back to article OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits

As Chinese phone-maker OnePlus launched its latest phone, co-founder Carl Pei confessed that the company was inspired by cults. Fanatics have smashed up their existing (non-OnePlus) phones to get one, and queued for hours in the scorching heat just to fondle one. The launch event is the product: OnePlus sells fans tickets to …

  1. Joe Drunk

    OnePlus had invited fans to show that they had destroyed their existing phone in order to get the chance to obtain a OnePlus One for $1. Destruction didn't guarantee a replacement, however. Some did just that and were left with no phone at all.


  2. Quentin North

    OnePlus = Apple for Android

    Nothing really new in the religious following idea. Going back as far as the early Mac vs PC wars, Apple was always about belief in the brand rather than value for money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OnePlus = Apple for Android

      Nope. That would be Xiaomi. The so-called Chinese/Apple of Android.

      OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo brands are owned by the same company.

      OnePlus just has Oxygen OS compared to the clunkier skins of Android found on Oppo, Vivo etc. Hardware-wise, they're more or less the same, with Oppo/Vivo more aggressively targeting lower price points in developing countries.

      Huawei is a more interesting situation... it manufactures telephony equipment and peripherals (think Motorola), and it also uses Kirin HiSilicon chips, designed and produced by Huawei. In that aspect, Huawei is similar to Apple (A-series chips) and Samsung (Exynos).

    2. ' DROP TABLE CommentTards;

      Re: OnePlus = Apple for Android

      major difference is it's half the price.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OnePlus = Apple for Android

      "Apple was always about belief in the brand rather than value for money."

      It amazes me. Friend of a friend had problems running mail merge on a very old PC. Someone told her she had to buy a Mac, which she did, because that would solve all her problems. Now she's booked an appointment at the Apple store where they're going to have to explain to her that she will have to run Windows on her Mac because the software isn't OS X compatible. I am keeping clear.

  3. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Nice phone but...

    I like my Oneplus5 but...... it's a phone. Rectangle of glass and plastic that has the usual electronic gizmos inside. I don't get the phone fetishists. But then I don't get people who worry about car makes either. Or brand names on clothing.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Nice phone but...

      Yep! Value for money and function will get me as a customer. I don't care about being the first to own a new shiny either, much better to wait and see a decent amount of user based reviews before smashing my piggy bank. Even El Reg reviews are have the professional biases of the reviewer I prefer the thoughts and opinions of a wide number of average users.

      I do have a couple of items of clothing with brand names on them but I always feel as though someone should be paying me for promoting their brand, although perhaps my sense of style might put people off rather than encouraging them to buy.

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Nice phone but...

      Aren't you forgetting that each brand (be it a phone, car etc. manufacturer) typically has its own in-house design style/language which is applied across several versions of its product, and the result of this can be that two essentially identical things (phones, cars etc.) can end up feeling significantly different to use purely because of how those manufacturer-specific design elements fit in with your personal outlook on what said thing ought to look/behave like...

      There are some cars I would never buy purely because I don't like how the controls are arranged, even though essentially they're exactly the same cars (engine size, load carrying capabilities etc.) as the ones I would buy, and that's before you start getting into purely trivial stuff like whether you think the car looks nice or not (and yes, shallow as it may sound, there are some cars I'd never buy on that point alone, no matter how close to perfection their interior layout might be).

      Same with phones - having spent my entire smartphone-owning life using phones designed by (if not always badged as) HTC, I now find myself struggling to accept how any other type of phone looks or feels in use unless it's so close to how HTC do it that it doesn't matter. Every time my wife or one of the kids asks me to sort out something on their variety of Samsung phones, the difference in how the softkeys are arranged (HTC puts back on the left, Samsung puts it on the right) causes me no end of problems due to my now deeply ingrained muscle memory for where I expect those controls to be, and that's before you then get into all the other tweaks they choose to apply to the stock Android experience - config settings being located in different places, some settings only being available on one or the other phone but not both etc.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Nice phone but...

        Now that Samsung phones have on-screen Back and Task Switcher keys, they can be easily swapped over to the normal Android positions.

        My previous Android phones had all been close to stock Android (Xperia) or stock (Nexus), so I was pleasantly surprised to find my Samsung Galaxy straightforward to use (once I had disabled the hardware Bixby button of course) having been apprehensive about Samsung's TouchWiz UI.

  4. pro-logic


    Any chance the reg is going to do a review of this one?

    I'm thinking of making this my next phone but would rather that has a decent camera. OnePlus has a reputation for sub-par camera performance.

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The OnePlus return system is poor. They don't supply VAT invoices - something no reviewer mentioned. A few months after a OnePlus is released, Samsung's top offerings are reduced to much the same price ( see OnePlus 5T Vs Galaxy S8), and said Galaxy will offer waterproofing, wireless charging and greater support from 3rd parties (HDR certification, ARCore). These aren't essential features for everyone of course, but nice to have. I have no immediate plans to buy a wireless charging mat, but it's good to know I can in case I ever break my USB socket.

    Tl;dr OnePlus are competitive, but they're not amazing value for money.

    1. mosw

      Canadian OnePlus experience

      A friend and I both bought a oneplus 3 off the Canadian oneplus web site. It has has been a great phone for me with regular updates and great performance. Last year his stopped working outside the 1 year warranty. He contacted OnePlus, they sent him a FedEx return package and he had his repaired phone back in his hands within 48 hours. There was no charge for either shipping or the repair despite being out of warranty. It might have helped that they have a warranty repair center less than 100km away. So when I am ready to replace mine in a year or two they will be high on my candidates list. Not sure if this kind of service is specific to Canada so YMMV.

    2. Waseem Alkurdi

      And said Galaxy will not offer an unlocked bootloader, KNOX WARRANTY VOID, and the TouchWiz/Samsung Experience/whatever that ugly skin is called today?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slavish copying to the last

    "We wondered if there was a possibility of creating a brand that also feels more like a club or like a religion?"

    Yes, it's called Apple and they do it considerably better than you Pei.

    The Chinese were once highly innovative but Mao and Communism pretty much bludgeoned that spirit from the population.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Slavish copying to the last

      "Yes, it's called Apple and they do it considerably better than you Pei."

      Well, no. Because how many Apple fanbois do you see smashing up their phones just to get the next iPhone for $1?

      1. DNTP

        Re: Smashed Apple Fanbois

        WAY back in 2001, my friend got his foot run over by a mail cart when we were standing in line at the local Apple store for the OSX launch event, does that count?

      2. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Slavish copying to the last

        "how many Apple fanbois do you see smashing up their phones just to get the next iPhone for $1?"

        It's never been offered. I bet at least some would if it were.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slavish copying to the last

        "Well, no. Because how many Apple fanbois do you see smashing up their phones just to get the next iPhone for $1?"

        Actually I'm aware of more than one person (in Sales) who managed to "lose" their corporate BlackBerry once iPhones became an option. Add in the higher level execs who simply were able to demand them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slavish copying to the last

          I maybe don't see people smashing theyre iphones to get a new one for a quid (because it's a gimmick that's never been tried), but I'd say that camping outside a store for over a week before launch of a product to ensure that you have one an hour or so before those who don't is pretty much the definition of a daft cult.

    2. DenTheMan

      Re: Slavish copying to the last

      Not them, their practicing members are the cult, Apple being just very good at capitalising on loyal needs.

      As we know, all planned and unplanned obscelescence faults are members doing it wrong.

  7. TheProf

    the extra £150?

    I make the difference £70 (469-399) but it's a long time since I left school and I know they teach sums differently now.

    Maybe some people are prepared to pay £70 more for this years top o' the range processor chip, extra RAM and a wee bit more screen.

    OnePlus 6+64GB = £469 6.28" 2280 x 1080 Snapdragon 845

    Nokia 4+64GB = £399 5.3" 2560 x 1440 Snapdragon 835

    Honor 4+64GB = £399 5.84" 2280 x 1080 Kirin 970

  8. Velv

    Wasn’t the big “thing” with OnePlus that they were not tied to certain carriers? You bought your device then stuck your SIM of choice in it. If they are now having carrier only deals then I see no differentiator over other devices.

  9. Mr_Happy

    Where did the IP rating come from, it isn't being reported anywhere else

    why do you need an SD card with 256GB of onboard storage

    what rivals stick with LCD instead of OLED

    why do you need slow battery harming wireless charging, when super fast Dash Charging is available

  10. julian_n

    "God's Will"

    It beats me why this company continues - I guess it is indeed like a religion where "bad things" are just "God's will".

    Whether it is the lack of support offered to OnePlus 2 owners or the lies and atrocious handling of the compromise of credit card details used to purchase OnePlus 5Ts - this company has a seriously lousy level of customer care.

    Of course, for fanbois, it is "God's will". For the rest of us it is an extremely good reason to look elsewhere.

  11. Daz555

    They had me when you could buy their latest and greatest for £280 and I'll say that my OnePlus 3 is a superb phone. I'm out now though. My next phone will not be OnePlus.

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