Last year when OnePlus launched their second and much improved smartphone, they called it a ‘2016 flagship killer‘. Well, it’s been 2016 for a while now, and though the OnePlus 2 remains a fine smartphone, it’s not quite the current gen flagship killer that they advertised it to be. So, what does a young company like OnePlus do? Well, they go again. Say ‘hello’ to the OnePlus 3.

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If you’re the sort of person who pays heed to rumours, you’ll probably be aware of much that the 3 has to offer, but we’ll go through it again, for prosperity.

Externally, the OnePlus 3 has gone through something of a redesign, ditching the sandstone polycarbonate back and replacing it with a body milled from a solid block of “space-grade” aluminium, replete with HTC-style antenna lines. Around the front, there’s a gently curved pane of Gorilla Glass 4, covering a laminated 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED display.

Best of all though, OnePlus have put huge engineering effort into making the 3 as slim as possible, which manifests itself in a 7.35mm waistline and some truly miniscule side bezels which make the phone feel very manageable in the hand. We also see the return of the front facing fingerprint reader/home button and three stage notification slider that debuted in the OnePlus 2.

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Moving on to what makes the 3 tick, you’re looking at the standard 2016 flagship specifications. Internally, you’ll find a high-end Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 GPU and 64GB of (unexpandable) internal storage. That’s bad news for those of us who like to increase the amount of space in our phones, but there is one area that’s getting a big jump: RAM. The OnePlus 3 joins the likes of the ZUK Z2 Pro and Vivo Xplay5 in having 6GB of RAM. Oh, and it’s also got NFC, finally!

Elsewhere, there’s a 3,000mAh battery (down slightly from last year) with Oppo’s ultra-fast charging technology which promises to provide 63% charge in just half an hour. There’s also dual-sim support and radio bands for LTE around the world. Software-wise, you’re looking at Android 6.01 and Oxygen OS, OnePlus’ incredibly light tweaking of stock Android that’s (whisper it) actually really, really brilliant.5

Onto the cameras, there’s a Sony sourced 16MP rear facing camera with phase detection autofocus (like the OnePlus X) and optical image stabilization for smooth video and blur-free photography. For you nighttime photographers, the 1.12 µm pixel size should be pleasing, and for those of you who like to take pictures of your own face, there’s an 8MP front facing camera too.

The really radical change, however, comes in the form of how you buy it. As previously indicated by the company, the OnePlus 3 is available without invitation around the world right now for just £309. It’s also available in either graphite or ‘soft gold’ colour options.

Critics have had their hands on the phone for a couple of weeks now, so stay tuned for a review roundup of OnePlus’ latest.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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