Should OnePlus have refrained from launching two handsets together?
The most anticipated smartphone launches of the quarter took place on May 14 and we couldn’t be more excited! OnePlus unveiled two devices – the affordable OnePlus 7, and the premium flagship OnePlus 7 Pro.
While the OnePlus 7 Pro has already taken the world by storm, with multiple reviews stating that this is possibly the best from the house of OnePlus so far, the OnePlus 7, on the other hand, has received a lukewarm response.
Honestly, we’re not surprised. OnePlus 7 is a good phone, undoubtedly, but it isn’t an exciting smartphone. In light of its launch alongside the OnePlus 7 Pro, it pales even further. The OnePlus 7 Pro boasts of some phenomenal upgrades, including a stupendous camera, a faster processor, vast storage options and a long-lasting battery.
The OnePlus 7 has taken everything that was great about the OnePlus 6T that was launched last year and only made it slightly better. It does have a premium design and has a lower price tag than the competition, but it still carries a notch and offers only a limited upgrade.
Unlike the varied design choices of the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company has kept to the look of the OnePlus 7 similar to its predecessor, the 6T. This makes it a look a little dated already. There’s an on-screen fingerprint scanner, just like the OnePlus 6T. The phone features a 6.41-inch AMOLED display on the front of the phone with a 2340 x 1080 display, which is good, but not as great as the OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 is only available in one colour in Western markets, which is Mirror Gray.
The cheaper handset comes with Android 9 Pie and should also have the next few generations of updates for Google’s software. You’ll also find the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset in this phone, and it comes in two RAM configurations: 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, or 8GB / 256GB. The battery spec is largely the same as the OnePlus 6T, so don’t expect too many changes there either. Some of the new features of the phone include a Zen Mode, which allows you to timeout your phone for a period of 20 minutes.
While most smartphone brands these days come up with multiple launches at the same time (Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Oppo), this is the first time in the brand’s history that the company has launched two phones at the same time. With OnePlus 7, however, the upgrade isn’t as great. Take, for instance, the recent launch of the Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL. Not only are the price propositions attractive, but the phones are also markedly different from their predecessors, and also each other. Both the phones offer something unique to two different sets of audiences, making the launch of two devices worthwhile. However, with the OnePlus 7, it just feels like a replica of the 6T, with minor, irrelevant upgrades. Moreover, the OnePlus 7 Pro is just so good at the price tag that it offers (starting from Rs 48,999) that it only makes sense to buy a much better phone by shelling out a few extra bucks.
So, should OnePlus stop the trend of launching two devices at the same time? There is no straight answer to this, mostly because the brand has to ape the competition if it has to stay relevant in the market. However, it will have to up its game in terms of coming up with handsets that don’t just seem like a lazy effort at marketing.