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OnePlus’ birthday: Seven years of hits (and misses)

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A closeup of the back of the OnePlus One showing its single rear camera.

Right now is the seventh anniversary of OnePlus’ founding. Former Oppo vp Pete Lau and former Oppo worldwide markets supervisor Carl Pei based the corporate on December 16, 2013. On the event of OnePlus’ birthday, we thought we’d go over the main milestones — each constructive and detrimental — the corporate has seen prior to now seven years.

To say that OnePlus has disrupted the smartphone business could be an understatement. In seven years, the model has gone from a tiny firm with one gadget to a significant world participant. It dominates the premium smartphone market in India and instructions a mighty presence in different elements of the world. It’s been capable of do all this whereas holding its merchandise comparatively low-cost as in comparison with a lot of the competitors.

Associated: OnePlus telephones: A historical past of the corporate’s whole lineup thus far

Nonetheless, it hasn’t at all times been clean crusing for OnePlus. There have been just a few missteps alongside the best way. There have been advertising and marketing snafus and even whole merchandise that in all probability shouldn’t have seen the sunshine of day. However the firm troopers on.

On OnePlus’ birthday, let’s check out the seven greatest hits (and 7 greatest misses) the corporate’s had over the previous seven years.


Hit #1: The OnePlus One

The sandstone back of the OnePlus One.

What will be stated concerning the OnePlus One that hasn’t already been stated? The One is continuously cited as top-of-the-line smartphones of all time, with people the world over nonetheless utilizing it to today as their each day driver.

Associated: From OnePlus 6T to OnePlus One: Every week with a five-year-old cellphone

When the One dropped in 2014 (solely 4 months after OnePlus’ birthday), it provided virtually all the main specs one would anticipate from a flagship smartphone. Nonetheless, it got here in at round half the worth. Certain, it didn’t include the best digicam nor did it have the most recent options resembling a 1440p show or a fingerprint scanner, nevertheless it was quick, sturdy, and enticing.

After all, the invitation system was irritating for patrons, and OnePlus did a reasonably poor job on the subject of buyer assist. However the One was nonetheless a bonafide hit for the model. Coming proper out of the gate with a smash like that was an enormous win for the corporate. It set the stage for its future success.

Hit #2: Oxygen OS

The OnePlus One shipped with Cyanogen OS, a business model of the favored Android fork often called CyanogenMod. We’re going to get into the troubles with Cyanogen Inc. later, however we are able to be grateful for Cyanogen OS for one easy purpose: it compelled OnePlus to ship us Oxygen OS.

When issues at Cyanogen had been getting messy, OnePlus knew it wanted to ditch the model for future units. In 2015, it began creating its personal close-to-stock Android pores and skin. The pores and skin gained the identify Oxygen OS after OnePlus held a naming contest on-line. Shortly earlier than the second OnePlus birthday, the corporate pushed out Oxygen OS as an non-obligatory improve for the OnePlus One.

Associated: Oxygen OS: Six options you’ll want to learn about

At first, Oxygen OS was very near inventory Android with solely a handful of further options. Over time, OnePlus has made the pores and skin into top-of-the-line available on the market. It’s a principally bloat-free expertise with tons of customization options and a quick, lovely UI.

Oxygen OS is so beloved by OnePlus followers that many refuse to modify manufacturers. They merely don’t wish to take care of an anemic inventory Android expertise or be burdened by the bloated messes of many different OEM skins.

Hit #3: The OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T update Oreo featured image

The OnePlus One will at all times have a particular spot on the listing of traditionally necessary Android smartphones. Nonetheless, the OnePlus 3T will doubtless be remembered as the very best gadget OnePlus has ever provided.

Initially, there was a combined fan response to the OnePlus 3T. The corporate launched it proper earlier than the third OnePlus birthday, barely six months after the OnePlus 3. On one hand, followers preferred the concept of a barely higher OnePlus cellphone on provide. However there have been loads of individuals who had simply forked out for the OnePlus 3 and felt a pang of remorse at not understanding a more sensible choice was going to return so quickly.

Associated: OnePlus purchaser’s information: Every thing you’ll want to know concerning the model

Nonetheless, any misgivings had been shortly forgotten as soon as individuals began to make use of the OnePlus 3T. Retaining the identical modern, steel design of the OnePlus 3, the 3T bumped up the processor, battery, and front-facing digicam specs. It additionally added a brand new inside storage possibility of 128GB.

The truth is, OnePlus continued to assist the OnePlus 3T all the best way up till 2019. The gadget obtained a remaining replace to Android 9 Pie. For the document that’s a whopping 4 completely different Android variations launched for this one gadget (Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, and Pie).

Hit #4: Sprint (and later Warp) Cost

Dash Charge

With the OnePlus 3, the corporate debuted Sprint Cost — a proprietary fast-charging system it licensed from Oppo. Sprint promised “a day’s energy in half-an-hour.” It boasted you possibly can cost the OnePlus 3 from 0% to 60% in about half-hour.

Associated: How briskly charging actually works

Whereas followers lambasted the corporate for years for not providing wi-fi charging with its telephones, Sprint Cost was an enormous hit. OnePlus actually didn’t start the fast-wired charging pattern, nevertheless it was on the forefront of the expertise. OnePlus is an enormous purpose why opponents began to take the characteristic severely.

Finally, OnePlus bought right into a trademark dispute within the EU over the Sprint Cost identify and subsequently rebranded it as Warp Cost. However the system is simply pretty much as good and has solely turn out to be extra highly effective over time. Warp Cost 65 on the OnePlus 8T is able to going from 0% battery to 58% in about quarter-hour.

Hit #5: Prime canine in India

OnePlus 6

Proper across the fifth OnePlus birthday, the corporate obtained some nice information: in accordance with Counterpoint Analysis, OnePlus had turn out to be the highest-selling premium smartphone model in India.

You learn that accurately. Meaning OnePlus bought extra premium smartphones in India than Samsung, Apple, Huawei, or some other smartphone producer all over the world. With India being one of many greatest and fastest-developing smartphone markets on the planet, this achievement was an enormous deal.

Associated: These are the very best telephones you may get in India proper now

Since that day, OnePlus has held onto the title as a rule. In the meantime, its model recognition and market share are growing in lots of different elements of the world, together with the UK, the US, and Europe. However this achievement in India will at all times be one of many firm’s most vital milestones.

Hit #6: The OnePlus 7 Professional

OnePlus 7 Pro taking a photo

In 2019, OnePlus launched a brand new sort of OnePlus gadget: a “Professional” mannequin. Up till then, the corporate solely launched a main flagship after which a “T” improve mannequin, with the notable exception of the budget-minded OnePlus X. The OnePlus 7 Professional, in that sense, was the primary of its variety.

At first, followers had been lukewarm to the concept of OnePlus releasing a tool that was certain to be much more costly than the OnePlus 6T. That cellphone was already its most costly cellphone ever when it landed shortly earlier than the fifth OnePlus birthday. Nonetheless, the 7 Professional greater than earned its regard as top-of-the-line smartphones of 2019.

Associated: OnePlus 7 Professional overview: Greater and brighter, however is it higher?

The cellphone was lovely and a technical marvel. It featured the debut of one of many business’s greatest hits of the yr: the 90Hz show refresh charge, which OnePlus markets as Fluid AMOLED. It additionally noticed the debut of the UFS 3.0 storage commonplace in a smartphone in addition to the primary gadget to hit North America with a pop-up selfie digicam.

If nothing else, the OnePlus 7 Professional is a chief instance of OnePlus transitioning from an organization that delivers fashionable flagships at low costs to an organization that’s the first-to-market with progressive options.

Hit #7: The OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord back side hero shot

Credit score: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Earlier in 2020, OnePlus launched the primary cellphone in a model new line. The OnePlus Nord, because it grew to become identified, is a part of a brand new mid-range household of telephones and different merchandise. The Nord affords lots of the core points of OnePlus telephones whereas chopping just a few corners to maintain the worth down.

Associated: OnePlus Nord purchaser’s information: Every thing you’ll want to know

In plenty of methods, the Nord represents a type of homecoming for the corporate. It began out making extremely low-cost units with only a few compromises, summed up succinctly with the “By no means Settle” slogan. Because the first OnePlus birthday, although, the corporate has morphed right into a extra mainstream participant. The Nord is a little bit of a callback to its earlier days.

Actually, the one unhealthy factor one can say concerning the Nord is that it isn’t obtainable in all elements of the world. Right here in the USA, the cellphone isn’t on the market, which is unlucky. Elsewhere, you’ll find the Nord for below $500 in native foreign money.


Miss #1: “Smash The Previous” and “Women First”

You’ve bought handy it to OnePlus: the corporate has no downside taking dangers on the subject of advertising and marketing. Between its weird TV advertisements and attention-grabbing makes an attempt at viral advertising and marketing, OnePlus is an organization that has at all times thought outdoors the field between its founding and immediately, the seventh OnePlus birthday.

Associated: These are the very best smartphone commercials of all time

Nonetheless, two of its early advertising and marketing makes an attempt backfired horribly. The primary was referred to as “Smash The Previous,” which got here out proper across the launch of the OnePlus One. The advertising and marketing stunt inspired customers to movie themselves actually smashing their present smartphone to bits. In alternate, they may have been capable of purchase the One for simply $1.00. Sadly, individuals misunderstood how the promotion labored, and hopefuls with no probability of profitable ended up smashing their telephones in error. In the long run, solely 100 individuals out of the 140,000 entrants bought a One for a buck.

Not lengthy after the misfire of the “Smash The Previous” marketing campaign, OnePlus debuted one other ill-advised marketing campaign referred to as “Women First.” The marketing campaign inspired girls on the OnePlus group boards to publish a photograph of themselves alongside a OnePlus emblem. Doing so might probably have netted them an invitation to purchase the OnePlus One. Non-participants (learn: principally males) on the boards might then “Like” these photographs. I’m certain you’ll be able to already inform how this turned out.

Miss #2: Launching with Cyanogen OS

CyanogenMod — which ultimately morphed into Lineage OS — was a customized Android ROM. Because it was beloved by the customized ROM group, followers bought extremely excited when OnePlus revealed the OnePlus One would have Cyanogen OS (a business model of CyanogenMod) pre-loaded.

This not solely represented an enormous win for Cyanogen Inc. but additionally for the customized ROM group normally. Sadly, issues took a flip fairly shortly.

Cyanogen Inc. had poor management that made some really unhealthy selections. One of many greatest of those blunders was signing a take care of a OnePlus competitor that will see Cyanogen OS because the unique working system on Indian handsets from this competitor. On the time, this was universally seen as Cyanogen screwing over OnePlus.

Associated: Cyanogen: The place did it go improper?

After all, the silver lining right here is that this compelled OnePlus to develop Oxygen OS (see earlier part). Nonetheless, OnePlus ought to by no means have labored with Cyanogen within the first place as the corporate had a hotheaded CEO who had no expertise and every part to show. At one level, he even boasted that Cyanogen would ultimately take management of Android from Google. Sure, he was that sort of loopy.

Fortunately, OnePlus has principally been capable of avoid problematic partnerships resembling this ever since.

Miss #3: The OnePlus 2

Whereas it could be troublesome to categorise any flagship OnePlus smartphone as objectively “unhealthy,” the OnePlus 2 is just about thought of to be the worst of the lot. It carried over plenty of the designs and options of the enormously profitable OnePlus One. Nonetheless, among the adjustments launched with the OnePlus 2 had been both too minor to get enthusiastic about or truly a step backward.

The largest blunder of the OnePlus 2 was the elimination of NFC assist. OnePlus defended the transfer by saying not sufficient OnePlus customers took benefit of NFC options, so there was no want for the chip. Trying again, it’s onerous to think about why OnePlus would suppose like this. Contactless funds had been starting to realize steam and Apple had launched Apple Pay a full yr earlier.

Associated: What’s NFC and the way does it work?

One other blunder was together with a USB-C port on the gadget (one of many first business smartphones with the now-ubiquitous port). Whereas USB-C ought to have been one of many star options of the cellphone, OnePlus elected to make use of a cable and adapter that didn’t conform to the USB-C commonplace. As such, the cable didn’t work with many third-party units. This prevented customers from doing easy issues like transferring knowledge from their cellphone to a laptop computer.

Fortunately, OnePlus was capable of bounce again from this fiasco shortly with the launch of the OnePlus X, adopted by the well-received OnePlus 3. Nonetheless, it was touch-and-go there for a bit.

Miss #4: “By no means Settle” turns into “Settle Typically”

Because the first OnePlus birthday, the motto for the corporate has been “By no means Settle.” The slogan encourages smartphone customers to at all times demand the very best caliber of merchandise and to “by no means settle” for something much less.

Nonetheless, over time, the motto has been used towards the corporate. It’s usually lambasted when it does issues that go towards what its group needs. Listed below are only a few examples:

  • Eradicating NFC from the OnePlus 2
  • Refusing to introduce wi-fi charging for years
  • Telling customers to “study to like the notch” on the OnePlus 6
  • Eliminating the headphone jack from the OnePlus 6T after mocking others for eradicating it
  • Refusing to pursue IP certifications for years
  • Steadily growing costs with every new gadget

There are lots of different examples on the market. The underside line is that the By no means Settle motto generally seems to be all discuss with none motion to again it up.

Miss #5: Android 10 rollout blunders

android 10 oneplus 7 pro

Again within the late summer time of 2018, OnePlus made headlines by bringing Android 9 Pie to the OnePlus 6 in simply over 40 days. On the time, this made the corporate one of many quickest to ship the most recent Android replace to a non-Pixel handset.

The OnePlus 6T, launched shortly after, got here with Android 9 Pie out of the field. It grew to become the very first cellphone available on the market with that distinction.

Associated: Samsung has raised the bar for Android updates

Nonetheless, issues modified for OnePlus beginning in 2019 with its rollout of Android 10. Though it introduced Oxygen OS 10 for the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Professional solely 18 days after the launch of the brand new working system — thus beating its earlier feat by an enormous margin — the rollout began and stopped a number of instances. The rocky begin was as a consequence of a number of bugs and points with the secure launch.

In a while, OnePlus introduced the Android 10 rollout for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T. These rollouts additionally began and stopped just a few instances as a consequence of bugs and different issues with the software program.

It seems that, in its efforts to maintain up its repute as being one of many first to ship Android updates, OnePlus took issues too far and began placing velocity over high quality management. Whereas OnePlus followers drastically respect that their units normally see the most recent model of Android earlier than almost anybody else, they may gladly wait just a little longer if it means the replace is totally purposeful.

Miss #6: The 7-series cellphone overload

OnePlus 7T in glacier blue and frosted silver with OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition

At most OnePlus birthday events over the previous seven years, the corporate has celebrated the discharge of both one or two telephones. In 2019, nonetheless, the OnePlus birthday celebration had extra telephones to rejoice than ever earlier than.

In 2018, OnePlus launched three smartphones: the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T, and the marginally completely different OnePlus 6T McLaren Version. With that in thoughts, listed here are the telephones OnePlus launched in 2019:

  • Could — OnePlus 7
  • Could — OnePlus 7 Professional
  • August  — OnePlus 7 Professional 5G
  • September — OnePlus 7T
  • October — OnePlus 7T Professional
  • November — OnePlus 7T Professional 5G McLaren Version

That’s six completely different units all beginning with “OnePlus 7,” which is extremely complicated. Issues get much more complicated whenever you discover out that solely sure units can be found in sure areas of the world making it troublesome for customers to purchase confidently.

In 2020, the corporate launched much more telephones than in 2019. Fortunately, a few of these units are within the Nord line, which makes it simpler to distinguish the varied merchandise. Nonetheless, that brings us to the ultimate “Miss” of this publish…

Miss #7: The OnePlus Nord N10 and N100

OnePlus Nord N100 in the hand showing the back close up

Credit score: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Earlier on this listing, we referred to as the OnePlus Nord one of many greatest hits for the reason that first OnePlus birthday. Nonetheless, the opposite two telephones within the line are absolute misses in just about each method.

Whereas the OnePlus Nord provided basic OnePlus staples for a low worth, the N10 and N100 minimize out almost all of these options. There are not any in-display fingerprint sensors, no OnePlus design aesthetics — even the well-known bodily alert slider is lacking. The one issues that make these telephones OnePlus units are the brand on the again and the truth that Oxygen OS powers them. Nonetheless, even Oxygen OS is kneecapped by launching with an out-of-date Android model that may solely get one replace. Yeesh.

Associated: OnePlus Nord N100 overview: When price range doesn’t imply worth

Though the corporate has at all times borrowed closely from its mother or father firm Oppo, the Nord N100 is especially egregious. It’s actually an Oppo A53 with just a few minor alterations.

Right here’s hoping future Nord telephones provide a bit extra bang for the buck. With terrific price range telephones from Google, Samsung, and even Apple on the cabinets, OnePlus might want to strive so much more durable than this.


These are our greatest hits and misses to rejoice the seventh OnePlus birthday. Are there any hits or misses you suppose ought to have made the listing? Tell us within the feedback!

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