Why OnePlus is Still Succeeding with Developers and Enthusiasts

We all know OnePlus to be a brand that began its journey through controversy. The OnePlus One remained in the limelight not only for its hardware and price tag, but also for all the claims and tactics employed by OnePlus to ensure that the device became one of the most talked about smartphones in enthusiast circles. It was an exercise in viral online marketing, and they arguably succeeded.

 

With the OnePlus 2, they tried to adopt a slightly different approach than what worked with the OnePlus One. While the company doubled down on hyperbole with the “2016 Flagship Killer” moniker, OnePlus did tone down their once socially-controversial marketing tactics, foregoing practices such as “Ladies First” and the thoroughly-hated Invite system. What they also toned down was the developer friendliness of the device, as a few key resources (like sources for the fingerprint sensor and laser autofocus for the camera, and VoLTE support) were not delivered to the community at the times requested. As such, the development scene of the phone could not reach the levels of its predecessor.

After the OnePlus 2 Update Trainwreck, Software Support is Paramount to OnePlus’ Success

The OnePlus X, although a capable product targeting an increasingly forgotten niche (small-screen smartphones), was rather awkwardly placed in market for a fair few reasons: some related to its smaller screen size and hence subsequent demand, and some related to the average-at-best hardware… ultimately the phone could never take off.

And then came the OnePlus 3. The actual 2016 flagship (pre-3T) fixed a lot of wrongs with the OnePlus 2. Combined with the best SoC from Qualcomm in the form of the Snapdragon 820, the OnePlus 3 was better suited for the flagship killer moniker based on its commendable performance. The phone could stand up against several flagships in terms of overall hardware, some hovering at twice the price, and still come out ahead. There were a few drawbacks with the device, like an average camera experience, but such issues could be overlooked when considering the phone’s price and rest of the hardware and software experience, as well as genuinely useful features like Dash Charge or the alert slider.

Suggested reading: Dissecting Performance: What Makes the OnePlus 3 & 3T Excellent Real-World Performers

Something OnePlus also improved on the OnePlus 3 was its developer responsiveness, communication and strategy. The company was perhaps fearing repeating the mistakes they had made with the OnePlus 2, and seeing how the community collectively hated OnePlus’s attitude towards the device, they turned over a new leaf. The company started off on the right foot by dismantling the criticized invite-system for the device for good. This was followed up by a very quick release of the kernel sources and device tree for the device — mere hours after the launch of the phone. We even saw one of the quickest CyanogenMod (unofficial) releases ever. Developers did note that one key feature and major selling point was missing from the sources: Dash Charging. OnePlus promised that this would reach developers eventually, and followed up on the promise by releasing the Dash Charging kernel code and proprietary binaries in about six weeks of the phone’s release. We still have not achieved resolution when it comes to the issue related to camera quality on custom ROMs, though that’s not really the fault of OnePlus due to the fact that open sourcing the camera HAL is not be as easy as Carl Pei originally thought. Either way, OnePlus did go out of its way to help developers by setting up communication channels with them, and in some cases handing out units to them as well.

Roughly a year ago, OnePlus also announced a key change with how it handled software and updates. OnePlus was looking at merging its Chinese software UX, HydrogenOS with its global software UX, OxygenOS. The primary purpose of this merger was to combine both the teams onto the same roadmap and provide quicker software updates to all users, irrespective of region. Originally, people questioned how this change would shape up the new OxygenOS experience, as HydrogenOS tended to lean towards a brighter and more customized UX, one that was likely appreciated by users in China but was not liked as much in the global market given it was quite removed from Stock Android. However, as we have witnessed so far, a lot of the changes in OxygenOS over the year have been unanimously accepted by the users. Some changes, like the Alert Slider changes do continue to infuriate some users. But for the most part, the response to OxygenOS has been positive as it balances itself between customizations and a close to stock Android feel (as opposed to HydrogenOS, a direction that could have been taken by OnePlus).

The major highlight of OxygenOS from an enthusiast’s perspective is the division of updates between the Stable branch and the Open Beta branch (previously known as Community builds). Such a division clearly divided the needs of the enthusiast community from that of the average consumer, allowing OnePlus to serve the needs of both without alienating the other. An average consumer is a lot less accommodating towards bugs and would gladly wait for a polished product instead of something that could break during daily use. An enthusiast on the other hand, often trades that expectation of stability for a chance to try out the latest developmental and experimental features right now and provides feedback to help shape the future of such features.

The Open Beta essentially serves as a very long soak test. Most other OEMs resort to private soak testing before beginning staged rollouts, and then sometimes end up pausing such rollouts when unforeseen bugs appear. Adopting the Open Beta approach allows OnePlus to secure a wider tester audience, a wider timeframe and wider use cases to test and polish updates before beginning their rollouts in the stable channel. And, unlike traditional soak tests, they actually make it an effort to continuously add new features.

The Open Betas themselves have become very popular within the enthusiast community. Despite not being considered as stable themselves, the builds are usually fine for general usage and are good candidates for daily drivers for people who do not mind an occasional bug. Over the year, and as far as the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are concerned, OxygenOS Open Betas have played testing ground to features like expanded screenshots, data firewall and data saver, gaming do not disturb mode, automatic night mode, EIS and camera quality improvements, ambient display and lift up display, app locker, parallel apps and much, much more. As a consequence though, there is a significant time lag in these features appearing in Open Betas to them appearing in the Stable release, even after they have been seemingly perfected.

With the launch of the OnePlus 3T, some were concerned that OnePlus would be ignoring the OnePlus 3 to favor the newer device. These were fueled by OnePlus’ decision to entirely discontinue the sales of the OnePlus 3 after existing stock depletion despite the device being just about half a year old. But as they promised, software support for the OnePlus 3 continued alongside the OnePlus 3T. With the merging of OxygenOS for both the devices into a single unified build, both devices have essentially become the same phone as far as software is concerned. The unified build approach was also adopted by the custom ROM development community and most major works present in our forums provide a single set of modifications to be applied irrespective of the specific phone (3 or 3T), with certain packages discerning how to apply specific changes upon flashing. So while many people would still consider a half yearly upgrade controversial and largely unnecessary, myself included, it did have an impact in how the developer community shaped around these two devices. A refresh may have just prolonged the scope of the OnePlus 3 by convincing more people to purchase a OnePlus 3T, in turn increasing the combined user base.

OnePlus’s rediscovered willingness to aid developers thankfully did not stop at the OnePlus 3/3T, even though they had a few setbacks as they haven’t always complied with the GPLv2 in time. When the OnePlus 5 arrived, it came along with the device tree and kernel sources needed to kickstart development activities right at the get-go. The phone followed it up with several OxygenOS updates that added in missing features like EIS capabilities on 4K video as well as several bugfixes. The OnePlus 5 does not have an Open Beta program just yet, but this will change once the OnePlus 3/3T are updated to Android Oreo.


What happens to the OnePlus 3 and 3T after Oreo?

Sadly, it is too early to say what happens when OnePlus brings over Oreo to the 3/3T. Android 8.0 will be the final major version update for this set of devices from OnePlus, so the phones will very likely need to rely on the community to help it tide over the rest of its years. That is not to say that the OnePlus 3/3T will not receive any updates beyond Oreo as OnePlus’s statement does leave open the possibility of smaller, minor updates.

And the Oreo update just seems to be right around the corner. The OnePlus 3 Closed Beta group has already received its first taste of Android Oreo, and the company aims to deliver an Oreo build to the Open Beta channels by the end of September for the OnePlus 3/3T as well as the OnePlus 5. For a change, OnePlus is not mentioning any deadlines for delivering Oreo in the stable channels, preferring to just act quick and hopefully let their actions speak for themselves.

What we would like to point out with this article is that OnePlus as a company does appear to have evolved into a more mature entity, one that realizes that fulfilling promises matters, and that actions can speak louder than words. The OnePlus 2 was criticized heavily for being a classic case of overpromising, compromising and under delivering, but the past year with the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T and now with the OnePlus 5, the situation does appear changed.

That is not to say that OnePlus is without faults, nor is it to say that their current products are free from any issues. In fact, we at XDA-Developers have been the first ones to break controversial articles highlighting several shortcomings. We criticized the OnePlus 3 and its aggressive RAM management and inaccurate display calibration in the Reviewer software builds; to which OnePlus had to respond with a Reviewer OTA that fixed these issues. We revealed upon the OnePlus 5 launch how OnePlus was manipulating benchmarks to maximize scores; to which OnePlus responded with statements that mentioned that these were intended to showcase the peak potential of the device, and that such performance is “natural” (we disagree) as well as sustainable and does no harm to the device as there is no overclocking involved. The OnePlus 5 inverted display issue which caused jelly scrolling was also documented and confirmed by us;  to which OnePlus responded that the visual effect is “natural” and there exists no variance in screens between devices. We’ve also covered the 911-reboot bug on the OnePlus 5; OnePlus responded with a quick hotfix OTA update as well as followed it up by explaining the cause of the bug and mentioning that they worked with Qualcomm directly to fix the issue (which was reportedly present on phones from other OEMs as well).

The frequency and timeliness of the responses to these “controversies” is what differentiates the OnePlus of 2015 from the company post-OnePlus 2; even if the responses may not be what we would have liked them to be. Overall, their public relations team has seemingly done a good job at responding to the hiccups the company has had, even if they lost a few fans along the way. The community still has a few complaints carried over from the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X as well, like how the Marshmallow update for the X was delayed for far too long; and how OnePlus backtracked on their own promise to deliver Nougat to their 2016 flagship killer after keeping owners in the dark for several months.

But beyond that, it’s fair to say that the OnePlus 3 marked the company’s coming of age as an OEM. And as members of a website that focuses on software modifications, it’s refreshing to see that their flagships have at least partially filled in the void left behind by the demise of the Nexus program. All of OnePlus’ devices have already received unofficial Android 8.0 Oreo builds:

So it’s not too difficult to see why OnePlus continues to remain a popular choice in our forums, and why it’s becoming increasingly popular among mainstream consumers in several markets as well (for different reasons). Their ability to respond to their vocal community definitely had a hand in their recent successes, or at the very least, minimizing their recent missteps (and there have been many).


 

Android 8.0 Oreo Closed Beta Available For Select OnePlus 3 Owners

OnePlus does not have a clean record when it comes to delivering timely updates. The company even denied the second major update to its flagship – the OnePlus 2 and the budget friendly OnePlus X. However, OnePlus is now looking to do some damage control by working on Android 8.0 Oreo update for the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and the OnePlus 5.

Closed Beta for OnePlus 3

As we reported earlier, the company also announced it publicly that the OnePlus 3/3T will get Android Oreo update soon. According to the latest report, OnePlus 3 was spotted running Android 8.0 Oreo in closed beta. It is quite surprising that the company is testing it on OnePlus 3 that was unveiled in June 2016 instead of the more recent OnePlus 5 or OnePlus 3T. We don’t know why OnePlus chose OnePlus 3 for beta testing, but the good news is that the company has finally started working on the Oreo update.

Plagued with bugs

Users enrolled in the closed beta have received a message from OnePlus stating that the current Android 8.0 build is full of bugs. The build is reportedly plagued with many issues – NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, hotspot/tethering, and more functions are not working properly. Besides, OnePlus also warns that the OTA or any other update may cause more issues.

Despite the number of issues on the current build in closed beta, OnePlus is expecting to have stable builds ready by the mid of this month for the OnePlus 3/3T and OnePlus 5. We can expect Android 8.0 public beta to debut before October. If OnePlus sticks to the timeline as promised then it could be a milestone in its update history.

Last major update for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

As sweet as it sounds, but Oreo will be the last treat for the OnePlus 3/3T, after that both the devices will not get any major update except for security patches.

Are you a OnePlus 3/3T or OnePlus 5 user? Do you think OnePlus will stick to its promise this time? Let us know your thoughts through the comments section below.



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OnePlus 3 gets Oreo in closed beta, public beta could open this month

It looks like OnePlus is trying to be first out of the gate with an Oreo update.

According to Android Police, based on an anonymous tip from an alleged beta-tester, the Shenzhen-based company is currently testing Android 8.0 Oreo on the OnePlus 3. The test is part of a private, closed beta program, as opposed to the open beta program that OnePlus offers to everyone who’s interested.

Read: OnePlus 3/3T update tracker

As you would expect so soon after the official release of Android 8, this initial beta build is said to be unstable and incomplete. The communication stack is particularly buggy, with “nonfunctional NFC, buggy Wi-Fi, unstable hotspot, and wonky Bluetooth.”

OnePlus told testers that it hopes to have a stable beta by mid-September – in just one week! – followed by the opening of the public beta by the end of the month. That’s an extremely ambitious timeline and we wouldn’t be surprised if OnePlus failed to abide by it. Still, if the tip turns out to be accurate, OnePlus deserves a kudos for working hard to get Oreo out in record time.

For reference, the first Nougat open beta for the OnePlus 3 was launched on November 30, 2016. The stable update started rolling out on the last day of the year, according to our trusty Nougat update tracker.

It’s interesting that OnePlus appears to be working on the OnePlus 3’s Oreo update, and not the souped-up 3T or the new OnePlus 5. It’s possible that development is underway for all three devices, but only the OnePlus 3 has leaked out so far.

In the past, the company got heavy flak over the way it handled Android updates, mainly for ditching Nougat for the OnePlus 2 (and refusing to admit it for months) and the belated release of Marshmallow for the OnePlus X. Perhaps OnePlus is trying to clean up its image?

OnePlus previously said that Oreo would be the last major update for the OnePlus 3/3T.

We’ve reached out to OnePlus to confirm the leaked timeline and we’ll keep you posted.

Change the Splash Screen of OnePlus Devices with SplashInjector

There are many ways to customize your device such as icon packs, third-party launchers, and themes. If you are rooted, you can also change the boot animation, which is the often colorful logo that appears before Android boots up. But there’s also the splash screen, which is the very first thing that shows on your device before the boot animation. It lasts only a few seconds and usually just shows the manufacturer’s name. Customizing the splash screen is usually more difficult than changing the boot animation or anything else, but thanks to a new tool for OnePlus devices, it’ll be really easy to change splash screens.

XDA Senior Member bobglaus created “SplashInjector,” a basic command line interface tool based on the Splash Screen Image Injector created last year by XDA Senior Member makers_mark. The tool supports all OnePlus devices except the OnePlus X (meaning the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and OnePlus 5) and it has been developed in order to make modifications to the boot splash screen easy and painless for an extra touch of customization.

The developer states that the tool is a bit “hacky” with support for Unix-based systems primarily. Support for Windows arrived in version 1.52, however, the tool loses the ability to package files on the respective OS. Developers can use tools such as Android Flashable Zip Creator in order to make-up for the lost ability. The tool (in its current state) can successfully decode and encode all the “logo.bin” files for every OnePlus device supported. It has the added ability to pack flashable zips automatically.

All that’s needed to be done is a quick run of the “decode” command followed by preference-driven edits to the files in the output folder. The “encode” command will pack everything back up. In order to create a package out of all of the above, the “package”command is essential. Usage instructions have been conveniently hosted at GitHub right here.


Change Splash Screens with SplashInjector

OnePlus offers discounts on Oneplus 3T, 5 smartphones to celebrate 1,000 days in India, Telecom News, ET Telecom

NEW DELHI: OnePlus today announced the successful completion of 1,000 days of its operations in India. To celebrate the milestone with its users, OnePlus has announced a special promotion event ‘OnePlus 1,000 Days’.

During the ‘OnePlus 1,000 Days’ sale, the company’s flagship devices OnePlus 3T will be available at a special price of Rs. 25,999 against the regular price of Rs. 29,999. The promotion offer will be rolled out on the 5th of September 2017 and continue till the 7th September 2017.

During the three day promotion period, customers can also avail additional cashback offer of Rs. 2,000 on Axis bank credit and debit cards along with other attractive offers including Rs. 2,000 on exchange of their old phone on both the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5. In addition, customers can avail up to 12 months of zero cost EMI offer and 100 lucky customers can win complimentary domestic flight vouchers from Cleartrip.

Speaking on the occasion, Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, India at OnePlus, said, “We are pleased to offer exclusive benefits to celebrate the 1,000 days of OnePlus in India. The fast growth of the brand in India is attributed to the strong support from OnePlus community who truly resonate with the spirit of ‘Never Settle’ and our exclusive sales partner Amazon.in. Since our inception, we have been on a journey to develop premium flagship phones that combines fast, high end hardware with equally high end design. Our journey has just begun, the best is yet to come.”

What started out as a simple idea: to provide the world with the best Android Flagship, has come a long way since then. Today, OnePlus is successfully positioned as a customer first and innovative player in the premium smartphone segment. As per the recent IDC Q2 2017 market report, OnePlus has a market share of 14 percent in the premium smartphone segment (USD 400 and above).

The OnePlus journey in India began with the launch of our very first flagship OnePlus One that disrupted the smartphone industry with its unique system adaptation abilities. The brand continued to disrupt the industry with its own operating system Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. The company’s motto of ‘never settle’ was further enforced with the launch of its fourth model, the OnePlus 3, a phone that introduced the fastest and safest battery charging technology (Dash Charge).

The OnePlus 3T, its successor, improved the brand’s offering with greater features and propelled it to the top three premium smartphones by the end of the year. The OnePlus 5, launched in June this year, represents the pinnacle of OnePlus’ desire to provide its users with the best possible user experience with the highest resolution Dual Camera set-up and unmatched performance with up to 8GB of RAM coupled with world’s fastest processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and its proprietary Dash Charge technology.

OnePlus celebrates 1,000 days in India

New Delhi [India], Aug 31 (-NewsVoir): OnePlus today announced the successful completion of 1,000 days of its operations in India. To celebrate the milestone with its users, OnePlus has announced a special promotion event ‘OnePlus 1,000 Days’.

During the ‘OnePlus 1,000 Days’ sale, the company’s flagship devices OnePlus 3T will be available at a special price of Rs. 25,999 against the regular price of Rs. 29,999. The promotion offer will be rolled out on the 5th of September 2017 and continue till the 7th September 2017.

During the three day promotion period, customers can also avail additional cashback offer of Rs. 2,000 on Axis bank credit and debit cards along with other attractive offers including Rs. 2,000 on exchange of their old phone on both the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5. In addition, customers can avail up to 12 months of zero cost EMI offer and 100 lucky customers can win complimentary domestic flight vouchers from Cleartrip.

Speaking on the occasion, Vikas ?Agarwal, General Manager, India at OnePlus, said, “We are pleased to offer exclusive benefits to celebrate the 1,000 days of OnePlus in India. The fast growth of the brand in India is attributed to the strong support from OnePlus community who truly resonate with the spirit of ‘Never Settle’ and our exclusive sales partner Amazon.in. Since our inception, we have been on a journey to develop premium flagship phones that combines fast, high end hardware with equally high end design. Our journey has just begun, the best is yet to come.”

What started out as a simple idea: to provide the world with the best Android Flagship, has come a long way since then. Today, OnePlus is successfully positioned as a customer first and innovative player in the premium smartphone segment. As per the recent IDC Q2 2017 market report, OnePlus has a market share of 14 percent in the premium smartphone segment (USD 400 and above).

The OnePlus journey in India began with the launch of our very first flagship OnePlus One that disrupted the smartphone industry with its unique system adaptation abilities. The brand continued to disrupt the industry with its own operating system Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. The company’s motto of ‘never settle’ was further enforced with the launch of its fourth model, the OnePlus 3, a phone that introduced the fastest and safest battery charging technology (Dash Charge).

The OnePlus 3T, its successor, improved the brand’s offering with greater features and propelled it to the top three premium smartphones by the end of the year. The OnePlus 5, launched in June this year, represents the pinnacle of OnePlus’ desire to provide its users with the best possible user experience with the highest resolution Dual Camera set-up and unmatched performance with up to 8GB of RAM coupled with world’s fastest processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and its proprietary Dash Charge technology. (-NewsVoir)

OnePlus Confirms Android O is Last Big Update for OnePlus 3/3T

We think it’s fair to say that OnePlus has a rocky reputation when it comes to software support of their older devices. Some of this may be due to the company using an older SoC for a smartphone they just released (the OnePlus X in this case), while they say others are because of their premature software team at the time (the OnePlus 2 in this case). With the company releasing the OnePlus 5 recently, it has led many to wonder how software will be supported on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T going forward.

So there’s been a surge in questions about software support for the OnePlus 3/3T on their forums and they decided to pool a few of them together for some answers. To do this, they brought in OnePlus’ Head of Product, Oliver, as they’ll be able to given official statements on the topics at hand. The first question starts off by asking why the OnePlus 5 has received more updates since it was released than the OP3/3T has had during that same time frame.

Oliver says the company dedicates a lot of time during the 1-2 months after a new device is released to iron out/add some of the most requested bugs/features. A higher frequency of updates for a brand new phone isn’t unexpected though, and we generally see a few from major OEMs which are trying to fix bugs and improve stability for a newly released device. Another question from different forum member asks why the Open Beta for the OP3/3T has more features than the stable branch.

Oliver says this is how the Open Beta has always been as it enables them to test and experiment with new features even though they aren’t guaranteed to make it into the stable branch anytime soon. Another question asks about security updates and they’re told that due to a delay in OxygenOS 4.5 for the OP3/3T these security patches for August will be pushed “soon” by themselves and without the big 4.5 update.

The company then clarifies that features such as the Reading Mode, new off-screen gestures and DCI-P3 screen calibration will not make it to the OP3/3T due to hardware differences (though we should note that the OP3T uses the same panel as the 5, and there is at least an incomplete screen profile labelled DCI-P3). This Q/A ends off by asking Oliver how long the OP3/3T will receive software support. We’re told that Android O will be the last major version update the OnePlus 3/3T will receive, and that security updates will continue “for the foreseeable future” as well as support for individual application updates.


Source: OnePlus

OnePlus 2 Boots with a Tampered Secondary Bootloader

It’s fair to say the OnePlus 2 doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to the Android enthusiast community. It used the Snapdragon 810 SoC (which has had a ton of criticism), never received Android 7.0 Nougat (even though it was promised), and has been shown to have vulnerabilities in the past that OnePlus refuses to fix. Now, a new discovery from Aleph Security again shows the OnePlus 2 boots with a tampered Secondary Bootloader.

This means that OnePlus has designed the Primary Bootloader of the OnePlus 2 to not do any validation of the Secondary Bootloader at all. Speculation from the research team says this may be due to a lenient hardware configuration. So this vulnerability allows an attacker to tamper with the secondary bootloader partition and then completely disable the signature validation of the rest of the bootloader chain. Not only that, but this can also result in signature validation being disabled for other SBL-validated partitions such as TrustZone and ABOOT as well.

They continued working with the vulnerability and were able to easily pinpoint the exact SBL function that validates the rest of the chain. After a quick patching of the call @ 0xFEC0E90C they avoid the failing path and booting with tampered aboot and tz now succeeds. The team then proceeded to modify one of the fastboot oem commands. This enabled them to temporarily unlock the bootloader and turn off the device tampering flag.

They also confirmed equivalent partitions of older OnePlus devices (OnePlus One and OnePlus X) have no digital signatures at all so they are vulnerable as well. When they got in contact with OnePlus about this OnePlus 2 vulnerability, they were told the device would not be fixed since it is “about to reach the product’s lifecycle.”


Source: Aleph Security

OnePlus 6: what we want to see

The OnePlus 5 is a remarkably accomplished phone considering it comes from such a young company and at such a low price. It has a strong new design, a great new camera and all the power we’ve come to expect from a OnePlus handset.

There’s little doubt that the company will follow it up with the OnePlus 6 next year – unless it decides to skip a number again – but where can it go from here?

Well, if you ask us, there’s actually plenty that can be improved, good as the OnePlus 5 is. So, we’ve come up with a wish list of the things we want to see from the OnePlus 6.

We’ll also be adding all the credible leaks and rumors about the phone to this article. There’s not much to go on yet, but we can make an educated guess about a few things.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next flagship from OnePlus
  • When is it out? Possibly June 2018
  • What will it cost? A lot, but likely less than most high-end handsets

OnePlus 6 release date and price

The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 3 were both released in June of their respective years, so in or around June 2018 is our best guess for the OnePlus 6.

That said, it’s not a month that OnePlus always sticks to, but for its main numbered releases (aka everything except the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus X) it does always launch them around the middle of the year, and there’s currently no reason to think that will change for the OnePlus 6.

Price is harder to guess at. OnePlus phones consistently undercut rival flagships, but they’ve also been creeping up in price. The OnePlus 5 starts at $479 (£449, around AU$630) and it’s likely that the OnePlus 6 will cost at least this much. It may even cost more.

OnePlus 6 news and rumors

There aren’t any OnePlus 6 rumors yet, but we can take a guess at some things. For example, OnePlus has just switched to a dual-lens camera system for the OnePlus 5, so we’d expect dual-lenses will get at least one more outing, though their specs may differ.

And OnePlus has stuck with a 1080p screen while rivals have pushed the resolution up. Will 2018 be the year OnePlus moves to QHD? Perhaps, but the company hasn’t shown any interest in that particular arms race, so our guess is that it will once again stick with a trusty 1080p panel. And a 5.5-inch one at that, since that’s always been the company’s screen size of choice.

The OnePlus 6 is also likely to pack one of the latest and greatest chipsets – perhaps the Snapdragon 845. And we’d guess RAM will top out at 8GB, just like the OnePlus 5, as lowering it might look like a downgrade but we struggle to see how any more than 8GB would be beneficial.

What we want to see

We don’t know anything about the OnePlus 6 yet, but we know what we want from it. The following five things top our wish list.

1. A QHD screen

OnePlus has stuck with a 1080p screen on all its handsets to date, and while that was top-end in the days of the OnePlus One, it now lags behind compared to the QHD+ (and even 4K) displays that are becoming increasingly common.

Given their generally mid-range prices, OnePlus phones can still just about get away with a 1080p resolution, but they’re intended to be flagships, and with each passing year their screens feel less and less flagship-worthy.

So, we’d like to see the company step things up for the OnePlus 6 and give us a pin-sharp QHD display.

2. A microSD card slot

OnePlus tends to offer a generous amount of storage in its phones. The OnePlus 5 for example comes with a choice of 64GB or 128GB, but there’s no microSD card slot, and such a slot is one of the main advantages Android has over its iOS rivals.

While most users will probably be fine with the built-in storage, some will want room to expand, so a microSD card slot would be appreciated in the OnePlus 6.

3. An affordable price

One of the best things about OnePlus handsets is how affordable they are, but the price has been creeping up. They still undercut most flagships, with the OnePlus 5 starting at $479/£449 (around AU$630), but it’s on the edge of having a high-end price.

What we really don’t want to see is another price rise for the OnePlus 6. If the company can push the price back down below the level of the OnePlus 5 then all the better, but keeping it around the same seems more realistic, and would keep one of the phone’s main selling points intact.

4. Water resistance

The OnePlus 5 looks and feels great, but it lacks any kind of water resistance, so you’d better keep it dry.

Water and dust resistance were once fairly niche features, but they’re now becoming almost standard on flagships and even some mid-rangers, and they’re genuinely useful features to have, as anyone who’s ever got a call in the rain will tell you, so we’d like to see water resistance added to the OnePlus 6.

5. Better audio

The OnePlus 5 kept the headphone jack despite some rumors that it wouldn’t, but we shouldn’t really be applauding a phone for keeping core features and in most other ways the audio experience isn’t great.

That’s especially true when relying on the built-in speakers, which can’t match audio from handsets like the HTC U11, and are easy to accidentally block with your hands when holding the phone.

For the OnePlus 6 we’d love to see – and hear – high-quality, front-facing stereo speakers, so audio quality remains strong however you choose to listen.

6. A bigger, longer lasting battery

The OnePlus 5 comes with the firm’s Dash Charge technology, allowing you to get a decent slug of juice from just 30 minutes of plugged in time. That’s all very well, but the battery itself generally lasts a day on a full charge, but no longer.

What we want from the OnePlus 6 is a phone that will comfortably stride into day two on the same charge and get us to at least lunchtime before requiring a top up.

An easy way to achieve this would be to issue a larger battery. OnePlus actually reduced the size of the battery in the 5, so an increase for its successor would be lovely.

7. Under-screen fingerprint scanner

The first phone to sport a fingerprint scanner under the screen may be about to arrive in China thanks to Vivo, and the iPhone 8 is hotly tipped to follow suit later this year.

If the OnePlus 6 can follow suit and put the digit reading tech under the display, while reducing the bezels then it really would have something to shout about.

  • The LG G7 is surely in the works too.

These are the official OnePlus cases for the OnePlus 5

You have stylish OnePlus 5 case options right from Day 1.

Even though its newer phones don’t offer removable backs like the OnePlus One and 2 did, OnePlus has put a notable amount of time into guaranteeing that you have a set of sleek, simple cases available to protect and personalize its phones. The legacy continues with the OnePlus 5, where OnePlus is launching a set of familiar wooden shells and a thicker bumper case at the same time as the phone.

Here’s what you can expect.

The first three cases (simply called a “Protective Case”) will be familiar to anyone who has seen the offerings for the OnePlus X or OnePlus 3 and 3T in the past. These super thin shells come in two different wood varieties, a “karbon” faux carbon fiber look, and the trademark “sandstone” finish, giving your OnePlus 5 a little bit of protection and style without adding much bulk.

There are big cutouts on the top, bottom, and sides to give you a “barely there” kind of feel. The cases feel great and look super unique. The sandstone one in particular offers a ton of extra grip in your hand, while the wood varieties are very rigid and thin with a lighter texture.

Then you have the new “Karbon Bumper Case,” which took the finish previously offered as an option on the thin shell case and applied it to a more complete bumper option. The Karbon Bumper Case wraps around the entirety of the phone and is a bit thicker, with rubber along the sides and a harder plastic on the back in a cool carbon fiber-like pattern. Overall, it offers further drop protection than the thin shells and provides a lip along the front of the phone so you could put it face-down on a table without scratching the glass.

The sandstone shell case retails for $19.95, while the wood and karbon protective shell cases are $24.95 each, and the karbon bumper case is $29.95. They’re available from the OnePlus store.