OnePlus in 2020: Same brand different approach

OnePlus launched the 8 and 8 Pro but…

Day before yesterday, OnePlus launched the much-anticipated 8 and 8 Pro. Although all the specs were very much true as per the leaks, but the pricing changed it all. Now this isn’t a spec summary of the phones, but this post will focus more on the company OnePlus and how it evolved. So, if you want a spec rundown or review of the phones then this one’s for you.

“Either you die a flagship killer or you live long enough to become a flagship”. Many are using this sentence to describe OnePlus’s current situation and this can be justified pretty well.

OnePlus One
Image: OnePlus


Back in 2014, when OnePlus launched its very first phone the OnePlus One, it took the market by storm because it offered great specs without a great price and everyone loved it. The Sandstone back and the alert slider became some of its key features. In 2015, they launched the OnePlus 2 and somehow that didn’t fair well, but with the OnePlus 3, launched in 2016, OnePlus changed the whole game and earned its name “Flagship Killer”. That phone changed everything for OnePlus as a brand as it made records in sales numbers. It was well received by all and even all the Tech YouTubers as well as Tech Reviewers appreciated it.

More than the phone, everyone was looking forward to OnePlus as a brand because at that time there were no good mid-range phones and OnePlus like a fairy just bridged the gap. People, especially youngsters, started liking OnePlus more than the likes of Apple and Samsung mostly because of the value for money and good specs. The user experience in OnePlus phones was good too with OxygenUI being very close to Stock Android, still possessing features like MIUI and EMUI but retaining the snappy experience. Later that year, OnePlus started a new series of phones named the T series which was also received all.


In 2019, OnePlus shifted from their general trend of launching two phones per year and started the Pro series of phones and that’s when things started to get weird for the company as Qualcomm every year released one flagship chip and so OnePlus started differentiating between its phone models and kept increasing the prices by quite a bit. From Rs. 20,000 mark in 2014, the company went to Rs. 50,000 mark with its highest model. This was not something which people were expecting from the company. According to me this was because OnePlus was starting to focus more in US market.

OnePlus 8 Pro
Image: OnePlus


Now in April 2020, OnePlus straightway launched two phones. Rather two “Flagship” phones with a hefty price tag which goes up to $999. As for the India pricing, we do not know as of writing this post but we are expecting it to start around the Rs. 40,000 mark. This is not the OnePlus which we all liked and all knew it for because like all other companies, they too started charging a good amount of money. Agreed that this year they included Wireless Charging and IP68 Rating with very good screens but still many of the users, especially in India, got angry on OnePlus just because of their pricing.

On the other hand, we now come to Apple. On April 2020 only they also launched the next generation of iPhone SE with a starting price tag of $399 (Rs. 42,499) which seems very “unApple” like because Apple always priced their products way too high but lately, they too are changing with time and understanding that there is a huge potential in the mid-range phone market. Sure, that Rs. 42,499 cannot be considered in mid-range budget but hey, an iPhone launching in this budget is also a surprise and slowly this price will get reduced and may even come down to Rs. 35,000.There are also companies like Poco and Realme who too are trying hard to take that cake in the mid-range market share. I really hope that OnePlus can understand the gravity of the situation and hence they should reconsider their strategies at least in India.

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