OnePlus 3 finally launched after truck loads of leak theatrics

I am not sure if the OnePlus 3 would set some sort of record in sales, but it is by far the most leaked mobile till date. OnePlus is a company which makes its bread and butter out of hype. They are experts in creating a vortex of hype around any of their flagship launches. The OnePlus One was a true success story for OnePlus and that device managed to change the face of mobile market in the world. OnePlus 2 was a disaster and the reason could be many. OnePlus desperately needs to stand up and face the market with a successful flagship device. So it managed to pull up all its strength and the result is the OnePlus 3. Now will that pay off to be a success story? That is something we will know soon.

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What could be the success factors for OnePlus 3?

OnePlus, when they came into the limelight with their first mobile model, CyanogenOS was their biggest USP. The OnePlus One became an overnight success across all the launch countries. But the story was different with OnePlus Two. OnePlus Two had OxygenOS running on top of Android, out of the box. OxygenOS is a clean skin with minimal interface modification on the stock android. But the OxygenOS has a lot of bugs and it was not as reliable and stable as CyanogenOS. CyanogenOS also did have its huge list of bugs, but the rate at which the bugs got was high. Though CyanogenOS did not change the interface drastically, it still had innovative features and OxygenOS lacked that innovation. That is the story so far and let’s look into the future and try to come up with a success formula for OnePlus 3.

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OnePlus has to look into the success story of its OnePlus One and learn a thing or two from OnePlus Two. OnePlus One had a design which no other phone in the market had it at that time. It was totally a unique design and choice of material. These days every single mobile looks the same. This has to change and OnePlus has the potential to change it. I am seeing some leaked images of the OnePlus 3 and they hint metal body construction. Metal is definitely elegant. The HTC One which had the first unibody metal chassis is still a unique design. Just using metal in the construction does not make a mobile sturdy. We all saw how the Xiaomi Mi5 broke like a biscuit, though it is made of metal and we all know the iPhone bendgate case. So the OnePlus 3 must have a solid and sturdy construction without compromising on design elegance.

According to @evleaks, OnePlus 3 will have Snapdragon 820 and 64 GB of storage. That is good news, but we still don’t know about RAM. There is a possibility of the 64 GB variant having 6GB of RAM. Performance is the key and RAM does not matter beyond a point. OnePlus 3 must run as fast as a Bolt of lightning without any overheating issues.

The leaks also hint that the OnePlus may be running on Android N out of the box. While this may seem like a good news, it could turn out to be a deal breaker for the sales numbers on the long run. Though running on the latest version sounds attractive, running on a stable and bug-free platform is the practical need. OnePlus must resolve all the bugs on OxygenOS and come up with a clean and bug free user experience. In a nut shell, get rid of the bugs.

Innovation is the key to success of any brand or product. If the OnePlus 3 has a minimum of one feature that is innovative and never seen in any mobile before, it will be a sure shot success. Improving on existing feature and making it better is not innovation. A completely new mind-blowing innovation is what OnePlus 3 needs to stay in the race.

Pricing is another crucial factor. The age of burning investors’ money is gone. The investors need their money back and they want it fast. So we cannot expect mobiles to be priced with a cut-throat price tag. I am sure that the OnePlus 3 will be priced at around $400 or slightly more than that when it comes to India. But if OnePlus makes a mobile worthy of its price tag, the market with embrace OnePlus 3 and make it a rousing success.

 

My thoughts on OnePlus X

OnePlus X is one of this year’s most surprising launch. While we were expecting OnePlus to launch a mini version of the OnePlus 2, OnePlus threw in the OnePlus X as a googly. OnePlus X is different from the likes of OnePlus 1 or OnePlus 2. It is not a flagship killer. It does not have a killer spec sheet at affordable price, but it has that killer looks. Of course OnePlus 1 and 2 were good-looking devices too, but they were more of war horses. The OnePlus X has a spec sheet identical to the OnePlus One.

OnePlus X Specs

  • Display : 5 inch Full HD AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Processor : 2.3GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU
  • Storage : 3GB RAM with  16GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD
  • OS : Android 5.1.1 based Oxygen OS 2.1
  • Rear Camera : 13MP with LED Flash and 1080p video recording
  • Front Camera : 8MP
  • Battery : 2525mAh ( non-removable)

I Like

  • Premium design and premium material used in the construction of this device
  • AMOLED screen offers the best display experience compared to any device in this price range
  • 5 inch is the ideal size for ergonomic handling any mobile
  • Dual SIM card slot
  • FM Radio – First OnePlus device to have an FM radio
  • Best hardware spec in its league
  • Good battery life
  • Does not heat up (No heating issues)

I don’t like

  • Slippery glass back and a finger print magnet makes you take extra precautions while using the mobile
  • While the spec sheet is similar to OnePlus one, the performance is not like the OnePlus One.
  • Hybrid SIM slot, defeats the purpose of having a dual SIM slot and the internal memory is just 16 GB.
  • Images from the camera is just average
  • At Rs 16,999 it is slightly overpriced.

If you have the invite, you can buy it from Amazon here. But OnePlus is slowly shedding the Invite system for its other mobiles and hopefully OnePlus X will shed the Invite system too. You can read my full review at GadgetDetail.

Video Review

Camera Image Samples

OnePlus X camera samples

Unboxing Video

Photo Gallery

Verdict

“OnePlus X is a beautifully crafted device. As much as you would love to use this phone without case, you will end up using one. It’s slippery and a finger print magnet. Wish there was a white variant. The software on the OPX definitely needs improvement. It’s buggy sometimes and even the image processing software on it makes the pictures too soft. I’m sure, the company can fix it with the OTA updates to follow” – Vijay Raj (MsiGeek)

OnePlus X, just like any other OnePlus device does not feel complete. It gives you that feeling that it has been released in a hurry. I feel that OnePlus must have taken their time with the OnePlus X. The Oxygen OS has bugs to be fixed, enriched with features, and the camera app needs improvement. Ofcourse, as Vijay says these issues can be fixed with an OTA update. But that can’t be the solution always. If an issue had been overlooked, then you can resort to fixing it OTA, but when you know you have an issue, you just can’t release the product and later resort to fixing it.

Having said that, I also say that OnePlus is one the best mobile manufacturers out there. I am complaining a lot, because I love OnePlus and always expect the best out of OnePlus. I believe that perfection is a myth and there is always room for improvement. I would recommend this mobile if you are style conscious and need a beautifully designed piece of hardware that can perform as well. If you can extend a bit, the OnePlus One is still a good option.

OnePlus – Nuts and Cases

Yes, I agree OnePlus makes awesome mobiles. They also make awesome accessories. With their OnePlus One they not only showed the world that flagship device need not burn your pockets, they are showcased how OEM accessories can be functional and can be professionally designed. StyleSwap covers, flip cases, power banks, earphones and even drones were sold in the accessories section by OnePlus One. No other OEM has given so much attention to accessories like OnePlus has. No matter what is said and done, people look at OnePlus as an economical option. OnePlus is not perceived as a premium brand. That was their intention as well. When OnePlus came to existence, their flagship’s preaching was that when one can spend just $300 and get a device as good as a $800 mobile, why should you look further? This is one reason that till date the OnePlus One remains to be a better buy compared to their subsequent devices.

In a blog post Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, whose twitter handle is @getpeid, explains how OnePlus plans to make money. One of the strategy was to earn profit on accessories and not from mobile. Well, today that is exactly what the OnePlus is trying to do. They recently introduced a premium leather case for OnePlus 2 for Rs 7499. It is a case that cost one third the price of the mobile. OnePlus 2 retails for Rs 24999 in Amazon and why would anyone in the right mind buy a case for Rs 7499 to cover it up? Buying a premium accessory and hiding a economical device under it does not make sense. OnePlus 2 has got a good design and there are many good cases, skins and covers available for the OnePlus 2 to enhance protection and retain its aesthetics. So I am not sure if anyone will buy it.

Whatever said and done, any Android phone is no equal to an iPhone. History scrolls can reveal that many brands have banged their heads against Apple and returned dazed. An Android phone can be an elegant piece of technology on its own. I see no reason to compete against Apple. OnePlus has taken its own dig at Apple in the past and now they are doing it again. A few days back, OnePlus teased about a new product.

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While there were many speculations about the new product, it finally turned out to be an iPhone Case. Seriously? I am not sure what OnePlus is thinking. Why would anyone cover up a premium product with a case that is branded OnePlus, a brand that is known for economical flagships?

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OnePlus has to concentrate on their current product line. OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X are being sold on invite system. The Invite system was good marketing strategy when OnePlus was not known to many. That strategy has paid off and now OnePlus has managed to be a popular mobile manufacturer. Now its high time they shed their invite system. Invites are available easily and now what is the point of Invites? I am not sure about the sales figures for OnePlus 2 or OnePlus X, but I can tell with confidence that buyers are frustrated and they have moved on. There are plenty of options available these days and OnePlus cannot afford to frustrate potential buyers. OnePlus can still continue to make money with their basic line of quality accessories as mentioned by Carl Pei a long time ago in that blog post. But OnePlus must stop introducing accessories that makes no sense and continue to concentrate on their core competency.

 

OnePlus announces Android 6.0 Marshmallow Update for its devices

After the launch of Marshmallow Android and then, Next-Generation Nexus devices, other smartphones makers are revealing their plans of bringing Android 6.0 update to their flagship  smartphones. OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone maker, has just announced its plans for Android Marshmallow update.

marshmallow_Forum

The Oneplus One and OnePlus Two are scheduled to receive the Android Marshmallow update in the first quarter of 2016. The OnePlus Two ‘s update will include the standard Marshmallow
fingerprint sensor API. The company has also said that it will work on the community build for Oneplus One in future as it doesn’t ship with Oxygen OS by default.

On a another note, Cyanogen has also anounced that they are working on Cyanogen OS 13 and CyanogenMod 13 which will be based on Android Marshmallow. So if you have an OnePlus One with Cyanogen 12.x in it, you can expect Marshmallow on your device soon. As for the OnePlus X, it will get Marshmallow but it’s schedule is yet to be announced.

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