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article imageOnePlus unveils the OnePlus 3: Cutting-edge hardware for $399

By James Walker     Jun 15, 2016 in Technology
After months of teasing and leaks, OnePlus has officially launched the OnePlus 3, its third flagship handset. Like its predecessors, the phone aims to be a premium phone at a low price, featuring very high-end specs and a lightweight design for $399.
OnePlus is marketing the OnePlus 3 under the tagline "It's about time." According to the company, "It's about time for a smartphone without compromises" that is conceived and built by tech enthusiasts and users. Apparently, the OnePlus 3 is the handset the world's been waiting for.
The 5.5-inch phone is made from a single piece of aluminium, using an all-metal design for strength and quality. It's one of the thinnest phones around at just 7.3mm. The 1080p AMOLED display is surrounded by marginal bezels to make the screen more striking. A fingerprint sensor sits below the display. Two colours will be offered, Graphite and Soft Gold.
OnePlus 3
OnePlus 3
OnePlus
The rear of the phone is evidently inspired by the iPhone. It has a similar speaker grille on the bottom and obvious antenna lines. It appears to have taken styling cues from other handsets too. The protruding camera is reminiscent of Samsung's Galaxy S6 and the all-metal finish resembles HTC's One M8.
Underneath lies Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor, capable of achieving 2.2GHz speeds and providing 35 percent more power than the OnePlus 2. It is paired with a huge 6GB of RAM which enables the phone to "set a new standard" in multitasking between intensive apps.
The main camera has a 16MP sensor that includes optical image stabilisation, electronic image stabilisation and RAW output. There's automatic HDR and an intelligent noise removal feature. The front camera is 8MP and includes a Smile Capture facility to automatically take a photo when you smile.
OnePlus 3
OnePlus 3
OnePlus
The OnePlus 3 has a fairly typical 3,000mAh battery that can be charged to 60 percent capacity in 30 minutes, even when actively using the phone to stream video or play a game. OnePlus' Dash Charge technology uses a large current to maintain a consistent speed. The extra heat this creates is minimised by moving the power management process from the phone to the power adapter, dissipating the heat away from the phone itself.
The OnePlus 3 is a fairly typical flagship Android phone for 2016. While the display is a notably lower resolution than its 2K and 4K counterparts, the 1080p panel used here allows the phone to consume less power and last for longer on a charge. OnePlus has also learned from some of its most notable failures with the OnePlus 2, adding conspicuously absent features like NFC to this year's handset.
The company sees the OnePlus 3 as a device that redefines what smartphones can do. It offers premium performance at a fraction of the price of its rivals. It doesn't bundle bloatware, instead settling on its own OxygenOS, a near-stock version of Android Marshmallow.
OnePlus 3
OnePlus 3
OnePlus
"We know that the best smartphone is the one that works exactly how you want it to," said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. "The OnePlus 3 delivers that experience. It combines what our customers already love about our products with what they want and expect next. For example, Dash Charge sets a new standard for fast charging technology. It’s a flagship smartphone inspired by – and made for – our fans."
The OnePlus 3 is a bold attempt to create a premium smartphone experience that doesn't cost the earth. Its hardware equals that of rivals twice its price, demonstrating that high-end devices can be accessible even to people on limited budgets.
Unlike previous OnePlus launches, you won't need an invite to buy a OnePlus 3. The phone is available today from oneplus.net unlocked and usable on the majority of networks worldwide. Pricing is set at $399 in the U.S., €399 in Europe and £309 in the UK.
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