Review Roundup: OnePlus 3
At £309, the OnePlus 3 is outstanding value. Great build, lightning pace and great software make for a wonderful phone.
Engadget87%
The Verge86%
The Guardian90%
Tech Radar95%
Wired90%
BGR90%
Pros
  • Stunning design and build
  • Super quick
  • Outrageous value
Cons
  • Camera is good, not great
  • Fast charging slower than promised
  • American connectivity issues
90%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)
77%

By now you’ll know how OnePlus operate; take top end specs, combine them with great build and design and offer them at a stupidly low price. In the past, you’ve had to wade your way through a terrible invite system, but that’s now been replaced with a proper ordering system. You’ll want to order the OnePlus 3 too, because with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB of RAM, dual-sim support, a 16MP rear camera and a unibody metal design for just £309. The question is though, is it any good? We’ve scoured the reviews, and here’s what the critics think.

Engadget

At the end of the day, no phone is perfect, and the OnePlus 3 doesn’t try to be. What it does try to do is capture the essence of a flagship smartphone — impeccable performance, smart software and top-notch build quality — and squeeze it all into an affordable package. Guess what? The company succeeded. You can certainly do better if you’re fine with spending more money, and there are better deals to be found if you’re not a stickler for high-end performance. The careful balance OnePlus has struck here is impressive, though, and while the OnePlus 3 isn’t for everyone, anyone looking for high quality without the corresponding price should start their search here.

The Verge

With the invite system and over-the-top marketing claims a thing of the past, OnePlus is leaning on the strength of its product. Fortunately for the company, the OnePlus 3 is an incredibly strong product to lean on. It hits all the marks for what an Android phone should offer in 2016, and it does so at a price that’s significantly less than the competition.

The OnePlus 3 isn’t perfect: you can’t use it at all if you’re a Verizon or Sprint customer, and depending on your priorities, it might not have everything on your wish list. But it’s a significant step forward for OnePlus, in terms of both quality of the product and how you’re able to buy it. It’s also a step forward for the industry as a whole: it’s a device that keeps pace with much more expensive products while costing much less. The OnePlus 3 is the rare kind of phone that I can recommend without reservations, other from making sure it works on your carrier.

The Guardian

Previous OnePlus smartphones have claimed to be “flagship killers”. That’s still not quite accurate, but the OnePlus 3 is a very good smartphone priced at less than half the price of top rivals.

For your £309 you get a beautiful, well-made metal smartphone, with reasonable battery life, good screen and cameras, and snappy performance. You also get dual-Sim support and 64GB of storage built in. It is easily the best smartphone OnePlus has made.

The biggest complaint of previous OnePlus smartphones was how difficult they were to actually buy, which shouldn’t be the case any more, while the company has worked hard to improve support options.

There’s still a question over the speed of software updates, but for a top-spec smartphone at a mid-range price, you don’t get much better than the OnePlus 3.

TechRadar

I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again, the OnePlus 3 is excellent. The Chinese firm needed to pull something out of the bag in 2016. The OnePlus 2 was another solid phone, but it didn’t break enough new ground and its simply insane claim to be a “2016 Flagship Killer” was massively misguided.

I’d happily slap that title on the OnePlus 3 though. It goes toe-to-toe with the high-end flagships of 2016. Sure it doesn’t have a QHD display, expandable storage or a world-class camera, and battery life doesn’t set it apart, but considering the money you’ll be parting with I’m okay with all of those.

If you’re looking for the best phone in the world, this isn’t it – take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge – but if you want a flagship phone without the expense the OnePlus 3 is a handset you must seriously consider.

And with OnePlus ditching its irritating invite system, it’s never been easier to pick up a handset – so why not make it the best phone OnePlus has ever made, the OnePlus 3.

Wired

The OnePlus 3 is almost perfect. It hasn’t scrimped on style or substance and there are so many seemingly insignificant touches that actually make a vast difference to the overall impression of the phone. Any Android software with a skin is going to have its flaws, and Android itself has its own built-in, but this is the least offensive skin we’ve seen.

There are a number of design issues, such as the super-thin bezel and large sensor, that seem to have been made to tick, albeit impressive, boxes that let OnePlus make claims about being the “world’s thinnest” and having “more vibrant photos than ever before.”

However, these are minor sacrifices when you factor in the price of this fantastic phone. At £309 in the UK ($399 in the US and €399 in Europe), OnePlus has, seemingly deliberately, positioned itself to be cheaper than half the price of a 64GB, £699 iPhone 6S Plus.

BGR

The OnePlus 3 doesn’t just compete with the current crop of flagship smartphones. In many ways it beats them. The design is sleeker and far more slim than the HTC 10. The guts are more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy S7. And when it comes to software, many users are going to prefer the pure look and feel of OxygenOS to HTC’s Sense software and TouchWiz on Android phones.

OnePlus is a small company that sells directly to consumers, so OnePlus 3 sales certainly aren’t going to kill any of the leading flagship phones out there. But in terms of style, features and performance, this smartphone is more worthy of being called a flagship killer than any other phone I’ve ever tested.

Want to buy a Chinese smartphone? Take a look at our list of recommended suppliers!

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

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