OnePlus has no shortage of problems to be solved next year.
OnePlus has had an interesting year; it publicly acknowledged its OPPO roots and at the same time announced that it will become a sub-brand of the entity owned by BBK — all of which is to provide faster updates — and has launched many devices this year. Although this is usually limited to high-end phones, in addition to flagship products such as the OnePlus 9 series, OnePlus now caters to entry-level and budget segments.
The Nord series allowed OnePlus’ sales data to grow substantially, but at the cost of alienating its user base. To make matters worse, OnePlus’ foray into wearable devices has not proceeded as planned, and its efforts in television have stalled in recent months. The following are some of the issues that OnePlus needs to solve next year.
Figure out its identity
When we enter 2022, I don’t know what OnePlus stands for. Until two years ago, if you wanted a value flagship that offered the same specifications and was hundreds of dollars lower than the competition, and focused on clean software without any bloat, it was the company of choice.
OnePlus needs to show how its mobile phone differs from the products offered by OPPO in 2022.
But when we enter 2022, this is not the case. With the Nord series, OnePlus is now launching a variety of devices in the entry-level and mid-range categories, and with it comes pressure to roll out software updates in a timely manner. For this reason, OnePlus uses ColorOS as the default software on future phones.
OxygenOS 12 is essentially just a different name for ColorOS 12. Although the company revealed that it is developing a unified operating system, my internal information indicates that it is just a marketing campaign, and the core of the UI is relatively unchanged from ColorOS.
OxygenOS is the main reason most users switch to OnePlus phones in the first place. Without it, I can’t see how its equipment is different from the equipment provided by OPPO. OnePlus must do convincing work on the OnePlus 10 series and show that it is very different from Find X5 in order to stand out.
Provide cameras that can accommodate up to Pixels and Galaxy flagships
Years after launching phones with lackluster camera functions, OnePlus teamed up with the German giant Hasselblad to fine-tune the cameras of its flagship product. Therefore, OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro perform much better than their predecessors in this regard, but they still cannot compare with the best Android phones. In my opinion, Mi 11 Ultra does a better job in most cases.
OnePlus 10 needs to maintain its edge in front of Pixel 6 and the upcoming Mi 12 and Galaxy S22.
For 2022, I hope to see the OnePlus 10 series can compete with the best products offered by Google, Xiaomi and Samsung. It should not be as difficult as before; after all, OnePlus now has Hasselblad to handle color science and hardware sensor adjustments, and it is based on ColorOS, which can use OPPO’s imaging algorithm and camera software, in my opinion , Which is a few miles ahead of OnePlus’ own efforts.
But whether OnePlus can truly do this remains to be seen. As Xiaomi prepares to cooperate with Leica to develop the Xiaomi 12 series, and Samsung plans to reap huge benefits through the Galaxy S22, the OnePlus 10 series must come up with something truly extraordinary in this particular field.
Revolutionize its wearable strategy
It is safe to say that of all the wearables I will use in 2021, OnePlus Watch is the worst. For several years, OnePlus enthusiasts have been asking for wearable devices. The company launched a budget fitness bracelet called OnePlus Band. Base.
OnePlus needs to take the opposite approach from 2021 in order to succeed in the wearable field.
First, it cannot provide useful notifications and is inaccurate in calculating activity or heart rate monitoring. It lacks any meaningful integration with the services you actually use every day, or even an always-on model. The fact that it is based on a custom RTOS interface means that its feature set is severely limited. When compared with Amazfit and Mobvoi products, OnePlus Watch does not perform well-even the limited edition Harry Potter model is not “for OnePlus” Do a lot of things.
For 2022, OnePlus definitely needs to sort out its wearable strategy. To its credit, it adds Spotify integration, but it’s not easy to set up, and it’s clunky to say the least. Activity monitoring has also been fine-tuned and now has an always-on mode. But in general, if OnePlus wants to challenge products like Amazfit, the software needs to be completely reformed, not to mention the pursuit of the best Android smart watches, including products like TicWatch Pro 3 and Galaxy Watch 4.
Find a way to regain its fan user base
I don’t know any other mobile phone manufacturer that has so many enthusiastic followers like OnePlus. This Chinese manufacturer focuses on the combination of cleaning software with high-end hardware and value, making it an obvious choice for advanced users, including myself. For many years, it has been relying on this community to make progress in countries such as India.
OnePlus’ entire business is built on the basis of catering to enthusiast users, but this is not the case now.
But this is not the case anymore. OnePlus is clearly pursuing the mainstream user base, because its goal is sales data, which includes a fundamental shift in strategy, and now most of its focus is on the Nord series.
Although this is not a bad thing-Nord 2 is one of the best mid-range phones after all-but OnePlus has lost a lot of goodwill in its search to attract more users. The first is the update issue; I have counted at least four instances this year. OnePlus has messed up the software update so badly that it had to suspend the OTA or release another update to solve the problem caused by the first update.
OnePlus just doesn’t have the engineering resources to update so many phones at once. This is the main reason for so many problems in this year’s OTA update. Combining this with a vocal user base, it is easy to figure out why there is so much negative sentiment in this field.
All mobile phone manufacturers make mistakes-we only need to look at the large number of errors in the Pixel 6 to see this-but OnePlus is particularly annoying for its arrogant attitude towards fixing these errors.
The stable OxygenOS 11 update was introduced to OnePlus 6/6T two months ago, and it introduced a series of issues, one of which prevented WhatsApp media from being downloaded to the device. It took a month and a half to resolve this issue. During this period, OnePlus did not do anything to notify the user that the repair process is in progress.
By 2022, OnePlus needs to find a way to reconnect with its enthusiastic users, because even though they are only a minority in terms of sales figures, they tend to be very outspoken-especially when there is a problem with their device.
Clarify what it wants to do with the TV
Two years ago, when OnePlus launched the Q1 series-entering the TV category-I was very excited. These TVs provide high-quality QLED panels, differentiated designs, and run Android TV out of the box. Of course, there was a problem with the software at first, and I was not keen on the design of Q1 Pro, but as the first attempt, it did a good job.
OnePlus said at the time that TV is the center of its smart home ambitions. This Chinese manufacturer has launched the mid-range U series in the high-end Q1 and Q1 Pro, which is also a good performance.
OnePlus ambitiously launched the first TV, but it seems that the company does not care about this category now.
But in the past 18 months, the only new products launched in this series are the entry-level and budget-focused Y series, as well as new models of the U series. Like its mobile phone strategy, OnePlus seems to have shifted its focus to the budget area to maintain more sales, but even so, the company has not shown as much interest as its competitors.
For me, it feels like OnePlus has lost interest in the TV field and does not want to launch new models-especially in the high-end category. In contrast, Xiaomi has redoubled its efforts in this regard, launching exciting options such as Mi TV 75 QLED, and the brand has done a good job launching its TV product portfolio in Western markets.
At the same time, OnePlus still only sells its TVs in India. From the perspective of sales data, it is clearly behind Xiaomi, Samsung, Vu and other players in the market. So in 2022, it needs to make a plan for this category and decide whether it just wants to become a budget TV manufacturer or really compete with companies like Xiaomi in the high-end segment.
OnePlus needs to make big changes in 2022
2022 will be a decisive year for OnePlus. The OnePlus 10 series will give us a good understanding of how OnePlus plans to operate under the management of OPPO, and whether it can stand out among future mobile phones. The software situation will be divided—especially after the older OnePlus phones switch to Android 12—but OnePlus has shown that it does not care about its vocal enthusiast user base, but instead focuses on the mainstream of its budget Nord series.
In my opinion, OnePlus will launch flagship products in 2022 and beyond to maintain its reputation, but its main focus area will be the Nord series. OnePlus achieved sales of 10 million mobile phones for the first time in 2021. It all depends on the budget of Nord devices—especially the Nord N series sold in North America—and it hopes to continue this momentum in 2022.
As for wearable devices, OnePlus really needs to fundamentally rethink what it wants to do in this category. OnePlus is considering working with Google to develop a smart watch running Wear OS, but finally decided to use RTOS to provide multiple days of battery life. Since this effort failed, OnePlus may want to reconsider Wear OS as an option for its 2022 smartwatch.
In short, OnePlus needs to solve a lot of things in 2022, but we have to wait and see if it can do it.