This article is more than 1 year old
OnePlus 6: Perfect porridge? One has to make a smartphone that's juuuust right
Standing out from the crowd is getting difficult now
Having attracted great attention when it launched by rubbishing expensive phones, OnePlus now makes phones that are, er... quite expensive.
OnePlus is therefore trying to carve out a new niche. The trouble is, OnePlus is far from unique here.
OnePlus's slogan for the 6 is "the speed you need", but the mass market is smart enough to know that last year's tech gives you all "the speed you need" too – for example, in the shape of the £399 Honor 10, or Samsung's A series, which repackaged very recent tech at a price now lower than a OnePlus.
"HMD's Nokia 8 is also a Snapdragon 835-powered dual-sensor would-be 'flagship-killer', packing great audio and more pixels. It's being aggressively discounted at £399 at Carphone, or even less on Amazon. Is it £100 worse than the OnePlus 5T?" I wondered back in December.
The niche OnePlus is trying to carve out isn't about speed at all, really, if you've been reading closely. It's about taste and restraint. More John Lewis than Heal's. OnePlus is unique in Chinese vendors in having created an experience based on refinement, rather than a clunky translation of a winning Chinese formula. I greatly prefer the OnePlus to the rigid Android One, or to the gloopy EMUI skin in the Honor, for example. The OnePlus is just nicer to use.
It would be great to think OnePlus could succeed here. But this is a brutally competitive marketplace, and it's no longer £300. We'll find out whether such a niche exists. ®