Following the news that the company’s largest (256GB) storage variant of their flagship model OnePlus 6 went out of stock just a week after its launch in multiple regions including the US, the UK and Canada.
“As smartphones mature, storied brands such as Sony, LG and HTC are struggling to compete against Apple and Samsung. However, OnePlus has found a niche of value-oriented buyers who are willing to buy a flagship phone online at a discount.
‘OnePlus is offering a significant discount to rival its large-screen flagship
s competitors whose current retail pricing ranges from $800 to $1,000. It has all the latest technology and a nearly stock version of Android. The company has added the latest design language alongside Qualcomm’s most powerful processor, while still maintaining a price point hundreds of dollars less than the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9+.
Part of the savings comes from OnePlus’ business model; it designs and sells just a single phone at a time, it does no advertising, and it only sells direct online. Selling premium phones direct is not unique to OnePlus; Huawei’s Honor and Xiaomi also sell this way, though both of those companies have many low-end phones in their lines, too.
The OnePlus 6 has top-of-the-line specs starting at just $529/€519/£469. It sports a large, 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a notch design. The company has added the latest silicon and imaging capabilities: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and a dual camera rear setup for depth effects. OnePlus 6’s software OxygenOS is close to stock Android, and the model supports Google’s Android P beta at launch. While OnePlus has kept the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, it is also selling its first wireless headphones and Bullets Wireless, which are also well-priced at $69.
While the OnePlus 6 is excellent value, there are compromises. In the past, OnePlus was a step or two behind the leaders on camera quality and design. The latter is no longer true: the OnePlus 6 looks like every other glass-on-glass-with-notch flagship we have seen this year. However, while the camera has gotten better, it still lags the very best from Google, Apple, and Huawei. Those competitors offer their phones in two sizes, while the OnePlus 6 effectively only comes in extra-large. The OnePlus 6 does not have wireless charging, and it is only water resistant, not fully waterproof.