OnePlus, the technology startup best known for its ‘flagship killer’ phones, has arguably lived up to the hype, at least in India. OnePlus’ first flagship, the OnePlus One, made its India debut in 2014. With a highly competitive price tag of Rs 21,999, OnePlus One was among the first to offer 64GB storage on mid-range device, a feature that was limited to premium smartphones with a price-tag of around Rs 50,000. OnePlus continues to disrupt the smartphone market by giving users good value for money Android devices that can easily take on high-end phones.
For instance, OnePlus 2 had a new alert slider, while OnePlus 3 got the company’s Dash charging technology. Of course, the latest processor and a top-notch camera has been consistent features on all OnePlus phones. OnePlus 6, the company’s latest flagship, will be announced globally on May 16. As OnePlus 6 launch nears, we trace the company’s journey, highlighting that extra feature in each of its flagships that gave it an edge over competition in the price range.
What set OnePlus One apart from other mid-segment devices of 2014 was the introduction of a 64GB storage variant. At a time when users could only get 8GB, 32GB storage options on phones in the price range of Rs 21,000, OnePlus One offered much more at no extra cost.
OnePlus One had a sandstone back, a design that the company continued on its next flagship as well. The phone was launched with the latest Snapdragon 801 processor, coupled with 3GB RAM. The 13MP primary camera gave good results and several options, including burst mode and 4K recording to choose from. [Read our review of OnePlus One here.]
With OnePlus 2, there were a lot of firsts. The 64GB variant was priced Rs 24,999. The company’s proprietary alert slider was introduced on OnePlus 2, a feature that has continued on the OnePlus phones that followed. It essentially lets people easily switch between silent, ring and do not disturb mode. The phone had the same sandstone finish back that we saw on the OnePlus One.
OnePlus 2 also had a USB Type-C port instead of the traditional USB Type 2.0 charging slot which got mixed reactions. Remember, this was 2015. While the feature was ahead of its times (at least for mid-range phones), it required users to carry around a Type C cable which was not easy to find in 2015.
In our review, we said the phone had one of the best Android cameras. The clicker was fast and had an HDR mode that impressed. The phone also supported 4K recording. However, we faced overheating and app crash issues on the phone. In our one month review, we observed unexpected battery drains. [Read our review of OnePlus 2 here.]
OnePlus 3 marked a design change from sandstone back to an all metal body design. The phone has curved edges, a square rear camera module and visible antenna lines on top and bottom of the back cover. The phone looks stylish, without being too flashy. OnePlus 3 was the first OnePlus smartphone to get support for the company’s Dash charging technology. With the feature, the company promises a day’s power in 30 minutes of charging.
OnePlus 3 is powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and 6GB RAM was introduced for the first time on a OnePlus phone at a price of Rs 27,999. One of the best features of OnePlus 3 was its camera, which was at par with Samsung S6 edge and LG G5. [Read our review of OnePlus 3 here.]
OnePlus 3T, a mid-cycle upgrade to OnePlus was announced within three-four months of OnePlus 3. The phone was updated with the Snapdragon 821 processor, a 16MP front camera instead of 8MP on OnePlus 3, a bigger battery and a new 128GB storage version.
OnePlus 3T was priced starting at Rs 29,999 and the higher-end 128GB storage model cost Rs 34,999. [Read our review of OnePlus 3T here.]
The biggest change on OnePlus 5 was the introduction of dual rear cameras that also support the ‘Portrait’ mode. OnePlus used a combination of 16MP primary wide-angle camera and a 20MP telephoto lens. Though OnePlus 5 continued with a metal unibody design, the antenna lines on the back cover were muted and dual cameras are aligned horizontally.
Notably, the phone resembled the Apple iPhone 7 Plus in terms of design. Under the hood, OnePlus 5 packed the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor coupled with 6GB/8GB RAM and 64GB/128GB storage. [Read our review of OnePlus 5 here.]
OnePlus 5T was launched as a mid-cycle upgrade to OnePlus 5 and it featured a larger 6.01-inch Full View screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The rest of the features were the same as OnePlus 5, except for f/1.7 aperture on both rear camera lens for a better low-light photography and a full display. The fingerprint scanner on OnePlus 5T has been moved to the back cover. [Read our review of OnePlus 5T here.]
Do not forget the OnePlus X, the Onyx version of which had a glass back design. Yes, OnePlus 6 will not be the first OnePlus phone to sport a glass back.OnePlus X Onyx and Ceramic versions were launched within three months of the launch of flagship OnePlus 2 smartphone in 2015.
Though OnePlus argued that the OnePlus X was not a flagship product, it included Full HD OLED screen, Snapdragon 801 processor, 13MP primary camera, and mode. OnePlus X Ceramic version sports a scratch-resistant ceramic back, while rest of the specifications remain the same as OnePlus X Onyx. OnePlus X Onyx version was made available at Rs 16,999 and Ceramic variant cost Rs 22,999.[ Read our review of OnePlus X here.]
OnePlus’ flagship for 2018 – OnePlus 6 – will come with an all-glass design and a glass back, the company has confirmed. OnePlus 6 will also be the first OnePlus phone to offer a massive 256GB storage. For the first time, OnePlus is expected to introduce water-resistance on its smartphone, something that has hinted by the company in an official teaser. The phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor and it will feature a Full display but with one big change – a notch on top of the screen.
OnePlus says it has tested over 1000 apps on the Google Play store which are compatible with the notch and the company will even let users disable it during gameplay as well as landscape mode. Wireless charging is also expected for OnePlus 6, which will be launched in London on May 16.