OnePlus 3 was launched in India and around the world earlier this week, but all the details of the handset, including its price, were leaked before the official unveiling. While most of us thought OnePlus lost the much-needed surprise element to woo its fans and potential customers, the disruptive Chinese smartphone manufacturer proved all wrong.
It is undeniable that OnePlus 3 is by far one of the fewest worthy devices that one can buy under the budget of Rs. 30,000. The handset's got the looks, packs industry's top-notch specs and gives a great bargain at Rs. 27,999. What more do consumers need?
To make this launch truly special, OnePlus also ended the loathed invite-system model for OnePlus 3 sale. So the device can easily be bought from Amazon India just like any ordinary product.
We got our hands on the OnePlus 3 review unit on Friday, a day after it was up for preview at a small gathering in Bengaluru. First of all, OnePlus generously gave us the full package of OnePlus 3, along with its different back covers and a car charger for review and we would be spending the next few days doing just that. Before we get down with it, here's how OnePlus 3 amazed us with its looks and everything else.
Simply put, OnePlus 3 is an absolute stunner. And we are not just saying it as a whole, but the company has really focused on the smallest details to make it an overall appealing device. The handset features a metal unibody and the rear panel is slightly curved to offer a comfortable grip. OnePlus measures just 7.35mm thick and weighs 158 grams despite its metal structure.
The rear panel looks flat but it gets slimmer towards the sides, making the side panel extremely slim. The matte grey finish has a slight shimmer when the light directly falls on it, otherwise it looks like a dark shade. There is a protruding rear camera module with a shiny outline, a LED flash and the standard OnePlus logo arranged in a vertical line. There are two horizontally-running antenna lines at the top and the bottom of the handset's rear panel, just like the ones found on Apple iPhone 6s series.
OnePlus 3 has a USB Type-C port along with stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack all placed at the bottom with two visible screws at both ends. Talking about the details, the screws at the bottom do not look odd at all instead compliment the design. Since the headphone jack is moved to the bottom, the top panel is kept plain with a soft curve.
On the right side of the device, there is a power/ lock button along with a SIM card tray and on the left there is a volume control and an Alert Slider to seamlessly switch between different sound profiles.
Turning over the OnePlus 3 to the front, there is a clear black display with ultra slim bezels and what appears to be an edge-to-edge glass. The fingerprint sensor is placed at the Home button at the bottom of the display. The back and recent apps buttons are on either side of the home button and there is a setting which lets you swap the functions. The front camera, the speaker and proximity sensor are all at the top of the display.
OnePlus 3 features a 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It seems a bit odd that the company didn't use a higher resolution screen, but the company defended saying a 1080p is more optimised for regular use than a 2K. There are of course many pros, such as it consumes less power as compared to 2K and causes less strain on eyes for using it for long hours.
While using the OnePlus 3, we didn't find it any less of a flagship. The colours are vibrant and true to life. The display appears brighter than usual and users can opt for night mode to reduce strain on eyes.
We haven't spent much time shooting using OnePlus 3 camera, but from what we saw so far is not at all disappointing. The interface is kept simple and has a capture button right at the bottom. Users can switch between different modes by swiping up or down on the UI. The options to turn on HDR, HD and flash are at the top right and the selfie camera can be activated by tapping the icon next to the capture button at the bottom.
In order to access the settings, tap the menu option on the top left corner and then tap the gear icon on the top right. Users can remove the black bar at the bottom where the capture button is placed by changing a small setting. At the bottom left, tap on the menu and change the bar ratio to 16:9. 1:1 and 4:3 are the other options, which decide how much space the bottom panel acquires on the screen.
We will be reviewing the camera's quality in our full review. For those who are unaware, OnePlus 3 features a quite capable 16MP primary camera with Sony IMX 298 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 1.12 µm lens, OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation),PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus), 4K video recording and also has an 8MP front snapper with same aperture. With this configuration, we are expecting the results to be great.
OnePlus 3 features a fingerprint button at the home button on the front. While setting up the device, it asks to setup the fingerprint lock and users can add up to 5 prints. After completing the set up, we tested the accuracy and speed of the fingerprint sensor.
The device unlocks simply by placing the finger on the home button and there is absolutely zero lag in doing so. As for accuracy, we haven't had a failed authentication error so far. The biometric security can be used for any authentication purpose on the device and also for Android Pay.
Software and UI
OnePlus 3 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based OxygenOS 3.1, which is quite stable and bug free. For the short while we have used it, there were no errors or lags. In fact, the UI is quite intuitive and responsive. The vertical drawer menu houses all the apps. Sadly, there isn't an option the change the background for the main menu. Users can only choose between dark or light themes, which will put either black or white backgrounds wherever possible.
We are yet to review other aspects of the device such as its performance and battery. We will share the results of the same in our full review in the next few days.