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OnePlus 3 to Debut in VR with New Headset

To launch its next flagship phone, OnePlus is headed back to virtual reality. This time, though, the phone maker is putting out a more advanced VR headset for viewing the release as well buying the new OnePlus 3.

OnePlus announced launch plans for the OnePlus 3 phone on its website today (May 23). As with last year's OnePlus 2 unveiling, the event will take place in VR, which the company says allows more of its fans to attend.

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Last year's launch event — reportedly the first in VR — was dismissed as a gimmick by some observers, with even OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei conceding that the experience "wasn't perfecting" while noting that the company's many fans enjoyed it.

How to improve this year's launch? Come out with a more advanced VR headset, apparently. OnePlus is rolling out the OnePlus Loop VR headset, a Samsung Gear-esque device that OnePlus developed with help from AntVR. The Loop VR headset promises "a more robust, immersive and comfortable experience" than the variant of Google Cardboard OnePlus used last year, the company says.

OnePlus's Loop VR headset

OnePlus's Loop VR headset

You may have to take OnePlus's word for it. The company is making 30,000 headsets available to its fans for free (though they'll have to pay for shipping). However, as of 11 a.m. ET this morning, the headset was listed as out of stock on the OnePlus website. Presumably, you'll still be able to watch the event — currently unscheduled — using other VR headsets, though.

In addition to watching OnePlus take the wraps off its phone in VR, you'll also be able to buy the OnePlus 3 from within the VR app. In the past, OnePlus has used a sometimes frustrating invitation system to allow people to buy its phones, but the company announced that the process won't be the case for this phone or future OnePlus product launches.

As for rumors about the phone itself, Pei told CNET en Espanol that the OnePlus 3 will launch before the end of June and that it will have a different design from the OnePlus 2. Earlier this month, Evan Blass — seemingly the source of all leaked phone mock-ups these days — tweeted out what looks like a version of OnePlus's next phone, which he expects to have an AMOLED display like the OnePlus X and a 3,000 mAh battery. (The OnePlus 2 had a 3,300 mAh battery and turned in below-average times in our battery testing.)

Credit: @Evleaks

(Image credit: @Evleaks)

As for the phone specs, most rumor sites seem to agree that the OnePlus 3 will feature a Snapdragon 820 processor. BGR says the phone could feature up to 6GB of memory, with 64GB of storage and a 16-megapixel rear camera.