OnePlus 3 Vs. ASUS ZenFone 3: Does the Flagship Killer Need to Worry?
OnePlus 3 Vs. ASUS ZenFone 3: Does the Flagship Killer Need to Worry?

OnePlus 3 Vs. ASUS ZenFone 3: Does the Flagship Killer Need to Worry?

It’s the Power of 3 from both sides. Does OnePlus need to lose sleep over ZenFone 3?

New leaked render images of OnePlus 3 and ASUS ZenFone 3 have surfaced on the Internet. The latest one offers us the first glimpse of an official press release-type image of the OnePlus 3. We decided to pair the two upcoming flagships and see whether the “Flagship Killer” has to worry about ASUS’s “Search for Incredible.”

The specs mentioned here are all based on rumors and leaks, and nothing has been confirmed yet. So we recommend that you read all of this with a grain of salt. The only thing confirmed is that the OnePlus 3 and ZenFone 3 are indeed coming. May 30 is when we will get the first glimpse of the ZenFone 3; as the company puts it, a “Zenvolution is coming.” Sometime in June we will get the official announcement for the OnePlus 3, according to Carl Pei, co-founder at OnePlus.

Display and Design

From the renders and leaks, it seems that both the OnePlus 3 and ZenFone 3 are slated for an evolution where design is concerned. The recent leak has the OnePlus 3 sporting a metal body with a drastic design departure from the predecessor; it looks more like ideas are being borrowed from the HTC One M9, HTC 10 and the iPhone 6. There might be a possibility that the Sandstone finishes are done away with, in favor of premium material.

The grounds for comparison between the two are strong because rumor claims that the OnePlus 3 might have more than one variant, allegedly three if the rumor is to be believed. ZenFone is to get three variants namely, the ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe and ZenFone 3 Max. Along with differing specs, they also have differing display sizes.

OnePlus has experimented with the 5.5-inch and 5.0-inch display sizes. We think the OnePlus 3 will come with a 5.5-inch display and differ in specs. The ZenFone 3, on the other hand, will have a 5.5-inch display with the ZenFone 3 Deluxe housing a 5.9-inch display. The design material employed in the ZenFone 3 and its variants is also rumored to be a metal frame between two glass panels covering the front and the rear.


In terms of under-the-hood specs, we can turn to the leaked benchmark results that tell us what the OnePlus 3 and the ZenFone 3 might pack. Of course, they aren’t confirmed, but speculation is that the devices will have Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 as their SoC. This is the latest processor on the market from Qualcomm, and is the preferred chip for most flagships. ASUS, however, is making a slight exception to that rule by manufacturing 10% of the devices with MediaTek chips, while 90% of the ZenFone 3 will have Snapdragon 820. It looks like ASUS has had enough of the Intel mobile chipsets.

RAM on both the OnePlus 3 and ZenFone 3 is a hot debate, based of course on rumors. The OnePlus 3 is rumored to have three different variants with different RAM and storage options. This includes a 3GB RAM option with 32GB storage, 4GB RAM with 128GB storage, and 6GB RAM with 64GB storage. It does sound strange, but with OnePlus we know they pack surprises and try to be the industry’s first at something.

With the ZenFone 3, there are conflicting leaks. Some show that the ZenFone 3 is packing 3GB RAM, while others state it will come with 4GB RAM. We think both of these rumors could be true. The ZenFone 2 had two variants as well, one with 2GB RAM and the other with 4GB RAM. Storage is rumored to be in 32/64/128 GB variants with a microSD card slot for expansion purposes. The OnePlus 2 missed on the microSD card slot, but the company fixed that with the OnePlus X. The OnePlus 3 might carry on the tradition and house a microSD card slot.


OnePlus flagships have lagged in the camera department. The shooters are capable of the job, but there’s nothing to brag about. To be an effective flagship killer, the OnePlus 3 would have to exceed expectations. Nail the camera performance and challenge the Galaxy S7 with that claim. Rumors and benchmark leaks put the rear sensor of the OnePlus 3 at 16MP and the front sensor at 8MP. It was expected that laser AF and a dual-tone flash would be present; however, the current render image indicates that both of them are missing.

On the ZenFone 3 side, the rear-snapper is expected to be 23MP, and the front sensor 8MP. That is a lot of megapixels, but we have seen time and again that a high megapixel count doesn’t necessarily translate into high-quality images. Whether that turns out to be the case with the ZenFone 3, we have to wait and find out.

Battery and Other Features

The great thing about OnePlus phones was its battery. The company packed a lot of juice and after the OnePlus 2, we are expecting the same. The previous phone housed a 3,300mAh battery and we expected a bump-up to 3,500mAh at the very least. However, a reliable tipster claims that the reverse is happening and the OnePlus 3 will instead sport a 3,000mAh battery. The ZenFone 3 is rumored to get a battery bump as well, from 3,000mAh battery in the ZenFone 2 to 3,300mAh.

The other features that the OnePlus 3 is expected to house include USB Type-C for charging, Quick Charge technology, NFC, fingerprint scanner in the front where the home button is located, and possibly IP68 certification, making the OnePlus 3 dust- and water-proof. The ZenFone 3 isn’t big when it comes to other features, but we think the company might embrace USB Type-C this time around for charging. Also, we might see a fingerprint sensor in the ZenFone 3 as well. The company is promising “evolution becomes revolution” and hence it has some surprises planned.

The best part about both these devices? The companies manufacturing them target the mid-tier category, making them affordable. The price points at which previous OnePlus’ and ZenFones have sold indicate that powerful features do not need to come at a hefty price. Do you think the OnePlus 3 needs to worry about the ZenFone 3?

Editing by Maria Shamim; Graphics by Danish Raza

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