Not even six months have passed since the main competitor of Apple and Samsung discontinued its flagship OnePlus 5T (our review). According to rumors – in connection with the imminent presentation One Plus 6.

Total – 3 flagship smartphones a year, similar to each other, like 2 drops of water. OnePlus, you are not Apple! What are you doing, stop it!

OnePlus went to success

Remember where success began One Plus One? The market was dominated by Samsung, HTC and Apple. A normal smartphone cost 500-600 dollars. It seemed like an outrageous price.

Want a modern, tech-packed phone? Pay. No Chinese – they barely got state employees.

The answer was the “flagship killer” OnePlus One with a modest price tag and a unique distribution system. It had a modern, cool platform; good camera; responsive operating system. But more importantly, OnePlus is well built with quality components.

Price One Plus One: 16 GB – 300 dollars, 64 GB – 350 dollars

To buy at the official price, a smartphone had to be ordered in advance, paid for, and only then received from the official website. The crazy waiting time was compensated by a good margin of performance and the absence of resellers’ markup.

Competitors: Samsung Galaxy S5 – 700 dollars, Sony Xperia Z2 – 650 dollars, LG G3 – 600 dollars. The difference is 2 times!

The main advantage of OnePlus was the development philosophy: the absolute freedom of the user regarding the operating system. Cyanogen OS taught a whole generation of developers to create flexible devices in which you can optimize everything for yourself. Compared to analogues stuffed with branded services, this is a paradise for a geek. An incredible opportunity for 2014.

One Plus 2 cost a little more than its predecessor $330 for 3/16 GB and $390 for 4/64 GB, but became more widespread, including resellers. The third model of OnePlus was released and appeared on the shelves of all stores. The first “Xiaomi flagships” have become catching up, OnePlus is quite an expensive mainstream.

Availability has played a cruel joke: the assembly has become worse, the operating system is less developed, and the price is almost 2 times higher. So also the race of flagships forced (did it force, or played into the hands?) The founders of the company to release several models a year.

So, in 2017-2018, the current OnePlus smartphone costs exactly the same as the previous Samsung or Apple flagship. It seems that the “flagship killer” is more profitable, because it is newer and faster in synthetic tests (spoiler – no).

But not everything is so clear.

Prices up, logic – to zero. Is this the key to success?

The popularity of OnePlus was influenced not only by the price. Own design, successfully combining all the delights of other developers, already from the third generation

The company’s devices have always used the best components – in fact, the same ones as other brands. top cameras Sonypowerful processors Qualcomm. The American concern broke the well-established system.

For large manufacturers, 1 top Qualcomm processor appears every year. But six months after the release of “1 + 3”, the optimized Snap 821 appeared on Snapdragon with a lot of advantages. All manufacturers of Android smartphones instantly reacted to this, including Samsung and Xiaomi (which by that time was actively rushing into the upper segment).

OnePlus is left with nothing but to present to the world “1+3T” (our review) – a modification of a smartphone already familiar to everyone. Buyers saw no reason to switch devices in a device with a faster and cooler processor, an updated front camera with a huge resolution.

The same fate befell the fourth generation of the company’s smartphones: the 5 and 5T (our review) differ only in the screen (frame and frameless) and the platform invisible to the average buyer. Geeks love the update.

But the average layman does not see major improvements already with OnePlus 3.

And not only them, but also specialized resources. Because there are no major changes in the smartphones of the Chinese brand since 2016. Yes, the same can be said when comparing Samsung S7/S8/S9.

We can say that the current generation of OnePlus is becoming a good choice because of its insane performance. But synthetic parrots in tests do not reflect reality for a long time. In addition, the company has repeatedly come across with cheating results.

A unique design that takes the best from Samsung and Apple? Strict forms, but rounded back cover; touch-sensitive home button, volume mode switch, recognizable speaker grilles and the lower location of the audio jack – but 2.5D edges of the screen. Only this does not apply to the “six”

And “1 + 5” compared to the “troika” is less convenient, suffers from screen problems and shoots worse than the iPhone 7 Plus or S7! Compare Cameras One Plus 3T:

… and One Plus 5:

OnePlus 6 cannot boast of unique ergonomics. And what can he boast of, if he is almost completely based on previous works? If only by software problems: the quality of the camera, the connection in OnePlus smartphones is steadily declining as new products are released.

Is the flagship race over?

Say that Apple has the same with the iPhone 8? But along with it, the iPhone X came out, and those who wish can still buy the iPhone 7 that has fallen in price. OnePlus leaves no chance for those who want to buy a smartphone of the previous generation: the declared, competitive price is valid only when buying from the official website.

Samsung does the same. The current flagship is unreasonably expensive, but the Galaxy S8 generation in Russian retail is already approaching OnePlus in price. Dropped to the limit. And there is also S7 worth about 20-25 thousand. For the same price, you can find many “iPhones” – new and used. Already in Russia and with a guarantee. Why do we need such a competitor?

Yes, older flagships are slower. But they have their advantages: a camera, a proprietary shell, quality, after all. They sell better than the current tops. A striking example of this was the iPhone 7, holding the title of Apple’s best-selling smartphone.

If we turn to statistics, then the most popular in 2018 are not the most powerful, but the most balanced smartphones. The middle and slightly lower segment, in which Chinese devices are firmly established with the leader in the face of Xiaomi and iPhone SE.

Devices that have become simplified versions of flagships or last year’s technology leaders are sold a little worse. Huawei, Xiaomi and ZTE are especially firmly established here while catching up.

What does OnePlus offer? Year-round marathon of unfinished new products, constant shortages and imaginary improvements.

Before the announcement of a new smartphone, sales of the previous model are terminated. Retailers are in no hurry to cut prices – they need to sell the leftovers before another generation of “1 + 1” appears. Pot, don’t boil!

Seriously, many stores have not yet run out of triples at the official price. At 5T, dealers lowered prices to the expected level of $500 a week ago, and many who still want the usual “five” did not have time to buy – but this can no longer be done. Although, our review shows that the new generation does not have many advantages. But the price has gone up.

Not the best tactic for partners. Or maybe OnePlus has a completely different goal – offering a more familiar product, preparing buyers for Oppo and Vivo, so that they can sink into oblivion with their arrival?

Or will OnePlus become the “premium line” of the Chinese conglomerate OPPO/Vivo/OnePlus, like ZTE’s Axon?

What is the smartphone of the future

The latest models from Samsung and Apple prove that the future is already here. Smartphones have reached a certain ceiling in their development. As a result, we will see the “workhorse” of our favorite brand twice a year, and a unique concept once a year or two.

However, this is even beneficial – there is no longer a need to update the device once a year. After skipping a couple of years, you will get fundamentally new functions. It will be an interesting device. And if you need a smartphone right now, you can always buy last year’s flagship.

Another thing is ultra-expensive fashion and conceptual models, including even the iPhone X, ZTE Axon M, new Vivo and Samsung Note (of any generation). They drive the industry forward by forcing competitors to move.

But among these concepts, the advantage is for those who have unique developments regarding the use of the device, and not its speed. For example, Face ID. After all, only fans need an iPhone X without it and a detailed optimized iOS for its price. The rest will prefer the “seven”, and it will be a good choice.

It’s a pity that OnePlus leaves its customers no choice. It does not pull on a smartphone of the future – it does not need naked power, but a polished firmware and something that improves the life of the buyer.

This One Plus 6 cannot offer: a camera from the “five”, a body from 5T, a standard processor for 2018. Nothing new. Apart from bugs, of course. This is not the smartphone of the future. This is the smartphone of the past.

Goodbye OnePlus. I will miss you.

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An end to flagship killer races. iPhone competitors are starting to die out.

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