Last month I was fortunate enough to be featured in Pacific Magazine’s The Body article. This month I was stoked to spend three hours with Heather Lake on Fox 5’s morning show and today, my friends, my geek is stoked to be on Jonathan Morrison’s YouTube video for the OnePlus2. It’s just a snapchat video asking what the feel in hand is like for one-handed operation, but still, I love mobile tech and the popularity of YouTube tech personalities fascinates me.
What is the OnePlus 2? It’s a smartphone. But it’s from a company trying to redefine the paradigm of the smartphone market. And when you look at the global market, there are some interesting differences not many in the United States are aware of. Namely the subsidized carrier programs.
Almost everyone who’s purchased a smartphone in the United States in the last decade know that if they sign a two-year contract with a carrier, they’ll be able to buy the latest and greatest flagship smartphone for around $200. This deal subsidizes the price of the smartphone from the full price of around $600-$750 to the substantially lower $200 price point because you are guaranteeing the carrier two years of monthly payments. This is unique to the United States. Should you want a new iPhone or Galaxy Swhatever while you’re living in the UK, France or Spain you’re paying the full price.
This is why many tech-heads loved the Google Nexus line (prior to the Nexus 6) because you could get near-top-of-the-line hardware, along with an untainted android experience, for around $300 without a contract. And for those that enjoy the latest and greatest but not the associated expense, they could upgrade yearly and even explore other carriers to their heart’s desire.
Unfortunately, the Google Nexus smartphone line really only gained popularity with android enthusiasts and tech-heads. Which is disappointing because it’s a program many would probably have taken advantage of had Google spent some money for marketing. And now that Google has abandoned (at least for now) the idea of offering a high-end device for an affordable price, that allows consumers to sever the two-year contract leash, another company has sought to fill that space.
The OnePlus 2 is a beautifully crafted device with attention paid to the things that matter the most to those of us who love mobile tech.
- Build quality and design
- High resolution display
- Camera quality
- Battery life
- Unencumbered UI experience (no bloatware)
So for those of us in the US, we can be contract free with an amazing device that let’s us choose our carriers at will. Globally, it allows anyone in the market for a smartphone to get a top of the line piece of hardware for budget phone prices.
What’s also interesting about the OnePlus 2 is that anyone can get one. Last year’s OnePlus 1 was available to purchase through special invite only, which was a head-scratcher. But I think the company was trying to create hype and ensure initial sales. When you’re not Samsung or Apple, you simply do not have the money and marketing might to get you noticed in a market that is increasingly offering more competitive products from more and more companies.
The OnePlus 1 was a well-reviewed gorgeous device. It launched with a few bugs, like many new smartphones, but the company was quick to respond and the future looks bright for the second iteration. We’ll see what some of the YouTube tech-heads have to say when they publish their full reviews but the initial impressions are promising and I’m still unbelievably stoked to be in one of my favorite reviewer’s videos!