OnePlus is a relatively young Chinese company, which has managed to grab everyone’s attention in a really short span of time since its inception in 2013. One of the star products was of course the OnePlus One, which offered the best of features at a very competitive price point. This was a product that had a really long product cycle, as compared to its successor, the OnePlus 2. The second flagship, OnePlus 2, was not able to match its predecessor in terms or sales or even with goodwill. OnePlus released the OnePlus X for those not comfortable with the 5.5-inch form factor. Although the OnePlus X certainly looked great, it was just old wine in a new bottle and didn’t really impress on the camera or the battery life departments.

OnePlus 3 is the company’s third flagship device and it certainly has a lot riding on it. We say that because, unlike the OnePlus One, which had little competition – except maybe from the Xiaomi Mi 3 back then – OnePlus 3 has a host of competitors. Majority of the competition is actually from its home country itself. Facing flak for screwing up with the invites-system last year, OnePlus has thankfully got rid of it with the OnePlus 3. This will certainly make buying this phone, that much more easier. But does the phone have in it, to be the best flagship device under Rs 30,000? We will find out soon.

Build and Design: 8/10

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One thing that had become a sort of identifier for the last two flagship devices – OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 – was the Sandstone finish cover. This dark gray coloured cover with a soft sandpaper-type texture was certainly something new when it first came out, and it has become a hit amongst the consumers. That will change with the OnePlus 3 – with the Sandstone cover traded for a closed metallic back. The metallic cover encompasses the rear and the sides. There is chamfering on the top edge, whereas the bottom edge on the sides is comparatively sharper. The phone is slim on the sides, but has a very mild curvature on the rear side. It uses 2.5D curved glass on the display around the edges.

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On the left hand side, you have the alert slider with the three settings – all notifications, priority notifications and silent – which has the familiar textured finish. Below this you have the volume rocker button. The power/standby button is on the right hand side above which is the dual nano SIM card slot. All the buttons are metallic, have great feedback and have fine chamfering around them. The top edge is clean as the 3.5mm audio jack is the bottom edge beside the USB Type-C charging / data transfer port beside the speaker section. There is a fingerprint scanner just below the display, which looks like a button but cannot be pressed.

On the rear side, you have a grey coloured metallic back with the OnePlus logo placed just below the camera section. The antenna lines are visible on the top and the base. The camera module protrudes out significantly and there is an LED flash unit below it.

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The build quality is excellent, but at the same time it also makes the OnePlus 3 look a lot like the HTC phones. The absence of the Sandstone back makes the device a bit slippery, thanks to the metallic back. Of course, you can buy the Sandstone or textured covers separately if you don’t like the metal back. One issue that immediately crops up is when you place your phone facing upwards, the protruding camera is resting on the table surface. I hope the camera surface is coated with high quality scratch resistant glass, lest you end up ruining the camera. Also you cannot really operate the phone when it is lying flat on the table as it will keep tumbling on either sides due to the prominent camera bulge.

Features: 8.5/10
The OnePlus 3 is fully kitted out as far as the specifications go. It is a flagship in every sense of the word, but to know whether it’s the flagship killer, read on. The OnePlus 3 houses the Snapdragon 820 chipset which has two Kyro cores clocked at 2.15GHz and two Kyro cores clocked at 1.6GHz. It houses the Adreno 530 GPU and the phone comes with a whopping 6GB of RAM. This makes it the first phone with 6GB RAM to be selling in India. LeEco Le Max 2, although announced earlier, will only start selling by 28 July.

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In terms of storage, you get 64GB of internal storage with around 52.6GB usable space. That is quite a lot of space, unless you are someone who carries his or her entire media library on the phone. Just like its previous flagships, the OnePlus 3 does not come with expandable storage. There’s 5.5-inch full HD display, a 16MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera, a fingerprint scanner just below the display and a 3000mAh non-removable battery.

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The phone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the OxygenOS 3.1.2 skin atop it. We shall see it in more detail in the software section. On the connectivity front, you get a dual nano SIM card slot, Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, DLNA, GPS with A-GPS, NFC and more. There is no FM radio on the phone though.

Publish date: June 20, 2016 3:30 pm| Modified date: June 20, 2016 6:23 pm

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