Chinese OnePlus, who were behind the first flagship killer two years ago, the OnePlus One and launched another two successful handsets last year in the form of the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X is back this year with another unconventional turned conventional VR event. The OnePlus 3 is ready to be launched and the company has announced that its official release date falls on June 14, when they will be live streaming the entire launch in VR. For this purpose, they have also put up a new VR headset for “sale”, the OnePlus Loop VR headset. Although it is already out of stock, the Loop VR is a free VR headset that can be used with any phone with a screen between 5 and 6 inches and if you ordered it from OnePlus, you only had to pay shipping. We only have a couple more days left until the OnePlus 3 launch event, but already many leaks have managed to reveal most of what we should expect from the new handset.
The OnePlus 3 launch event can be viewed by those with either Google Cardboard or OnePlus Loop VR and these customers will also get a chance to order the new handset before anyone else through the Loop interface in VR, during and right after the actual launch event. This marketing strategy on the part of OnePlus is not new, as they went with a VR launch for the OnePlus 2 as well. The difference this time is that instead of sending Google Cardboard headsets to everyone, the company partnered up with AntVR to launch their own VR headset, called Loop VR. Unfortunately, Loop VR is out of stock and we’re not sure if there are going to be more units made available for fans, which is quite a bummer. Those who still want to take advantage of the VR OnePlus 3 launch event can still do so with other types of headsets like the Google Cardboard, but won’t have the chance to buy the handset earlier than anyone else.
Moving on to the actual contents of the launch event, by this time, there’s little left to the imagination. Onleaks, various retailers, forums and blogs have already leaked most of the info that has to do with the OnePlus 3, including design, specs and features. Since the company is once again striving to release a flagship killer that will be both affordable and high-end at the same time, pricing details are among the most impressive pieces of info that were leaked about the OnePlus 3. What’s odd however is that while the company until now maintained a restricted selection of devices, like two models for each of their handsets, this year looks to be different. The latest OnePlus 3 leaks suggest that the handset will be available in no less than 6 different variants that differ in design and configuration, so everyone can choose the right device for them. It looks like OnePlus went from a strategy of “we don’t want to make too many in case we’re left with dead stock” to a strategy that resembles that of Samsung, something like “offer as many variants as possible”. We’re not sure how the company is going to deal with this, since there probably won’t be an invite system involved this year. If the company bit off more than they can chew and are actually left with thousands of units that they won’t sell, it’s going to be rough year for the company. Nonetheless, they haven’t revealed many details about availability just yet, so let’s not rush to judgement so soon.
The latest OnePlus 3 leak on Oppomart reveals that the handset will be available in 6 different variants, most of them differing in their configuration. There will be three versions with 4 GB RAM on board, the difference varying in storage capacity between 32, 64 and 128 GB internal storage and another 3 models with 6 GB RAM on board with the same storage variations as with the former model. The base model of the OnePlus 3 with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage will cost around $370, which is a slight bit more expensive than what we had thought the price would be on the new flagship killer, but is still quite a steal when it comes to the market. Most flagship devices are above the $500 price mark, so the OnePlus 3 price will definitely be one of its main selling points. Prices for models of the OnePlus 3 with more storage and supposedly, premium materials, will vary and our sources tell us to expect differences between $50 and $100 compared to the base model price, which sounds fair to me.
When it comes to the rest of the OnePlus 3 features, we have a pretty exhausting list of what we should expect. First off, the OnePlus 3 will most likely sport the Snapdragon 820 CPU, but there are also rumors about the Snapdragon 823 CPU being featured in the higher-end models of the handset, which would make the OnePlus 3 one of the first handsets on the market to use the brand new CPU form Qualcomm. Design-wise, the situation is pretty weird, because the leaked images on Oppomart suggest a design that is more representative of HTC than OnePlus, which is a weird development considering OP fans really enjoyed the design materials that the company has chosen over the past few years. This time, the back of the OnePlus 3 looks eerily like the HTC One M9, which can be seen as both a good and a bad thing, depending on whether you liked the HTC One M9. Up front, all the models will most likely carry a 5.5-inch display with a FullHD 1080p resolution and will also feature a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button for biometric security. USB Type-C is also a definite feature that won’t be omitted from the handset, alongside a 16 MP camera on the rear with OIS and an 8 MP camera up front. Under the hood, the OnePlus 3 will feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow as its base with OxygenOS on top of it to add customization and variety. Battery capacity will most likely vary between the models. The 4 GB models will most likely come with 3000 mAh batteries while the 6 GB models of the OnePlus 3 are expected to ship with 4000 mAh batteries for extra autonomy. The handset will most likely feature a pressure-sensitive screen similar to Force Touch or 3D Touch, a feature that will be one of the highlights of Google’s upcoming new software release, Android N.
As you can probably tell, the gist of it is already revealed. The OnePlus 3 doesn’t feel like a mystery, but take this info with a grain of salt nonetheless, because you never know how right these leaks can be. The launch event for the OnePlus 3 is close and we’re going to finally see the end result of a year’s hard work. More so, fans of the company will also be revealing their input and OnePlus 3 reviews during the launch event, as the company is going to send 60 lucky individuals the OnePlus 3 this week so that they can assess the handset and give an opinion during the launch event scheduled for June 14. We’re definitely excited about this launch and I personally am hoping that if there will six different variants of the phone, each of them will have a slightly different design or material that would incentivize people to choose based on appearance as well as performance and price. With the leaked price already rather pocket-friendly, the OnePlus 3 has a shot at once again taking the trophy and becoming the flagship killer of 2016. Since the invite system is also again and global availability for OnePlus products is now a given, there’s truth to the saying “good things come to those who wait”, a saying that’s valid for the company and the fans as well. Are you planning on getting the OnePlus 3 this year or are you waiting for something else (like the Note 6, for example)?
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