OnePlus 2
OnePlus 3 could be a major flagship killer like its predecessorsIBTimes UK

Flagship killer brand OnePlus has managed to build a loyal customer base from the time it was launched mainly due to powerful feature offerings on its smartphones at almost half the prices than its Android competitors like Samsung, LG and Sony. Smartphone enthusiasts are now eagerly waiting for the company's upcoming offering, OnePlus 3, slated most likely for a third quarter launch this year.

Although OnePlus devices have been praised for their solid software, this time around some significant changes have been tipped for the hardware design. IBTimes UK takes a look at the major technical specifications to expect from the OnePlus 3:

Design and screen

Reports indicate a much slimmer OnePlus 3 from the existing 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.9 mm dimension the OnePlus2 has. The panel will be designed in a way to incorporate edge-to-edge display and a back cover with metallic finish.

Chinese tech website Mobile-Dad reported that a brushed metal back may be a significant design change from the signature experimental back panels that OnePlus has had so far ranging from sandstone, Kevlar, wood and even ceramic. The overall design, however, is expected to be in line with its predecessor most importantly the speakers being placed on the front of the device

We could expect a 1080 pixel screen as this is an area the Chinese manufacturer has saved money on before, allowing it to undercut the competition while still offering impressive specs. Some conflicting reports, however, indicate that the device may just get a QHD display technology like the HTC Desire 601, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the Sony Xperia M2.

Keeping in line with thecompetition, it is also expected to get the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection, an upgrade from the earlier Gorilla Glass 3 in OnePlus 2.

Fingerprint sensor or iris recognition

A major fad catching up with smartphone manufacturers is unique ways of unlocking screens. While the OnePlus 2 had a fingerprint scanner like many other phones, reports suggest this could be given a miss when it comes to the OnePlus 3.

Some tipsters speculate that the company will definitely feature a unique way of unlocking the screen which may just be iris recognition which is rumoured to appear in the LG G5 this year.

NFC

OnePlus removed the Near Field Communication (NFC) from the OnePlus 2 which has not been well received by many users. The company said the feature was not used much. NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over a 10 cm distance.

With the integration of Android Pay for most upscale devices like the OnePlus 3, it may bring back the NFC. The company may not want to invest in independent pay services like Samsung and LG.

Processor, RAM, storage and battery

The handset will, like its predecessor, have two variants with 16GB and 64GB memory capacities. The RAM on the devices is also going to differ accordingly with the 16GB version getting 4GB RAM and the 64GB version getting 5GB RAM.

The highlight of the hardware is definitely Qualcomm's soon-to-be-unleashed Snapdragon 820 (MSM8896) processor. Most Android flagship phones are likely to turn to the processor this year. The upgrade may also remove the heating issues the current models are facing.

Currently, the OnePlus 2 features a 3,300 mAh battery and there are no indications of what the battery capacity may be but to compete with its rivals this year the device will have to feature a minimum of 3,500 mAh capacity.

Other than these, camera and multimedia reports are not strong enough to suggest specifications till now. But an upgradation of camera specs and better quality rear camera in particular are a must for the OnePlus3 to succeed as its competitors are way ahead in this department.

As for software, it will backed by CyanogenMod like all OnePlus devices. Also, keeping in tune with most Android devices this year, it will come with Android Marshmallow in-built and support the Oxygen OS.