After The Hype: Where does the OnePlus 3 stand in the smartphone world?

With all the new smartphones released this year like the Apple iPhone 7, Google Pixel and also the recently launched OnePlus flagship, the revamped and beefier OnePlus 3T, makes the tech community wonder where does the OnePlus 3 stand amidst of all the new releases?

To give a rundown, here are the specs of this little beast.

Quick Spec Guide:

  • Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
  • Adreno 530 GPU
  • 5.5 inches (~73.1% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Body dimension 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm (6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 in)
  • Only 158 g in weight
  • 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash
  • 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
  • 2160p@30fps, 720p@120fps, Auto HDR
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 1/3.2″ sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, 1080p
  • 64 GB of non-expandable storage, 6 GB DDR4 RAM
  • USB v2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
  • Dash Charging (around 0 – 60 % charge in 30 minutes)
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • Oxygen OS (Android Marshmallow with an upcoming Nougat 7.1 update by the end of 2016)

My daily experience with this mobile device has been exceptionally smooth! The company’s take on Android (Oxygen OS) has really been impressive. It is a lightly skinned version of Android which gives the user a Nexus-like, or rather, a Pixel-like pure android experience with slight customizations like dark mode which takes advantage of the OLED panel of the OnePlus 3 giving it a dark theme in order to save precious battery life.

Here are sample screenshots of the customization settings:

There have been no hints of lag or slowing down in terms of performance since I got the device. Apps open quickly and it’s been really impressive so far. It generally handles mobile gaming with no problems and stutters due to its flagship processor and ram management. The decision to use a 1080p display definitely helps in gaming performance as there is less stress to the soc in terms of performance.

As far as the display goes, this is arguably the best looking 1080p Android smartphone in the market today. The decision of OnePlus to use an OLED panel for its display is a great decision in my opinion. Colors have a slight pop to it and is beautifully saturated. Viewing experience is vibrant but not too straining. Great job OnePlus!
If I had one gripe, I wish the OnePlus 3 had better direct sunlight visibility. Something on the level of the Samsung Galaxy S7 series would have been the icing on the cake.

Battery life under regular usage is pretty good. I usually get around 5 to 6 hours of screen on time with a little bit of gaming, regular usage of social media and YouTube.


The phone usually lasts me a full day of usage but if ever I’m running low on juice, a quick 30 minute charge using its proprietary charger (Dash Charger) gives me around 60% charge and gets me through my full schedule. To say that Dash Charging is blazing fast is an understatement. This is the fastest charging implementation of any smartphone right now and it is something that one must experience first hand to truly appreciate.

Camera performance, though not the best, is definitely among the better shooters right now in the smartphone world. To my eyes, the colors are natural and is less saturated compared to other brands. Autofocus and OIS definitely helps in automatic shots. Low light under the right circmunstance is relatively good with

Here are some samples:

So the question is. With the recently released OnePlus 3T with its slightly upgraded Snapdragon 821 processor, a beefed up 3400 mah non-removable battery, 16 megapixel front camera, an internal storage of 64/128 gigabytes respectively and retains the 1080p panel and 6 gigs of rams, is the OnePlus 3 still worth getting or keeping?

I SAY YES!!! Though the OnePlus 3T is around 439 USD for the 64 gig variant and 479 USD for the 128 gig variant, the OnePlus 3 still stands out as the best budget smartphone available right now all things considered (specifically under the 400 dollar mark)

I’ve been using the OnePlus 3 as my daily driver for quite some time now and I can claim with full confidence that at 399 USD, this is easily one of the best smartphones available in the market today regardless of the price point. There is little to no compromise when it comes to build quality and the OnePlus 3 performs just as good as the more expensive flagship smartphones of 2016. Software updates have been consistently provided and the massive community support in terms of rooting and flashing different custom roms are definitely something to be excited about for the hardcore smartphone enthusiasts. OnePlus has been very keen on keeping its users happy in terms of bringing the latest Android updates. The planned Android Nougat update by the end of 2016 is a testament to that and Oxygen OS only keeps on getting better and faster.

Never Settle has been the company’s mantra for 3 years running. But in this case, I’m definitely settling with the OnePlus 3 and this phone is definitely a KEEPER.

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