As the world gets ready to welcome the OnePlus 8 series, what better time to sit back and take a look at the phones that came before? Each OnePlus device, from the OnePlus One in 2014 to the OnePlus 7T Pro of 2019, has been a hero in its own right. So, well, we decided to literally look back at the OnePlus phone journey, through the eyes of the Marvel Universe, making each phone a superhero from The Avengers. Here goes:
OnePlus One: Captain America
The first one makes a mark…always
The first (and some say the truly original) Avenger reflects the very OnePlus device best. Like Captain America, the OnePlus One was a bold experiment in a market that was getting very predictable. Just as Steve Rogers, a virtual nobody, was transformed into a superhero by some very innovative technology, OnePlus was transformed from being a run of the mill device, thanks to some supremely clever technology and marketing.
Of course, both Steve Rogers and OnePlus’ founders had the right background – the former was from the army, the others were from Oppo. Of course, there are more powerful devices around now, but the original OnePlus with its flagship processor, Cyanogen OS, and distinct red charging cable made a deep impact on consumers. Just as Captain America did. And hey, the “Cap” had his shield, the OnePlus One had that iconic Sandstone finish back! Both are iconic in their own ways even now, even when there are more powerful phones and superheroes around.
OnePlus 2: The Hulk
Part phone, part buggy beast, part man, part monster
The OnePlus 2 was perhaps the biggest challenge OnePlus ever faced. Just before its launch, it discovered that Cyanogen, the UI that was used in the first OnePlus could not be used in the new device, because of legal issues. The brand very boldly went ahead and created its own UI, Oxygen UI, but thanks to the short notice at which it had been created, the OnePlus Two turned out to be a device that was capable of being both brilliant and buggy. It had amazing design and hardware, but thanks to a still-developing interface, it could, at times be erratic. And if that does not remind one of the brilliant Dr. Banner who could switch to being the unstoppable Invincible Hulk, nothing will. Like the OnePlus 2, however, the Hulk was very unpredictable. But like the OnePlus 2, there was no doubting the power of the green giant!
OnePlus X: Black Widow
Svelte, speedy and stealthy as hell
The OnePlus X was pretty much the surprise packet in OnePlus’ early days. It came with a slightly older processor, but with a more compact form factor, and a glass back (rare in those days). It might not have been the most powerful device in town, but it was quick nevertheless and drop-dead gorgeous. Most people thought that it was a one-off, but rumors of its comeback are always lurking in the wings. Just like the amazing Natasha Romanov. One of the most understated of the Avengers, she has no major superpowers but relies on her speed and agility. And of course, she does look gorgeous as well. And just like the OnePlus X has been mostly kept in the background but always seems to be there, so does the Black Widow. There is a Black Widow film coming this year…so you know what…there could be a OnePlus X2 or Z or whatever coming too.
OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T: Iron Man
Heavy metal super hit maker
There had been films made about the Marvel Universe before, and some had done well too, but it was Iron Man that really changed the game for the series. And we think that that was exactly what the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T did for OnePlus as well. Yes, earlier devices had done well commercially and had been acclaimed, but the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T took the game to blockbuster levels. And just like Tony Stark used a lot of tech to come up with a never seen before suit, so too did OnePlus with the OnePlus 3 and 3T. AMOLED displays came into the picture, so too did highly improved cameras (the 3T was one of the few to sport a 16-megapixel selfie camera at that time) and the legendary Dash Charge that could give you a day’s usage with a few minutes of charging came into the picture.
The OnePlus 3 and 3T also went all-metal in a whole new design – their version of the Iron Man suit. They were speedy, powerful, very versatile, and tough as anything out there. Just like Iron Man. And just as Iron Man made the Marvel Universe mainstream, making it about more than the comics, so too did the OnePlus 3 and 3T suddenly make OnePlus a truly mainstream brand, with massive sales!
OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T: Hawkeye
The OnePlus 5 and 5T stuck to the OnePlus formula of great specs and innovative design, but they added a new dimension to the OnePlus range – dual cameras. With the OnePlus 5, OnePlus went all out to push its camera prowess, using the line “dual cameras, clearer photos.” And it did yield very impressive if occasionally erratic results. And of course, when it comes to shooting, the only Avenger that comes to mind is the unflappable Hawkeye, the man with the bow and arrows who always hit the bullseye. And just as Hawkeye had an impressive array of arrows, so too did the OnePlus 5 come with the main sensor and a telephoto one, followed by the OnePlus 5T, which swapped the telephoto for a wide-angle sensor. Just like his OnePlus counterparts, Hawkeye could hit the bullseye more often than not, but he could have off days too. He was human, but he was a hero. So too were the OnePlus 5 and 5T, which pulled the OnePlus into the shooting zone when it came to cameraphones.
OnePlus 6 and 6T: Thor
The god of Thunder…and Thunder Purple!
Well, this was easy, wasn’t it? We mean, a phone with a Thunder Purple option would obviously be a contender to be compared with the God of Thunder! But well, even without that thunderous color option, the OnePlus 6 and 6T were out and out about being superbly designed and well-specced. RAM started at 6 GB, and the processors were flagship level, while the displays were further improved. Cameras were further improved and in terms of design, the OnePlus series moved up a clear notch, adding new colors. A clear OnePlus look was being established as the phone began its journey towards being a more premium player, even while being the best option for anyone wanting a flagship device on a budget. This was OnePlus moving a step up from being mortal. It had no clear weakness and was an out and out performance God. It did everything with thunderous assurance, to thunderous applause from the market. And it looked darned good as well. Thor would have so approved! The days of being mortal were over. Perhaps.
OnePlus 7: Commander Nick Fury
A blast from the basic past
When OnePlus launched the OnePlus 7 Pro, most folks assumed it was the beginning of a new era where OnePlus would make premium phones. However, they were surprised when the OnePlus 7 was revealed at a price that was actually below that of the OnePlus 6T. Yes, it had a flagship processor and lots of RAM, but its crazy pricing (and slightly less than super cameras) reminded everyone of the early flagship killing days of OnePlus. This is why it is the perfect phone to take the role of the man who started the Avengers initiative, Nick Fury. He might not have had the sort of superpowers the other Avengers had, but he had the processing ability and the authority to command respect. The OnePlus 7 might not have had the sort of hardware that its Pro cousins did, but it was the OnePlus that everyone was interested in, because it was so much in line with the brand’s past. And just as the OnePlus 7 had one camera lesser than the OnePlus 7 Pro, Fury too was one eye behind other mortals – he had just one eye. Still, he was the boss of his territory and sometimes even pushed the superheroes around. Just like the OnePlus 7 did.
OnePlus 7T: Spider-Man
Body of a superhero, heart of a boy
The OnePlus 7T was perhaps the first phone that managed to bridge the gap between a flagship killer (the OnePlus 7) and an actual flagship (the OnePlus 7). It combined most of the hardware muscle (the processor, the 90 Hz refresh rate display) of the flagship as well as its design (oh that frosted glass finish), with a surprisingly affordable price for what it was offering. What’s more, its design actually made it one of the most distinct devices out there. Shades of Peter Parker, the charming, goofy and witty person who could also switch into superhero mode when in Spider-Man’s costume. Like the OnePlus 7T, Spider-Man managed to blend the values of a superhero with the challenges faced by a normal person. He was very much the people’s superhero. Not a God, or a secret agent or a billionaire, but just a normal guy with amazing powers. And just like the OnePlus 7T;s circular camera unit, he too had a cheeky grin up his sleeve. Always!
OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro: Tony Stark
Genius, billionaire, playboy…
Which brings us to the Pro part of the OnePlus series. And here we are actually going for the man in the Iron Man suit, Tony Stark. The OnePlus 3 and 3T might have been Iron Man, but the super-premium OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro were definitely more reflective of the genius of the billionaire who made the suit itself. These were super sleek devices with fantastic curved displays (with a 90 Hz refresh rate), good cameras (a pop-up selfie camera), great design, in-display fingerprint scanners, and right out premium design, apart from the staggeringly good hardware that had almost become a “given” for any OnePlus. It was this blend of style with substance that is so reminiscent of the man inside the Iron Man suit. As is the almost unapologetic brilliance of the device, which has not been afraid to go toe to toe with any rival out there. Yes, for us, the OnePlus Pro series is totally Tony Stark. And do not tell us he is not an Avenger, because in his own words, and hey, no one ever dares forget them – not even Thanos – “I am Iron Man.”