What do you expect from a phone these days? Does a smartphone define or compliment your personal style? What kind of performance do you require to get your work done? How much are you willing to pay for that performance?

For fans of Android we’ve been through some highs and lows over the last couple years when looking at manufacturers building “price disrupting” handsets. Initially the Nexus was a high water mark we could point to for companies to include high end processors in lower cost devices. OnePlus took that philosophy and paired it with a fairly unpopular purchasing system that required invites.

Now moving into the third generation of OnePlus phones, the company is taking steps to “grow up”. We don’t see as many shenanigans surrounding PR and marketing gimmicks. The invite system is gone, and some of the bravado claims have been toned down. We all remember terms like “flagship killer”, but now OnePlus primarily asks that you “never settle”.

We’re witnessing a “cooling” at the high end of the smartphone market. Fewer companies are able to command the same kind of flagship premium as in years past. The tech which separates the high end from the mid-range is sliding in price, so now it’s not uncommon to see the borders between those tiers becoming blurrier.

We’ll be digging deep into the OnePlus 3, especially looking at lifestyle features like audio playback and camera performance, but first we have to get this phone out of the box and get it all setup. Here’s our OnePlus 3 first impressions video

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