OnePlus 3: what can we expect?

Manny Pham
April 26, 2016

The OnePlus 3 is coming, what can we expect from it?

All the big hitters in the smartphone industry have revealed their hands, a perfect opportunity for the “flagship killers” OnePlus to swoop in. OnePlus Co-founder Carl Pei confirmed the young Chinese manufacturer are working on the OnePlus 3 and promises it will be out this year.

OnePlus’ previous efforts, in particular the OnePlus 2 weren’t really flagship killers, if we’re talking in terms of raw power. They’ve always managed to offer phones that are spec for spec comparable to flagship devices from Samsung and Sony. Again, not killers, more matchers. The killer feature is the low price point, which is why it was so damn hard to get an invite to buy one of their devices!

We gave the OnePlus 2 a solid 4 stars citing an excellent camera, brilliant performance and a price point to cry for. Rumour are already swirling of the OnePlus 3 getting a massive power upgrade with 6GB of RAM supposedly in tow.

Below is everything we want from Carl Pei and co.

Less heat


We’re starting off with a burning issue right off the bat. While the OnePlus 2 offered great performance that was smooth most of the time, we always felt a burning sensation on the back when we push it a little bit too hard.

We can’t really put all the heat on OnePlus for this issue. It was using the ill-reputed Snapdragon 810, infamous for turning smartphones into a skillet, at the dinner time rush. Although the OnePlus 2 was running a newer version of the Snapdragon 10, the issue was prevalent. We’re likely to see the Snapdragon 820 in the OnePlus 3, unless they really surprise us and introduce their own optimised chipset. Which is what Samsung did with the Exynos chipsets.

The Snapdragon 820 thankfully does not have the heating issue of its predecessor.

Great camera, now double it

One Plus 2

The OnePlus 2 has an excellent camera as can see there. It has a 13-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture lens, which explains why we get incandescent beauties like the above. In DxOMark’s ratings the OnePlus 2 still ranks decently with a score of 76. But it’s hardly flagship killer as OnePlus claim, it ranks below the flagships it rivals.

Dual-camera systems seem to be the way forward as the real estate for bigger lenses just isn’t there unless you go phablet. To ensure they don’t get left behind OnePlus should include dual-cameras as seen on the Huawei P9 and LG G5.

Expandable memory


Apps are getting bigger and Android Marshmallow takes up quite a big chunk of internal memory on current flagship devices. The entry-level OnePlus 2 had 16GB of internal memory only with no microSD support. MicroSD support is becoming a bit of a rare feature nowadays, despite how popular it is. The benefit of not having one is increased performance with less lag when scrolling through the user interface.

The difference in speed is negligible when done right, as we’ve seen with the Galaxy S7. Expandable memory will always be a popular feature and OnePlus should capitalise where it’s rivals are shying away from. A 32GB starting model would also be wise.

Fast charging


A massive 3300 mAh battery was included with the OnePlus 2, lasting us an age and then some. Definitely one of the “killer” aspects of the OnePlus 2 as Samsung, LG and HTC have all now started to use 3000 mAh batteries or closer to that ball park.

But with a bigger tank, comes the burden of filling it up. The battery may have lasted an age but it also took another age to charge up, quite annoying when you can only spare 20 minutes to charge before heading out.

QHD screen


It was a cost effective measure for OnePlus to include a full HD (1920 x 1080) screen instead of opting for 2K (2048 x 1080). OnePlus will most definitely keep the phablet 5.5-inch screen for their next device. A bigger screen means less resolution, although the OnePlus 2 provided a great display, we definitely need better.

Current rumours are pointing to retention of the full HD display, which would be a shame but understandable to keep costs down and boost up the processor and RAM.

Get rid of the invite system


Please, please, please do this OnePlus. The invite system made you seem so cool before and made people want your devices badly. Bravo. It’s now getting infuriating and to truly grow, everyone needs access to your devices.

The OnePlus X and OnePlus 2 are now invite-free with the former seeing less time on the archaic invite-system than the latter. Which means we could possibly be seeing even less time waiting for it to be removed or it could be removed altogether at launch. A great marketing stunt that’d give every OnePlus fan even more to cheer about.

For more on OnePlus, visit What Mobile’s dedicated OnePlus page.

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