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OnePlus 6T: Looking back at OnePlus’s rare failed phones, OnePlus X and OnePlus 2

OnePlus has come a long way from its OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X debacles. With OnePlus 6T launch just hours away, let’s take a look at the two rare failed OnePlus phones.

tech Updated: Oct 29, 2018 10:56 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
OnePlus 6T,OnePlus X,OnePlus 2
With OnePlus X, the company aimed at the budget and mid-range smartphone segments(OnePlus )

OnePlus made a big entry into the Indian smartphone space in 2014. Touted as the “flagship killer”, OnePlus One became an instant hit in India despite an “invite-only” system and unfamiliar CyanogenMod ROM for end users. Four years later, OnePlus is India’s top premium smartphone player and gearing up for its biggest launch of the year, OnePlus 6T.

OnePlus may have emerged as an unstoppable force in the premium segment in India. But the company has seen its fair share of low points. Unlike OnePlus 3 and above series, the company experienced downward spiral with its OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X, a phone that was supposed to catapult the company into India’s hot budget smartphone segment. So, what really went wrong with these two products?

OnePlus 2OnePlus 2 launched in India in 2015. From OnePlus’ standards, the phone was a minor incremental upgrade over the predecessor. In terms of specs, it wasn’t behind the competition either. It featured 5.5-inch full HD display, 4GB RAM, 16GB/64GB storage, 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras, and 3,300mAh battery.

According to OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, the company got “arrogant” with the smartphone and skipped a few important features. He also acknowledged that the phone failed to resonate with then core community who loved OnePlus phones for its flexibility to customise software and other elements.

“We got really lucky with the first OnePlus. If you talked to me back then, I’d have said it was because we had a great small team and marketing, but now I think it was as much luck and timing,” he told TrustedReview in an interview. “We got arrogant with the OnePlus 2. We wanted to create a more mainstream product, and as a result we missed a few things. We didn’t have NFC and a few other bits. We forgot who our users are; they’re not mainstream users, at least not right now.”

Another challenge with OnePlus 2 was the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a chipset that was widely criticised for performance and overheating issues.

OnePlus X is still listed on the company’s US website with a price tag of $199 (Rs 14,000 approximately). (OnePlus )

“The processor was a bit of a challenge . The 820 is a lot better – and looking back, if we’d had the guts to not release the OnePlus 2 and had waited until 2016 (one year without a product), we may have been in a better place,” he said.

OnePlus X
Roughly three months after launching OnePlus 2 in 2015, the company launched OnePlus X, a phone aimed at the budget segment. The smartphone was available at a starting price of Rs 16,999. The launch of OnePlus X indicated at the company’s renewed focus on the budget segment which would later be won by Xiaomi in coming months.

Not that the phone wasn’t popular enough, the company cut too many corners to keep the prices down. The 13-megapixel rear camera was also a disappointment. Later, OnePlus announced it was abandoning the OnePlus X series. CEO Pete Lau told Engadget that OnePlus was going to launch just one “true flagship” line instead of trying to win the competitive low-end price game.

First Published: Oct 28, 2018 17:54 IST