5.5in full-HD Optic AMOLED screen (1920x1080, 401ppi), Gorilla Glass 4; OxygenOS based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow; 2.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor; Adreno 530; 6GB LPDDR4 RAM; 64GB internal storage; 16Mp rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, 4K video/120fps slo-mo at 720p; 8Mp front camera; proximity sensor; USB Type-C charging port; 11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2; GPS with GLONASS; NFC; fingerprint scanner; bottom-facing speaker; 3.5mm headphone jack; 4G LTE Cat 6; Dual Nano-SIM; 3000mAh non-removable lithium-polymer battery; 153x75x7.35mm; 158g Now in its third generation, the OnePlus 3 is the latest phone from the popular Chinese firm. This year’s model is a stunner, with a metal design that’s thinner and lighter than its predecessors. It also comes with improved specifications, including 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 16Mp Sony camera. Then there’s the price, which is around £200 cheaper than its rivals.
While we’ve been big fans of previous OnePlus phones, we’ve been a little put off by how bulky they have been (bar the smaller OnePlus X). The firm has addressed this with its latest offering, which is a much more slender 7.35mm and a more manageable 158g.
More obvious is the switch to a metal unibody chassis, which is manufactured from a single block of aluminium. It looks and feels like a premium device and the resemblance to a other metal phones, such as those from Apple, HTC and Huawei, is unavoidable.
What we really appreciate is the attention to detail here, and we particularly like the angles, which not only look good but make the phone very comfortable to hold. We’re also fans of the chamfered edges, which adorn the USB port and the speaker holes.
The 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 screen meets the metal chassis in a smooth and luxuriously flush way, and the Alert Slider on the lefthand side has a solid and satisfying motion, with its textured surface.
If for some reason you don’t like the metal look or you want to protect it from scratches, OnePlus offers a range of cases, which are extremely thin, so don’t add much weight. They are available in Rosewood, Black Apricot, Bamboo, Karbon and the classic Sandstone, and are priced £19.99 each.
We’re really impressed with the OnePlus 3 in terms of design and build; it’s easily the best we’ve seen from the company. It will be a little bit big for some people, despite 5.5in being the ‘sweet spot’ for OnePlus. It’s also a tall phone, though the tiny bezels on either side of the screen help things. We’re hoping that a smaller version will come in the future but we’ll have to wait and see – perhaps a OnePlus 3 mini or new OnePlus X.
The Chinese firm has stuck with a 5.5in screen size and a Full HD resolution for this phone. What is new is a change to Optic AMOLED technology, which is the company’s take on SuperAMOLED. This looks great thanks to more vibrant colours and better contrast, and is also what enables the phone to have those tiny bezels.
Our only real complaint is that even at full brightness we occasionally found it hard to read outside in bright sunlight. This is despite a dual-polarising layer, which is supposed to make this easy.
The OnePlus 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which means it joins the 820 club, whose members also include the HTC 10 and LG G5. This quad-core chip comes with the Adreno 530 GPU and is clocked slightly higher than other phones at 2.2GHz – the other two cores are 1.6GHz. The phone also comes with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. That’s 2GB, more than any other phone we’ve seen. In both our benchmark tests and real-world use, the handset offered slick performance. OnePlus has done a great job of making the interface feel extremely responsive and fast. The phone does everything you throw at it without hesitation.
The firm offers just one storage option – 64GB. That’s impressive when you consider that many similarly-priced rivals tend to offer 16- or 32GB. The only downside here is that there’s still no microSD card slot, which may put off some.
Fingerprint scanner, NFC and connectivity
The fingerprint scanner is still a key feature and sits below the screen. It’s extremely fast and accurate when scanning (under 0.3 seconds, according to OnePlus) and can be used to unlock the phone from sleep and mobile payments, including Android Pay.
OnePlus has also listened to its customers and brought back