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OnePlus One to OnePlus 6: The journey of 'flagship killer' so far

21 May 2018 3

OnePlus is now synonymous with delivering flagship-level specs and high-end features at a price about half of what other flagships cost. It showed everyone that one does not necessarily have to spend a fortune to get a premium hardware/software combination and user experience. But everything was not as good as for OnePlus during initial days as it is now.

When it first announced plans to launch the OnePlus One dubbed as the "flagship killer", many of the people including experts were skeptical about the future of such a device. It was seen as another one of such startups which promise exciting and lucrative products but vanish either before the launch or soon after the product gets official because of the financial woes or some other reason. But as things have turned out, OnePlus defied all those odds and released an even better and improved version of its smartphone year after year.

It launched the latest OnePlus 6 last week which is all set to go on sale around the world this week. This is the reason we will have a look at all of the OnePlus flagships launched since its inception to see what has changed in all these years.

OnePlus One
75.9 x 152.9 x 8.9 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
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As mentioned in the beginning, it was the OnePlus One which started everything for the Chinese tech startup. It was featured on Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. While having 64GB storage is quite common nowadays and is available for as low as $200, it was the first smartphone to offer the same at a price point of $349. Most of the smartphones used to cost upwards of $500 if you wanted to have that much storage and the premium flagship.

It also featured Sandstone finish on the back panel which made it stand out from the crowd and gave it a unique identity. It is something which is seen as a signature OnePlus design even now. The only drawback to the phone was that it was sold via an invite-based flash sale system. It means unless you had an invitation to buy the phone, you could not purchase it. There were some exceptional days of open sales at special occasions but invites were the norm for the most part.

OnePlus One Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS IPS LCD display
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB/64GB storage options
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, and dual-LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3100mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat (upgradeable to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow); CyanogenMod 13/Oxygen OS (depending on the region)
OnePlus 2
74.9 x 151.8 x 9.85 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
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With the critic success of the first phone, we saw the launch of the OnePlus 2 next year. It was based on company's ideology to offer best possible features at a relatively affordable price. This is the reason we got to see the use of USB Type-C port which received mixed responses from critics and users. It was early days where not many were confident about ditching the microUSB port.

The OnePlus 2 was also the first smartphone to feature the Alert Slider which has now become an integral part of any OnePlus flagship. This slider is basically a dedicated physical button which makes it easier for users to switch among profiles (ringer, silent, and DND mode). The invite system was still there in place but in addition to that, it was battery draining issues which caused it to receive some negative feedback.

OnePlus 2 Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS IPS LCD display
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB/4GB of RAM
  • 16GB/64GB storage options
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus, OIS, and dual-LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.4 aperture
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop (upgradeable to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow) layered with Oxygen OS
OnePlus 3
74.7 x 152.7 x 7.35 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
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The OnePlus 3 was a significant smartphone from the company for a couple of reasons. First, it was the first offering to come with a full-metal build with no Sandstone finish. Second, it was the first time OnePlus ditched the invite-based flash sale system for once and all. It means it was possible for buyers to get the smartphone like any other phone in the market. It was a big step for the company as it was going to face the challenge of meeting a huge demand and be ready with supplies to reduce delays in availability or shipping as much as possible. As things turned out, OnePlus did very well and showed that it was here to stay in the smartphone business.

OnePlus also took the opportunity to unveil its own fast charging technology called Dash Charge. It claimed to offer a day's worth of power by only 30 minutes of charging. This has also become an integral part of OnePlus flagships now and is still one of the fastest commercially available charging technologies for smartphones.

OnePlus 3 Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 GPU
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB storage options
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, and dual-LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow (upgradeable to Android 8.0 Oreo) layered with Oxygen OS
OnePlus 3T
74.7 x 152.7 x 7.35 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
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The launch of the OnePlus 3T came as a bit of surprise to many of the company's fans as well as tech experts. It was the first time it announced two flagships in a year which it has now been doing every year since then. This new variant was simply a slightly improved version of the OnePlus 3. There were only a handful of changes like the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, a bigger 16-megapixel selfie sensor, a bigger 3400mAh battery, and a higher 128GB storage variant.

OnePlus 3T Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with Adreno 530 GPU
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB storage options
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, and dual-LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3400mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (upgradeable to Android 8.0 Oreo) layered with Oxygen OS
OnePlus 5
74.1 x 154 x 7.25 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
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If you are wondering where did the number 4 go, OnePlus skipped calling their next flagship "4" because of the Chinese beliefs where number 4 is considered unlucky. This is the reason it was named OnePlus 5 and was the first OnePlus smartphone to feature dual rear cameras with Portrait mode support. It used a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 20-megapixel telephoto camera which further helped in offering up to 1.6x optical zoom.

The overall design of the phone was very different from any of the previous OnePlus devices but was strikingly similar to the iPhone 7 Plus. As you would expect, it drew a lot of comparisons and many even called out the company for copying the design.

OnePlus 5 Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU
  • 6GB/8GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB storage options
  • Dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear cameras with f/1.7 and f/2.6 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, 1.6x optical zoom, and dual-LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat (upgradeable to Android 8.1 Oreo) layered with Oxygen OS
OnePlus 5T
75 x 156.1 x 7.3 mm
6.01 inches - 2160x1080 px
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Since it was the second flagship of the year, OnePlus 5T brought only a few changes when compared to the first flagship of the year. It was the first OnePlus device to sport an 18:9 aspect ratio display and bezel-less design which has started to become a trend in the industry. It was the new design with almost negligible bezels which resulted in fingerprint scanner moving from the front to the back panel. Lastly, OnePlus used a f/1.7 aperture lens for the secondary camera in the dual camera setup for a better low-light photography. The rest was exactly same as the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5T Specifications:

  • 6.01-inch Full HD+ Optic AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU
  • 6GB/8GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB storage options
  • Dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear cameras with f/1.7 and f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, 1.6x optical zoom, and dual-LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat (upgradeable to Android 8.1 Oreo) layered with Oxygen OS
OnePlus 6
75.4 x 155.7 x 7.75 mm
6.28 inches - 2280x1080 px
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The OnePlus 6 is the latest OnePlus flagship which has been announced last week. It continues with the company's philosophy of offering the best and premium at an affordable price than competitors. It features an all-glass design as there is glass now on the back panel for the first time. There is a notch on the top of the front panel which started with iPhone X but is now appearing on more and more smartphones. OnePlus has also opted for vertically-aligned dual cameras instead of the horizontal alignment.

OnePlus 6 Specifications:

  • 6.28-inch Full HD+ Optic AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio and notch
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6GB/8GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB storage options
  • Dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear cameras with f/1.7 and f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus, EIS, OIS, 1.6x optical zoom, and dual-LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo layered with Oxygen OS
  • The OnePlus 6 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus 5T isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus 5 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus 3T isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus 3 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus 2 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The OnePlus One isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.

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OnePlus One to OnePlus 6: The journey of 'flagship killer' so far
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