I have wanted a new smartphone for about a year now. My old iPhone 4S’s battery does not last half of the day anymore (it is over 5 years old now). I want a phone that does all the up to date things, has a bigger screen (so that I can see it) and looks good as well.
About three months ago I was all for a Samsung S7 Edge but having checked how much I could get on trading in a brand new version of the phone, I discovered that I would only get £300 when I was expected to pay way over £590 for a brand new one.
So, I decided to wait for the launch of the S8, as I thought that the S7 Edge would reduce in price dramatically once the S8 was launched. However that has not happened and my iPhone is dying quickly.
When he heard that the S8 was only £50 more than the S7 Edge my partner suggested that it was well worth getting the S8 instead, if there was so little between the price of the two phones.
After a time of waiting for prices to drop, my partner asked me why I was so hung up with the Samsung? I tried to explain that it was the number one rated smartphone for 2017 and that I wanted to get the best for my money when I switched phone.
So he asked me what else was there out there?
I was taken aback, I hadn’t even thought about it. So I said that I didn’t know. What had he seen?
He did a quick search and suggested that I look at the OnePlus 3T, which was the number two on the list of top smartphones. Why hadn’t I thought of looking further?
The key things that I was looking for were a screen that I could actually read and overall greater functionality in general. I also wanted a battery that lasted longer than a day.
With that in mind, this is a summary of the information that I gathered and the information from the review’s that I read :-
Please note that I have not listed all the functionality for any of the smartphones mentioned, and I have only mentioned things that I have picked up from reading reviews made by other individuals. I have not (yet) tried any other phone, whether those mentioned, or other brands. Therefore this blog is just a lot of words taken from other people and the brand websites; and in no way is it a reflection on the products mentioned, whether positive or negative. It is entirely up to each individual to do their own research to determine which product is most appropriate for them (as I have done and noted here).
Made of a metal and glass build with a curved display, it is IP68 water resistant, and was available in black, blue or gold
It has a sim-tray, which supports a microSD slot, and there is also a microphone. At the bottom is the headphone jack, another microphone, a speaker and a microUSB port for charging. The screen size is 5.5-inches.
Apparently the S7 Edge tends to have about 25-35% of battery life left at the end of the day, while power drops more suddenly during intensive tasks, but it has exceptional standby time.
It has a microSD slot tucked away with the nano-SIM, Qi wireless charging, and the device is IP68 water- and dust-resistant too, so it should survive in water for 30 minutes to depths of 1.5 metres.
The fingerprint-sensing Home button is on the back, next to the camera.
It has Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back which should offer a little more protection, but allegedly it doesn’t appear to and it is said that the Samsung S8 feels like a delicate phone.
To prolong the 3000mAh battery life, a new Galaxy S8 will be set to display at 1080p rather than quad-HD. The battery will need to be charged every night. Samsung has switched to the reversible USB-C port, but wireless charging remains an option.
The downward-facing speaker is apparently terrible, with the sound itself tinny and distorted at higher volumes.
It has a single 12-megapixel sensor behind a wide f/1.7 lens, while on the front there’s a new 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. It has autofocus, which remains a rarity on selfie cameras, and takes great pictures too.
The OnePlus 3T is 7.4mm thick and is made from a single slab of aluminium alloy. At the bottom of the phone there is a speaker, a USB-C port and a headphone jack.
Along the left edge is a three-level Alert Slider to toggle between notification profiles (choices are:- all, priority or none) . Below this is the volume rocker, and on the opposite side the power button.
There’s a front fingerprint sensor, which also acts as the Home button, flanked by capacitive Back and Recent keys that are only marked by a backlit dot, rather than their standard icons. This is because you can swap their positions in the OnePlus 3T’s settings.
The button setup means you can do away with Android’s on-screen navigation buttons, freeing up more of the display; or turn on the on-screen navigation in the settings. You can also choose different shortcut actions for double-press and hold inputs for any of the capacitive buttons.
The OnePlus 3T supports dual SIMs, but the second SIM slot does NOT double as a microSD card slot, so there’s no expandable storage.
There are 64GB and 128GB capacity options of the phone. NFC means that you can use Android Pay.
The OnePlus’ ‘Shelf’ is accessible by swiping right on the Home screen.
This houses your recent contacts, recent apps and a management centre that shows your storage and battery levels, as well as how much data you have left if you’re on a limited tariff. If you don’t want to use Shelf, you can just turn it off.
OnePlus’s rear-facing camera is the Sony IMX 298 16-megapixel sensor with 1.12-micron size pixels. This is paired with an F/2.0 aperture lens that supports Phase Detect Autofocus with optical image stabilisation. The introduction of electronic image stabilisation when shooting video allows for up to 4K at 30fps. OnePlus says the 6GB of RAM is actually used for the Camera app to help boost its responsiveness.
The front-facing camera uses a 16-megapixel Samsung 3P8SP sensor and an F/2.0 aperture lens. It’s more than adequate for selfies or for video chatting as it’s a far higher resolution than you’ll find on most phones.
The battery is 3,400mAh. OnePlus has its own quick charging technology, called Dash Charge. This requires use of the supplied OnePlus Dash Charge USB wall adaptor and OnePlus USB-C cable. All of the temperature regulation occurs in the dash charge adaptor itself, meaning only thermal regulated current reaches the phone, so it shouldn’t overheat or have to throttle its charging. This also means that if you’re using the OnePlus 3T while it charges, the charge rate won’t need to slow down.
Dash Charge means that you don’t strictly have to leave the OnePlus 3T plugged in overnight if there’s a reasonable amount of charge remaining.
The OnePlus 3T remains the best Android phone you can buy in its price category with fantastic performance, great build quality and an improved battery life, but now that it’s edged towards £400 and beyond, it’s not quite as big a bargain as its predecessor.
Discount referal code for OnePlus 3T:-
With the code above you can receive £20 off the price of accessories when you buy a new mobile phone direct from OnePlus.
And while you are benefiting from that discount, if you live in the UK, why not get a bonus credit on a new SIM at the same time. If you order a new Sim card via this link, activate it and top up with £10 or more, you will receive £5 extra free credit:-
I switched to GiffGaff about two years ago and it was so liberating to be able to tweak my plan to suit my needs on an ongoing basis. There are months when I know that I shall use more data or minutes than I regularly do, so I just buy the goody bag that meets my needs for that month. Otherwise I just let my regular plan renew each month and don’t have to think about my phone allowance.
Now that I’ve had the OnePlus for a while
I took a look at the 3T in real life on Sunday 28 May and decided that I liked it, my own phone arrived on Tuesday 30 May. I got straight on with doing a SIM- swap to a nano-SIM so that I could get started with my new Android phone.
I’ve had to export my contacts from ios to Google, not a hassle if you use an app, but the images linked to the contacts don’t transmit across so I’m still working on updating those.
The battery life is fantastic in comparison to my old iPhone 4S, it’s even lasting a day and a half on heavy use on a dodgy Internet connection running at seriously snail-like mbps, plus Bluetooth etc. If the levels look low I plug in the dash charger and have a full charge in real quick time. I tested it, from 0% to 100% took 1 hour 31 minutes!
The camera is meeting my expectations and then some, it has zoom on the video and it is easy to switch between camera and video with the swipe of a finger. Sound on the video is clear, with a bit of wind boom as you’d expect with an unprotected microphone, but it isn’t horrendous.
It is hard to comment on how quick it is online as my Internet is lousy and will be until fibre is available around here. But the 4G is really quick, so I can’t complain.
Sound-wise the OnePlus is far superior to my old iPhone, so much clearer and I have been told that it is much clearer for the person I am calling too. So bonus points for clarity. Ditto on the in-car Bluetooth connection for quality, too.