The build-up to the OnePlus 6, the next big one from OnePlus, has been expectedly big, with the global launch in London on May 16, followed by May 17 in India.
OnePlus, which, other than Xiaomi has probably been the single most successful mobile firm in India in the past 5 years, has built its reputation and share on a single-minded focus of a limited range and aggressive pricing. By focusing on the ‘flagships’ segment with its ‘flagship killers’ so far, the firm also benefits from a positive rub off in terms of aspiration and quality. So far, the firm’s flagship phones have been priced easily 15-30 percent below similar handsets from competition, helping it open up the market. With time, it has built an enviable reputation for its quality, and consequently, a solid cohort of loyal fans too. So will the firm deliver on the price promise again?
The brand has been revealing some nifty features of the upcoming device for a while now. We already know that the phone will feature an iPhone X-like notch along with glass panel and it will be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with plenty of memory and dual rear cameras. Stakes are pretty high on this one as the OnePlus 5, while delivering good numbers, cannot be termed a huge hit. So, the question here is, can it outshine its competition and its predecessors to become the most desired smartphone from OnePlus? We believe the pricing will play a role, as OnePlus discovers that for all their loyalty, its users also expect it to make them look ‘smart’ by offering a solid cost markdown over the best from Samsung, Pixel et al.
Inspired ‘Design’ could be a problem
To start with the design, OnePlus is all set to adopt the strange trend of a top notch. Yes, the company has already confirmed that the upcoming smartphone will feature an iPhone X-like notch. Well, this is not the first time, OnePlus is biting off a bit of Apple’s design aesthetics. It’s current offering, OnePlus 5 is a serious homage to the iPhone in any case. That said, design-wise, as per various leaks in the past, OnePlus could feature minimal bottom bezels, which are quite dominant on other Android smartphones with a notch.
Interestingly, OnePlus is going for a glass body, which it first introduced with OnePlus X, which was a huge flop. The company has assured users that the glass back on the OnePlus 6 will be different as it contains 5 printed layers of nanotech coating to give a premium look. One thing is for sure that users will see a major upgrade in the design department with the OnePlus 6.
Power-packed hardware will make a difference!
OnePlus had built its reputation by providing some top-of-the-line specifications at a pocket-friendly price and the company is leaving no stone unturned to show its prowess in the next flagship device. The latest smartphone from OnePlus is quite simply a powerhouse when it comes to the hardware The company has already confirmed that it will be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with massive 256GB of storage. The phone will be backed by up to 8GB of RAM. OnePlus 6 will be backed by dual rear cameras that will come with a combination of 20-megapixel primary lens and 16-megapixel of secondary sensor.
It is the breakthrough hardware that makes us wonder if the price legacy can be maintained. While OnePlus does have the umbrella of super premium pricing from Samsung and Apple, it does look like the firm actually carved its own niche of fans, and retaining them will mean a pricing surprise as good as the hardware specs.
Price will decide
It is ironic that a brand that painstakingly built up user loyalty, quality perception and more should still be judged for its pricing. But OnePlus is that strange brand where while the other key attributes of a strong brand hold when it comes to pricing power, we still have our doubts. Simply because, like a Walmart or even a Big Bazaar, attractive pricing is an important part of its features. Apple introduced the iPhone X at a price of Rs 1 lakh, Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9+ with 256GB storage is priced at Rs 72,900, while Huawei’s latest P20 Pro comes with a price tag of Rs 64,999.
So, at a time when the premium players are charging you a fortune, what will OnePlus charge for the OnePlus 6?. From what we are hearing in numerous leaks, the smartphone could come with a price tag of Rs 39,999, which will be a pivotal point as it will bear some top-of-the-line specs, which will be a direct competition to the ‘Flagships’. At this price, we believe OnePlus will definitely look to move to a new level of ‘premium’, as any handset above 35K is. In fact, pricing the above config at a price closer to 35K than 40K should pretty much guarantee a record run. But go well above 40K, and we are pretty sure OnePlus will be in uncharted territory.