While all the companies refresh their smartphones this time each year, September and October belong to Apple’s iPhone. Nothing else is going to get as much press because nothing else is going to make that kind of dent in the market. What a company like Oppo releases has an effect on Oppo. What Apple releases affects everyone.
But that doesn’t mean the iPhone represents the best release of the year. It is just the one that is gong to most move the needle. For Android users, the most exciting smartphone announcement might well be the OnePlus 6T, a well-reviewed smartphone that won’t break the bank.
From the very first OnePlus phone, the strategy was to offer a kit full of the best specs with good industrial design at an unbelievably low price. According to The Verge, they have a revised formula, but one that has produced the same result.
“The trade-offs that OnePlus has made are easily noticed: the 3.5mm jack makes room for a larger battery, while the absentee LED allows for a smaller notch at the top of the display. Both decisions bring OnePlus closer in line with the mass market and further away from its origins as an edgy outsider willing to make a phone dedicated to the needs and desires of an enthusiast audience. With expanded mobile operator deals across the globe and sales in T-Mobile stores and support for Verizon in the US, OnePlus as a company is signaling a stronger intent to compete in the mainstream market.”
The OnePlus 6T was called a good phone at a favorable price. That hardly sounds like a negative. But the most fervent OnePlus enthusiasts might take it that way. They are used to having no compromise, even if it meant the phone would not sell very well or make any profit. OnePlus users never wanted to feel like the mainstream.
However, the OnePlus 6T made some very mainstream compromises for a better chance at profitability. Despite early protests to the contrary, Oppo has removed the headphone jack. That was a major concession for a bigger battery. OnePlus also gave up the notification light for the sake of a smaller notch.
What OnePlus got in return was a very compelling smartphone that has a chance to be discovered by a mass market. They have been picked up by Verizon which is a big deal for a company with very little U.S. penetration.
OnePlus 6T starts at $549, and comes loaded with 128GB of RAM, along with technical advances like a fingerprint reader underneath the display. If you happen to be an Android user in the market for a new smartphone, don’t let this one get buried underneath the Apple hype.