At the moment, the OnePlus 3 takes the first place in the Antutu ranking. Besides its outstanding performance it convinces with the excellent processing and an ingenious operating system. But is the smartphone a real top-of-the-range killer with these specs?

Design and build quality

The OnePlus 3’s casing is made of only one piece and consists of aluminium, which is only disrupted by two borders at the top and bottom. The 5.5-inch display is enclosed with these borders and slightly rounded off. 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 protects the display from scratches. The processing is excellent, there are no gaps and the buttons are fixed well in the casing. The smartphone is very slim with 7.35mm. Thanks to being almost bezel-free and combined with a weight of 158g, the 5.5-inches feel pleasingly in your hand. However, a one-handed operation is not always possible.

Below the display there is the fingerprint scanner/home button. On the left- and right-hand-side you can find the two illuminated soft-touch buttons. Above the display next to the earpiece, there are the front camera and the brightness as well as the proximity sensor. In addition, there is a RGB notification LED, which shines in several colours.

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On the rear (which can’t be removed) there is the second microphone (noise-cancelling microphone) in the center of the top border. Below, the camera module juts out of the aluminium with about 2mm. Below the camera there is the flash. On the rear you can also find the OnePlus logo in chromed optics.

The volume key and the so-called alert-slider are on the left and have a pleasingly strong feedback. On the other side, there are the power buttons and the SIM slot, in which 2 Nano SIMs can be inserted. The OnePlus 3 is a dual-SIM phone.

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In order to keep the upper side clean, speaker, microphone, USB type-C as well as the audio jack are at the bottom.

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The OnePlus 3’s speaker provides an excellent sound and doesn’t overdrive. The sound quality when using earphones is great as well. The treble and middle are clear; the bass could have a bit more power. Therefore, an equalizer or something similar, which is integrated in the system in order to boost the bass is missing. Concerning design, OnePlus does it right on the third attempt and leaves behind the strange attempts from the past. In terms of processing quality, OnePlus can compete with the best players in the smartphone scene.

Oneplus 3 scope of delivery

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Out of the box you receive:

  • Screen protector
  • USB type-C cable
  • Power plug
  • Short operating instructions
  • SIM ejection tool

Display

The 5.5-inch AMOLED display has a full-HD resolution and is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. The smartphone offers a precise 10-point touchscreen, which responds fast to input. The viewing angles are extremely stable, which is typical of AMOLED. Strictly speaking, the 455cd/m² brightness is too low for a high-end smartphone. The display can be used only limited in bright sunlight. The colours are represented strongly and the colour balance can be adjusted if required. In addition, Oxygen OS offers a night modus, whose colour balance can be adjusted extra. The OnePlus 3 offers a great display and does not have to hide from Quad-HD screens.

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Performance and operating system

The OnePlus 3 provides a Snapdragon 820 which clocks at 2×2.2GHz and 2×1.6GHz. It is supported by an Adreno 530 and 6GB RAM. The 64GB internal memory cannot be extended. The first place in the Antutu ranking as well as in the rankings of Ice Storm and Sling Shot confirms the phone’s extremely high performance.

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Screenshot_20160716-204212The internal memory is quite fast with a reading/writing speed of 432.4/177.86MB/s. The RAM takes the first place in every Benchmark ranking with 15676.35MB/s and its 6GB are big enough to have several apps running simultaneously.

The heat generation is normal while playing most games; playing Pokémon Go with GPS, internet connection and the display turned on for two hours, the phone does get warmer. However, it never passes the 40° mark.

Oxygen OS on Android 6 basis

The OnePlus 3 offers the Oxygen OS, which is based on Android 6. The system is well thought-out, but it takes some time to find all its functions. Those who like individual design are well-served with this system. There is no concrete theme-app like in other systems, but you can grant all wishes with icon-packs.

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The slide switch for 3 different sound profiles is very useful. The system is clean, only the standard Google apps are preinstalled. You can deactivate the soft touch buttons if required in order to switch over to on-screen buttons. You can also reverse the buttons’ functions, so no one who had a different phone before, has to re-adapt to the new phone.

Another positive point is the Shelf, which is a personalized page to quickly access widgets, memos and frequently used apps/contacts. I have to stress here that the automatic brightness control works perfectly and for the first time I am happy with that function. Most of the users will immediately feel comfortable using Oxygen OS and will appreciate the additional features and functions.

Camera

 

The rear camera offers a 16MP resolution, an f/2.0 aperture and an optical as well as a digital image stabiliser. The phone can record 4K videos and slow-motion videos in 720p with 120B/s. The automatic focus acts fast while filming, however, there are problems with formation of blocs and artefacts within the image while recording 4K videos. Perhaps they will be resolved with the next update.

It is possible to save images in RAW format. The image quality is excellent and the OnePlus 3’s camera is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. The colours are strong, the motives sharp and the camera’s trigger is fast. Even in bad lighting conditions the pictures look good. The OnePlus 3 only has a simple LED flash, but subjectively speaking, I don’t miss a dual-tone.

The front camera is something to be proud of as well and takes good and colour dynamical pictures with 8MP.

Connectivity

There are a couple of different regional versions of the Oneplus 3. Depending on the version differnt LTE frequencies are supported:

Oneplus 3 Network frequencies

The reception was always good; at no time were there interruptions or interference. 2 Nano SIMs can be inserted in the phone. The voice quality while telephoning convinces and the hands-free kit can be used as well.

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Screenshot_20160717-140404The GPS module does a good job. The position is determined within a few seconds. During the 200km test track there were no differences in the course. Thanks to the integrated compass, pedestrian navigation is also possible without any problems.

The smartphone provides the newest standards, therefore it has Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac as well as NFC.

Besides the fingerprint scanner, there are hall, acceleration, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light sensors and an electronic compass available on the OnePlus 3.

 

The fingerprint scanner always reacted directly and it only failed one time.

 

Battery

The phone provides a built-in 3000mAh battery. When I measured the capacity, it even showed 200mAh more. The mobile phone lasts about one day; if you use it more moderately, you can get 1 ½ days. The battery life clearly depends on what you are using your smartphone for. During mobile surfing, the OnePlus 3 loses more life. In daily use you can get 5 hours DOT (time with display turned on). Thanks to dash-charge the phone is fully charged in one hour. However, a disadvantage is that you need the USB cable provided in the scope of delivery to use dash-charge.

* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.

Conclusion

90% Champion!

The OnePlus 3 in one of the best smartphone on the market right now. Having a cut-throat price of 400$, it is an excellent alternative to the considerably more expensive phones by other smartphone manufactures. The OnePlus 3 offers good processing, a great full-HD display and one of the best smartphone cameras. Furthermore, the Snapdragon 820’s performance with 6GB RAM has no equal. Those who want to buy a cheap high-end smartphone, are well-served by the OnePlus 3.

  • design and build quality 100 %
  • Display 80 %
  • software and performance 100 %
  • connectivity and communication 90 %
  • camera 100 %
  • battery 70 %

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