When you start up your flashy OnePlus 3T, you’ll be surprised by the Nexus-like, almost standard Android experience that greets you. This is thanks to OnePlus’ bloat-free OxygenOS interface, one that’s installed over Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, the mobile operating system has some idiosyncrasies of its own, and it’s by learning those that you’ll get the most from this excellent value phone.
We’ve gathered some of the best OnePlus 3T tips, tricks, and hints for getting to grips with the OnePlus software, along with some helpful advice about the hardware and its accompanying features. Don’t forget, the original OnePlus 3 is very similar, so many of these tips apply to that phone as well.
Pick up your OnePlus 3T, and get ready to master it.
Change the battery indicator
We love this cute little effect for the OnePlus 3T. No, it doesn’t do anything outside of look cool, but that’s OK! Instead of a boring battery-shaped icon to accompany the percentage figure for remaining battery life, how about a circle? It’s easy to change:
Step 1: Go into Settings
Step 2: Select Battery
Step 3: Tap the battery-shaped icon in the top right, and select Battery Circle. You can also choose to hide the icon completely or revert back to the battery bar.
Step 4: Make sure the switch to show battery percentage, located at the top of the Battery menu screen, is switched on.
Find Night Mode
Smartphone screens are notorious for giving out blue light, which studies have shown can stop us having a restful night’s sleep, or falling asleep at all. That’s a problem if you use your phone in bed, so make sure Night Mode is active, which minimizes the blue light emitted from the display.
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Tap Display
Step 3: Tap the switch for Night Mode, and use the slider to adjust the level of intensity. The screen will appear very yellow, but don’t worry, this is normal.
Sadly, the OnePlus 3T doesn’t have a timer for Night Mode, so it needs to be manually turned on and off, but that’s a small price to pay for better sleep. However, there’s a faster way to turn it on and off, once you’ve set the intensity to your liking.
Step 1: Pull down the notification shade, then swipe down again to display the complete list of quick settings.
Step 2: Night Mode is symbolized by a three-quarter moon icon. Tap this to toggle the feature on and off.
Use Beauty Mode and Smile Shutter for selfies
Don’t lie, when you take selfies, you want them to look their best, right? Of course, so why not give nature a helping hand with the OnePlus 3T’s beauty mode. After all, that 16-megapixel front camera is really going to pick up every aspect of your face.
Step 1: Open the Camera app, and tap on the reverse camera icon to the right of the shutter button.
Step 2: Tap the Settings icon to the left of the shutter button.
Step 3: A menu pops up, and tap the icon on the left, which activates beauty mode. A slider appears, letting you adjust the effect. Too much, and you’ll look a bit weird, so go easy.
When you’re happy with how you look, OnePlus has added a smile shutter to make taking selfies easier. Activate it using the icon in the top right of the front camera viewfinder.
Calibrate the screen
The OnePlus 3 was lacking in this area, but the chance to tailor the display to your liking has been increased on the OnePlus 3T.
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Find the Display option and tap it
Step 3: There are two ways to alter the way the screen looks and operates. Adaptive brightness is likely turned off as standard, and it can be toggled here.
Step 4: Look for the Screen Calibration option, tap it, and select either Default, sRGB, or Customize to manually alter the color and contrast of the display. Exit out to save your choice.
Use the supplied charger and USB cable
The OnePlus 3T charges quickly. Really quickly. It’s a proprietary system, which OnePlus calls Dash Charge, and can take the battery from almost empty to completely full in around 75 minutes, or to about 60 percent in roughly 30 minutes. That’s something you don’t want to miss out on, but to get it, you must use the Dash charger and the USB Type-C cable that comes with your phone. It’s tempting to use the other chargers you have laying around, but even when combined with the right USB cable, it won’t provide the full Dash effect. Remember that when you’re in a hurry after forgetting to charge the phone.
Find manual mode on the camera
The OnePlus 3T’s camera is even better than the one on the OnePlus 3, and regardless of its apparent low-light expertise, there are times when only a few manual adjustments will do the job. While there is a manual mode inside OnePlus’ camera app, it’s somewhat hidden. Here’s how to find it.
Step 1: Open the camera app.
Step 2: Tap the menu key in the top left of the screen.
Step 3: Manual mode is the fifth option down. Tap it.
The viewfinder will reappear and you’ll see a selection of adjustable settings spread across the bottom of the screen. Tap each one to apply your changes.
Shelf is a handy shortcut and quick access panel that lives to the left of the main home screen. It shows information on frequently used apps, has a memo feature, and can hold all your Android widgets so they don’t crowd the home screen. It should be activated by default, but if a right swipe doesn’t bring it up, then here’s how to get it running.
Step 1: Long press on the home screen until you see a helicopter view of your screens.
Step 2: Tap the Customize button in the bottom right, then swipe to the left to show the Gesture menu.
Step 3: Make sure Enable Shelf is switched to on. If you want to turn off Shelf, just toggle the switch the other way.
That’s it, Shelf should now be active. Simply swipe and tap the addition sign in the bottom right to add new widgets.
Customize the Alert Slider
The Alert Slider is the mechanical slider switch located on the left side of the OnePlus 3T, and like the one fitted on the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3, it’s used to change the alert status on the phone. Here’s how it works, and how to customize it.
With the slider all the way down, you’ll be notified of all messages, calls, and alerts. Push it up to the midway point, and you’ll only receive priority notifications. One more push switches your phone to silent mode.
To set up Priority alerts, go to Settings > Alert Slider > Priority Settings. Here, toggle the switches for the alerts you want to receive when in Priority mode, including events and reminders. Another option changes the notification settings for calls. By default, it’s set to starred contacts only, but this can be changed to have any contacts or no-one at all.
Under the same menu is the chance to change the Silent settings, so pick that option instead of Priority Settings if you want to enable or disable alarm sounds, and for media and games.
Not everyone is into gesture controls, and OnePlus leaves them disabled by default. If you want to try them out, however, then this is how you activate them.
Step 1: Tap Settings, then scroll down the list until you find Gestures.
Step 2: Toggle the switch to On.
There are four gestures in total: double tap to wake the screen, draw an “O” to launch the camera, draw a ‘V’ to activate the flashlight, and a set of music control gestures. Tick the corresponding boxes to turn each on.
Navigation, recent, and back buttons
The OnePlus 3’s back and recent menu buttons are defined only by little dots on either side of the fingerprint sensor. That’s fine if you’re used to the layout and Android phones in general, but these can be potentially confusing and annoying to those who aren’t. Luckily, there’s a way to make life easier.
Step 1: Tap Settings, then scroll down the list to find Buttons.
Step 2: Tap Buttons, and you have the option to swap the order around — so back is on the right, or vice versa — or alternatively use on-screen navigation buttons.
Once you’re used to the OnePlus 3, head back to the menu to turn off the on-screen buttons (if you prefer).