Update: For those who are asking, there are 3 variants of the OnePlus 3: Chinese, European and US. All the models have the same hardware, the only difference is their support for different LTE bands. Singtel uses LTE bands 3, 7, 8 and 38. M1 and Starhub use 3 and 7. Looking at the band support of the 3 different models below, we can conclude that it is best to get the Europe/Asia model, but the Chinese model will work just fine as well. Just try not to get the US one. Most of the OnePlus 3 phones you find online (such as from Lazada) are from China. These would be A3000 and the seller should state that it has been “flashed with Oxygen OS”. This is a good thing. Go ahead and buy that.
North America model LTE Bands
- FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17
Europe / Asia model
- FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20
- TDD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41
- FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/7
- TDD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
Update 2: It’s the same with the new OnePlus 3T. Buy the Chinese model (A3010) flashed with Oxygen OS, or the Europe/Asia model (A3003) but don’t buy the US model.
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Choosing your next phone is a rather huge decision. For many, it is a commitment even, for a period of 2 years or more. When it comes to choosing a product that you’re going to use on a daily basis for many months to come – especially one which doesn’t come cheap – many realise that it can be a rather stressful affair. And for a reviewer and editor for a tech website who sees phones come and leave my hands every few weeks, who is more or less perfectly cognisant of every phone in the Singapore market at any given point in time, choosing a phone to be my daily driver for the next couple of years is a very significant event.
In the end I decided to choose the OnePlus 3. Why? Top of the line specs, including an insane 6 gigs of RAM, a great camera (for still shots at least), excellent build quality, good battery life, and Dash charging. At the time of its release in the US, there were 3 major issues with the OnePlus 3: poor colour accuracy on its 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED display, overly-aggressive RAM management, and shaky video footage. In the time taken for OnePlus to finally deliver its phones to Singaporean households, the first two issues have already been fixed by OnePlus via OTA software updates. Quick response to customer feedback: add that to my list of reasons to purchase this phone. OnePlus may be a young company, but they obviously take their customers very seriously. OnePlus means business.
While I was absolutely delighted that OnePlus brought its flagship smartphone officially to Singapore, Singaporeans don’t have it all good though. Firstly, OnePlus Singapore’s Facebook page hardly ever gives fans updates on the availability of the device. For how long will it be on sale on Lazada? When can I get this with a carrier, if at all? When’s the soft gold version launching, if at all? Doing a quick Google search will reveal that the OnePlus 3 is being sold on Lazada for an exclusive pre-order price of S$649 until 30 July (just yesterday), after which the price will be hiked up to S$699. Carriers are supposed to start selling the phone on contract from 30 July onwards, but last I checked today, that didn’t happen.
Therein lies the next problem with purchasing the OnePlus 3 in Singapore: the price. At S$649 it’s a good S$110 more than what the Americans are paying for at USD399, and S$60 more than what the British are paying for at GBP329. That’s enough to put off even the most avid of fans. Heck, if the phone was selling at the usual price of S$699 I would seriously reconsider getting this phone.
I was initially waiting for the carriers to launch the phone together with their plans, but I was highly doubtful if that was ever going to happen. Turns out I was right, so thank heavens I finally gave in and bought the phone off Lazada. Some research will show you that using Shopback for your purchase will reduce the price of the phone to a more reasonable S$610. And this can be further lowered by the numerous coupons and discounts that Lazada has for using certain credit cards or by using their app. So really, it’s not that bad.
I made the purchase last Sunday night. Lazada had said that the phone would arrive on 1-3 Aug, which would mean a minimum waiting time of one week. So I was pleasantly surprised when the phone arrived at my doorstep on Thursday afternoon. My carbon fiber MKBHD dbrand skins arrived just 1 day later. Talk about perfect timing. When I first picked up the phone I was impressed by how light it felt. So light… and yet so sturdy and premium feeling. The fingerprint scanner was blazing fast, but I was not as impressed as I would have been if I hadn’t watched a gazillion videos on the OnePlus 3 beforehand.
I didn’t have much chance to test out the camera, but from these initial low-light shots that I took, I must say that I am duly impressed:
I know, I know, I am fully aware that I’m in the “honeymoon” phase right now with this phone, and as I get to know the phone better in the coming weeks my love for it will likely dwindle as its flaws begin to surface. It’s not everyday that I review a phone which I’ve purchased. I think I won’t be posting one review but rather a series of updates on my experience with the phone.
After all, this isn’t a review unit; I have years to spend with this one.