OnePlus 3 was a welcome back edition for OnePlus after it’s failure of OnePlus 2 & X. This smartphone changed the momentum of the company and they never looked back afterwards. Like most Android flagship smartphones, OnePlus got two major Android updates. It came out of the box with Android Marshmallow, then it got Android Nougat and Oreo last year. The game should have stopped here but OnePlus decided to provide third update to this device, the Pie update.
Back in July OnePlus surprised every OnePlus 3/3T user with this news. They took a lot of time to make this last major update as stable as they can. Last month they released Community Beta update to try this with few interested users before releasing the update for everyone. Almost 20 days ago they rolled out the stable OTA update of Pie on both OnePlus 3/3T with OxygenOS 9.0.2 on top, and recently they rolled out OxygenOS 9.0.3 with parallel WhatsApp bug fix. So I personally decided to share my experience with OnePlus 3 after this update, because we don’t see third major OS update on Android phones normally. So let’s dig into the review of OnePlus 3 running stable Android Pie.
New Features :
This Android Pie bought an handful of changes in terms of new features. OnePlus bought the usual Pie stuff with this update like new layout in quick toggles & settings, and adaptive battery. The phone seems completely new while using it. The recent tab is changed and volume control with volume button is now more convenient. This is all from the Google itself. OnePlus also added some of their own new features into this update. Gaming Mode 3.0 is one of them, with more control over notifications while gaming. Do Not Disturb is improved, default phone dialler has Google Duo built in, and camera app has Google Lens support.
UI Experience & Performance :
The UI is changed a lot with Android Pie, as compared to Oreo because OnePlus didn’t made the UI changed very much from Nougat to Oreo, but with Pie the phone is looking completely different. And as this is OxygenOS the experience is very fluid and I didn’t find any UI lag, and that’s the quality of OnePlus. But with Pie there are two bugs I noticed.
First thing I noticed is whenever we click on share option on any app, the share panel takes more than 3 seconds to pop-up. This is sometimes irritating, when you have to share something on urgent. I was hoping that OnePlus will fix this with OOS 9.0.3 , but the problem remains unchanged. Second thing is Pocket Mode bug. The Pocket Mode sometimes gets activated even though the phone is not in the pocket, when it’s in open space.
The performance is also very good on Pie, a very slight change is there as compared to Oreo. It can still run any graphic intensive game without much problem, but in PUBG the game starts to lag, sometimes make it unplayable. The RAM management is not done very well with Pie, it starts to kill apps in background after opening 7-8 apps. Though this won’t affect anyone with normal usage, but as I do post my content via my phone sometimes, I need multiple apps to be open. Expecting OnePlus to improve RAM management as well as those two bugs of Share option and Pocket Mode in near future.
With the last update on Android Oreo the sound from earpiece went a bit low, which was annoying sometimes. Now with the Pie update, it’s improved. They sound from the earpiece is fairly loud and I had no problems while taking calls. The in-built microphone is also working good. The sound from 3.5mm headphone jack is still the same, and I noticed a very slight improvements in the vocals from OnePlus Bullets Wireless. Also the connectivity range is extended a bit. So Bluetooth audio is improved with Android Pie. The sound via speaker remained unchanged, and that’s very average.
The Camera app is updated with new UI on Pie. The image processing is improved a bit, with more natural colours and detailing. But still the camera optimisation is biggest flaw of all OnePlus apps, as they can’t utilise the hardware to the fullest. That’s where Gcam jumps in and the performance with Gcam is same as Android Oreo, excellent but takes time to process image. Video quality is same, fairly good stabilised with OIS on Full HD videos, and with EIS on 4K videos. Also the camera app now has inbuilt Google Lens option, which turns out very handy at times.
This is the area where we can pick biggest con of OnePlus 3 as well as it’s biggest USP, the battery. Talking about the battery life, it was good 2 and a half years back, but with time the battery started degrading due to it’s number of charge cycles. Now with Android Pie the battery is noticeably improved. The screen on time can be touched to 4 hours with moderate use, and it can hover between 5-6 hours if I replace the battery (I will do it very soon and will share my experience too). The stand-by time is also improved from Oreo.
But to get the improved battery life the phone needs time of around 4 charge cycles, because the new Pie feature ‘Adaptive Battery’ needs time to adapt our usage pattern and optimise background activity according to that. And the Dash Charge (or the new Fast Charge) is still working flawlessly.
Final Conclusion :
Now it’s time to conclude whether this Pie update is properly baked or not? OnePlus solved some popular issues like earpiece sound, battery, and overall performance. Some things which still needs improvements are better RAM management while very heavy multitasking, image processing by stock camera app, and that Share panel bug. Overall the Pie on OnePlus 3 is good as compared to Oreo. And I think the phone can easily last for 1 or maybe 1.5 years more. But do note that the security patch updates will stop from November this year.
I hope that OnePlus will fix these cons and release an update very soon. Also I hope that future phones like OnePlus 5 and further, will also get their third Android update. And lastly, kudos to OnePlus for providing third Android update to their almost 3 year old phone. Now if you own a OnePlus 3/3T and running on Android Pie, what are your thoughts on this new update? Let us know in the comment section below. Also stay tuned with us for more information.