OnePlus, the journey to Six

Cut and pasted from Topcut email contribution to us


OnePlus the Journey to SixCan you name the number of smartphones in Samsung’s current smartphone lineup? A lot to remember, right? Do you know how many phones OnePlus has in its entire lineup since inception? Eight, just eight.

With a lineup so small and brand recognition so wide it’s hard to not talk about OnePlus and their journey. Our good folks at Topcut.in created a cool infographic that shows the journey of the OnePlus phones from the One to the 6.

OnePlus has always been known for its flagship killers, a term that stuck since the launch of the OnePlus One – the original flagship killer.

The Force Awakens

The One was an important phone as it showed that a phone could have class-leading hardware and developer friendly software at a customer friendly price. The Snapdragon 801, 64gb storage, full HD screen, root friendly Cyanogen OS and the $300 price fuelled instant success worldwide.

The Difficult Second Album

For the OnePlus 2, the company tried something unique again, a VR launch for which they sold OnePlus branded VR cardboard headsets. The OnePlus 2 was much anticipated with huge improvements over the OnePlus One. While the OP2 did get a lot of important updates like the AMOLED screen, 4GB RAM, fingerprint sensor and a low price, it still wasn’t as good as the OPO. The Snapdragon 810 had a bad reputation of thermal throttling which didn’t sit well with fans. All of OnePlus’ competitors meanwhile had switched to the slightly slower but much cooler Snapdragon 808. Then there was the OP2’s lack of NFC and fast charging, two features that were absolutely necessary for a high end phone at that time. Overall the OnePlus 2 was a decent phone but didn’t make a mark like the OnePlus One.

The Budget Dive

Sometime between the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3, the company launched OnePlus X. A device which OnePlus would love to forget. It was supposed to do for low-mid end market what the OnePlus One did for the high-end market. The formula for the OnePlus X was simple, take the OnePlus One, add an AMOLED screen, lower the price and you get the OnePlus X. But what they ended up with was a sub-par phone with terrible software support. OnePlus has since cancelled the OnePlus X lineup.

Return of the Jedi

Having learned their lessons OnePlus went back to the drawing board for their next smartphone and boy was it great. There was now a metal chassis, a far more capable and cooler Snapdragon 820, 6 gigabytes of RAM and Dash Charging. But by far the best thing about the OnePlus 3 was their departure from the “invite-only” sales method. The success of the OP3 was short lived as OnePlus pulled a move that left its fans, especially OnePlus 3 owners, with a bitter taste in their mouths. An updated version of the OnePlus 3 – the 3T – was launched barely 6 months into the sales of the OP3. The 3T was a minor update but an update nonetheless. It had the slightly improved Snapdragon 821 (which got a 10% speed boost and supported Google Daydream), a 16Mpx front camera (over the 8Mpx on the OnePlus 3), a larger 3400mAh battery and a 128gb internal storage option. All the improvements bumped the cost by only $40 taking the price to $440. Despite the flak they received for this mid-cycle update, OnePlus has kept at it with the OnePlus 5/5T and will do the same with OnePlus 6.

OnePlus to the T

The OnePlus 5 was again a major improvement. It had a dual camera setup for which it worked with DXO labs. This earned them a score of 87 on DXOmarks smartphone camera comparison. A score that was higher than even the iPhone 7. Overall the OnePlus 5 was a capable phone with very few flaws. The OnePlus 5 remains one of the last OnePlus phones with a 16:9 display, front mounted fingerprint sensor and capacitive buttons. The OnePlus 5 was so well received it became one of the fastest selling OnePlus phone ever. Shortly after, much to people’s annoyance, OnePlus launched an upgraded OnePlus 5, the OnePlus 5T. It was pretty much the same except for a more up to date 18:9 display which had lesser bezels but was also the reason for the fingerprint sensor being shifted to the back. Weirdly, the optical zoom capable (f/2.6) sensor was removed and a normal (f/1.7) sensor was added in its place. The price, however, remained the same, except for the special Star Wars edition which saw a price bump.

Never Settle

Of all the OnePlus phones, the OnePlus 6 was the most eagerly anticipated. With the competition stronger than ever, with the likes of Honor, Xiaomi, Nokia, Motorola and Essential, OnePlus had to deliver. The OnePlus 6 took an evolutionary step by adding a newer processor, improved cameras, a glass body and the dreaded notch. With their experience, OnePlus has a phone that is now more rounded and amongst the best that has come from the OnePlus stable. However the omission of wireless charging (despite the glass body) and true waterproofing is quite shocking but that may be added in the OnePlus 6T when it launches in Q4 2018.

The infographic below serves as a TL;DR version of the OnePlus journey which beautifully captures the uniqueness of the OnePlus phones over the years.

Share with us your experience with OnePlus devices. Let us know which OnePlus phone you liked the best!

[Topcut]
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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts