OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone company that promises premium quality smartphones for a fraction of the price of an iPhone, will launch its 2016 flagship device next month with a virtual reality event — offering fans the chance to view it for free using its new Loop VR headset.

OnePlus claimed a world first in 2015 when it launched the OnePlus 2 with a virtual reality event, handing out 30,000 cardboard VR headsets to fans for free. This year it will once again offer viewers the chance to watch the launch of the phone — expected to be called the OnePlus 3 — in virtual reality, but it is now offering fans the chance to get their hands on an upgraded VR headset called the Loop.

Looking very similar to Samsung's Gear VR headset, the Loop headset will be sent to the first 30,000 people who register their interest on the company's website. As well as being able to see the launch of the new smartphone in virtual reality, the company says it will be the first time anyone will be able to buy the new phone in VR.

OnePlus 3 VR Launch The OnePlus 3 will be launched using virtual reality, and the company will give away 30,000 VR headsets. Photo: OnePlus

While the company has not announced a date for the launch of the OnePlus 3, sources speaking with International Business Times who are aware of OnePlus' plans say the event is scheduled for the middle of June, though plans are subject to change.

A leaked image of the OnePlus 3 last week showed a dramatically redesigned smartphone, which many have compared to the HTC One range of smartphones. It is also rumored to have a 3,000 mAh battery and will use AMOLED display technology for its screen.

According to documents from China’s telecoms regulator, the OnePlus 3 is also set to feature a fast-charging battery technology that would be able to recharge the phone in just 15 minutes.

The phone is expected to come with a 16-megapixel sensor powering its rear camera, and OnePlus CEO Pete Lau posted a sample picture showing the device will be capable of creating excellent depth-of-field results.

The key to OnePlus’ appeal to date has been budget pricing, and reports suggest this trend will continue, with the base model costing 1,999 yuan ($310), while the most expensive model will cost 2,499 yuan ($385), which is considerably cheaper than the flagship devices from Samsung, LG, Huawei and HTC launched this year.