Poll results: Would you buy a phone from a startup company?
It's not an easy task designing and making a phone that will stick - you have giant corporations like Samsung or Apple, on one hand, with their huge R&D and marketing budgets, and their vast distribution chains, not to mention their brand recognition. On the other hand, you will be squeezed by the numerous Chinese value-for-money makers like Xiaomi or Meizu, so the task ahead will be pretty steep.
Of course, man is an entrepreneurial beast, and all the competition in the world didn't preclude new companies like OnePlus to rely on viral marketing and availability shenanigans to reach their first million phones sold last year. OnePlus is getting one-upped this year, though, as plenty of newcomers have popped up to take on the establishment once again. The Ubik Uno campaign on Kickstarter comes to mind, as well as the just-announced Obi SF1.
The Obi undertaking, for instance, offers its "flagship" for less than $200 without a contract, yet still boasts an intriguing design, 5" 1080p panel, 13 MP camera, dual SIM slots, and a generous 3000 mAh battery that lets it last 10 hours of video on a charge. It's not just price-for-value that might be attracting you to such startups, as the Ubik Uno offers similar tag to the OnePlus 2, but sports extremely thin bezels and great screen-to-body ratio, too.