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Android

OnePlus 3 Featuring 5.5-inch FHD Display, Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6GB RAM Launched at $400 125

Chinese startup OnePlus is only three years old, but you will be surprised with just how much importance and traction it receives from the Android community. Its well-built, high-end Android smartphones are priced fairly aggressively, allowing it to compete with the likes of Samsung, HTC, and LG among others in the cut-throat smartphone market. The company today unveiled its third flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3. Priced at $399 (for the unlocked version), the OnePlus 3 sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED display (the company is reluctant on moving to QHD display, insisting that higher resolution will unnecessarily drain the battery faster). It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC, coupled with 6GB of RAM, a 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS, an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter, a fingerprint scanner, and 64GB of built-in storage. The dual-SIM capable smartphone houses a 3,000mAh battery, which the company says can go from 0 to 60 percent in just 30 minutes. In its review (the media received the device a week ahead of the launch), CNET finds the OnePlus 3 to be an "excellent performer", and its nearly stock Android operating system a refreshing change. The publication concludes that at $400 price point, OnePlus 3 is a great purchase.
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OnePlus 3 Featuring 5.5-inch FHD Display, Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6GB RAM Launched at $400

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  • I'm surprised it's not standard on every mid-range or above phone these days. It's kind of ridiculous. Among other things saves wear and tear on the USB and it's great for e.g. charging while at work, drop it on the charger and done.

    I'd also like to see some sort of "snap to mount" standard where they place little metal plates in the phone at a specific relation to the charging coils so you can magnetically snap the phone to a (standardized) charging mount and have it charge wirelessly.

    Instead, phones are f

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      "Wireless charging", i.e. charging mats equals wasted energy. Energy that's still being produced by oil and coal in a lot of countries, including the U.S.A.

      On the other hand, a standard "contacts at the bottom" specification is an excellent idea. I wouldn't call it "wireless" however, because of the whole "wireless charging mats" trend right now. What we need is to get all phone manufacturers on the idea, And Europe could probably push them enough to make it happen. It would need to be mandated on both phon

      • Wireless charging with an aluminum case is a challenge. One doomed to fail.

        And I luv aluminum.

      • What we need is to get all phone manufacturers on the idea, And Europe could probably push them enough to make it happen. It would need to be mandated on both phones and pads of varying thicknesses and width, but surely that's an idea that all companies could work with.

        Please tell me that I am missing the sarcasm. You aren't really suggesting the government get involved and mandate this are you?

        • by losfromla ( 1294594 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @02:39PM (#52317741)

          They pushed through standardization on micro-usb, so yes, why not? Governments are good for lots of standardization type directives. Only morons think that government can't get anything right.

          • Not so great, considering that USB-C is the future. And what about Apple, who still uses Lightning ports (although I hear the next iPhone is also going to be USB-C)

            • Not so great, considering that USB-C is the future. And what about Apple, who still uses Lightning ports (although I hear the next iPhone is also going to be USB-C)

              yeah we standardized.. then we evolved.. USB was amazing.. the fact that it lasted this long was able to become this pervasive is due in huge part to government intervention. The fact that Apple tries to buck this is not proof that government failed. I still have a drawer filed with pre-standard characters to prove that even in North America I'm thankful to the government that forced phone manufacturers to get on the same page.

      • Charging mats use about 5 watts of power, which means even if you were doing nothing but charging phones with dead batteries around the clock it would only use 40 kwh of power in a year. As far as contributing causes to the energy crisis go, that's nothing. Hand-washing one load of laundry will offset all of your energy use from charging your phone for over a month. Skipping one drive to the movies to rent something at home will offset all of your energy use for charging your cell phone for years (since
        • how often are people going to the bloody movies. I don't think i saw one last year and I've been stuggling for 3 months to get time to see one now.
        • Charging mats use about 5 watts of power, which means even if you were doing nothing but charging phones with dead batteries around the clock it would only use 40 kwh of power in a year. As far as contributing causes to the energy crisis go, that's nothing. Hand-washing one load of laundry will offset all of your energy use from charging your phone for over a month. Skipping one drive to the movies to rent something at home will offset all of your energy use for charging your cell phone for years (since one gallon of gasoline has 33kwh equivalent of energy in it).

          Suppose wireless-charging became as standard as a camera. Some 1B phones are sold each year. 95%* of those smartphone buyers will not even be aware that wireless-charging is inherently inefficient and wasteful, never-mind do something to offset this waste.

          *There is no data on this but actually my best guess would probably be more around 99% considering the abysmal levels of knowledge in Sciences people in most countries possess

          • In my experience, physical charging ports wear out. In some phones you can replace them or pay to get them replaced, but in some you can't. Even when you can, it's so expensive and error prone it's cheaper to replace the phone. So users that use physical ports are forced to replace phones months, a year, or even multiple years sooner than they would otherwise.

            My wild guess is that the waste of electronics and unnecessary boost to cell phone replacement rates from that is far worse than the extra inef
            • In my experience, physical charging ports wear out. In some phones you can replace them or pay to get them replaced, but in some you can't. Even when you can, it's so expensive and error prone it's cheaper to replace the phone. So users that use physical ports are forced to replace phones months, a year, or even multiple years sooner than they would otherwise. My wild guess is that the waste of electronics and unnecessary boost to cell phone replacement rates from that is far worse than the extra inefficiency of wireless charging.

              The vast majority of phones are retired due to obsolescence (as little as 18 months in many high-wage regions) and decreased battery life. Damage is a distant third and in that category a broken screen accounts for the vast majority of cases. A removable battery (wireless charging tends to make removal batteries even more complicated to incorporate in the design) would do infinitely more to mitigate the issue of waste then wireless-charging. Not to mention that recycling is a very cost-effective, unfortunat

        • Charging mats use about 5 watts of power, which means even if you were doing nothing but charging phones with dead batteries around the clock it would only use 40 kwh of power in a year. As far as contributing causes to the energy crisis go, that's nothing. Hand-washing one load of laundry will offset all of your energy use from charging your phone for over a month. Skipping one drive to the movies to rent something at home will offset all of your energy use for charging your cell phone for years (since one gallon of gasoline has 33kwh equivalent of energy in it).

          if you live someplace with winter, half the year you welcome that 5 watts.

    • by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @01:26PM (#52317089)

      I used to be a fan of wireless charging, but when I last used it it out around 1A, which is a slow charge these days, and made my phones very hot, which is bad for battery life. USB-C ports seem to hold up better than older formats, so I'm less concerned about plugging in these days.

      • I really don't have a problem using a plain old dock. The headphone port seems to die before the USB port on my phones. I had a phone that had the charging port die back in the mid-2000s, but it was an external-contact design with spring-loaded pins on the charger.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Wireless charging doesn't get hot if it's aligned properly. That can be via something like magnets, or a motorised charger that self aligns.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wireless charging creates strong, high-frequency EMF fields that are detrimental to human health. People who have allergies to or are otherwise sensitive to EMF fields are especially impacted. The health hazards are sufficient that wireless charging should be banned anyway. We're having a hard enough time with the scourge of smart meters. Please let's not add insult to injury.

      • Around here you'll get more traction with eavesdropping trolls. Something about the EMFs revealing your encryption.

    • It's that fast charging has kind of taken it's place. I had wireless charging, and always left my phone on the mat whenever I could, even if at a slight inconvenience. It worked out pretty well and I usually had ~70% charge when headed home. With my new phone without wireless charging, I have 50% when I head home, but get it up to ~73% on my 15-20 minute commute home. I end up with more charge just plugging it in for a minute here or there versus always trying to keep it on the mat. So the rapid chargi
  • QHD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @01:07PM (#52316869)

    the company is reluctant on moving to QHD display, insisting that higher resolution will only drain the battery faster

    The voice of reason! Thank goodness some manufacturer is finally being sensible instead of blindly following the "more pixels = better" mantra even when the pixels are too small to see.

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Came here to post this. And with stock android on there you have something that instantly beats any phone I see in the stores today. These are both cases of "less is better." They could even charge me *more* for the lower-resolution screen and I'll still be happy because the net result is a faster phone with less power drain.

    • by ryanmc1 ( 682957 )
      Because of VR, I am holding off buying a new OnePlus phone until it supports 4K or better
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        That seem to be the real developing driver for phone updates or waiting off the current series. Which phones will come out with the best USB virtual reality headsets, enabling people to carry a bigscreen TV in their pocket and hugely expanding the usability of smart phones.

  • No SD slot? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No SD Slot, No Sale. It's that simple.

    • Re:No SD slot? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @02:41PM (#52317761) Homepage

      I'm kind of with you. I'm not sure what the reason is for not including an SD card slot. 64 GB is probably big enough that I wouldn't need one, but it would also be tempting to spend $20 and get another 64 GB of storage. I'm sure that if the phone had something like 512GB of storage that I wouldn't feel the need for it, and any complaints would be unfounded, but it's almost the principle of the matter. Why wouldn't you take minimal steps to have expandable storage on a phone.

      • Whenever I get a new phone, either because the old one broke or I just want an upgrade, I move my SD card to my new phone and all my stuff is there. I can't do that with built-in memory. If all photos and data is stored on built-in memory, I'm screwed when the phone dies. Yes, I have a backup, but that's plan B; I don't want to rely on the backup as being the only way to move my data to a new device. If the "backup" is plan A for moving data, that would leave me with no actual backup. For that reason, a

        • Whenever I get a new phone, either because the old one broke or I just want an upgrade, I move my SD card to my new phone and all my stuff is there. I can't do that with built-in memory.

          Seriously why aren't more people sympathetic to that? My dropbox is FULL. I'm 30GBs over my 46GB storage limit because I take videos and don't have anywhere to put them. When I switch to 1+3 I'm kinda terrified about what I'm supposed to do with all my data that can't be synced anywhere. Because google drive is all fun an

        • This.

          Android File Transfer sometimes fails (for no known reason and unsearchable solution) transferring files to the Mac, so I pop out the SD card, put it in a card reader, and I'm fine.

          If my phone dies, I buy a replacement, put the SD card in, and all my music/pictures are there. I have a 128GB MicroSD card, so there's a lot of music and pictures (and videos) on there.

          No MicroSD card slot == No Sale for me, too. At least until there is no phone with a MicroSD slot. Then I guess I'll figure out how to deal

          • If you're OK with only have the SD card available part of the time, something like the Dash Micro [amzn.com] microSD card reader for USB OTG devices might be a solution. It's relatively cheap ($13 at Amazon), small enough to keep on a keychain, and plugs directly into the phone's USB OTG port.

          • you'll deal with it the way we dealt with no more physical keyboards.. grumbling and wishing for death.
    • No SD Slot, No Sale. It's that simple.

      i want an SD slot too. Even the 1+X had a choice of dual sim or sim+sd. I don't travel that often. I don't need two sims at once. I can just take out my home sim and get a new sim. What I'd LIKE is to be able to takea ll the stuff on my Galaxy S4 to my new 1+3 and i can't and that's frustrating.

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @01:22PM (#52317049)
    This isn't their first phone.
    This isn't their second phone.
  • How One Plus does on the junkware front? I have seen many cheap android tablets with adware apps baked in and poor security settings out of box (allow install from 3rd party sources including the baked in adware).

    If OnePLus is smart enough not do do this, or there is enough community support for fully functional ROMS, this could be my next phone. I prefer Ting, but currently use a nexus 6 on Google Fi as I need to be able to switch networks on the fly. Due to the nature of my business, if one carrier ha

    • My OnePlus 1 is running Cyanogen instead of Oxygen, so I can't speak to that. I run mine on Ting, and while the phone is dual SIM, that won't help you on Ting because it's GSM only, so you'll only get T-Mobile's network.

    • My Oneplus One arrived with Cyanogenmod installed (I never switched to OxygenOS after the deal with Cyanogen fell through). There isn't a single app that can't be uninstalled, there aren't any paid apps at all as far as I can tell. Everything was pretty stock CM, I assume it's the same deal with the newer phone. I may upgrade, but the only thing that is stopping me is that my phone still works fine, that's why I never got the Oneplus Two. The only things that may be pushing me to upgrade are stupid bugs

    • My OPO is running cyanogen as well, however I did play around with oxygen. It's basically a derivative version of cyanogen with a different theme and less functionality. Aside from being deprived of some useful settings features I liked a lot, the OS's were nearly identical on the phone, and I've read many OP2 users switching back to cyanogenmod. Unlocking the phone was trivially simple, as well as rooting it. To this day, I still use the OPO (but seriously considering the OP3) and I can say that this ha
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @01:31PM (#52317131) Homepage

    Do we really need 6 GB of RAM on a phone? Until Android gets something like Continuum on Windows phone, where you can dock the phone and use it like a desktop, there seems little reason to have that much RAM. I guess they've just run out of things to upgrade to justify the high price. Personally, I won't spend much more than $200 on a phone at this point. Things are changing too fast on the software side, and updates to operating systems are often not available. You basically have to get a new phone every year or two to be guaranteed having the latest OS, and spending $400+ on a new phone every year or two is a little rich for my tastes.

    • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @02:02PM (#52317413)

      I guess they've just run out of things to upgrade to justify the high price.

      It's a low price, actually. You own the phone, you are buying it outright, you are not renting it from your carrier and paying monthly. An unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, for example, costs $790. That's what the Oneplus Three competes against, so it's $400 versus $790. I own my Oneplus outright, I don't rent it from my carrier, so my cell phone bill is lower. You're still paying for your phone, just not all at once. If you cancel your contract early you'll notice that your carrier bills you for the remainder of the phone price.

      spending $400+ on a new phone every year or two is a little rich for my tastes.

      Yeah, I thought that paying $400 for my Oneplus One 2 years ago was a little much, but it's the best phone I've ever owned. It has great hardware, and the OS has received regular updates. In fact, the reason why I don't feel the need to upgrade to the Oneplus Three is because my phone still works fine. And, in those 2 years, my cell phone bill has been less every month because my carrier didn't subsidize my phone. It also didn't come pre-loaded with a bunch of crap software, the only thing on it was the OS with the default apps.

      A top of the line phone, unlocked, which you own, with no crap on it, which you can move between carriers (or even use 2 carriers at the same time if you need to), for half the price of the competing phones. That's what you're getting, but if that's not what you're looking for then feel free to continue renting.

      • I also got an unlocked phone about a year ago, but mine only cost me $200. I'm also receiving OS updates still. I never said I was renting my phone. I own my phone outright, pay $35 a month (taxes included) for unlimited calling, texting, and 5GB of data with no overage charges (connection is slowed one you go over the cap). I personally can't believe that people spend $700 on the latest Samsung or Apple phones. Even a $400 phone is too rich for me. It's just not worth it at all. I spend $200 on my phone,

        • That's good if that works for you, there are plenty of people though looking for better hardware. This is the phone that has better hardware for half the price, it's the same thing they did with their other two phones. I'm sure that the current batch of $200 phones have hardware that is still not as powerful as the phone I paid $400 for 2 years ago. What is "worth it" to someone is based on what they want their phone to do, and for how long. If all you do is text and call then you don't need a smart pho

      • by ryanmc1 ( 682957 )
        I am also not going to upgrade my OnePlus one. The OnePlus one does everything I need, and the OnePlus Three does not have enough to justify a new phone.
      • Two points to consider:

        1. My experience has been that smart phone hardware is not too reliable. So no matter how little or how much you pay, sooner or later some essential feature breaks at a hardware level - sound doesn't work, or your charging port doesn't accept a charge, or your screen is dead, and so forth. So I'm inclined towards middle range phones, so that I'm spending $200-$400 every two or three years instead of $600-$700.

        2. My phone is paid off at Verizon, and they replaced my $25/mont
        • So I'm inclined towards middle range phones, so that I'm spending $200-$400 every two or three years instead of $600-$700.

          That's where Oneplus comes in. You can get the top-of-the-line hardware for half the price of their competitors.

          • Yes, but it sure would be nice if the phone lasted six years or something instead of two to three.
            • Yeah it would. It would be cool if they could also remotely upgrade the hardware. Ah, wishes.

              • Remotely upgrading the hardware is a fantasy. Providing software updates for old hardware is many orders of magnitude less effort to implement. The vendors don't bother because there's no money in it - great for them, sucky for us.
        • Two points to consider: 1. My experience has been that smart phone hardware is not too reliable. So no matter how little or how much you pay, sooner or later some essential feature breaks at a hardware level - sound doesn't work, or your charging port doesn't accept a charge, or your screen is dead, and so forth. So I'm inclined towards middle range phones, so that I'm spending $200-$400 every two or three years instead of $600-$700. 2. My phone is paid off at Verizon, and they replaced my $25/month payment on the phone with a $25 increase in my monthly fee. Thanks, Verizon! (I'm switching carriers in a month or two. But they have me by the short hairs - cell phone reception for all of the other carriers sucks around here. So I can pay 60% less for service, just as long as I like not being able to actually call anyone. But I'm sick of the price, so I'm switching anyway.)

          both of my sisters have LG Nexus 4 and both of them ended up with dead zones. phones aren't built to last and that's annoying.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @03:40PM (#52318235) Journal

      Do we really need 6 GB of RAM on a phone?

      My Nexus 5 has 2 GB, and I often run out of RAM which slows down the phone. Right now it's using all but 382M. If I force close apps or reboot, I can reclaim some of that free RAM. So it would be nice to have at least double the RAM in order to keep the phone running smoothly without requiring regular maintenance on my part.

      Do I need 6GB instead of 4GB? Maybe not, but it couldn't hurt, especially when it's so cheap. Someone once said 640KB ought to be enough for anybody, and we all know how that turned out!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I have a OnePlue One with 3GB of RAM and it's extremely fast, never runs out of RAM even with dozens of tabs open. There was an issue where if you opened 20 tabs then switching got "slow" (1 second delay) and wouldn't speed up again until you rebooted, but they seem to have fixed it with an update.

        I never close old apps or use any memory cleaners etc. So yeah, I'm not sure what the advantage of 6GB will be... More caching maybe, might offset some slight performance loss from having the device fully encrypte

      • by oscode ( 2622581 )
        100% RAM usage is a good thing when it's mostly cache. Forcefully killing background apps is just going to make things slower.
      • by Rexdude ( 747457 )

        The 640KB quote was perfectly valid in 1981 when he said it, note that he didn't add 'for all time to come'.

    • Do we really need 6 GB of RAM on a phone?

      Yes, because java.

      Until Android gets something like Continuum on Windows phone, where you can dock the phone and use it like a desktop, there seems little reason to have that much RAM.

      Been there, done that, webview or deskview or whatever it was called on driod's. It sucked.

      I guess they've just run out of things to upgrade to justify the high price. Personally, I won't spend much more than $200 on a phone at this point. Things are changing too fast on the software side, and updates to operating systems are often not available. You basically have to get a new phone every year or two to be guaranteed having the latest OS, and spending $400+ on a new phone every year or two is a little rich for my tastes.

      $400 is a great price for any phone, try and get anything other than a cheap ass tract-phone and you're into the 5 6 and 7 bills territory.

    • by puto ( 533470 )
      Android had a version of it before Continuum was even a twinkle in Microsofts eye. It wasn't as full featured. But it was six years ago. Motorola Axtrix 2 had a dock you could plug in into called the HD station with an hdmi port and three usb ports. The Atrix 4g had dock that turned it into little laptop. https://www.amazon.com/AT-Lapt... [amazon.com] And there is Maru OS, which lets you turn your Nexus 5 into a fully functioning Debian box.
  • Screw the 6GB of RAM. Give me Flash storage that doesn't slow to a crawl (taking the OS with it) in 6 months.

    • Maybe I'm being naive here, but I see little reason why we don't have SSD class storage in our phones at this point. Can someone please explain it to me? Does it require too much power? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to have a phone with a 120 GB SSD in it. Maybe the phone would be a bit thicker, but I think it's a feature a lot of people would like to have. I really hope Samsung can find a way to put this SSD [ndtv.com] in their next phone.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Maybe I'm being naive here, but I see little reason why we don't have SSD class storage in our phones at this point. Can someone please explain it to me? Does it require too much power? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to have a phone with a 120 GB SSD in it. Maybe the phone would be a bit thicker, but I think it's a feature a lot of people would like to have. I really hope Samsung can find a way to put this SSD in their next phone.

        Some phones do. I mean, they don't use eMMC like the rest of them, or UFS,

        • by AaronW ( 33736 )

          eMMC actually contains many of the features of a real SSD controller. I am quite familiar with the eMMC standard, having written low-level drivers for both eMMC and SD cards. eMMC devices are typically MCMs that have a controller chip and a stack of NAND chips. Some things can slow it down, however, such as fragmentation. eMMC, at least as of revision 5.1, can support a DDR bus speed of 400MHz for an 8-bit bus, the equivalent of a 6.4GHz serial bus.

          Much of the slowness is probably due to not supporting the

      • Maybe the phone would be a bit thicker

        dude they're thinning away the 3.5mm headphone jack. Phone makers are idiots who think thinner is better they won't be happy until our phones fit in magic the gathering card sleeves.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2016 @02:22PM (#52317605) Homepage

    it had better be an octoband covering ALL bands possible. Their stupidity of not covering the 700mhz band on the X made a perfect phone into a pile of poo.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      OnePlus don't make the modem, and the octaband ones cost quite a bit more and require more complex and space hogging antenna arrangements, plus even more testing. They probably decided that since few places to use 700mHz (see this page [wikipedia.org], it's really just the US and Canada) and in most of them other bands are available it wasn't worth the additional cost for a phone that sells world wide at a low price.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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