On its third attempt, OnePlus has finally released a flagship killer

On its third attempt, OnePlus has finally released a flagship killer

I’m going to make a big call here, so big that you might want to hold onto something. The OnePlus 3, which went on sale yesterday, has set a new standard for what an Android smartphone should be. Let me explain.

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The OnePlus 3 sets a new standard. / © ANDROIDPIT

Family values

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.

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The OnePlus 2 (left) next to the OnePlus One. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

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The OnePlus 3 gets a big tick for value. / © NextPit

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.

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The back of the beautiful Moto X Pure. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

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  • FourQ Jun 21, 2016 Link to comment

    It hasn't turned my head to be fair. I'm still contemplating a WileyFox. I like removable batteries, SD cards and while the dual SIM isn't necessary for my needs I'm not ruling out a time when it may be. Both my son and father have the WileyFox Swift, the basic version, and I admit to being impressed with what you get for what I paid. If they ever waterproof a phone I'll snap it up.

  •   18
    Deactivated Account Jun 20, 2016 Link to comment

    Moto X is a winner without any second thought.

  • I'm still gonna say that the Moto X Pure is sexier and better.

  • storm Jun 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Other reviews reporting poor memory management, buggy OS, weak screen performance... sounds like more of the same over hyped lameness oneplus traditionally delivers.

  • Click bait!

  • So it's about the same price as a z5! i know which one i would choose

  • 5.5 inch screnn = This is way to big
    1080p screen = common QHD at the very least
    3000mAh battery = what year you living in?
    Not stock andriod = WHAT THE HELL NO!!!!

    now for the pros
    6GB mem
    820 Processor.

    yea... I think I will pass. I am done with phones that don't feature a complete stock android build. When will manufacturers get it in there heard. I WANT A EXTREMELY LONG LASTING PHONE!!!!!

  • At best it only kills it's predecessors. You can't take crap and add bigger crap to make it better crap, it's still crap. With a lot of negatives I don't see how you came to your headlined conclusion. The device is obviously built with cheaper components, materials, labour and less features, thats how the price came about.

    • If anything, in the author's defense, we could look at the matter from the perspective of someone presenting the phone to the market of buyers who are veering further away from the by-annual route of senselessly paying top-dollar for latest phones when they're not even gonna used all the specs they offer anyway. Samsung phones are known for going above and beyond the call of duty to give consumers a laundry list of features which they may not ever use until the "Next Best Thing" rolls around, so it's unlikely that they'll be opposed to the possibility of getting more bang for their buck...

      This will only be a problem when someone you know decides to get the phone, ant complains about the crappy quality. lol
      I wouldn't tell my worst enemy to get a One Plus just on the premise of their cheesy/shady pre order gimmicks

      • Thanks for the comments. As I've mentioned, I don't think the OnePlus 3 is at all the 'best' phone, but offers value-for-money that is really hard to find elsewhere. And if you're someone who's looking for a long-term investment, rather than updating an expensive flagship in cycles, then I'd recommend considering this phone if you're in the market to buy.

  • storm Jun 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Wait a month or two. Then the cut corners will reveal themselves. The crappy screen tint. The crappy skin. Gapping build...

  • Paolo Jun 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Where I live, pre owned Galaxy Note 4's can be had for the asking price of Oneplus 3, my question is, what would be a better buy then?

  • I say that when the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7, when it comes out, could be better value as in Euros the Platinum 7 would be €99 cheaper and it has a better screen with its 2k display and in my opinion, a more premium build quality.

  • I just replied to Mr Boris about the pros and cons but unable to post my comment. AndroidPIT App says my writing contains inappropriate content... What the hell I don't have freedom to write what is truth..! I didn't use any slang. Omar please help me out.

    *Moderator's note: comment edited due to violation of community terms.

  • Absolutely Omar, I along with many ppl agree with your inference.. 👍👍

  • I disagree. LeEco Le Max 2 has better specs and camera with lesser price. For some reason not much written about all LeEco 2 phones

    • Did you know that LeTv Max and others siblings can't be modded.. If a user can't fulfill his requirement then the phone is as good as Apple iPhone i.e. Outcasted phone. This LeTv phones can't match the likes of Samsung, OnePlus or HTC or LG phones.
      At the end there is no question of comparing LeTv, Xiaomi, etc with Samsung or OnePlus which gives you more satisfaction and quality at the same time.

  • raru Jun 15, 2016 Link to comment

    I disagree. Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe looks a lot better, construction and spec wise, with a similar price tag.

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