“Why OnePlus is disappointing their fans” Let me explain so from the beginning and this is an important fact to sort of keep in the back of your head for all this oneplus is a brand owned and managed by a company called bbk electronics and that company also runs the brands for oppo vivo and realme. While all these companies are sort of viewed as independent and they’re independently managed and run they’re also kind of related like brothers so anyway okay the oneplus story starts pretty hot right they’re the new kid on the block they’re a fresh face and their first phone is a pretty massive success it’s a the oneplus one and this phone especially in the enthusiast community catches on instantly you know they can barely keep up with orders they have this wild invite only purchase system to get your hands on it.
The phone is hard to get right off the boat and the reason that this phone is such a massive success is because it’s positioned perfectly as maybe the original flagship killer. So it’s coming from a new upstart company that’s not spending millions on marketing, they’re really listening to comments and their forums and they’re delivering features enthusiasts really want and they have an incredible price to performance ratio they partnered with cyanogenmod for the software for a custom near stock android experience it was like a souped-up version of the nexus 5. They didn’t cut corners with specs and performance and they added features with software updates and they were active within their community and it all comes from this young hungry upstart that kind of feels like a startup that was the kind of energy i could get behind i really liked this phone when it came out and i feel like if you’re putting together a list of like the best phones of the last decade i think this has to be on it so oneplus as a company starts building up from that right and there’s a few botched marketing campaigns here and there i suspect just from them not really being very familiar with this new market they’re working with. But very quickly they’ve broken in and they just carve out this identity as Being the new enthusiast phone with bang for the buck but remember remember that fact i told you to keep in mind from the beginning of the blog oneplus is a new company but they’re not Exactly a new company remember, they’re a sub brand alongside vivo and oppo and realme so while a lot of their phones and their startup style management is really fun.
If you’ve paid attention over the past couple years to some of their designs and even their oldest stuff a lot of oneplus phones are also oppo phones it goes all the way back to that oneplus one came out around the same time as the oppo Find 7a, two different phones from two different companies but related companies so the hardware shares a lot of parts and most of the substantial difference is in the software. Since oppo is targeting one market and oneplus is targeting another same idea with the oneplus 5 and the oppo R11. I mean put them side by side and tell me without the logo you could tell these apart a little bit. After that there was oneplus 6T that looked a lot like oppo R17 and even today you have oneplus new nord n100 which is visually almost indistinguishable from oppo’s a53 and even some oppo technologies like VOOC charging get rebranded and included in oneplus phones as DASH charging. None of this is a bad thing so how do i bring this up well the oneplus brand has been evolving right in front of our eyes clearly they started off this company that was very focused with one phone per year bringing the hype with the maximum value for the lowest price and diving deep into enthusiast features and listening to users and forums and on social media all of that but that isn’t sustainable by itself. The enthusiast market is a tiny fraction of the entire market and so while being the enthusiast favorite is great they definitely want to leverage that status to be able to sell to the whole rest of the market and so we’ve seen lots of attempts at that over the years first of all their flagship pricing as you’ve seen has slowly crept up year over year. The oneplus one started at $299 when it first came out flagship killer status and it’s slowly bumped up over the years to now oneplus 8T starts at $899, so they have those early phones starting with one plus one one plus two one plus three but they also tried phones like the oneplus x which were more fashion focused they started dropping more phones per year with a t version and a pro versus non-pro version and their latest attempt the nord which has turned into a full-blown line of budget phones in different regions for different low prices.
Now to the enthusiast this may seem disappointing like they aren’t as focused as they once were with this one hard-hitting phone per year to slay the giants as they now go chasing the mainstream and so there’s this pretty new narrative playing out in headlines and comments that oneplus is sort of turning into oppo with all these new phones that are coming out but if you’ve been paying attention then you already know oneplus has been taking pages from oppo’s playbook since the very beginning and both companies along with pretty much every other major smartphone company wants to sell Eventually to as many people as possible.
There’s almost no way that an enthusiast brand doesn’t eventually disappoint you because there’s only two ways their future can go either they will move on from enthusiasts and try to eventually sell to the rest of the world the mainstream buyer which is a little disappointing or they continue to try to appeal to the most fickle crowd in the world that is also the smallest and eventually find that that’s not good enough to sustain a business and they die and that’s also pretty disappointing.
So the moral of the story today is don’t be a fanboy meaning don’t become such a fan of a company that they can eventually betray you and let you down be a fan of the products themselves so if a company you like drops a bad product maybe it’s time to consider other options it sounds super simple because it is but a lot of people don’t have quite the same luxury people working at oneplus for example probably feel differently about the company they work for today than when they started especially if they’ve been working for the company for a long time matter of fact many people from that company’s early days have left so the oneplus story has been pretty crazy you know on one hand it is pretty unusual to see i mean it’s pretty rare and actually kind of refreshing that you see a new brand or a fresh face sort of break in and disrupt things and shake it up a little bit. On the other hand you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain now this isn’t to say oneplus is like done and they’ll never make another good phone again and no i actually think they’ve sort of created a dna that will allow them to probably keep making a lot of really good phones phones that i continue to use and like i’m sure that’ll keep happening but i think if you’re looking for the best bang for the buck or even the the most enthusiast focused smartphone brand well that’s new shoes to be filled that’s going to be a sort of a rotating spot at the moment seems to be a lot of Redmi a lot of Poco and probably some new brands coming up will be in there too.
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