OnePlus 3 Next-Generation Smartphone Arriving in Late Q2

It's the fourth smartphone from Chinese vendor OnePlus, which began selling its devices in 2014 through an invitation-only system.

smartphones, Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S6, OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus

Smartphone maker OnePlus will begin selling its latest flagship handset, the OnePlus 3 smartphone, by the end of the second quarter of 2016.

The OnePlus 3 will continue the company's tradition of being offered initially only through an invitation-only system and could include a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and a 1080p display, according to a Feb. 24 story by TechnoBuffalo.

The new phone will have a fresh design compared with the Chinese company's previous OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 (pictured) and OnePlus X smartphones, according to the article. The company will also now allow customers to buy its products using credit cards, instead of just through PayPal, which is its sole purchasing method today.

The price of the upcoming OnePlus 3 and additional information about its coming features were not yet revealed.

OnePlus smartphones use rich-looking materials and finishes to build its handsets and then offers them directly to consumers. Its original OnePlus One smartphone went on sale in April 2014 and sold more than 1 million units, according to the company. The phones are built to take on Apple's iPhones, Samsung's Galaxy S6 devices and other premium phones from the world's top manufacturers.

Earlier in February, OnePlus permanently lowered the price of its OnePlus 2 smartphone to $349, a $40 drop from its original price of $389 when it was launched in the United States in August 2015, according to a recent eWEEK story. The company said that the price cut was possible due to increased production and sales of the product. The OnePlus 2 was originally offered through an invite-only system through another buyer or through the company, but last December dropped the invitation policy and made it available to anyone who wanted to purchase one.

The company's previous model, the $349 OnePlus 2 smartphone, has 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of LPDDR4 memory and is wrapped inside an aluminum-magnesium alloy frame that features jewelry-grade stainless steel accents. It includes a Full HD 5.5-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) LCD display, a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, an Adreno 430 graphics processor and up to 64GB of on-board eMMC 5.0 flash storage. The smartphone's display can be read in direct sunlight and offers 178-degree viewing angles so it can be read from many positions.

The OnePlus 2 also features 4G LTE capabilities, a SwiftKey keyboard that learns words that are chosen often by users, a fingerprint scanner for security, a 3,300mAh lithium polymer battery, a USB Type-C charging port and dual SIM card slots that support two Nano SIM cards.

A 13-megapixel rear-facing digital camera is also built into the OneTouch 2, which includes six physical lenses, dual LED flash, an advanced Optical Image Stabilization system and an f/2.0 aperture for great images, even in low-light conditions. Also built-in is a wide-angle 5MP front-facing camera for selfies.

The OnePlus 2, which has smooth curves and clean lines, is available in Sandstone Black while customers can also purchase a variety of covers made from wood, including bamboo, black apricot or rosewood.

The OnePlus 2 runs on OnePlus' own operating system, OxygenOS, which is based on Android 5.1. OxygenOS allows users to customize on-screen gestures, buttons, quick settings and more.

The company also offers a midmarket smartphone, the OnePlus X, which sells for $249 and debuted in October 2015. It also runs on OxygenOS, which differentiates it from the many Android and Apple iOS models on the market.

The OnePlus X features a 5-inch Full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of memory, 16GB of on-board storage (which is expandable with a memory card up to 128GB) and a 2,525mAh lithium battery. It also includes a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, an 8MP front-facing camera and a dual SIM card option. Available colors are champagne and onyx.