The OnePlus 3 might’ve represented a coming of age for the startup behind it, but with its past marketing material — telling consumers to “Never Settle” and buy their “Flagship Killers” — seemingly haunting what could be considered as an overspecced phone by default, OnePlus certainly has a challenge in telling people that it either has either narrowed down or completely shifted its target demographics for its products.
There’s one thing, though, that Carl Pei cannot forgive.
[OnePlus] needed to cut somewhere and since they managed to get Samsung panels on discount it’s not that surprising if compared with recent devices. However we must remember this is a 400$ smartphone, not a 800$+ one.
The OnePlus co-founder went into full-on explanation mode in the subreddit about his company this week after comment chains about how the “Optic AMOLED” PenTile screen just wasn’t doing the OnePlus 3 favors. The point about the company getting a crappy bulk deal because it had to cut corners really irked Pei.
I’m sick and tired of sentiment like this. It may not seem so, but for a product company — it’s insulting.
You can tell that this beast needed to be let out.
Pei explained that the OnePlus 3 is comparatively more expensive to make than other manufacturers’ flagships and that the AMOLED panels order from Samsung were custom-made to OnePlus’s specifications. He addressed criticism about sRGB gamut tuning by saying that the phone was never meant to have it, though he is going to add on an option for it in the next OTA update.
“Why do you think it’s hidden under developer settings on the [Nexus] 6P?,” Pei asked.
In the end, the specs don’t tell us everything, if anything at all, about what a smartphone’s story and purpose really is. OnePlus has the unfortunate position as a low-dollar, high-value manufacturer to make magic happen. Pei said that he gets it.
We probably haven’t done good enough of a job explaining our model, and we need to work on this going forward. I understand that sometimes, when our products don’t have the highest absolute specs, it might look like corners are cut. This happens when people don’t understand the product reasoning that went behind a choice […] I want to make things really clear. There are no corners cut on the product, and there will never be. OnePlus cuts corners on business model (direct to consumer), org structure (nimble and fast team), and marketing (organic word of mouth focused).
Of course, skeptics remained on the case, especially taking OnePlus to task for crippling some of the Snapdragon 820’s features like US and uplink carrier aggregation, no Wi-Fi Calling, no 4×4 MIMO and generally cruddy RF.
Carl Pei may be spinning his defense up, but critics be critics.