OnePlus 5 vs. OnePlus 3T vs. OnePlus 3: Dash Charge compared

Three generations of Dash Charge and we put them to test to see which one is the best

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Dash Charge is OnePlus’s own branding for the fast charge technology that the company uses on its smartphone. The technology is somewhat based on VOOC Rapid Charging, a technology introduced by the Chinese company Oppo. Both the technologies share a lot of similarities in the way they work, which makes sense when you account for the fact that both the companies are owned by the same entity. Most smartphones today support fast charging, so much so that companies have developed their own proprietary fast charging methods. The most commonly used is the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, although Google recommends the use of USB-PD.

The mathematics behind the charging technology is:
Power(W) = Voltage(V) x Current (A)

Essentially, in order to deliver more power into the battery, either the current or the voltage needs to be on the higher side. Qualcomm Quick Charge uses high voltage to achieve higher power, hence giving faster-charging speed, while the Dash Charge on One Plus 3 uses a higher current to reach the goal, which is faster charging. As the Dash Charge uses higher current, it needs a thicker cable to transfer that current (to tolerate the heat generated), whereas Quick Charge can use any cable compatible with the device. As Quick Charge uses higher voltage, it ends up heating the device a bit, where Dash Charge gets a bonus by overcoming the heat issue by taking away the control of power from the phone’s circuit and handing it over to the charger itself. Most flagships smartphones use the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology based charging technology, like the Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging.

We were curious to know what improvements OnePlus has made to their own Dash Charge technology over the years. OnePlus introduced Dash Charge with their OnePlus 3, and further was improved and also came with the 3T and OnePlus’s latest flagship, the OnePlus 5. We ran few tests and discovered something really interesting.

The Test Devices
The OnePlus 3 comes with 3000 mAh battery and is powered by Snapdragon 820. The OnePlus 3T comes with 3400mAh battery and is powered by a better and more power efficient processor Snapdragon 821. A few days ago, OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5 with 3300 mAh battery and the latest flagship processor the Snapdragon 835 which comes with the promise of being, even more, power efficient. OnePlus 5’s power consumption is further reduced thanks to the use or Low Power DD$ RAM.

The Test
Our goal was to see if there were any differences in charging behaviour across the three OnePlus devices. We started by completely draining the batteries on all three devices to ensure the same baseline. Then, we charged the phones using their supplied chargers, ensuring not to mix them up. We noted how much each battery was charged in increments of 10 minutes, as represented in the graph below.

OnePlus 5 battery, oneplus 3t battery, oneplus 3 battery
OnePlus 3 vs. OnePlus 3T vs. OnePlus 5 Charging Time

Who Charges the Fastest
We accounted for the fact that the three phones have different battery capacities, and hence, worked out the mAh for corresponding charge percentages. It looks like the  OnePlus 3 charges significantly faster than the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5 for the first 30mins. However, the OnePlus 5 takes the lead after the 30-minute mark. Since one significant advantage of Dash Charging is that the phones don’t heat up while charging, we took the liberty to measure the temperature of the chargers during the test. Have a close look at the graphs below which show the temperature of the Dash Chargers during the charge cycle.

OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5 heating
OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5 Charger Temperatures

As the above test results show that the OnePlus 3 charges faster than its successors, its charger also heats up significantly more than the others. The OnePlus 5, on the other hand, remains fairly limited to the 30-40 degree temperature range throughout the charge cycle.

Real World Usage
OnePlus claims that Dash Charge will allow yo to get one whole day’s worth of use in just 30 minutes of charge. We decided to see just how long the phones will last if they each of them was charged only for 15 minutes. Once again, we drained the battery of the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5 completely, followed by charging each of them for 15 minutes each. We then put all three phones on looped playback of a 4K video file, keeping in mind that they all had the same phone and display settings such as being connected to Wi-Fi, playback brightness at 100 percent etc. We even made sure that each phone had the same carrier’s sim card. The result of the video loop test was:

  • OnePlus 3 died first, in 82 minutes
  • OnePlus 3T died in 132 minutes
  • At last, One Plus 5 died in 142 minutes

The End Result
In the end, it is evident that the OnePlus 5 is better of the three in terms of battery. Even though it was not fastest to charge to 100 percent of the three, it still manages to give more battery life in just 15 minutes of charge. Additionally, the Dash Charger itself runs relatively much cooler in comparison to the OnePlus 3T and especially the OnePlus 3.