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Either You Die A Flagship Killer or You Live Long Enough to Become A Flagship — The Story of OnePlus – Nirav Khanal

Either You Die A Flagship Killer or You Live Long Enough to Become A Flagship — The Story of OnePlus

Apr 24, 2020 | Technology | 0 comments

OnePlus Phones Remember who they disturbed the market by phone with Flagship internals in a 200 USD price range. How has time changed!! OnePlus just released a flagship OnePlus 8 Pro alongside OnePlus 8. It’s no longer a flagship killer but an out and out flagship. The areas where OnePlus used to cut corners are now gone; the lack of IP Certification, Wireless Charging, and subpar Camera. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s get straight into it.

If you have no clue what I am talking about, OnePlus released their 8 series of phones on 14th April via Live Stream. As usual, Marques had been using it for a week or so. That isn’t abnormal; what is OnePlus a Flagship. And me being me, wanted to give my opinion on that.

How It All Started:

I don’t remember who said it, but somebody said if you are providing service, you don’t want to be competing for price. It would be best if you delivered value. That is so correct. That ties on beautifully in OnePlus’s situation. They did the right part by first competing for the price; it disturbed what seemed like a saturated Flagship market. There were different OEMs making Flagship devices, and Samsung’s Note series was considered the best, followed by their S Series and a bunch of custom skinned phones for around 600-700 USD.

Then came OnePlus with their OnePlus One with the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 3100 mAh battery 🔋 , Android enthusiasts loved CyanogenMod 13, and attention-grabbing “Never Settle” all that for just $299.

Moving On and Lessons Learnt:

OnePlus continued with the same formula as the OnePlus 2. Adding a fingerprint sensor, USB-C, an alert slider, a bigger battery, and OIS on the rear camera. But unfortunately, It is so far the worst received iteration and was heavily criticized for removing NFC, which, according to OnePlus, “wasn’t being used enough.” All that came for a price hike of $30, which has fine cause there still no device was providing such specs for the price.

Similarly, the following year OnePlus came out with OnePlus, negating the shortcomings of the previous iteration. Alongside that, it debuted the much-hyped as revolutionary feature, Dash Charge, and indeed it was because back then, Fast Charging wasn’t this big a thing. Unless you are Apple, it isn’t a big thing yet 😉😉. And it bumped the RAM to 6 GB when the industry was still using 4 GB. As you might have guessed, it came at the price of an additional $70.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It:

OnePlus started to release a second phone in a series with the OnePlus 3T. It was a minor spec bump with an upgrade from Snapdragon 820 to 821, a 400 mAh increase to the battery to 3400 mAh, and a raise of Back Camera MP to 16 MP Camera. Upgrade continued what was working while also adding a few more options. It was the first OnePlus phone available in the 128 GB Storage variant.
Price hike :$40.

Gaining Attention:

The following year OnePlus released OnePlus 5, skipping 4 as it is considered “Unlucky” in China. For this iteration, OnePlus added a second Camera to the back and had a strikingly similar resemblance to iPhone 7. It had usual spec bumps and still was the best in its price range
Price raise: $40
For the second phone in the 5 series, they added super-fast face unlock, increase display size to 6 ” and moved fingerprint from the front to the back to accommodate the 18:9 screen.
The OnePlus 5T is the only OnePlus device not to be more expansive than the previous iteration.

Expanding Horizons:

OnePlus 6 was a glass sandwich and looking premium more than ever. It was the first phone in the series with a notch and had a teardrop notch touted by many the least ugly form of notches. There were much-needed improvements on Cameras and now had OIS in both. The OnePlus 6 was the first to participate in Google’s Android beta program for Android P, now known as Android 9.
Price Hike: $50

In the fall, OnePlus released the 6T with much more advertisement. It was advertised heavily in India in collaboration with popular Actor Amita Bachan. They removed the fingerprint sensor on the back for an in-display fingerprint sensor. However, they made a controversial move by removing the 3.5mm headphone jack after mocking Apple for doing so.
Price Hike:$20

Partnership With McLaren:

OnePlus no longer wanted to be a Flagship killer, undercut someone else, so it needed a thing, a gimmick for people to remember the brand, and it, as OnePlus figured out, was Speed. They partnered with McLaren to release a limited edition phone known as OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition. It was an overkill of a phone with 12GB RAM and new charging standards rebranded as Warp Charge.

Entering the States:

For the first time, OnePlus launched two phones simultaneously, releasing the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. Many analysts predicted that OnePlus would target the Flagship market, which was evident from the OnePlus 7 Pro.

OnePlus 7 Pro was the direction OnePlus wanted to be heading, and OnePlus was the brand’s past. Pro had a 90 Hz display first for non-gaming Android phones and a pop-up camera. For the first time, OnePlus didn’t bring the price down but also had some uniqueness. That applies only for the Pro Variant; the regular OnePlus 7 was the usual bang for buck OnePlus was known for; it had a teardrop camera to Pop Up, two cameras to three, and a 60 Hz display 90Hz of that of Pro.
Price: $80 increase for regular 7 while 7 Pro was in a new category with a $669 price.
It was the first time the OnePlus phone launched in the States officially, and it was an instant hit. The Flagship ambitions were crystal clear as the regular 7 wasn’t available in the States, only the Pro.

OnePlus’s increase in price ©AndroidAuthority

A League of Own:

They released two iterative upgrades to the phones in the Fall, the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. The notable updates were additional 2GB RAM and an internal storage bump to 256GB.
The 7T pro was not made available in the States, but the regular 7T was, yeah, we know, very confusing. It was the 7 with a 90Hz display and triple camera.
Price:$30 deductions for 7T and $40 addition for 7T Pro.

Niraj Khanal

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