First Impressions of My Girlfriend’s OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3 - Welcome

I also have one, but it’s still in the box.

Rooting my better half’s OP3 and transferring her app files via Titanium Backup took most of yesterday evening, giving me a chance to get to know the phone a little better.

Unboxing a OnePlus 3 in 2016 doesn’t have quite the same “wow” factor as the OnePlus One did in 2014, if only because an OP1 in 2014 was a lot harder to come by. It didn’t help that our shiny white OP3 boxes arrived a bit banged up (thanks UPS); fortunately the phones inside were unharmed.

Here, then, are some initial observations about the OnePlus 3.

The Size

I can still remember being very self-conscious the first time I used my then-phablet-sized OnePlus One in public for the first time. In the years since I’ve handled both a Moto Nexus 6 and Huawei Nexus 6P; by comparison the OnePlus 3 seems quite compact. I like that, a lot.

The Screen

For anyone still reeling from Anandtech’s verdict on the OnePlus 3’s screen, the pastel colours of its default wallpaper does it no favours. I was actually a bit worried when I saw the home screen for the first time—until I realized that adaptive brightness was enabled; turning it off makes the display look much nicer, in my opinion. It’s definitely at its best when viewing light-coloured text against a black background.

The Alert Slider

Having skipped the OnePlus 2 this is my first experience with the alert slider. It’s a handy feature, but tricky to operate when the phone is in my girlfriend’s preferred wallet-style case. On the subject of cases, does anyone know if a Diztronic TPU case is in the works?

The Bootloader

OnePlus 3 - Bootloader

Unlocking the bootloader was simple enough—there’s an official guide on the OnePlus Forums for anyone not familiar with the process.

Now the bad news: Every OP3 user with an unlocked bootloader is going to see this screen with their phone powers up. I can only guess that it’s a directive from Google—and in this case an unfinished one riddled with typos.

The Custom Recovery

As there’s not yet an official TWRP recovery for the OnePlus 3, I used an unofficial version by XDA recognized developer Grarak. Despite the rather odd mouse cursor permanently imprinted in the middle of the screen, it’ll get the job done—at least until an official TWRP image is released.


I was all set to flash Paranoid Android until an r/oneplus post told me something I didn’t know—OnePlus hasn’t yet released the source code for Dash Charging, so for the moment that important feature isn’t supported in custom ROMs. Hopefully this is only a temporary issue.

OxygenOS isn’t bad by any means, but its dark mode is no match for the many and varied Cyanogen Themes available on the Play Store. And updating OOS on a rooted phone is not going to be pleasant.

I’ll report back if and when I hear anything on the custom ROM front. For now, though, I’ve got another OnePlus 3 to set up!

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