Opinion | OnePlus concedes that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will abandon the company's affordable roots
Undoubtedly, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will both be fantastic smartphones. Their rumoured and confirmed specifications suggest so at any rate, anyway. Let's face it, OnePlus has not released a bad smartphone yet. However, every OnePlus smartphone has also been characterised by its value for money, with every major outlet stressing how relatively affordable successive OnePlus smartphones remain as other companies have smashed through that US$1,000 barrier.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has stated that the OnePlus 8 series will not exceed US$1,000 either. On the other hand, for anyone to countenance that OnePlus would sell a US$1,000 smartphone underlines how far the company has come from its roots with the OnePlus One. Do not forget that only six years have passed since the OnePlus One launched at US$299. OnePlus launching any device at that price is unconscionable now. The OnePlus 7T launched at US$599, for example, and remains at US$499 just days before the company launches the OnePlus 8 series.
In seeking to reassure OnePlus fans that the OnePlus 8 series will not exceed US$1,000, Lau has conceded that OnePlus has strayed from its roots. The company, like Xiaomi, is no longer in the market for releasing reasonably-priced smartphones. Instead, the OnePlus 8 series will be another step towards OnePlus becoming a true flagship smartphone manufacturer. If the OnePlus 8 series just grazes the US$1,000 threshold, then do not be surprised if the OnePlus 8T series surpasses that watermark.
Overall, the OnePlus 8 series and its successors will continue to be some of the best smartphones on the market. However, April 14 may be the first time that we should start considering OnePlus smartphones by different standards than we have previously.