What you need to know
- In a recent interview, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said his company is re-focusing efforts to create cheap phones once again.
- It's part of a new strategy to create an ecosystem of connected OnePlus devices.
- More premium phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro aren't going away.
If you're a long-time OnePlus fan, chances are the company's last couple of releases have been somewhat disappointing. Devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 8 Pro have proven to be excellent phones that cost considerably less than ones from Samsung and Apple, but their prices have still been noticeably higher than the days of the original OnePlus One and OnePlus 2.
You wouldn't be wrong in thinking that recent OnePlus phones have lost sight of what made the company so appealing in the first place, and thankfully, it looks like OnePlus is well aware of that. In a recent interview with Fast Company, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that OnePlus is shifting gears to once again offer seriously cheap Android handsets.
Lau doesn't explicitly mention any new devices by name in the interview, but it's safe to assume that the rumored OnePlus Z will be the first cheap phone that gets OnePlus back into this niche. We do get some insight into the rollout of the phone, with part of the interview noting that:
The idea of having a genuinely cheap OnePlus phone again is quite exciting, but the company's reasoning for doing so is a bit different this time around. Back in 2014 and 2015, OnePlus needed those low prices to attract a customer base as a brand new company. Here in 2020, those low prices are now intended to get more people into the OnePlus ecosystem and build up a connected system of devices that all work seamlessly together.
Per Pete Lau:
It's not surprising that OnePlus wants to extend its offerings beyond one-off smartphones. We've already seen it dabble with wireless earbuds and its OnePlus TV in India, along with there now being rumors we'll soon see an AirPods competitor from the company. The phone is the gateway into all of this, and if OnePlus can release quality devices with lower prices, it'll be much easier to get more folks into that OnePlus ecosystem it seems so intent on making.
Even if you don't care about that ecosystem, though, you'll still be able to reap the rewards of OnePlus going back to basics with a quality Android device that doesn't cost a penny shy of $1,000.
Oneplus devices are cheaper than the likes of Samsung but I don't think you can say that they are considerably cheaper any more.
Good I'm glad I hear that. This will give those that have been belly aching about the 8 series something to focus on. My budget is pretty tight too, I'm eager to see the OnePlus Z. Though I'm sure history will repeat itself, OnePlus will launch a phone in the $400 - $500 range and OnePlus fans will complain it doesn't have wireless charging, Superior cameras or IP68. I love my OnePlus devices but their old school fans expect everything for $400.
Don't only make them cheaper, make them smaller and lighter.
Smaller does not fit in with their users tastes. Definitely doesn't work for me, I like a large screen.
The thing is in Asia, and especially in India, the general market requirement is for a big screen. Simply because for a lot of people, their smartphone is their primary media consumption device. My mother loves her OP7 because she can read very easily on the big screen
They're gonna make cheaper devices without flagship specs
Cool. I haven't bought a OnePlus phone since the 3T and price was one of the reasons (The notch/hole and lack of led notification light or always on display are the other reasons.)
I don't think they'll remove the notch/hole or add a led notification light (they are on their way out) OnePlus is working on AOD for OxygenOS.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.