the output of the HQ settings for the brightly lit situations. We use HDR when when the lighting isn't ideal. The results are pleasing to us but as we said, it's inconsistent in low light.
In low light, the camera is inconsistent. We had times where they were very respectable compared to the competition, but we also had times where it performed below average. For its price, we can't complain.
The LED flash helps but pictures tend to have this harsh light that may turn off some people. Otherwise, it helps immensely with the low light situations.
Rear Camera Samples
|HDR on daylight|
|Cloudy day shot|
|Awesome night shot in Dohtonbori|
In front it has a 8 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX219 selfie camera with wide angle lens. However, its settings might be too plain for some as it doesn't have fancy modes such as beautify and filters.
|Selfie camera software|
Fortuantely its quality is very good for a selfie cam! We were surprised at how it handles bright and low light conditions. The pictures are sharp while the colors are accurate and vibrant but to a lesser degree than the main camera. Images are just generally great! Low light pictures are better than the phones in its price range.
|Daylight selfie time!|
|Selfie in harsh light|
|Top notch Antutu benchmark and Geekbench scores!|
Performance is on par if not better than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. In fact, in Antutu, the OnePlus had higher scores than the S7 which surprised us. We ran Chrome with at least 4 tabs and it still was silky smooth!
|Clean looking Oxygen OS is cool!|
The OS itself is pretty light so it makes it feel even faster!
To complete the experience we like thats USB Type C port is OTG ready, Bluetooth works (a little slower though), telephony signal for calls / SMS is strong, and LTE connectivity is stable on places with proper signals.
Pros - Beautiful, solid and light weight design, 6 GB of RAM, capable primary camera, USB Type C, LTE connectivity, gyroscope sensor, speaker can get loud with great clarity, 4K video recording is great, Oxygen OS is fast!
Cons - Single Speaker, no stock earphones, low light pictures are inconsistent, display is not that bright, non-expandable storage
VerdictIf you want flagship performance on midrnage budget, this is the phone to get! The build quality, design, and feel are up there with the best. We highly recommend this phone if you want the best in class for price. If you don't mind the less than stellar brightness of the screen, no other phone comes close in terms of price. This is a contender for phone of the year!
GIZ Rating: 4.95/5 Stars