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OnePlus 3: Everything we know about specs, release date, pricing and availability The Android handset with a cult following is about to make its fourth phone debut. Here's what we know (and think) so far.

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OnePlus is getting ready to launch its fourth smartphone, an exciting event for the young brand's fervent followers. The OnePlus lineup (One, 2, X and now 3) is known for challenging larger, better-known competitors with hardware whose middle-to-high specs come in at much lower prices than your typical top-dollar superphone. For some, the OnePlus 3 will battle the iPhone SE, just-announced Motorola G4 phones, Nexus 6P and maybe even the upmarket LG G5 or Samsung Galaxy S7.

Here are the most important things we know so far.

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The OnePlus 3 could look like this.

Evan Blass/Twitter

The name's a sure thing

OnePlus is already using the name OnePlus 3 on its public channels, so there's no dangling question mark there.

The OnePlus 3 will launch over VR on June 14

It's official! OnePlus is launching the 3 on June 14. In virtual reality. In outer space.

The company says that it's focusing on a futuristic OnePlus headquarters/space station called The Loop, which, not at all coincidentally, is the same name as the new VR headset OnePlus has given to 30,000 fans (for free) so they can watch the phone unveiling in real time. Good luck getting one; those Loop headsets went went fast.

VR-watchers can buy it first

OnePlus also announced that people who watch the keynote in VR will get first dibs ordering the phone directly from the Loop headset. Everyone else will have to wait. OnePlus didn't say for how long, but the company is (in)famous for hosting limited sales windows to both drum up excitement and control a more limited supply than competitors.

You can buy it without an invite

Then again, maybe the wait won't be long at all. OnePlus is finally ditching the invite system that it's used to control supply, so you'll be able to buy the phone hurdle-free.

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Getting one of these Loop VR headsets puts you at the front of the line for ordering the OnePlus 3 phone first.

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It'll look different than the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X

If you're worried that the OnePlus 3 will rehash 2015's two models, pause your fretting. Co-founder Carl Pei told CNET in February that this forthcoming flagship will feature a "new design."

According to an image posted by Evan Blass, now with Venture Beat -- who has built a reputation for reliably breaking stories through his Twitter handle @evleaks -- the OnePlus 3 looks like it has a silvery metal build and some detailing that's reminiscent of the HTC 10.

You can see the signature OnePlus notifications slider along the phone's left edge.

The OnePlus 3 could have an AMOLED screen and 3,000mAh battery

Blass' tweet also claims that the OnePlus 3 will have a screen using AMOLED display technology (versus an LCD screen), a material that's known for saving battery while boosting contrast (making blacks blacker). Rumors from around the Internet also point to a 3,000mAh battery and two versions of the phone: one with 32GB of internal storage and 4GB RAM and one with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.

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Watch this: The wallet-friendly and elegant OnePlus X

Other rumored specs

We don't know any of this yet for sure (because these are rumors), but hardware could also include:

  • 5-inch, 1080p display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow software
  • 16-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 6GB of RAM
  • NFC (for mobile payments)

Pricing

Since the OnePlus 2 came it at about $330 and £240 (which converts to roughly AU$460), we can guess that the OnePlus 3 will land in about the same bracket. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see the price hike up a tad if it does wind up including more premium features, but undercutting the likes of Samsung and LG is too important to OnePlus' sales strategy to really see costs climb.

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Watch this: OnePlus 2 looks better than ever

It'll sell in the US and other markets unlocked, and shipping will be free

As co-founder Pei told CNET in February, the OnePlus 3 will arrive in the US and other markets as an unlocked phone and will be sold directly through OnePlus' site. OnePlus has gotten flak for making phones hard to buy, which is why OnePlus is working on a "better buying process" that extends to credit card payments (not just PayPal), Pei told CNET. Like last year, the phone will ship to you for free.

More to come

We'll update this as more facts come in, so check back! Meanwhile, be sure to brush up on our reviews of the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X.

This story originally published May 24, 2016 and updates frequently. It was last updated June 1, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. PT.