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OnePlus: What changed?

OnePlus: What changed?

If you’re looking for a new android phone then surely you’ve come across OnePlus by now. Just like any other smartphone brand, OnePlus offers a ton of options. From their flagship series, down to the more budget-friendly Nord smartphone models. But, they weren’t always like the OnePlus that we see today. Their story started way back in 2014, when they released their very first smartphone. And they were game changers back then.

OnePlus has released a lot of smartphones since the OnePlus One came out in 2014.
Photo Courtesy: Android Central

Back when they released their first smartphone, the OnePlus One, they operated far differently than they do today. OnePlus did not have a ton of marketing. Instead, they focused on what consumers wanted through forums. They made smartphones with powerful specifications, coupled with an affordable price tag. Which is exactly what the people asked for. It would even be safe to say that what they were making back then were the first flagship killers.

However, something changed. Despite still releasing good smartphones, the OnePlus we see today is not the OnePlus of old.

What changed with OnePlus?

Before OnePlus took the mainstream route, they were solely focused on producing one good and affordable smartphone that enthusiasts love. So, a lot of people got the idea that that is what OnePlus is all about. They’re about delivering a phone with no compromise for a low price. Amidst mainstream manufacturers that we’re delivering flagship phones for the same price with almost the same specifications. OnePlus became like an antihero of a brand that undercut most of these mainstream smartphones at the time.

But, the thing with OnePlus is that it is one of a few brands managed by a single company. BBK Electronics manages OnePlus along with Vivo, Oppo, and Realme. So, I guess we can say that these are sister companies and are related in some way. And, through the years, we can see that OnePlus became just like its sister companies. Their phones started to look like rebranded versions of Oppo smartphones, even to this day. For example, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G looks exactly like the Oppo Reno 7 5G. And, if you look at their specifications, they are pretty identical.

Sharing hardware and technology among smartphone brands is not new. It’s also not a bad thing. But, the thing with OnePlus is as the years went on, it looks like it lost the reputation that a lot of people loved it for. Maybe they did it to keep up with the times, but OnePlus went the same way as its sister companies did. They stopped focusing on making one smartphone with the best value for a low price. Instead, they made a whole bunch of new smartphones. They made a budget-friendly series with a lot of compromises as we can see in their Nord lineup. And, they also continued making the best smartphone that they can. True flagships with big features and a big price. For context, their latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 10 Pro retails for 48,990 Pesos.

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OnePlus 10 Pro 5G is the latest flagship smartphone from OnePlus.
Photo courtesy: MobiGyaan.com

Did they do a bad thing by going mainstream?

Not necessarily. I think anyone who runs a smartphone brand would want to go mainstream. Because that’s where people can recognize and talk about the brand. You attract attention by going mainstream. And we had to see it coming. To think that OnePlus would survive until now while following the same formula that they did back when they started making smartphones is naïve. It won’t be sustainable for them if they kept doing the same thing that they did with the OnePlus One today. OnePlus did what it did to cater to the rest of the market. And that means making compromises. It also means making a wide variety of smartphones that cater to different target consumers.

If you’re one of the people who hate OnePlus for what they’ve become, then you have to understand this. As a company, OnePlus’ focus will always be to make a profit. To do that, they have to sell to as many consumers as they can. And, there are a lot of different kinds of consumers out there. OnePlus has to make a phone that will suit different types of consumers, not just the smartphone geeks and enthusiasts.

And, while they aren’t the OnePlus that focuses on creating flagship killers anymore, you can’t deny this. They still make amazing smartphones. They might not be a brand that is focused solely on pleasing smartphone enthusiasts. But, a lot of new up and coming brands are making waves right now. So, as someone who is always on the lookout for the best value and flagship killer smartphones, maybe it’s time to move on from OnePlus.

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