In recent times, mobile devices have become quite a lifestyle partner for everyone and hence a new and awaited one always generates a lot of buzz around it. The Oneplus 3 is a handset that has a high level of buzz and expectation around it. We spent a couple of weeks with it. Let us look at this device that was launched a few minutes ago today.
OnePlus has been steadily and very effectively taking the public imagination and recall by storm over the past two years. They have steadfastly held on to their policy of not more than two devices a year when competitors have been quite literally dropping a device every two weeks. Their latest offering, OnePlus 3 has created quite a frenzy and was launched today by Carl Pei in a virtual event facilitated by the OnePlus Loop VR Headset. We had early access to this device and have spent a couple of weeks with it. So without much more waiting, let us get into the review
Oneplus have gone back to the drawing board for this one. The design is very different from any other Oneplus device that we have seen so far. The phone is made of metal and has a uni-body design. It is very gently curved at the back so that it can be held comfortably. The Alert slider has been inherited from the previous phone, but the volume rocker is on the same side as the alert slider and not with the power button.There are no sockets on the top side, the speaker grill, 3.5mm headset jack and the USB type-C socket are all at the bottom of the phone.The phone feels very light and premium when you hold it. Since they have gone for a thin profile, the camera has a very visible bump on the rear. But there is a metal ring that is protecting it. The device dimensions are 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm. The phone is made of anodized aluminium and comes in two finishes – graphite and soft gold. We got the graphite version and were told that the soft gold version would be available shortly after launch. The device weighs 158 grams and is very light to hold. The ceramic fingerprint sensor is quick and efficient!
If you are someone who worries a lot about the camera bump getting damaged and the glass breaking, Oneplus has thought of that and they have launched 5 style swap back covers to protect just that. And as is customary with Oneplus, they are available in kevlar, sandstone, bamboo, rosewood and black apricot finish. The back covers have been designed to run a tad bit over the camera bump, hence protecting it from accidental damage. And since the Oneplus 3 has a metal uni-body, putting on and getting off these covers is a breeze.
The Display is impressive on this one. It is a 5.5 inch 1080p Optic AMOLED display. The bezel is very thin at 0.75 mm. The company claims to have added a dual polarizing layer here to enhance sunlight visibility. We were able to see that sunlight visibility was better compared to other devices. There is built-in Gamma correction that makes it less of a strain on your eyes to view the screen. The glass is 2.5D curved and has a coating of Gorilla Glass 4 to take the rough and tough of daily use. The display is excellent, crisp and very efficient.
Coming to the processor, memory and performance. You will be left gaping when you hear this! The Oneplus 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad Core, Kryo, 2 x 2-2 GHz and 2 x1.6 GHz processor. The phone comes with a whopping 6GB RAM, yes you heard that right, 6 GB. The biggest worry you will ever have is how to use the memory to the full with this device. We threw everything we could at this one, we have photo editing, video editing, heavy downloading and a whole load of other things happening on this device and not once did it stutter even slightly! Smooth and blazing fast performance and effortless multi-tasking. The GPU is an Adreno 530. Before you get all lost in the techno jargon, what all this means is that you get a phone that can very easily make your laptop or PC sweat it out when it comes to performance. In comparison to the Oneplus 2, the Oneplus 3 performs about 35% faster and that is good considering that the OPT isn’t a slouch either.
The internal storage is 64 GB UFS 2.0. More than enough space to carry around all your music, videos, files and more! We quite literally replaced our laptops with the Oneplus 3 for two weeks and there wasn’t any reason to complain. If you can get it connected/docked to a larger screen and keyboard, you’re all set to go!
All the usual features are present, the device supports 2G/3G/4G in all bands, it also comes with CDMA and EVDO support. The phone has two nano SIM slots and does not support any storage expansion. It supports NFC, one thing that was missing in the Oneplus 2 and people were clamoring for it. It also comes with BlueTooth 4.2 support. The device supports all global positioning standards too.
The battery is 3000 mAH non-removable. Dash Charge is new and is a way to charge up really fast in very little time. The charging port is USB 2.0 type C and the Dash Charge proprietary method from Oneplus actually gets your phone enough power to run for a day in half an hour. Essentially, 60% of the 3000 mAH battery gets charged by then. The Dash Charge magic also effectively gets the onus of managing the charging to the adapter and hence the phone does not get heated up during charging. On a single charge, the battery lasted for about 11 hours on average use with calling, a little bit of social sharing and wifi on. The video loop played for 4.5 hours non-stop on a single charge.
Let’s get on to another impressive part of the phone, the camera! The Oneplus 3 comes with a rear camera that has a 16 MP Sony PDAF sensor with f2.0 aperture. The rear camera is capable of shooting 4K videos too. The front camera is an 8 MP one with f2.0 aperture and capable of recording 1080p video. Oneplus have added a Dynamic De-Noising engine to the camera that reduces noise effectively in the post processing of images. There is a handy HD toggle that helps to make images better. There is a very nifty auto HDR mode that can sense when you need it and make pictures better. There is an option to turn the auto HRD mode off and take control yourself. The usual suspects like the smile to click feature are there.
The camera is nearly flawless, the pictures came out crisp and there wasn’t any noticeable issue in saturation or color spill. The selfies were very good. The aperture helps when there is a bunch of folks you need to cover. All in all, the camera and the camera UI have got a fillip upward from the Oneplus 2 and the difference shows in the pictures. Oneplus have added a gallery app and you can swipe left from the camera UI to get into it.
The Oneplus 3 comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow running out of the box with Oxygen OS being their custom skin on it. Oxygen OS has always been light and devoid of bloatware. This has been maintained in the Oneplus 3. The Oxygen OS skin has been optimized a bit more in this device. The trademark shelf is still there and so are the other features like ambient display, accent color customization and night mode.
This phone has a great design, comes with excellent hardware, has humongous memory, performs like a breeze and at Rs 27,999/- we believe that it is well priced too. Should you upgrade to this device from the Oneplus 2? Hell Yeah! We are getting ready to fight with the Oneplus folks when it is time to return it to them! Just kidding! We have a segment defining phone here! Period!