oneplus 3t easter egg calculator

OnePlus 3T – My Real World, Long Term Ownership Review

3 months ago, I decided to take a leap out of Google Nexus world, and into the OnePlus world. My previous two phones had been Nexuses (Nexii?), and as a vanilla Android fan it was difficult for me to consider any other non-Google phone.

July 2017 Update

With the release of the OnePlus 5, where does the OnePlus 3T stand?

In my opinion, the OnePlus 3T is still a fantastic phone! My device hasn’t showed any sign of slowing down, or aging. The OnePlus 5 comes with a better processor, and slightly better camera. But the OnePlus 3T is still a beast. It still has the same Dash Charging, bigger battery, and doesn’t confuse itself with the iPhone 7S. Also the OnePlus 3T didn’t have a whole bunch of issues that the OnePlus 5 supposedly has – jelly scrolling thanks to an inverted screen, and an inverted speaker.

Carry on reading my review of the OnePlus 3T below.

Pixel – Why You So Expensive?

But the Google Pixel changed that. There was no way I was going to shell out that much money for a phone, no matter how great the camera, or experience. But because I am a fan of stock Android, I had to fight the temptation of not buying the 32 GB Pixel, instead of the much desired 128 GB Pixel XL.

OnePlus 3T – The New Nexus

OnePlus has been on my radar since they launched the OnePlus One. The Shenzhen based startup is popular among Android developers, and enthusiasts for its low priced, high spec phones that are close to stock Android. At a similar price to the original Nexus line-up, I naturally began considering the OnePlus as the replacement to my Nexus.

No More Invite System – Thank You!

Previously, even if I wanted to buy a OnePlus phone, the tedious invite system kept me away. For those unaware, one had to possess a highly coveted “invite” to buy a OnePlus phone. The whole invite system was a real world example of Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”.

But thankfully, OnePlus did away with the invite system when they launched the shortest lived flagship phone – the OnePlus 3. The phone was on the shelf for 4 months before its successor, the OnePlus 3T, replaced it.

Bye, Bye Pixel. Hello, OnePlus 3T

With the renewed specs of the OnePlus 3T, at half the price of the comparable Google Pixel, made the phone a no brainer for me. It perfectly fit into the gaping void that had been left behind by the disappearance of the Nexus line, but in terms of price and performance.

On the morning of the launch, I sat patiently on the OnePlus website. The 3T went on sale at 8 AM, and in less than 10 mins I had checked out with it. The next morning, the OnePlus 3T arrived.

An Unbiased Review Of The OnePlus 3T

oneplus 3t premium build quality
The OnePlus 3T feels amazing to hold. It’s premium build quality all the way.

 

Too many reviews spend too much time talking about the tech specs. For my review, I’m going to focus on “how does the phone perform day-to-day?”. In my opinion, that’s what should guide any practical purchase decision. I’m not going to talk about the build quality (which is phenomenal BTW), or the AMOLED screen (why is it only full HD?). So, no tech specs.

Bear in mind that no one is paying me to write this. This is my personal experience of using the Gunmetal 128 GB OnePlus 3T as my daily driver for the past 3 months. These are the things that I love, dislike about the OnePlus 3T, and their daily implications.

What Makes The OnePlus 3T Awesome

Dash Charge

Dash Charge has to be, by far, the BEST feature of the OnePlus 3T. Seriously, it is INCREDIBLE! With my OnePlus 3T, I don’t fret any longer over low battery warnings! I know I can juice up my phone in literally an hour. Check out these screenshots below to see what I mean.

oneplus 3t dash charge speed example
Dash Charge – The fastest in the market

 

Dash Charge, or rather the technology behind it, is unique to the OnePlus 3T (and a few Oppo phones). It uses a proprietary charging brick and cable to charge your phone at lightening speed. Watch this video as it does an amazing job at explaining how Dash Charging works (Emily Ratajkowski just happens to be a bonus).

 Daily Implication: I don’t have to worry about low battery warnings even if I have limited time to charge my phone. 

Great Battery Life

OnePlus upgraded the OnePlus 3T battery to 3,400mAh over the 3,000mAh in the OnePlus 3. That’s a 13% increase.

I find that battery life is something very subjective, and totally depends on how much I use my phone (duh!). But here’s the deal – on weekdays, I find myself charging my OnePlus 3T once in almost 24 hours. I use my phone mostly for checking emails, browsing, listening to my music or podcasts. No gaming or heavy use.

oneplus 3t battery performance
The OnePlus 3T has incredible battery life

 

But on weekends, I end up charging my phone once every 10-15 hours. Especially on days when I head out exploring the city, and wilderness. That’s when I’m constantly on Google Maps or using the camera, reading news/articles/Pocket.

For me, this is phenomenal battery life. Couple that with Dash Charge, and I never worry about my OnePlus 3T dying at any point in time.

 Daily Implication: For my mild, and moderate usage, this phone can easily last 24 hours on a single charge. 

Android 7.0 Nougat Support

One of the biggest reasons for loving stock Android is the constant updates. With my previous Nexuses, I was always guaranteed the latest and greatest Google had to offer. I’d be first in line for OS, and security updates. Leaving the Nexus world meant, leaving stock Android with its regular updates.

3 months later, and I can honestly say that I haven’t missed stock Android even once. Oxygen OS, OnePlus 3T’s operating system, comes as close to stock Android as any OS can (with a few additional useful features). The OS is as smooth as smooth can be, and it just flies – no lags, no stutters.

In early January, OnePlus kept to their promise and released Android 7.0 Nougat on the OnePlus 3T & 3. Since Nougat, OnePlus has released several updates, patches, and bug fixes. That makes me happy, and not miss the upgrades of Pixel/Nexus too much.

Update: As of March 2017, the OnePlus 3T has been upgraded to Nougat 7.1.1. Win!

 Daily Implication: Constant updates and security patches keep your phone snappy, and less prone to bugs. 

Fast and Accurate Fingerprint Sensor

Although not unique to the OnePlus 3T, the fast and accurate fingerprint scanner makes everything from unlocking the device, to using apps that require the scanner a breeze. And having it on the front of the phone (as opposed to the back) means that I can use the fingerprint scanner even when the phone is lying flat.

oneplus 3t fingerprint sensor photo
The fingerprint sensor – fast & reliable

 

 Daily Implication: A fast and accurate fingerprint scanner adds a convenient, and much needed security measure. 
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OnePlus 3T Flaws

The OnePlus 3T is not without its flaws. These are the things that bother me about the phone.

The Vibration Motor

The vibration motor on the OnePlus 3T is relatively weak. I can hardly tell when my phone is buzzing in my pocket. If it wasn’t for my fitness band that vibrates on my wrist when I get a call, I would always miss calls.

I’m not a big fan of keeping my ringer volume high. But even if I did, in crowded noisy places a good vibration motor is your best bet on noticing phone alerts. Also, the motor also fails to provide any discernible feedback when typing, which kind of sucks.

 Daily Implication: Because of a weak vibration motor, I end up missing phone calls. 

Dash Charger

Dash Charging is the greatest thing about this phone. Sadly, it’s also a drawback. To enjoy the benefits of Dash Charging you need the proprietary brick and cable. When you buy the phone, you only get one pair. Beyond that, you need to either invest in multiple Dash Chargers, or carry your Dash Charger everywhere you go.

oneplus 3t dash charger brick usb cable
The bulky Dash Charger brick

 

Sure you can charge your OnePlus 3T with an ordinary brick and cable, but that’s no fun. That’s how ordinary people charge their phones. Also, a 3400 mAh battery without Dash or Quick Charge, takes a reasonable amount of time to refuel.

 Daily Implication: Dash Charge spoils you. Without it, I get frustrated at how slow my OnePlus 3T charges. 

Lack of Accessories

This isn’t something specific to the OnePlus 3T, it concerns all phones that have small, niche markets. When it comes to buying accessories for the OnePlus 3T, I’m often faced with limited choices.

People who own iPhones or Samsungs never face this issue because there is a plethora of accessories for their smartphones. Most of the shops don’t even know about the OnePlus 3T, let alone carry accessories for it.

oneplus 3t mofi blue case
This was the best case that I found for my OnePlus 3T

 

My only hope is to shop for cases and covers online. Even then, options are minuscule when compared to those available for iPhone or Samsung phones.

 Daily Implication: OnePlus 3T has limited options for phone accessories. 

Front Facing Camera

I often hear that you’re not buying a phone for its camera. But it would be nice if it took good pictures. I’m on the fence about the OnePlus 3T’s camera performance. The rear facing camera takes some great photos. But maybe not as good as photos taken by the iPhone, Google Pixel, or the Samsung Galaxy S7. In struggles in low light conditions.

I wouldn’t say it’s a negative per se. In fact, you can be the judge. These are some sample full size images taken from my OnePlus 3T. They haven’t been touched or edited, they’re real sample images.

OnePlus 3T Photo Samples

WARNING: Images may take a while to load due to their large size.

 

The reason I’d mark this as a negative is the front facing camera. On paper, a 16 megapixel front facing camera sounds awesome, but in reality it’s far from one.

 Daily Implication: Rear facing camera is great. Selfie camera (even though it’s 16 megapixels) is so-so. 
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Final Verdict On The OnePlus 3T

There’s a fantastic, in-depth article on the XDA website that highlights features which make the OnePlus 3T an excellent real world performer. It explains some of the other under-the-hood features that make this phone awesome. I highly recommend that you read it.

The OnePlus 3T really has no match when it comes to value for money. It’s a premium phone, at a budget price. It’s features make it one of the most practical smartphones out there. Quite frankly, there is nothing really lacking in the OnePlus 3T. Even its flaws, in my opinion, are not deal-breakers.

So to sum up, for those who want

  1. the best value for money pratical smartphone,
  2. that is premium in build, and quality, and
  3. has all the bells and whistles of a $600+ phone
The OnePlus 3T is an absolute no brainer. I can honestly say, buy it with your eyes closed!

If you have any questions, concerns, or doubts about the OnePlus 3T, leave them in the comments below or contact me directly. I’ll be happy to answer.

5 thoughts on “OnePlus 3T – My Real World, Long Term Ownership Review

  1. What a wonderfully well written and well researched review. I love your writing style and wry commentary. I’ve just purchased my second Oneplus 3T after stupidly jumping ship to a Pixel XL and regretting the experience (too bulky) and missing my Oneplus.
    Keep writing Dev.

    Kit

  2. Devesh!!

    Keep it up.
    Excellent work.
    Honest.

    Could you please tell me if I can do anything with the vibration motor (any way to improve/increase vibration)?

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