OnePlus 3 – Battery Life
The OnePlus 3’s battery life is less notable. Stamina is inconsistent, although it do believe it was a blessing that the screen resolution wasn’t bumped up to QHD or 4K.
Having Samsung’s efficient Super AMOLED screen tech onboard enables the phone to last for good time in certain conditions. In tests, the OnePlus lasted 17hrs 25mins playing a 720p MP4 movie on loop – this is even longer than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge managed.
This is a fair indication that the Snapdragon 820 is able to use very little power when it needs to, and that the display is efficient. In more demanding benchmark tests, however, the OnePlus 3’s stamina is more ordinary.
Thirty minutes of Real Racing 3 saw the battery level drop by 12%, suggesting the battery will last for a little under four and a half hours of gaming. Not amazing, then. This is no huge surprise given that the phone features a 3,000mAh battery, which is a lower capacity than the 3,200mAh unit in the OnePlus 2.
In general use, I’ve found the OnePlus 3’s battery acceptable – but little more. It will easily drain within a day, with some software appearing to accelerate the process. “Google Play Services”, for example, appears quite prominently in the list of main battery drain offenders.
The OnePlus Dash charger is excellent, however. This fast charger supplied with the phone is similar to the one used by Oppo. It’s a 5V, 4A charger that gets the phone from 0 to 95% in less than an hour.
Like the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus 3 has a USB Type-C socket rather than the usual micro-USB – although there’s really nothing to get too excited about there. The actual capabilities of the connection are the same as normal. While USB Type-C will eventually be used as the standard port for USB 3.1, allowing for much faster transfers, this is just a USB 2.0 socket at heart.
OnePlus 3 – Sound Quality
The OnePlus 3 has an innocuous-looking speaker. It sits on the bottom of the phone, and the single grille denotes that it’s a single-driver affair.
It’s a sledgehammer among phone speakers: it isn’t subtle; it goes very loud. It’s louder than a Samsung Galaxy S7, louder than an iPhone, louder than the rival Vodafone Smart Platinum 7. It has the capacity to cope with a fair amount of ambient noise before becoming drowned out.
The tone of the sound isn’t particularly special, though. While not caustic, it can be a little hard-edged at top volume. The iPhone 6S Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge both offer slightly better sound quality, if not greater volume.
As is generally the case, a single bottom-loaded speaker driver is quite easy to block whilst playing games, for example, and you’re not going to get any sort of stereo effect here.
Should you buy the OnePlus 3?
OnePlus has always made my job easy, offering decent handsets and an excellent price. The OnePlus 3 is no different: it’s easily the most attractive design the company has brought to market yet, and the cost is roughly the same as ever too.
The camera can’t quite live up to those in the LG G5 or the Samsung Galaxy S7, but it isn’t a million miles off either. Software, performance and design are all excellent for the money, and lack any obvious creaky parts that would have made you wish you had a little more money to spend.
Battery life isn’t great: heavy users will likely need to top up the battery of an evening. However, when you consider that its video endurance is unusually good, there’s a chance this may improve with a future software update.
There may be a handful of better phones in the world, but the OnePlus 3 is the best you can get right now at this price. And it may be for some time too.
OnePlus has done it again, delivering a superb smartphone to rival the high-end competition at a bargain price.
Score in detail
Battery Life 7
Calls & Sound 8
Screen Quality 8