How the OnePlus 3 Handset Relieves Big Brand Smartphone Fatigue

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-06-21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How the OnePlus 3 Handset Relieves Big Brand Smartphone Fatigue
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    How the OnePlus 3 Handset Relieves Big Brand Smartphone Fatigue

    OnePlus has been trying to play with the big boys, and its OnePlus 3 smartphone just may put it in their league, thanks to the device's high-end features but much lower price tag.
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    An Improved Design Worth a Second Look
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    An Improved Design Worth a Second Look

    There's something to be said about the OnePlus 3's design. The device has a metal unibody chassis that is just 7.3mm thick, making it one of the thinnest high-end smartphones on the market. The smartphone also comes with a camera lens centered prominently on the back. On the front, users will find an earpiece, a front-facing camera and a fingerprint sensor that doubles as a home button. Overall, it's a thin, attractive smartphone that looks like a hybrid between the iPhone and high-end Android devices.
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    Dash Charge Refreshes Battery Fast
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    Dash Charge Refreshes Battery Fast

    The OnePlus 3 ships with a feature known as Dash Charge. With it, users can plug a USB-C cable into the bottom of the smartphone and get nearly 8 hours of charge in just 30 minutes. According to OnePlus, it achieves fast-charging by producing a larger electric current rather than increasing its charge pressure, making it more stable while boosting charging speeds.
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    It Runs a Forked Version of Android Marshmallow
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    It Runs a Forked Version of Android Marshmallow

    The OnePlus 3 runs on OxygenOS, a forked version of Google's Android Marshmallow designed exclusively by OnePlus. While the operating system has all of the standard Android features, like Google Search and access to the Google Play store, OxygenOS offers more customization options and the ability to see important notifications more quickly. OxygenOS also comes with custom icon packs, so users can change how things look when tapping around the operating system.
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    The Cameras Will Please Most Photographers
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    The Cameras Will Please Most Photographers

    The rear-facing camera built into the OnePlus 3 should be just fine for most photographers. It has a 16-megapixel sensor and comes with both electronic and optical stabilization. Users will also find better color accuracy, thanks to high dynamic range support, as well as 4K video capture. And yes, the front-facing camera is selfie-friendly.
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    The Processing Power Is Impressive
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    The Processing Power Is Impressive

    While it might not be running the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 823, the OnePlus 3 is no slouch on power. The smartphone ships with the Snapdragon 820 and a whopping 6GB of onboard RAM. According to OnePlus, that combination helps its latest smartphone achieve 35 percent better performance than the OnePlus 2, which is still a powerful device in its own right.
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    Graphics Performance Will Be Even Better
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    Graphics Performance Will Be Even Better

    Graphics performance has also received some love in the OnePlus 3. In fact, the device's graphical power will get a 40 percent boost over the OnePlus 2, thanks to the company bundling the Adreno 530 GPU in the handset. Expect the OnePlus 3 to handle just about any graphically intensive app a user can throw at it with ease.
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    Screen Resolution Is a Bit of a Downer
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    Screen Resolution Is a Bit of a Downer

    Despite all of those enhancements, the 5.5-inch screen built into the OnePlus 3 might be its shortcoming. The screen comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio, but only full-HD resolution. So, while users might be able to record 4K video with the device, they won't actually be able to see it in all of its glory on the screen. It's a bit of a letdown compared with its other features.
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    A Neat Feature: Alert Slider
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    A Neat Feature: Alert Slider

    The OnePlus 3 has what the company says is an "exclusive" feature called the Alert Slider. Nestled on the left side of the smartphone, the slider can be toggled between three settings: Silent, Priority or All. On silent, no notifications will sound, while on priority, only those that have been deemed important will alert the user. All, of course, will ensure the smartphone audibly alerts users whenever a notification comes in.
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    A Little Security Goes a Long Way
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    A Little Security Goes a Long Way

    The OnePlus 3 comes with a new fingerprint sensor that the company says is more accurate and responds more quickly. In fact, users will be able to place their finger over the sensor and, within just 0.2 seconds, access the home screen. Better yet, the sensor "actively learns and progressively improves" over time, so the scans are more accurate and reduces chances of someone spoofing a fingerprint.
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    It's Cheap and Works (Just About) Anywhere
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    It's Cheap and Works (Just About) Anywhere

    The OnePlus 3 ships unlocked and can work on most carriers' networks. Perhaps more importantly, it's substantially cheaper than other high-end smartphones, costing just $399 unlocked. To put that into perspective, a comparably equipped iPhone 6s Plus costs $849 unlocked.
 

OnePlus, a small Chinese mobile handset maker that came on the smartphone scene with a splash in 2014, has since been trying to deliver products that could compete on the same level as market leaders Apple and Samsung. The OnePlus 3 is the company's latest attempt at achieving that goal, delivering a refined design, high-end processing power and a big screen that is comparable to the one found on the iPhone 6s Plus. OnePlus 3 also comes with the company's own Android operating system flavor, OxygenOS, and has a price tag that puts all other so-called "high-end" smartphones to shame. Thus, the OnePlus 3 smartphone has the features and price to make it a serious challenger to the more expensive and better known names in the mobile market. For those who are tired of paying a premium for the big-brand experience, it might just be a device worth checking out. This slide show covers the OnePlus 3's features and explains why the startup's third smartphone might just be its best so far. Read on to learn more about the new OnePlus 3 and why it has attracted so much attention.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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