OnePlus 6: Demystifying the excitement and expectation

Pete Lau, Founder & CEO, OnePlus interacting with fans in Delhi

The release date of the OnePlus 6 is very near and the buzz is in overdrive. There is a set of people who are eagerly waiting for the device. There is one group that is not happy with the confirmation of the notch and there is another that is keenly waiting for the price. Overall, the buzz is very high and expectations are soaring. Let us try and understand why the OnePlus 6 has everyone so excited

Ever since the release of their first phone, the OnePlus One, OnePlus as a brand have been on the top of the minds of the consumers and commentators like. There are many reasons for this. One of the most important reasons was the fact that they were making and selling phones that could give the top-end flagships a major run for their money at just a fraction of their cost. The devices were not available offline and people were not able to walk to stores and buy them, even then, there was a huge demand for the devices. The combination of top of the line hardware and smooth experience at a very reachable price was the reason. The people who wanted them were ready to get them shipped to a foreign country and then forwarded to them home. They were jumping through all sorts of hoops to get their hands on them.


The company along with Xiaomi, was one of the first few that broke the traditional mold of marketing and used their customers as brand ambassadors. Word of mouth and brand goodwill spread exponentially. The demand was sky rocketing and they had to resort to a very contentious invite system to manage that and even then the demand kept growing.

When it was time for the OnePlus Two to hit the market, the expectation was at it’s peak and for some reasons, the device fell short of what the people were waiting for. The falling out between Cyanogen – which was a very sought-after Android fork those days and the brand meant that they had to scramble to cover their bases and come out with Oxygen OS which was a homegrown Android flavor. The device had issues like heating and the OS had some bugs. People were generally not happy with the package. It was at this point that the company did something that brands rarely do, they owned up to the shortcomings and listened to users.

OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition Rear Dual Camera

Armed with the feedback and issues list, the brand went to work and incrementally fixed issues that were reported. The device got better with incremental OTA fixes. Oxygen OS grew from strength to strength from there and came to a point where today it is regarded as one of the best, leanest and fastest flavors of Android. There are other brands that are now striving to strip their UI of heavy customization and get to where Oxygen OS is.

The fact that OnePlus listened to users and issues meant two things, the users were very happy and engaged and the brand was getting better and better equity in mind share. When it was time for the next release – The OnePlus 3, the brand played expectations down and very swiftly got the device out.

oneplus 3 leaning

The OnePlus 3 in many ways was the turning point in the OnePlus brand story. The design was radically different, the camera bump made it’s first appearance and the company owned it like a boss. The OP3 and Oxygen OS combination with the fact that it was one of the first devices with 6GB RAM to ship as default meant that the device started flying off the shelves pretty fast. OnePlus then did something that most brands would never ever have the courage to do, the refreshed a successful model mid-cycle and came with the OnePlus 3T. This was fraught with risk as the device looked exactly like the OnePlus 3 and only internals had changed. The community welcomed this with both hands it was a hit. The company then came out with storage and color variations of the device that were also very well received in the market. While all this was happening, the OnePlus fans group grew in prominence and the pop-up stores that the brand hosted started to look like local festivals with huge crowds.

Fans queue at London OnePlus3T popup at O2 store
Huge queues build outside the O2’s exclusive launch of the new OnePlus 3T phone, an android
challenger building cult appeal

It was then the OnePlus 5 that made its entry into the dual camera club that became a big hit, The brand again refreshed the OP5 with a mid-cycle OnePlus 5T. The 5T also got some very popular color variations and even a co-branded version with the Star Wars franchise. The sci-fi nerds just loved and the device made the cash registers ring very loudly for them. The company is currently giving Samsung and Apple a run for their money in the premium segment.

OnePlus 5 Rear View

Considering all this, it is really no big mystery that the OnePlus 6 is currently the most expected and awaited device in the Android world. The company has also been giving out regular hints about the features and specifications of the phone and that has heightened interest around it. They have gone for glass design this time as per the public statements by leadership on forums and they have hinted at water-resistance also. They have also confirmed that there will be an Avengers themed variant of the OnePlus 6 coming out too.

Given all this, the hype and buzz are very justified and we are in for a treat from OnePlus again! We will keep you posted.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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