OnePlus 3 price: what can you really expect to pay?


Two years ago, then-upstart smartphone manufacturer OnePlus emerged on the scene with the OnePlus One. And while the phone's arrival may be best remembered for its unusual invite-only sales system, it also offered some pretty capable hardware at  a price that compared very favorably to traditional flagship models, starting as low as $300. The company followed that up in 2015 with the OnePlus 2, delivering some major upgrades while keeping the price from ballooning too much: the 3GB RAM OnePlus 2 went for just about $330, while the 4GB premium model demanded $390. Now the next OnePlus handset is just around the corner, and we've been checking out all matter of leaks and rumors to prepare us for its debut. But when the phone gets here, just how much can we hope to pay this time around?

Evolving hardware


Reflecting on the first two OnePlus flagships, we saw the manufacturer implement some welcome improvements for its second-gen model: the OnePlus 2 picked up a premium metal frame, added a fingerprint scanner, implemented USB Type-C connectivity, and upgraded to the then-top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 SoC. The only real downside to the changes was the disappearance of NFC support, but the good seemed to outweigh the bad.

Now for the OnePlus 3, we're expecting a similar collection of upgrades. The processor will in all likelihood once again jump to the current top Qualcomm SoC option, the Snapdragon 820. Memory could get a similar boost, with 4GB becoming the new default option, and OnePlus even making a 6GB version available.

Those improvements may go even further than they did with the OnePlus 2, with this year's edition tipped to knock camera resolution up to a 16MP/8MP pair, and see support for high-speed charging thankfully arrive (not to mention pack a slightly larger 3,500mAh battery).

Not every phone component is slated for a refresh. For instance, it seems likely that OnePlus is keeping the phone's display at a 1080p resolution, and size remaining in the 5.5-inch territory with which OnePlus users are so familiar. The most recent collection of leaked pics also establishes a return of USB Type-C, though that was practically a given.

All in all, OnePlus doesn't look like it's planning to reinvent the wheel with the OnePlus 3. Don't expect any crazy moon-shot specs or gimmicky hardware. Maybe the most “out-there” detail we've heard is this option for a 6GB RAM model, but that's only because such capacity is still such a rarity on phones – though that's a situation that probably won't last for long.

The cost of progress


So what do these generally conservative upgrade rumors spell for possible pricing?

Well, rumors first pegged the OnePlus 3 as coming in around the $350 mark, a pretty safe bet that split the difference between the two OnePlus 2 hardware options at launch. More recently, we've heard suggestions that the 4GB RAM OnePlus 3 could be even more affordable than the cheapest OnePlus 2, and the manufacturer could find a way to release the phone for just about $310.

That would be a bit of a coup if true, but could a phone with this kind of hardware really be that affordable?

In a word: yes. Even early Snapdragon 820-based phones from other Chinese OEMs established that despite the SoC's premium pricing (estimated to run manufacturers as much as $70 per chip), you can sell such handsets for the low $300s without running yourself into the poorhouse.


That said, OnePlus has also learned that shoppers aren't necessarily married to the idea of a sub-$300 (or even sub-$350) phone, and with the upgrades we're likely to get with the OnePlus 3, the company can probably get away with charging a little more.

Perhaps OnePlus will embrace this willingness by widening the spread between the base and premium OnePlus 3 models. Remember, it charged $60 more for an extra 1GB of RAM and a storage boost to 64GB; it wouldn't be crazy to think that it could get away with charging slightly more for the 2GB of extra RAM the rumored 6GB OnePlus 3 would get.

Bottom line


In that light, OnePlus 3 pricing of around $320 for the 4GB model, and $400 for the 6GB edition might make a lot of sense. $400 is still a very nice price for the kind of hardware we're talking about, and especially if OnePlus is able to either do away with its invite system or seriously overhaul it with usability in mind (and company co-founder Carl Pei has already suggested that some big change is in the works) dropping that kind of cash on a phone like this might not be a hard decision for many shoppers.

It's possible we could see prices dip even lower (as that one rumor has suggested) for that 4GB version, but a $400 ceiling for the top-shelf OnePlus 3 feels like a reasonable limit.

What would you pay for the OnePlus 3, if the phone is at least close to the hardware we're describing here? Do you want to pay even less than shoppers did for the OnePlus 2, or can you live with a little inflation if it means some really well-rounded hardware? We want to hear your opinions down in the comments.

Related phones

3
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

20 Comments

1. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

I just wish they start putting bigger batteries in these phones, id rather buy midranger with monster battery than this. Man i wish A9 Pro with 5000mah was available outside china...

2. Rizera

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Imho what kills the Oneplus 2 and now Oneplus 3 design is the home button. It looks too ugly and dated imho. Moreover, I was expecting something more like a US$249-289 for the pricing.

5. judik971

Posts: 84; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Do you realize that they have to make money out of this phone. $249 might be the manufacturing cost if they want to make it a flagship killer

12. Rizera

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

The bill of materials for the Galaxy S7 has been calculated at $255, while the iPhone 6S has been calculated at $242 (Data I collected from reliable sources on the internet). I am completely sure the OnePlus 3 is going to be costing less than those two.

17. WakaFlakaD

Posts: 575; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

Around $350 for a flagship device, why are people still complaining...

18. rocketman1

Posts: 99; Member since: May 07, 2016

the oneplus 2 is not a flagship device. its not a 2016 flagship killer. its underspecced.

20. tury694

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Bill of materials only covers the materials. You need to factor in labor, marketing, the website, salary for OnePlus employees, and other business expenses. Stop being so cheap. Around 350usd is awesome for a highly specced phone. If you want cheaper then get a phone with lower specifications. I'm not a big fan of this company but their prices are very good and you're out of touch with reality if you think youre going to get flagship specifications for 250usd

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I can live with the price inflation if the camera and battery life are adequate because both are things that were missing in the Oneplus 2. The Oneplus 1 was a very good all around smartphone the 3 just needs to be a 2016 version of the 1.

4. dazed1

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Until this is released, S7 will cost 500$ = waste of money.

6. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I don't want them cutting prices and degrading in quality yet again. Price wasn't what was wrong with the OnePlus Two, the hardware and software were simply outright underwhelming and a downgrade compared to the OnePlus One (my first ever Android SmartPhone). I just want the following in my next SmartPhone and I'd gladly pay $500-$600 for it: - Cyanogen OS like my OnePlus One (Oxygen OS is pitiful crap IMO) - Digitizer pen like Galaxy Note line - NFC (perhaps with a readily available payment service) - 64GB internal storage like the OnePlus One with MicroSDXC expansion - IR Blaster like S6 (Samsung stupidly ditched this handy feature in the S7) - Quick Charge 2.0 - Micro USB port (USB type C currently brings more issues than benefits to Android devices) - Sturdy Magnesium-alloy back cover like my OnePlus One (the OnePlus Two's flimsy plastic back cover is cheapass downgrade) - OIS in camera - QHD display panel but 1080p resolution by default with option in settings to switch to QHD when we're using VR headsets - Dual Pixel auto focus camera like S7 (a big dream, but my OnePlus One camera is good enough for me) If they fulfill all of the above, at least the first 6, then my next Android device would happily be another OnePlus device. Otherwise, I'll probably be picking up my first ever Samsung SmartPhone; a Note 6. If they include extra useful goodies like Samsung, then I'd be happy to pay extra price. Just gotta be rationally justifiable, money ain't no problem.

7. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

1- Not happening. That bridge burned years ago. 2- Why?? Go to eBay/Amazon and buy a cheap one instead. 3- Agreed 4- One variant is reported to carry 64Gb 5-Meh 6- Quick Charge 3.0 should be standard now. 7- Same as point 6. It's time to move on bro. 8- As long as it has a metal chassis, it's fine 9- Agreed 10- People, please stop with this mobile VR nonsense. They are all terrible and will be for 2 to 3 more years. Hell, you have to put your phone 3 inches from your face to make the damn headset usable. 1080p all day every day!! 11- Meh, every flagship camera these days is considered very good to great. Long as it isn't terrible, I'm game.

8. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

1. Well then, guess the OnePlus One is the last device I'll own from them. 2. You obviously haven't got a clue of what a digitizer pen is, here's an example to give you some insight of the many uses it enables on my Surface Pro 2 ( http://www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fbit%2Ely%2F1Hruf8o ) 6. Standard or not, my OnePlus One already charges fast enough (2 hours), anything faster will be just awesome. 7. USB Type currently brings a whole lot more headaches than benefits to Android devices, dimply implementing a standard 'cause it's newer is just ignoramus. 10. Just 'cause you don't use it doesn't make it useless. Having the option is much more valuable than not having it, and it brings no loss to those who don't want to use it, simply stick to 1080p.

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

2. not everyone need digitizer, and "pressure sensitive stylus" is available for those who need it on normal smartphone screen, try google that 10. sadly the rumor said it will use 1080p, maybe they do it to increase benchmark number and be like "2017 flagship killer!!!", which is sad :(

11. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

2. You referring to them Bluetooth jot-pen styli with fat heads? Not anywhere near the same experience, IMO. Having to adjust to a new habit of writing will never beat writing naturally like you would with regular pen and paper. Also, I want it working system wide, not restricted to one particular app. Not everyone cares about it, but I'll certainly make significant use of it, especially as someone who's gone 100% paperless. Plus, from my experience, especially during technical training for my job, once people see me carrying just my Surface Pro instead 1000s of paper worth of text books and binders filled with a whole bunch of notes and documents like everyone else, they're eager to have the same great convenience and the compliments just keep coming. 10. Oh well, not really a deal breaker for me so long as the first 6 items are implemented. Otherwise, it's a great thing to have competition in the Android ecosystem, would pick up my first ever Samsung device if the Note 6 doesn't disappoint.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

1. Yeah I liked CyanOS better than Oxygen too, but after looking into both, they aren't really that dissimilar honestly. Oxygen lacks certain features I'll give you that though. 2. You're probably right, I don't know about digitizers, but does a smartphone outside a Note or Surface Phone need one? Nope. You'd be hiking up the price for no substantial gain IMO. 6. From what I've read, 3.0 isn't about speed as much as controlled output. Allowing for better battery life cycles and more efficiency than 2.0 offered. 7. While I agree with that sentiment, it's already too late to turn back my friend. They did USB-C first last generation, it would look incredibly bad if they didn't offer it in this one. 10. It is, by its very application, useless. You're literally removing yourself from reality....the very definition of being unproductive....to play a video game and/or watch a movie. VR has no beneficial applications aside from entertainment at all. Not only that, but the current mobile VR crop is awful. Gear VR is clunky, Cardboard is dreadful, and LG's offering feels as cheap as it should be. VR needs a lot more than a phone to be decent tbh. And waisting battery life on "options" while admirable, is quite a waste of resources. Lastly, we have to remember this phone has a price point under $400 USD. There isn't a phone for $900 dollars with all of what was mentioned here.

13. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

1. Oxygen OS is meh stock android, and there have been many occasions where it just keeps showing it's almost iOS-like boring limitations, here's an example: http://www.phonearena.com/news/20-LG-V10-interface-features-that-enrich-the-day-to-day-Android-experience_id76615 Plus, it's definitely not getting MODs anytime soon: https://cyngn.com/cyanogen-os/mod Also, Cyanogen OS officially brings the advantage of being both carrier and manufacturer independent, which means updates for many more years to come even when OnePlus ends support. 2. No gain to the average joe user, significant gain to anyone who has a clue how to use it... 7. True... 10. You ain't wasting no battery life with the option to switch to a lower resolution, at least I'm sure not seeing any battery life being wasted on Cyanogen OS 13 that gives different PPI options ( https://db.tt/9kQB8lPI ), is battery life that bad with Oxygen OS that you think adding options would degrade it? Either way, my main use would be cinema experience while in bed, so, it really isn't a deal breaker not having the option.

14. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"Lastly, we have to remember this phone has a price point under $400 USD. There isn't a phone for $900 dollars with all of what was mentioned here." Cheap price isn't what drew me to the OnePlus One, if being cheap is all I ever wanted, there have long been options from Samsung and ,any other OEMs. If the price is what stops them from meeting such demand, I'm very well fine with them increasing it over $400. The Note 4 only lacks the first demand, but Touchwiz itself compensates with a whole lot of features. Privacy Guard was one of the major reasons I switched to Android on the OnePlus One, but now that I'm familiar with Android, I can control all the privacy invading parts of it via just XPrivacy and DisableService app from the Play Store on any Android device.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Oh I understand, just examining their reasoning behind omitting certain features. They probably should raise their prices anyhow, b/c they are only making a few bucks off their current sales. Plus you have to agree that price played a huge role in the 1+1 success story two years ago.

16. Anurag007

Posts: 4; Member since: May 13, 2016

What the oneplus3 will cost depends on individual markets, in india for instance with competition from xiaomi redmi note3 , le 1s, k4 note, meizu m3 metal all offering great features at A price of around 10,000indian ruppees(150$) it would be best to price the one plus3 at 300$ if they need any sales going on

19. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

You guys are also forgetting that the OnePlus Two lacked certain spectrum frequencies that the biggest US carriers use for LTE. That's why I kept my OnePlus One (also because the Two lacked Cyanogen OS), because I have AT&T and it lacked the higher end spectrums used for LTE coverage.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.