If we could be content, the OnePlus One would still be enough in 2016. And for sure, there are some of us who are still rocking the company’s Snapdragon 801-packing debut. It sent a tremor through the industry when it was released – it was a half-price flagship that you couldn’t buy. Sure, it had software bugs and the invite system sucked. But it was proof that manufacturers didn’t need to charge as much as they were for the best specs. It was almost unfair.
Skip to the OnePlus 2, and we essentially had an upgraded OnePlus One. The second generation had an aluminum frame, fingerprint sensor and the Snapdragon 810. It was a well-built phone, but felt chunky in the hand and lacked the wow factor of its predecessor. It slipped off the radar quickly, with the budget OnePlus X, released several months later, seeming the more exciting device with its premium-looking build.
It doesn’t do everything, but that’s OK
From the way the OnePlus 3 has been designed, it’s clear the OnePlus is not trying to copy another manufacturer. It does look similar to the HTC 10, but it’s still an original design. It doesn’t have a microSD card slot, there’s only one storage configuration (64 GB) and the display is the same resolution as the OnePlus One was. It’s not the best phone you can buy.
But it’s the best phone you can buy for $399. With a premium design, good camera, fast charging and nearly unmatchable performance, it’s hard to argue that the OnePlus 3 offers the best value-for-money of any smartphone. I’d like to challenge you to find better value than this. Leave a comment with your suggestions.
A new standard
If the OnePlus 3 offers practically everything a high-end device needs while also being very affordable, then I’d argue that this sets a new benchmark for what an Android device should be.
Let me give an example. For the past couple of years, the Moto X was the main competitor to OnePlus’s phones. It offered high-end performance for around $400. Nexus phones were once the best budget Android option in the past, but the Nexus 5X is simply not as good as either the OnePlus 2 or Moto X Pure.
But now, with the announcement of the Moto Z, it’s clear that Lenovo has moved away from what made the Moto X so good – offering the basics with an attractively minimal design and good price. Now it seems that the OnePlus 3 is the last one standing.
What I mean is, OnePlus has iterated on a winning formula it had from the beginning. If there was no need to make radical changes, if the company had already settled on the ideal smartphone blueprint, then why should we pay more for ‘premium’, or pay less when it isn’t enough? If I was you, I’d see the OnePlus 3 as reason enough that you should never pay more than $399 for a smartphone ever again.
OnePlus has iterated on a winning formula it had from the beginning
The only reason I could see for buying a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6s is to have a better camera or stay within an ecosystem (i.e. the App Store). Or perhaps personal taste is your deciding factor but, if this is the case, you might be making a purchasing decision with your emotions, not with how heavy your wallet is. Otherwise, the OnePlus 3 could be it.
Do you think the OnePlus 3 is the prototypical Android phone? Let me know in the comments.