Now, I caught onto the OnePlus hype train way later than a lot of other folks, but the OnePlus 6T, the device I bought that day, was something of a sweet spot for the company—still a reasonably low price, but also packed with innovation. The first in-screen fingerprint sensor in a phone in the United States. And a decent speed and screen.
Sure, the haptic engine kind of sucked, and the speaker was whisper quiet, but it was a good phone and exactly the perfect intro to the Android ecosystem. OxygenOS, its custom take on Android, is fairly devoid of bloat, which is nice, and the company kept improving. Every time I upgraded, I told myself I’d be switching back to iOS; every time, I ended up going with OnePlus. Now the phones are nearly as expensive as the devices that made me balk three years ago, and yet I’m still using OnePlus.
(Some additional context here: The Chinese-operated OnePlus was born as something of a spinoff of OPPO and are two of the many brands sold within the BBK Electronics conglomerate. BBK is kind of like the General Motors of phones, except Chinese. Which makes me realize this whole newsletter is kind of like me complaining about Pontiac having lost its way.)
While Lau—who recently moved into a role overseeing OPPO as well as OnePlus—said that OxygenOS would remain a distinct part of OnePlus’ identity, early signs seem to suggest
that may not be the case.