OnePlus phones used to have one defining feature - value - that was stuffed into a very affordable handset. They still look cheap compared to the iPhones and Galaxies of this world, as the OnePlus 7T
and the 7 Pro
before it, are $599 and $699, respectively.
OnePlus phones are affordable at launch, compared to the full retail prices of their flagship competitors, but the company almost never does price promos, and when, say, Samsung discounts its whole Galaxy S10 family
, the value-for-money argument becomes rather dubious.
That is why OnePlus had to strike above its weight to entice buyers with something more than selling phones near cost, and it found it. Perhaps the most defining characteristics of the last few OnePlus handsets, are the fast charging and the high display refresh rate. Now that the big brands have managed to match those with their flagships, what's left for OnePlus to do?
Why, stuff even more tech and raise the prices even more, of course. OnePlus introduced something it calls a Fluid Display with the 7 Pro, and is never looking back, confirmed co-founder Carl Pei. At the time, he said that all of the company's phones in the future will be arriving with at least a 90Hz display which is great news for those who love the smooth scrolling and fluid animations that higher refresh rates offer.
While the 90Hz mark is a good trade-off between added fluidity and extra toll on the battery, phones from the Galaxy S20
series are already at 120Hz, so OnePlus will have to match that, with what may end up a superior implementation. We previewed the Oppo Find X2 Pro display
that will likely end up in the OnePlus 8 Pro
, and found it to be more flexible towards battery life, and more color-credible than the one on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
OnePlus 8 5G for Verizon and OnePlus 8 Pro prices
Unfortunately, this big, beautiful 6.78" 1440p 120Hz display won't come cheap from Samsung as a supplier, and the additional calibrations and auto screen refresh rate adjustments will cost OnePlus extra.
As if to confirm that it will raise prices for the OnePlus 8 series again, the CEO Pete Lau confirmed for Business Insider
a previous statement which indicated that OnePlus may issue a phone whose cost borders on a grand, at least with the 8 Pro model. ]
What Mr Lau said was that the price of the OnePlus 8
series 5G phones won't surpass $1000 in the US. That could easily mean $999 for the OnePlus 8 Pro, and $799 for the OnePlus 8 5G
that is rumored to be carried by Verizon
for the first time, though.
Such price tags will make the OnePlus 8 series the most expensive in the company's history, and Pete Lau has the rising price of high-end components and 5G connectivity accouterments to blame about it.
According to him, the 5G part "poses many more technical challenges compared to 4G... in terms of design and configuration," coinciding with other reports on the Snapdragon 865 chipset plus X55 5G modem implementation. In addition, "prices across the supply chain, from raw materials to materials to 5G chips, are all rising generally in the industry."
The fans' justification for jumping on the OnePlus bandwagon is that, granted, the OnePlus phones' camera is generally worse than the one in the Galaxy S10
, but they are also a Benjamin or two cheaper, and compensate with a unique 90Hz display refresh rate and other virtues like smooth Android or generous memory amounts. These points have often been rendered mute after just a Galaxy promo round or two but the OnePlus 8 series may be a hard bargain from the onset, especially if a $999 tag materializes.