After a series of leaks and mini-reveals about the upcoming OnePlus 5, many are complaining that this new handset too closely copies other smartphone flagships. Guys, relax. That’s the point.
By which I mean, the OnePlus smartphones have always filled an important and necessary role in the market. They provide flagships features and functionality for far more reasonable pricing. That is its own kind of innovation, frankly.
And that’s it. They don’t do anything else. They don’t need to do anything else.
This role has been filled by other devices over time as well, of course. Google’s Nexus lineup flitted in and out of this territory, most famously with the original Nexus 5, and then the later Nexus 5X and 6P. All of these phones offered high-end features and specs at affordable prices. Moto does this as well, with most of their devices.
And so, too, does OnePlus.
With the OnePlus 5 specifically, the complaint is fairly classic: It too closely resembles the iPhone, in its design, especially, but also with its dual camera system. Guys, so does virtually every other smartphone on earth, leaving aside a handful of newer devices like the Galaxy S8. It’s a handsome and attractive look, especially in black.
More to the point, I’d love to get an affordable Android flagship that met the iPhone’s look and feel and functionality and performance … but at a fraction of the price. You should, as well.
Put another way, flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 are largely aspirational for much of the customer base. They’re just too expensive. But as we see with Surface Pro on the PC side of the fence, copycats quickly arrive to provide those features for less.
This isn’t something to mock, it’s something to celebrate. It’s the way the world works. And if you’re not driving around in a new Porsche and living in a million dollar home, you pretty much rely on this in virtually ever facet of your life. I certainly do.
I’m glad OnePlus exists. I’m glad they’re making good design and high-end features and specs more affordable. And like many of you, I’m going to consider buying a OnePlus 5 when it’s unveiled next week. Because supporting companies that do the right thing can be good for your wallet. And for your soul.