I recently won a Twitter contest through XDA Developers, and they came through and sent me a OnePlus 3. It’s quite literally the first time I’ve won something of value! I am super excited about a new phone!!!
I’ve been a fan of OnePlus for a long time, ever since I began using the OnePlus One last year. Here are my impressions so far!
My immediate opinion is that this phone is awesome. It has a “premium feel” overall, whatever that means. It is weightier but still maintains a good balance, similar to what an iPhone 6+ feels like.
Next, the display looks great! It is by no means top of the line (1080p only) but OnePlus released an update to allow the sRGB values to be modified slightly. The difference is noticeable only when you hold it up to another high end display, like the Nexus 5X.
Photos taken with this phone are fantastic; no complaints. I actually like the OnePlus camera app more than the Google Camera. And of course, it shoots 4K video too.
D-A-S-H charging is amazing!!! I’ve really enjoyed being able to just throw it on the charger for a few mins and actually get some juice back. This is great for a pit stop before going out, or having some much needed extra screen-on time.
Lastly, the screen gestures are freaking amazing if you use them. I really do use the torch and camera often, and these work just as well (slightly better actually, less false recognitions) as on the OnePlus One. I wish more phones had screen gestures.
- PROs: It’s awesome!
- Unlocks the phone quickly
- Increased security. I won’t be setting up any “smart unlock” devices because of how much easier it is to unlock securely.
- I sometimes move too quickly off the scanner
- It has had ~8% error rate with my fingers
My last phone was running CyanogenMod 13, and the OnePlus 3 has the latest version of OxygenOS (OnePlus’ homegrown ROM). Here are my thoughts:
- I miss some customization features from CM13… Here’s what’s missing
- I can’t disable the notification/charging light, and can only select among 8 predefined color values
- I used to have keyboard arrows enabled on the on-screen nav bar. Can’t have that anymore, so I’m switching to the capacitive buttons
- The “Sleep Duration” toggle is missing. MISSING!
- Taps are sometimes ignored, mainly inside the app drawer of the OnePlus Launcher. This seems to happen… this has happened to me 3 times in 2 days.
- Enabling dark mode seems like a great idea to take advantage of the OLED display, except that the dark mode only really applies when you’re in Settings. Everywhere else (notification shade, app drawer background) is a dark but still illuminated grey.
- Can’t customize the lock screen shortcuts. I had Spotify set up as one because I use that more than voice searching.
I know, I know, first-world problems. I might try a different ROM at some point because OnePlus released DASH charge kernel source, which many ROMs have incorporated. OxygenOS still has a lot of creat customization options over AOSP. For now, I can deal with not having these extra features with the hope that the OxygenOS team continues to incorporate more in the future.
Surprisingly, the OnePlus comes with a pre-applied screen protector. It was ok but I wanted a glass protector. Sadly, I couldn’t find one. I ended up getting an Armor Suit protector for three reasons:
- It was “case friendly”, with slimmer margins so that it doesn’t get pushed inward and curl/bubble when using a case
- Wet-apply protectors can be positioned much easier and better. This time was no exception.
- Lifetime replacements!
The only complaint I’ll express is that makes the screen feels slightly tacky to the touch. Hopefully that will wear out over time.
I chose a TPU case by Ozrly, 4.7 stars on Amazon. So far so good, it does it’s job well. I love that the case allows the phone to lay flat despite the camera bump. The only worry I still have is that someday it’ll turn yellow.
I would definitely recommend the OnePlus 3 to a friend. Of course they should also compare and consider any of the Nexus phones, especially with new ones to be released in October. But for $400, you’re getting an amazing phone that is built for the future.