The OnePlus 3 hasn’t exactly been the best kept secret in the mobile world, but now that it’s officially out in the wild, we’ve had a chance to take a proper look at the handset and weigh up some of the key features.
Is it the Android flagship killer it so brashly proclaims to be? Here are six reasons why it just might be.
1) It looks like a flagship phone
Aesthetically, OnePlus’ phones haven’t always matched up that well against other Android flagships, but the OnePlus 3 changes that. Its all-metal unibody aluminium design is reminiscent of HTC’s high-end handsets, replacing the rough textured, swappable plate found on the previous model. It’s also now slimmer (7.35mm) and lighter (158g) – always a plus.
Elsewhere, it retains the fingerprint scanner from the OnePlus 2 and the 3.5mm audio jack, too, but adds a new-gen USB Type-C fast-charging port to keep it on a par with the latest devices.
The OnePlus 3 utilises the superior AMOLED display technology, albeit “only” at a Full HD resolution (1080p). The handset is offered in just two timeless flavours – gold and graphite – for good measure.
Watch: OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2
2) It’s as powerful as a flagship phone
Under the hood, the OnePlus 3 goes to toe-to-toe with the very best Android devices, especially when it comes to processing power. It packs the same new-gen Snapdragon 820 chipset offered by other Android flagships, backed up by a hefty 6GB of RAM, and offers up to 64GB of on-board storage.
Okay, we’ll admit that a 128GB variant would be preferable for media hogs, but at this price point (more on that later), 64GB is an ample offering.
3) The camera sounds great
The OnePlus 2 had a good camera, albeit an imperfect one. In our otherwise glowing review, we noted that camera speed was a problem – but things look set to improve with this year’s device. The OnePlus 3 will sport a 16-megapixel primary camera with OIS and an 8-megapixel front “selfie” cam.
On paper, these are better specs than the aforementioned Galaxy S7. Even if only on the basis of sample shots such as the one below, we’re expecting big things from the OnePlus 3’s snapper.
4) It has a decent battery
The OnePlus 2 offered near best-in-class battery life of a day and a half, and the OnePlus 3 should be just as impressive. Although the cell spec on the new handset is smaller (3,000mAh vs 3,200mAh on the older device), the more energy-efficient configuration of the Snapdragon 820 should comfortably offset this.
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
With some other Android flagships struggling to make it through a day on a single charge (HTC, I’m looking at you), the OnePlus 3’s stamina could prove a serious selling point.
5) It’s almost half the price
This is where the young pretender becomes a serious contender. We’ve talked about the high-end hardware that the OnePlus 3 offers, but what really seals the deal is its price.
The manufacturer’s UK site says it will be available from £309 – which, while more than previous offerings, means you’re getting flagship specs for a fraction of the price. It’s really what the OnePlus 3 and its self-anointed “flagship killer” status is all about: why would you pay more when you can get the same quality for less?
That’s the question Android (and even iPhone) users have to ask when mulling their next smartphone acquisition.
Watch: Best Smartphone 2016
6) And it’s widely available
For many of us, this has been OnePlus’ Achilles heel – the infuriating fact that it makes great smartphones that no-one can actually buy.
Although OnePlus has operated its convoluted invite-only pre-order system in the past, it’s doing away with the marketing ploy this year, making the OnePlus 3 available to all from the off.
This is why the OnePlus 3 is the company’s first true Android flagship killer: the not-so-insignificant fact that now, you can actually have one.
Are you impressed by the OnePlus 3? Let us know in the comments below.