Since its creation, OnePlus has a soft spot within me.
April 2014 newly formed OnePlus released their first ever phone. The OnePlus One; packing 3GB RAM with a Snapdragon 801. A crisp and accurate 1080p IPS display that was enjoyed by all of those who used it. However the best thing about the phone was the price point, astonishingly OnePlus sold the phone at no profit and this was a huge risk, but it payed off. The cost? A mere £219 for arguably the best specs available at that point. Boldly it took on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, despite being not so well known. Despite a controversial invite system, the phone received glowing reviews and quickly built a fan base for the relatively new OnePlus company. By the end of the year over 1 million OnePlus One units had been sold. Obliterating the initial 50,000 target. However not all was smooth for OnePlus as they were blasted for poor customer support and some technical issues with the handset. The next year, OnePlus needed to develop the foundation they had laid, thus came the OnePlus 2. Snapdragon 810 paired with 4GB RAM and a rapid fingerprint scanner. Within 64 seconds of going on sale, OnePlus sold 30,000 units in China. Within 72 hours of being launched over 1 million reservations had been recorded, rising to 2 million a week later. There was a slight increase in the price by it rising to £279 but NFC was emitted from the handset. Getting your hands on one was hard due to the invite system still in place, but it was better than before. OnePlus had done it again, they had released a mid range smartphone for androidphiles. A wonderful Oxygen OS gave a clean user experience and unbound customisation. The same year OnePlus released the OnePlus X which was a OnePlus One in a metal body and a smaller form factor. Not only was it cheap at under £200 but it was beautiful and fast, offering incredible bang for your buck. The OnePlus X was the quickest phone to get rid of the invite system that had been despised for so long.
In my opinion it was the greatest phone OnePlus released due to its price, performance, and amazing design. 2016 saw the release of the OnePlus 3, a powerhouse of a phone offering twice the RAM that the original OnePlus had A radical redesign saw the sandstone finish, get replaced with an all metal finish, allowing it to compete with Samsung and Apple in their beauty pageant. An AMOLED panel was also used, offering better colour accuracy. Upon release there was no initial invite system, which made a lot of people content. In terms of critical acclaim, OnePlus 3 was the best, the perfect Android smartphone. But, once again the price rose to £309 but in the UK it soon soared to £329, £110 since the original OnePlus. It is sad to see OnePlus move toward the mid-high end of the pricing spectrum and the newly released OnePlus 3T confirms this. Priced at £399 and offering practically marginal gains over the 3 with a slightly faster SoC, a beefier battery and an improved camera. OnePlus should look to reboot the X line, as they have lost a lot of territory in the low end price point they had dominated in the past few years. Notable competitors such as Xiaomi have dominated Asian markets to the point where many of their phones are being imported due to the value of money they offer. If they were to do so, a 5” smartphone with the internals of even the OnePlus 2 would no doubt satisfy many. Despite the potential, I do see OnePlus moving away from the budget territory and more towards the higher end and it is a shame to see them do that