OnePlus 5 is finally here! Just like every other year, a lot of buzz surrounded the launch of the new “flagship killer”. The hype and excitement were, however, affected by allegations of the iPhone 7 like design of the OnePlus 5. With that said, OnePlus 5 (Review) isn’t a pushover by any means; it’s just that fans and media have started to expect something unique from the brand with every launch.
Setting the Bar Too High…
Even the founders wouldn’t deny that OnePlus had set the bar too high with the OnePlus 3 and 3T. It’s lovely to have a successful device like the OnePlus 3 in your lineup. However, it makes the already tedious process of building its successor even more difficult. Well, that’s exactly what happened with the OnePlus 5. And this isn’t the first time. It happened before too. Back in 2014, OnePlus shot to fame with the launch of its $300 “flagship killer”, the OnePlus One. The debut smartphone was a huge success, and millions of consumers worldwide queued up for the annoying invite-only system to own one. Naturally, building a successor for such a popular device, was indeed a challenge for the upstart firm. Needless to say, the OnePlus 2 (Review) failed to live up to the expectations and had a number of niggling problems.
Never Settle Pricing…
With each successive launch, OnePlus has been increasing the price of its flagship phone. For the uninitiated, the debut OnePlus One was priced at Rs 21,999 for the 64GB variant in India. The 16GB variant was priced even lower at just $300 (Rs 19,350 approx.) Sadly, the smartphone didn’t make it to the country. Thereafter, OnePlus has gone on to increase the price of its subsequent flagship devices. OnePlus 2 was launched at Rs 22,999, OnePlus 3 at Rs 27,999, OnePlus 3T at Rs 29,999 and finally the OnePlus 5 starting at Rs 32,999. The top end OnePlus 5 with 8GB RAM costs even higher at Rs 37,999. This effectively means that the price of its flagship has now gone up by nearly 60%. Never settle indeed!
Give me Mi 6…
Having priced the OnePlus 5 at a starting price of Rs 32,999; the upstart Chinese firm has almost vacated the competitive Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000 price bracket in India. Though it still continues to sell its OnePlus 3T in India, those devices will fail to match up against the newer Xiaomi Mi6 (First Impressions). Xiaomi has faced intense competition from OnePlus ever since the latter’s entry into India. Both the Xiaomi Mi4 and Mi5 failed to sell as per the company’s expectation. Needless to say, OnePlus was the main competition in both the cases. The OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus 3/3T stole the show from Xiaomi, thereby leading to latter’s diminishing sales in the sub Rs 30,000 price segment.
With that said, the Rs 32,999 base price of the OnePlus opens new horizon for Xiaomi. It no longer has to fight out directly with OnePlus. Considering the fact, that Xiaomi Mi6 starts at Rs 2,499 Yuan (Rs 23,700 approx.) in China for the base variant, we can expect the company to price it somewhere around Rs 25,999 when it launches in India. This would apparently make it the cheapest Snapdragon 835 powered smartphone in country. That aside, the dual 12MP rear camera setup of the Xiaomi Mi6 and difference in the price tag, might tempt the price-sensitive Indian consumers to opt for the smartphone.
Hopefully, Xiaomi would be bringing at least two variants of the Xiaomi Mi6 to India. Last year, they just brought the base variant of the Xiaomi Mi5. Needless to say, that device with just 3GB RAM stood little chance against the 6GB touting OnePlus 3. This year, however, Xiaomi has upped the game and included a 6GB RAM underneath its flagship smartphone.
LG, Apple and Huawei…
The top end variant of the OnePlus 5 with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage is the company’s costliest smartphone yet. Needless to say, that the OnePlus 5 will face aggressive competition from bigger brands due to its pricing strategy. In fact, one of its main competitors would be the LG G6 (Review).
The Korean electronics firm drastically slashed the price of its flagship this year. The G6 now comes at just Rs 39,990. The only major drawback of the LG G6 has to be the older Snapdragon 821 SoC. LG however, edges out the OnePlus 5 in most other categories. These include the presence of a bigger and better 5.7-inch Quad HD display with 18:9 resolution and rounded corners, IP68 water + dust proof certification and an excellent 13MP dual rear camera with OIS. Further, the Apple iPhone 7 is priced pretty close to the OnePlus 5 thanks to a reduced price of Rs 42,000. So many potential OnePlus consumers might be tempted to spend an extra Rs 4,000 and opt for the iPhone 7.
On the other hand, OnePlus 5 will be competing in the same price bracket as that of Huawei. The Huawei P9 was launched in India at Rs 39,999 last year. The upcoming Huawei P10 is expected to cost something similar. And, yes the Huawei P10 has a dual camera, and it’s capable of shooting excellent images. Huawei has been implementing the dual camera setup in its smartphones for the last few years quite successfully. And the credit goes mainly to the software team. The leading Chinese smartphone OEM uses an excellent camera app to back the Leica powered camera hardware. So OnePlus, you better watch out!
Prior to OnePlus 5 launch, some sources within the company were hinting at Xiaomi not even bringing the Mi6 to India, and instead, bring a variant like the Mi 6c. But now, OnePlus has opened the gates for Xiaomi to make a splash with its Mi6 in India. But only if Xiaomi prices the Mi6 competitively. In case Xiaomi plans to launch the Mi6 just under Rs 30,000; the smartphone would face competition from the Moto Z2 Play and probably the Honor 8 Pro. But then again, neither of them have the raw power of the Snapdragon 835 touting Xiaomi Mi6.