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Opinion 99 Shares 11 comments

Why the OnePlus 3 should be your next flagship killer

We’re getting close to the release of the OnePlus 3. That means one of the most spec’d-out phones we’ll see in 2016 is about to land. The 'flagship killer', as OnePlus calls its high-end, mid-price phones, holds a lot of promise once again. But is the OnePlus 3 the next phone you should buy? Let’s dive in.

oneplus 2 vs oneplus 1 camera
The OnePlus 3 is poised to be a hit. / © ANDROIDPIT

Flagship killer?

The OnePlus 2 was not the breakthrough product that the OnePlus One was. The One became a sort of viral sensation (as far as tech products go) thanks to several outstanding features. It had flagship hardware and performance to rival top-of-the-line Samsung and Apple devices. But it costed only a few hundred dollars. It ran CyanogenMod, and even though it was buggy, this hardware-software combo was cool. You also needed an invitation to buy one (crazy right?) and this drove demand out of thin air.

The OnePlus 2 hit the market when powerful smartphones were already getting cheaper. Its biggest competitor was the Moto X, which was similarly priced. But the gimmick had already worn thin – the 2 was more mainstream and more attainable. The hype was trailing off.

Now with the OnePlus 3, the market has changed even more. Android is now a mid-range game, with the affordable flagship category literally saturated this year. As OnePlus refines its lineup, the virality, the lust, that it drove for previous models has become harder to tease out. What was once a flagship killer is now just a $400 smartphone.

oneplus 2 apps 2
The OnePlus 2 was a killer phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Rejecting invitations

The invite system was part of the reason OnePlus came to prominence a couple of years back. Whether the first time you heard of this Chinese startup was from a YouTube review or from a friend, the issue of “you need an invite” would almost certainly have popped up. We all want what we can’t have.

But you can now buy a OnePlus 2 without an invite (if you pay more). The smaller OnePlus X can be bought without an invite for the normal price. It’s not so hard to get one. That makes me wonder – will the OnePlus 3 be available with invites, or is demand for OnePlus phones strong enough that the system can now be dumped?

Using this system for a third year goes a bit beyond a gimmick. With an existing customer base, why would OnePlus want to restrict availability? I wouldn’t be surprised if the new flagship was available to all, anytime.

oneplus x 25
The OnePlus X can be bought invite-free. / © ANDROIDPIT


This brings me to my final point. OnePlus has been hurtling toward mainstream popularity from the outset. With Android geeks making up a big slice of its initial customer base, the OnePlus 2 was a more mature, refined phone. Looking at the rumored specs of the OnePlus 3 – namely, the same as we’ve seen in other new flagships – and a steady, calm polish being applied to its design, I imagine this could be the phone even moms or grandparents would want.

But how would they hear about it? Probably from House of Cards. With reports that OnePlus paid US$300,000 for placement of its existing lineup in the popular TV series, the chances that non-geeky customers might want one of these phones is rising quickly. With OnePlus’ phones getting easier to buy, more refined and now experiencing greater consumer awareness, the chances that you’ll soon own one are higher than ever.

Will you buy a OnePlus 3 when it’s released? Let me know in the comments section.


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  • CJ Brown 6 months ago Link to comment

    I used to be a fan of OnePlus - however - from there broken relationship with CyanogenMod, to their telling consumers the only way you can purchase our product is by Invitation; told me they can go "feck off!"

    I am not saying they do not build a nice Android Smartphone (they do, if you don't mind using their version of Android OS - not CyanogenMod's), I am just saying acting like Apple (telling consumers the only way you could buy our devices is be a part of our Elite group) isn't going to turn me into a fan!

  • I'll purchase a OnePlue 3 if... and ONLY IF...
    - There's no !@#$% Invitation scheme required! I'm not waiting to get a phone, just because some keyboard warriors have found ways to bump themselves (and their friends) up the waiting list.
    - The price is right! OnePlus made it's reputation on providing a killer phone for a great price! If they do what Google did with the Nexus series; and jack the prices, they''ll end up wallowing at the back of the pack.
    - Specs are legitimately Flagship specs! No excuses. If it's a 'Flagship Killer', then the specs should show it.
    - It's not hardware locked to certain providers. I like the idea of being able to switch over to another network, if I don't like my existing contract; and I like even more the ability to pop a SIM into it when I'm on vacation; and being able to use my device on the local network of my choice.

  • Only if the One Plus 3 is Verison comparable !!! AT&T , T Mobil suck in the southeast U.S. They don't have enough towers to cover in this area!!!

  • Noooo! Don't do it, haha!

  • I don't know. I am concerned about hackability. As a long time Samsung fan, I was actually thinking about going apple and dumping android.

  • Sorry, this is nothing to do with the One+3, but what about some info and articles on the Dutch Fairphone? A phone whose precious metals r sourced responsibly, whose makers encourage prospective buyers to choose the greenest option by using their old smartphone 'til it dies, that has A REPLACEABLE BATTERY, and is designed to be repaired and upgraded by the owner - brilliant!
    Pls give us some views, thanks!

  • I'm based in the UK, and have only vaguely heard of the OnePlus. Don't know anyone who owns one or even seen one in stores. I assume they'll have to go some distance to compete with the new S7 range from Samsung and of course all the other new handsets due out this year; LG G5, HTC M10 etc, etc.
    Having not seen a OnePlus in action at all, I'm certainly not tempted. Not at the moment...Sorry!

  • storm 6 months ago Link to comment

    This last year has been one big fail for OnePlus. They have to go HUGE and inexpensive or just close up shop. Real USB C, not just gimmick connectors with the wrong resistor. Waterproof, uSD, NFC, unlocked bootloader, all bands LTE support. Detailed QA with intense screen analysis. They've shipped to many yellow and flawed screens before. They need to rise to what the market actually is, not just what they hype it to be.

    • One Plus and OPPO could learn a lot from Xiaomi/MI.
      OPPO pretty much disband support for my buggy OPPO Find 5 and left it at that. It had battery drain issues and other issues I can't recall back. I don't believe they have stepped up at all, looking at how my mate were disappointed with their Find 6.

      It's amazing how Xiaomi is able to sell QUALITY smartphones at very inexpensive price. I'm referring to hardware, firmware, stability and battery life and still support firmware upgrades for a year old device.
      I switched to Xiaomi about 2 years back and a proud owner of Redmi Note and Mi Note.

      I hope they are able to expand their products in USA. I really hate how Samsung and other brands are ripping off our wallets for 'dumbed features'.

  • This update absolutely stinks!!! I've never in my life had such a bad experience with updates before as bad as I have on this one. My sevice sucks. Even when my wifi is connected my Internet will still be shut down. I want my old upgrade back. I wish i would have never updated my phone!

  • This phone is definitely on my radar for my next device. With my One M9 starting to run its course, I am going to look in the mid-range 'flagship' category.

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