OnePlus going back to its roots with affordable smartphones

In recent years OnePlus has moved toward building ever more expensive smartphones. The recently launched OnePlus 8 Pro costs $899, a long walk away from when the OnePlus One launched for $299 in 2014. It was dubbed the ‘flagship killer’ and for good reason.

Read: iOS 14 update highlights its greatest strength over Android

The original OnePlus One brought flagship specs at the time – the Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, and a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display – at less than half the price of competing flagships from the likes of Samsung, Apple or LG. While the latest phones do pack more flagship features, like a much improved camera, fans of the brand miss their budget-friendly smartphone offerings.

They may get their wish soon. According to CEO Pete Lau, the company will be bringing its “premium, flagship experience” to a lineup of new smartphones with a “more accessible price.”

They will be launched in Europe and India first, with North America following suit “in the near future.” Details about the upcoming devices are scarce to non-existent, but we do know that the team behind the new devices is led by Paul Yu, who was responsible for product hardware development for many of OnePlus’ phones in the past.

OnePlus’ journey to offering flagship priced devices kicked of right after their extremely successful launch of the One, with the launch of the OnePlus 2 soon thereafter. It increased the price of the phone by 30%, and the rest is history. Pictured above, the design of that phone is still one of our favourites, with the sandstone back panel being unique, durable and good-looking all at once.

A major strength of the OnePlus phones is it restrained use of customisation of Android software. It delivers timeous and extended software updates to their phones, which is something rare in the Android world. It is the main advantage that iOS has over Android.

As the company grows, they will start offering a wider range of smartphone options and we all stand to benefit. Hopefully an official reseller can bring the phones to South Africa soon.