We compare the OnePlus 3 to last year’s OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X, to see how they stack up in terms of specs, battery life, performance, camera tech and more. Should you upgrade to the OnePlus 3? Here’s our full comparison review.
The OnePlus 3 has just officially launched, boasting some impressive specs to rival other big 2016 Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7, Sony Xperia X and HTC 10. Question is, if you already own the OnePlus 2 or OnePlus X, should you upgrade to the OnePlus 3? Or if you’re simply after a OnePlus mobile, which one is best for you?
Here’s our full OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus X vs OnePlus 2 comparison review to help you decide. And don’t miss our massive OnePlus 3 vs Moto G4 Plus vs Xperia X vs Galaxy S7 comparison review too.
Read next: Which is best, OnePlus 2 or OnePlus X?
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: At a glance
|Phone||OnePlus 3||OnePlus 2||OnePlus X|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820||Snapdragon 810||Snapdragon 801|
|Storage||64GB||16/64GB||16GB + microSD|
|Cameras||16MP + 8MP||13MP + 5MP||13MP + 8MP|
|UK price||From £309||From £249||From £189|
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: Design
When it comes to design, the OnePlus X is the baby of the bunch at just 5-inches. That means it’s easier to handle than the 5.5-inch OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3, fitting the palm much more comfortably. However, the OnePlus X’s shiny surfaces are very easily scratched, and if you want to upgrade to the tougher limited-edition ceramic model that’ll cost you another twenty quid (£209).
The OnePlus 2 boasts a removable cover that can be swapped out for a fresh new design, including a very funky bamboo casing. However, we’re more in love with the aluminum plating of the OnePlus 3, which is super-sturdy and also very attractive. It’s reminiscent of the HTC One M9 design, which is no bad thing in our book, but nice and slender to boot.
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: Screen and features
The obvious difference between the OnePlus 3, 2 and X displays is their size. The latest OnePlus handset and last year’s OnePlus 2 both sport a 5.5-inch screen, while the OnePlus X has a more compact 5-incher. However, the OnePlus 2 is the real odd-one-out here as it has an IPS screen, compared with the AMOLED panels on the other OnePlus phones.
All three phones boast a Full HD resolution, so photos, high-def video and everything else looks nice and crisp. But if you’re into rich colours, then the vibrant OnePlus 3 and OnePlus X displays will please the most.
Got a massive media collection you wish to carry around? The OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3 don’t have expandable storage, so you might want to give them a pass. Thankfully the OnePlus X supports microSD memory cards, so you can load it up with movies, music and more.
If security is a big thing for you, the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 2 have built-in fingerprint sensors which can be used to quickly and securely unlock your phone. The OnePlus X is missing this feature, so you’re stuck with the more cumbersome old-school PIN entry.
In other big news, the OnePlus 3 is the first phone from OnePlus to support NFC, which is great news for anyone who wants to get stuck in with mobile payments or connect to other NFC devices.
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: Performance
The OnePlus 2 is still a solid performer thanks to its reliable Snapdragon 810 processor, while the OnePlus X occasionally stutters and coughs with its lesser-powered Snapdragon 801 chipset. However, the OnePlus 3 is mightier than both of the older handsets, as you’d expect, with a supercharged Snapdragon 820 processor backed by up to 6GB of RAM (the most we’ve seen on any UK mobile).
You should get consistently reliable performance from the OnePlus 3 for the next couple of years (touch wood), while the others here start to creak and grumble. Certainly for now it’s a nippy mobile, performing as strongly as full-priced rivals like the HTC 10 and LG G5.
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: Battery life
The OnePlus 2 gives almost two days of battery life with a 3300mAh cell, while the OnePlus X survives for just over a day from a single charge of the 2525mAh battery. The OnePlus 3 meets them in the middle with a 3000mAh battery which promises close to two days of life, and we’ll be testing this in full for our OnePlus 3 review.
The OnePlus 3 also boasts OnePlus’ new ‘Dash Charge’ feature, which allows you to get an impressive 60 percent charge in just 30 minutes. This closely rivals Qualcomm’s own Quick Charge 3.0, but Dash Charge also keeps heat at bay so your phone remains cool.
Both the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3 sport a Type-C USB port, which is completely reversible and allows faster data transfer. Sadly the OnePlus X has an old-school micro USB port, which means that you’ll likely spend a minute or two trying to jab the cable in when you suddenly remember at 3am that your phone needs charging.
OnePlus 3 vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X: Cameras
The OnePlus X’s 13-megapixel rear camera is fast and reliable, capturing bright and realistic snaps across a range of conditions with help from the built-in HDR feature. You can shoot up to Full HD resolution video which also comes out well, despite a lack of image stabilisation.
The OnePlus 2 offers a step up in camera tech, although it’s once again a 13-megapixel shooter. This time around you can shoot up to 4K video and there’s built-in image stabilisation too, to help cut down on judder.
The OnePlus 3 boosts the specs to a 16-megapixel shooter, which again can shoot 4K and comes with an improved HDR mode. We’ll be testing it out in full for our OnePlus 3 camera review.
As for selfies, all three phones here offer a decent front-facing camera with a fairly wide-angle lens, so you can effortlessly capture a group shot. The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus X both sport an 8-megapixel camera which really packs a lot of detail into every shot, while the OnePlus 2’s 5-megapixel snapper also does an admirable job.
Check back soon for our full OnePlus 3 review, and get more info on the OnePlus 3 launch in VR Loop at our OnePlus 3 In A Nutshell article.