The OnePlus 3 in design terms is going to be remembered for being the first flagship device in the OnePlus series that stepped away from the Sandstone textured back that was the trademark of the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2, opting for a metallic unibody design that gave it a more “classy” look (so what if some said it was reminiscent of HTC). And while it fired its first salvo in a relatively routine graphite grey shade, it has now come out with a variant that is slightly more eye-catching. At least on paper. The Soft Gold variant.

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Also Read: OnePlus 3 Review

Let’s get one thing straight at the very outset – do not expect the OnePlus 3 Soft Gold variant to dazzle you with blingy glow. Far from it. In keeping with its name, the gold on the device is on the distinctly softer side. In fact, most people to whom we showed the device did not even realize it was the gold edition of the phone until we told them so – it has a look that is more metallic than gold-like when viewed in isolation. Yes, it does look starkly different from the graphite edition when placed next to it, but the real way to mark it out as different is the white front, rather than the black one that we see on the graphite variant.

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Truth be told, we think the black front looks slightly more distinguished and at least hides smudges and stains better than the white one, particularly around the fingerprint scanner below the display. But then, we have seen a number of people say that the Soft Gold variant looks more “premium” than the original, and well, there was at least one gentleman who said that given a chance, he would opt for the Soft Gold variant because it did not look “like an HTC product.” And yes, a number of people who handled both devices insisted that the Soft Gold version seemed slightly heavier and thicker – flying in the face of statistical evidence. A classic case of “black making you look slimmer,” we suspect.

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Also Read: OnePlus 3 Camera Review

In terms of innards, the OnePlus 3 Soft Gold is exactly – yes, ex-actly – the same as the original OnePlus 3. Which is not really bad news when you consider that it also comes with exactly the same price tag as well. No, there is no “premium” for the Soft Gold variant. So what you end up is getting the same 5.5 inch full HD optic OLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage (still nom-expandable, alas – no memory card on this version either), 16.0-megapixel rear camera, 8.0-megapixel front facing camera, 3000 mAh battery (with Dash Charge), and the 4G/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/NFC/GPS combo that we saw on the predecessor. All that with Oxygen OS running on top of Android 6.0.1. Pretty impressive for the price of Rs 27,999 – you can read our review of the OnePlus 3 here.

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All of which means that you are pretty much getting the same package that has been a headache for the competition in a different shade. We still think the graphite one looks smarter but we suspect that there will be those who will not mind a golden glow – no matter how subtle – on their OnePlus 3.


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Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.