If you’re an Android user and a regular reader of the tech blogs then you’re going to hear a lot about Chinese handset-makers Oppo and OnePlus over the next few months. These two companies—some say they’re the same company—are together releasing four high-powered and affordably-priced smartphones by summer’s end.
I’ve written about both of them before; it’s probably worth a quick refresher to get some insight into their forthcoming releases.
I first wrote about Oppo when they announced the participants in their N1 Pioneer Program last October. The company, formerly known for cheap DVD players, came on my radar as a sponsor of XDA Devcon that same year. Here again is a video interview with an Oppo rep:
At the time Oppo had no less than three devices on the market; as of this writing only the gargantuan N1 is still available for purchase in the Americas. Here’s a review of that device by MKBHD:
The N1 also has the distinction of being the first-ever phone to ship with CyanogenMod onboard. It’s biggest shortcoming? No LTE.
OnePlus: All About The Hype
The first major story that I remember reading about OnePlus was from The Verge, published last December. In the months since they’ve been all over social media, steadily feeding a hype machine that culminated with the controversial Smash the Past campaign. Hopeful owners were invited to enter a contest wherein 100 winners would get the then-unnamed OnePlus device for only a dollar, in exchange for smashing their current phone on-camera. Problem was, people misread the contest and destroyed their phones prematurely. Oops.
OnePlus responded to widespread criticism of the contest by adding a donation option for the winners.
The device was finally revealed on April 23rd as the OnePlus One; I wrote about it that same day. TL;DR best specs EVAR and LTE for as little as $249 USD. Here’s a video walk-through of a pre-release device from that smug jerk at Android Authority:
More From Oppo
Perhaps overlooked in all the OnePlus hype is a pair of new devices from Oppo—two variants in the next iteration of their “Find” series, the Find 7 and 7a. Think of the 7a as a budget version of the 7; here’s MKHBD again for more on that:
Key features include fast charging, a removable battery, and out of the box support for custom ROMs. Oh, and LTE if you want it.
The 7 proper is set to start shipping on May 29th, but only in China. That device features the same fast-charging tech as the 7a and adds a 2K (2560 by 1440 pixel). There’s no official word yet on North American availability or pricing, but it will almost certainly be more than the 7a’s asking price of $499 USD.
You’re now up to speed on everything coming to market from Oppo and OnePlus. Are any of these would-be contenders enough to sway you from the latest Samsung or HTC?