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Saturday, January 14, 2017

[Opinion] The best phone you've never heard of: the OnePlus 3T

I'll start this article by saying there probably aren't too many of you interested in buying a new smartphone right now.  And there are a bunch of new phones coming in the first half of 2017 - offerings are likely from LG, Samsung, and even HTC.  So for most people, playing the waiting game makes a lot of sense.

Having said that, if you are (or at the very least might be considering a purchase in the next 2/3 months) there's a phone you probably haven't heard of but should make your list.  If you listened to the Best of Tech 2016 Silicon Theory podcast (and you really should), you probably know where I'm going.  Let's talk a little bit about the OnePlus 3T.

When released in November of last year, the OnePlus 3T had top of the line specs.  We're talking a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM, and either 64/128GB of internal storage (but no SD card slot)  Its packing a 5" 1080p display (1080x1920) and a 16MP rear camera and a very nice 3400mah battery that should have no issues getting you through a full day of use.  Check out the full rundown of specs over at GSMArena here.  And as we touched upon in the Best of Tech 2016 pod, this phone is a great value starting at a very reasonable $439 unlocked.  Now, it is a GSM only phone, which means it will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile (and their MVNO resellers) so sorry Verizon and Sprint folks - you can't get your hands on this one.  

This phone works great, has a quality display, and solid battery life.  It was the Favorite phone of 2016 from Droid Life and the Verge hailed it as "the best smartphone value you can buy."  No small praise indeed.  OnePlus is a smaller OEM, and they certainly aren't going to sell as many phones as Samsung, Google, or Apple - but they are competing in the same market as the phones from these makers, and that's a big deal for a small company.  Android Police had a balanced take on the 3T (which you can read here) but even they agree - many won't bat an eye at the price point when compared to other phones on the market.   
the OnePlus 3T, Apple iPhone, and Google Pixel
The OnePlus 3T also features a really fast fingerprint scanner, Dash Charging (OnePlus' version of Qualcomm's Quick Charge or the Rapid Charging in USB Type-C devices), and a 16MP front facing camera too.  It doesn't offer an SD card slot (as noted above) or any water resistance rating, but with a 128GB option and a solid case some might not mind so much.  A solid smartphone with 90% of the features and options of the big boys, but at just a little over 50% of the price.  I think its fair to say this OnePlus 3T is a really great mobile device, and many people with a GSM carrier should give it a long look.

All that's why the OnePlus 3T is the best phone you've never heard of.  For more information, or to pick one up, head over to the OnePlus website and get after it.


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