Yes, the OnePlus 3 is here. Come 12.30am, you can buy the phone for a cool Rs 27,999.
Gone are the pesky invites for which you had to grovel and put up pretentious statuses. For the first time in the last two years, I can safely say the phone exceeds expectations.
|If your budget tops around the 30k market, this the phone for you.|
Often in the last two years, the hype around OnePlus products has been immense, and they haven't matched up to it. They have been good, not great.
This year, the hype has been arguably less, but the OnePlus 3, as it turns out, is fantastic.
If your budget tops around the 30k market, this is the phone for you.
Since Xiaomi entered the Indian market in 2014, it has been flooded with phones that boast hardware specifications similar to the very best Android phones.
The OnePlus 3 is no different in this regard. However, often these phones come with their set of issues. Even older OnePlus phones had issues. The OnePlus 3 is almost faultless.
It packs the very best Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and marries it to not 4 but 6GB of RAM. There’s also 64GB of storage.
In use, this converts to scorching performance - be it multi-tasking, running benchmarks or gaming. The OnePlus 3 performs faster than my Galaxy S7 and runs significantly cooler.
Even Xiaomi’s Mi 5 can’t keep up with this one and that phone was actually criticised by many of my reviewer friends for its heating issues. But the OnePlus 3 is a different story altogether. That explains why it is being lauded universally.
Smart and elegant
OnePlus smartphones have always been smartly designed, but this time around, the phone is also elegant. Chiselled out of aluminium, OnePlus has given the phone a brushed finish and subtle curvature on the back, which means that despite its large size, the phone fits rather comfortably in your hands.
In fact, the OnePlus 3 is actually a very well-built smartphone and feels every bit as premium as say the HTC One. Compared to the Rs 52,990 LG G5, it is in a class of its own.
That’s how good the quality of its build is.
A usable camera
For the first time, I am ecstatic to report that a OnePlus phone has a really good camera. For the first time, there’s a phone from a rather new brand that actually delivers on the camera.
For context, I would say the OnePlus 3 camera is on the same level as the Google Nexus 6P, which outside the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7 is the best one on the market.
It is telling that the 16-megapixel sensor on the OnePlus 3 works well, because it shows that the company has optimised the software to the tee.
The other big Chinese start-up which is known for its phones - Xiaomi - has fallen behind in this regard despite the company talking up the camera on the Mi 5.
Not that the Mi 5 is bad, in fact, before the OnePlus 3 camera came along, it was probably the best one in the price band, but the latter pushes the envelope.
It also not too bad at taking selfies.
One of the reasons people have come to love OnePlus devices is that they always come with clean software. Originally, it was CyanogenMod, and of late, it has been Oxygen OS, which is based on Android Marshmallow.
More or less, it looks like the Google Nexus and Motorola smartphones. There are a few tweaks here and there, but the key is that the software is very straightforward and simple to navigate.
There’s no bloat, which means with six gigabytes of RAM and the latest Snapdragon processor, the phone just sings.
No battery life pangs
The OnePlus 2 had a 3,300mAh battery, and now the OnePlus 3, strangely has a smaller 3,000mAh battery. But the devil is in the detail.
OnePlus has swapped out a standard thirsty LCD screen for a frugal and nicer looking AMOLED screen, which doesn’t consume any power when showing black colours.
It also leverages the functions of Android Marshmallow’s Doze feature, which enhances the battery life of the phone and couples it with a more efficient processor.
The processor is actually a big upgrade for the battery life as the Snapdragon 810 on the OnePlus 2 was thirsty with its eight cores and used to get very hot.
With the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm’s chip has half the amount of cores which are more efficient and powerful. The sum of this means the OnePlus 3 actually outperforms the OnePlus 2 in longevity.
It also comes with a new "Dash Charger", which is sturdy and can charge your phone at a rapid clip.
If you think about it, there can only be two functional reasons you would not want the OnePlus 3. The first one being it has a 1080p screen instead of qHD one, which is a nonsensical argument as even the iPhone 6S Plus has the same resolution.
The second one being that it will likely not get an update to Android N in the near term, which is a logical and understandable reason, but in the larger scheme of things, a minor quibble.
Then there’s the fact that you want a brand. Well, for all those folks there’s the iPhone.