History Of OnePlus' Flagship Smartphones

OnePlus is a relatively young company compared to a number of other mobile tech giants in the market, but this China-based company managed to rise extremely fast thanks to releasing extremely compelling flagship-grade smartphones at affordable price tags. The company has been using the “Never Settle” moto from the start, and has managed to sell quite a few devices to date, and establish itself as one of the best smartphone manufacturers in the market.

The company’s first smartphone, the OnePlus One made quite a splash in the tech community, though OnePlus wasn’t exactly all that well-known back there, but all of that changed over the years, as did the company’s initial practice of invite-only purchases, due to low smartphone stock. If you’d like to take a trip down the memory lane, read on, as in this article we’ll take a look at OnePlus’ flagship smartphone one by one, starting with the OnePlus One. It is also worth noting that this article will be updated as new OnePlus flagship phones arrive.

OnePlus One

The OnePlus One was the company’s very first smartphone, and it was referred to as the “Flagship Killer”, mainly due to its flagship-grade specs and qualities, and not a huge price tag. This smartphone was announced back in April 2014, and it was priced at $299 and $349 for 16GB and 64GB storage variants. The OnePlus One came with a Sandstone back, and it shipped with a commercial variant of CyanogenMod on it, CyanogenOS, which ran on top of Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

This smartphone featured a 5.5-inch fullHD display, along with 3GB of RAM and 16GB / 64GB of storage. The phone was fueled by the Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, while it sported a single 13-megapixel camera on the back. A 5-megapixel unit was included on the phone’s front side, while a 3,100mAh battery was also a part of the package. The phone did sport a 3.5mm headphone jack, in case you were wondering.

OnePlus 2

The OnePlus 2 arrived in July of 2015, while it was released in August that same year. That handset did resemble the OnePlus One to a degree, but it introduced a fingerprint scanner below its display, and that fingerprint scanner was flanked by two capacitive keys, which were customizable. The phone still included a single camera on the back, and the Sandstone material made a comeback here.

The OnePlus 2 shipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop and OnePlus’ OxygenOS skin on top of it, as OnePlus and Cyanogen decided to terminate their cooperation. Luckily for OnePlus, OxygenOS ended up being a truly compelling skin for Android, a close-to-stock one with a number of useful additions. The OnePlus 2 featured a 5.5-inch fullHD display, 3GB / 4GB of RAM and 16GB / 64GB of storage. The phone was fueled by the Snapdragon 810 SoC, while it shipped with a 3,300mAh battery.

OnePlus 3

The OnePlus 3 was the very first OnePlus-branded phone to sport a metal unibody build, and the phone was announced in June 2016. The device sported a single camera on the back which did protrude a bit, while the fingerprint scanner made a comeback here, along with capacitive buttons that flanked it. The OnePlus 3 shipped with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, with OnePlus’ custom UI.

The device retained a 5.5-inch fullHD display size from the OnePlus 2, but unlike the OnePlus 2, this phone came with an OLED panel, and Optic AMOLED display, to be exact, which made it the first OnePlus flagship to include an OLED panel. The OnePlus 3 also shipped with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage, while it featured a 16-megapixel camera on the back, and was fueled by the Snapdragon 820. A 3,000mAh battery was included in this package, as were two SIM card slots (2x nano SIM).

OnePlus 3T

The OnePlus 3T looked the same as the OnePlus 3, save for a new color variant that was available, and it was announced in November 2016. This was the first time OnePlus released a “T” variant of a smartphone later in the same year that the main flagship was announced. The OnePlus 3T did bring some improvement over the OnePlus 3, including a more powerful processor (the Snapdragon 821), larger battery, and several other improvements.

Other than that, this phone was the same as the OnePlus 3 in the spec department as well. The phone still featured the same display, same RAM count, same software, same camera setups, and so on. The phone ended up being quite successful for OnePlus, though, so the company opted to continue releasing two flagship smartphone per year, which were usually iterative improvements over the main phone.

OnePlus 5

The OnePlus 5 was announced in June 2017, and it looked similar to its predecessor from the front, though the whole phone was somewhat different in terms of the design. The OnePlus 5 sported a front-facing fingerprint scanner with two capacitive navigation buttons on each side of that scanner. The device also shipped with two horizontally-aligned rear-facing cameras, and this was the first OnePlus-branded handset to sport two rear-facing cameras.

The OnePlus 5 was made out of metal, and it featured a 5.5-inch fullHD Optic AMOLED display. The device was fueled by the Snapdragon 835 64-bit octa-core processor, while it arrived in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants which packed in 64GB and 128GB of storage, respectively. Android 7.1.1 Nougat came pre-installed on the device, along with the company’s OxygenOS Android overlay.

OnePlus 5T

The OnePlus 5T was announced in November 2017, and it sported a similar design to the OnePlus 5, but it looked quite different on the front. The in-hand feel between these two phones was quite similar due to a similar shape and everything, but the OnePlus 5T offered considerably thinner bezels, and instead of a front-facing fingerprint scanner, it included a rear-facing fingerprint scanner. Other than the fingerprint scanner, the back side of this phone looked identical to the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5T included the very same processor that was utilized in the OnePlus 5, the Snapdragon 835, while the phone also came in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants with the same storage setups as the OnePlus 5. A 3,300mAh battery was included on the inside of this phone, while the device shipped with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. The OnePlus 5T did include a 3.5mm headphone jack, just like its predecessors.

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 arrived in May 2018 with even thinner bezels than the OnePlus 5T, but unlike the OnePlus 5T, this phone included a rather noticeable display notch. The OnePlus 6 was the first OnePlus flagship to be made out of metal and glass (the OnePlus X was not a flagship-grade phone), and it included two vertically-aligned cameras on its back. Those two cameras were centered, and right below them, a fingerprint scanner was located.

The OnePlus 6 featured a 6.28-inch fullHD+ display, 6GB / 8GB of RAM and 64GB / 128GB / 256GB of storage. The phone was fueled by the Snapdragon 845 64-bit octa-core processor, and a 3,300mAh battery was included on the inside. Android 8.1 Oreo came pre-installed on this device, and the OnePlus 6 also sported a 3.5mm headphone jack, which remained unchanged compared to its predecessor.

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 6T was announced in October 2018, only five months after the OnePlus 6, and it offered an extremely similar design to the OnePlus 6. The only two differences came in the form of a new display notch, and design of the OnePlus 6T’s back. The OnePlus 6T included a much smaller, teardrop notch on the front, while a fingerprint scanner was not located on the back of the device, like on the OnePlus 6, it was located under the phone’s display. The OnePlus 6T shipped with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.

Other than those differences, the design of this phone remained pretty much the same as on the OnePlus 6. The OnePlus 6T included a larger 6.41-inch fullHD+ display, though, while it arrived in 6GB / 8GB / 12GB RAM variants, the 12GB RAM model was reserved for a special edition variant of the OnePlus 6T. The OnePlus 6T also arrived with a noticeably larger battery than the OnePlus 6, a 3,700mAh unit. The device shipped with Android 9 Pie out of the box.

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About the Author
Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]