In the end, it happened.
I finally bought an Android device after years of Apple evangelism.
Probably it was just my need for change when I turned 30 on June, but there was just something terribly attractive of the Android world that I couldn’t ignore.
In the end, after months of research, I bought a OnePlus 3. Let me explain you why.
In 2014 almost no one knew about OnePlus as a company. Against all odds, there was a great anticipation in the Android world about their first smartphone launching in the market: the OnePlus One. The device tried to be contain flagship specifications with a much lower price than the big players on the market. While not perfect, the appreciation was marvellous.
After the launch of the OnePlus 2, moving to 2016, the company released the OnePlus 3. A much improved version that took care of all the users feedback with a more competitive device with great specifications at only 399$.
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
GPU: Adreno 530
RAM: 6GB LPDDR4
Display: 5.5" 1920 x 1080 PenTile AMOLED
Size / Mass: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g
Battery: 3000 mAh
Rear Camera: 16MP 1.1 μm Sony IMX298, f/2.0, OIS
Front Camera: 8MP 1.4 μm Sony IMX179, f/2.0
Storage: 64GB UFS 2.0
I/O: USB 2.0 Type-C connector, 3.5mm audio
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.2, USB-C NFC, GPS/GNSS
Price: $399 (6GB RAM / 64GB)
When buying technology, I value quite a lot the design of the device and the OnePlus 3 is without any doubt an attractive phone. While not original (if place aside a HTC One M9 you would not be able to tell them apart) it is well built, attractive, feels great in hand.
The button positioning are in all of the right places, even if placed on quite a big phone. The polished metal rear, the all-glass front and the almost edge-to-edge display line up perfectly to make it absolutely gorgeous looking.
I do complain about the camera hump on the back. But it’s something that almost all phones are featuring now and adding a protective case the hump problem doesn’t affect me anymore.
Overall it’s hard to complain about it’s design and looks. Boring of course, but a solid and well designed device.
The best camera is the one you have with you. This is why, when I was looking for an Android phone, most of my effort was spent reading device camera reviews.
While not astonishing like the s7 or the Huawei M9, the OnePlus 3 when it comes to photography gets the job done without getting in your way.
Overall the rear-facing 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization on the backside of the OnePlus 3 is solid. The camera is quick to focus and the shutter is quite fast. The combination of these two aspects will at least allow for the potential of a few really good shots. The Manual mode is absolutely powerful, giving you complete control over ISO, contrast, shutter speed and focus and it works really great. Besides the standard shooting mode, the OnePlus offers Panorama for stills, Time-lapse and Slow motion for video.
The OnePlus 3 showcases the company's own Oxygen OS 3.1.2 ROM. Built on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow it is as near-stock looking as possible. It shines on fine customisations and useful proprietary additions. As an example, gestures can be enabled across the UI, even when the screen is off. For instance, you may double tap to wake it up, draw O to open the camera, draw V to toggle the flashlight on/off, or draw < > for previous/next track.
The fingerprint reader is absolutely incredible. It wakes up and unlocks the phone immediately, so fast and precise that you forget it’s there.
The problem with Oxygen OS is that it is always left behind when a new Android Update is released. For instance there is still no evidence on when the OnePlus will receive Android Nougat.
Battery life and Dash Charging
Thanks to the 1080p display and the 3000mAh battery, the OnePlus 3 battery has been really good on most days for now. While not great, given the screen size and the intese use of the device I get to the end of the day with no stress.
But what has actually changed my charging habits is Dash Charging. I now charge my phone during my morning rituals or during car commute.
This feature blew my mind. With Dash Charge the OnePlus 3 can technically grab a 63% charge in just 30 minutes time. Outstanding.
The OnePlus 3 looks and feels great, performs like a flagship device, captures great still and video and best of all, it is incredibly cheap compared to the other players in the market.
+ Premium design
+ 6GB of Ram and Plenty of power
+ Affordable price
+ Headphone jack (...)
+ Lightning fast fingerprint scanner
- Only 64GB, no microSD slot
- Camera could be better
- Slow software updates (i.e. update to Android Nougat)
I was looking for something that could almost replace my iPhone that had dual-sim and great specs. I’ve been trying it intensively for two months now and I couldn’t be happier. Plus I didn’t break the bank for it!