For a business that introduced its very first telephone a bit over three decades back, OnePlus has come a very long way. OnePlus One might have become the underdog as it surfaced in 2014, but there has been nothing low-profile concerning the provider’s latest smartphone the OnePlus 5.
From teasers which started weeks prior to the launching, to roping in India’s largest movie star for a new ambassador, and projecting in a splattering of additional minor stars and ‘influencers’ expressing their ‘love’ for your smartphone; even if you reside in India, the OnePlus 5 hype machine was hard to escape. The time in the spotlight has put some of its flaws when they’ve been overlooked before while that interpreted into committing the company its selling smartphone until date.
Carl Pei, the co-founder along with also the very visible face of OnePlus, says that the team is definitely feeling the strain. Pei was in Delhi last week and Gadgets 360 sat down with him for a conversation. We ended up spending the majority of our time as you would expect.
Pei began the dialogue by rattling off several stats regarding a number of viewers that tuned into watch OnePlus 5’s online launching, asserting they had been second only to the sort of audience Apple and Samsung get to their own events. Then came the admission that the corporation may be feeling the weight of the expectations.
“These numbers are good, but in addition, it gives us lots of pressure because of our clients, our fans, they expect us to be at precisely the exact same level as Apple and Samsung in every area,” Pei said. “So in a way we’re put under a microscope. It’s been a good reply, but also lots of pressure for our team.”
The OnePlus 5 may have become the corporation’s biggest launch, but it’s also been the most controversial – if you ignore the cries of OnePlus 3 buyers when they saw the OnePlus 3T, that is. The plan of the smartphone was in focus weeks before launch, and its similarities to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus proved rather tough to miss.
On OnePlus 5 camera and DxOMark
In the days leading up to the launch, Pei and the business’s official Twitter handle teased the camera capabilities of the OnePlus 5. That may be ‘business as usual’ for launches in the time of social networking, but this, and an iPhone 7 Plus-like dual camera setup meant that expectations from the smartphone’s camera were sky high, especially since the OnePlus 3T camera had received largely positive reviews.
But things didn’t quite go as planned. While the ‘main’ camera on the OnePlus 5 still clicks pretty fantastic pictures, the dual-camera functionality can be best described as half-baked. To begin with, there was a criticism of the business’s use of the expression ‘lossless’ to describe the zoom functionality, which it was made to retract. Second, concerning performance itself, the secondary rear camera was found to be more hit than miss by most reviewers.
If he was content with the camera turned out, we asked Pei.
“We think we are contented with the camera. I believe that it’s an improvement from prior generations, I believe that the DxO score also proves that it is a flagship worthy camera,” Pei said. “But is it the best camera on the industry? That I can’t say.”
“We decided to concentrate on clarity. By clarity, I mean two things: one is when you tune between exposing the photo camera you can choose. or exposing the photo in a darker way, [so there’s] less noise, but also less details – and we always aim for the clarity part, so basically less noise.”
“And the second portion to this is the megapixel count. For those who own a good deal of megapixels, then you may zoom the photo in more, at least theoretically,” he added.
“But where our setup falls short in contrast to some of the competition is in extremely low light. And that’s not. So that’s 1 area where I think we don’t possess the ideal experience, but we opted to focus the things that we thought were really important, and overall it’s a strong camera,” says Pei.
The DxO score was mentioned by him, and we had to ask more about the essence of the OnePlus’ relationship with DxOMark the company, which, among other things, rates imaging devices and assigns a score. Even before the OnePlus 5 was launched, there were reports that OnePlus had tied-up with DxO for the growth of the goods. In some quarters, once the phone received a DxO score higher eyebrows were raised in that light. It’s safe to say Pei isn’t amused with any suggestions of foul play.
“One thing that I’m a bit disappointed about – especially online people – is how people are, they appear to always consider the most negative explanations for things, very cynical, ‘Oh they worked together, so they must have paid them for DxO [score]’,” he starts.
“DxO, they have a consultancy service where brands do pay them and they give suggestions about how you should tune the camera, just how should you do the white balance, what’s the perfect hardware etc,” Pei elaborates. “But they’re used by many many brands as their customers to tune the camera – it is not something where you are able to go and [say] hey I’m gonna pay you plenty of money, and you’re able to give me a high score.”
“We got a fantastic score but not enjoy the maximum score,” he concludes.
The ‘Jelly Effect’ and OnePlus 5 issues
The next thing we asked about is, of course, the ‘Jelly Effect’ that some users are reporting with their OnePlus 5 units. Pei downplayed the issue ‘regular’ users are seeing the issue.
“[. .] Have a look at the data from clients who bought the device folks are really satisfied. And if you take a look at customer service there has been very minimal returns – there’s a lot of questions since there’s a good deal of media writing about the matter,” he states.
“Because lots of individuals are like ‘I opened the telephone and I don’t have this matter, are all the phones different? Was I just lucky?’ Where in reality – and that’s what we’ve been saying – this is the way it is, all the phones are like this and there’s nothing special with your cell phone. And if you’re not happy, returning it – so different nations have policies that are different – might be a great solution for you. However, this is not like DOA, we aren’t likely to have the ability to exchange this because the next phone is going to be the same.”
Jelly effect apart, a consumer in India reported that his OnePlus 5 device was sent with no volume switches. Then there was the event of this smartphone not recording sound correctly. If provided the laundry list of issues, the OnePlus 5 had been hurried out without quality controls we requested Pei?
He does not directly answer the query but starts off by stating: “The audio portion, it really was the Exact Same for its OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, therefore it has been around for a Fairly long time-”
“So you are saying that the issue was noticed only today?” we interject.
“Yeah, but once we got the comments for the OnePlus] 5 we shifted it instantly from the program – therefore 3, 3T, 5 have been repaired,” Pei answers.
“What I am saying is we have sent a lot of 3 and 3Ts, and folks did not notice. I mean we appreciate the feedback and we’re changing [dependent on the feedback], but that’s what the point I was hoping to make in the beginning,” he continues. “We are lucky that a good deal of individuals is paying attention to us but in addition, it puts an extremely large pressure on the team. Folks expect us to be perfect and they compare to with the best companies in the business…”
We can’t help but interrupt Pei and ask customers that are currently paying Rs. The best should not expect anything besides 35,000.
“That [expectation] is very good for our team, it puts a short-term pressure on the team that forces them to improve really quickly, therefore we’re taking it in a positive way. Internally it adds plenty of pressure to our team,” he says, reiterating what became a familiar theme throughout the conversation.
“You aren’t a user of the telephone, but there’s been let’s say five OTA updates since media started [got the review units]. I believe that the consumers have at least gotten three updates and the vast majority of the problems are already resolved,” he explains.
We point out that there’s another way of looking at those updates – that the phone was rushed out during testing itself, and these problems should have been identified.
“That might be a fair method of looking at it also,” says Pei.
The conversation moves on to the case with the missing buttons, and Pei states, “We have one case of the button. So what I’m trying to say that there’s so much attention on the brand That Each case becomes a big case-”
We point out that shipping one unit is unheard of and have to interrupt, and qualifies as a ‘big case’.
Pei confirms that the issue can be traced to how the display was installed to fit all components and goes back to the display issue that is jelly. But he isn’t really an issue and insists this has been done before.
“If you examine the display, for example, this effect actually has existed many, many decades back in different phones but no one actually brought this up.”
We ask Pei what phones have sent with ‘down’ screens and he names one version. Whether the fact that just one telephone had sent in years was a hint that this may be an idea which may encounter 32, we ask.
“We didn’t think it was an issue and taking a look at the data or taking a look at the customer feedback from our clients, it is no issue,” Pei insists.
Did OnePlus ditch its core user base with the OnePlus 5?
OnePlus has been a company that has relied on as its marketing weapon that is very best, but that changed visibly with the OnePlus 5 as we mentioned earlier. If he felt the company had alienated its user base we asked Pei.
“We view it more as people put high expectations on us because we made them do it. We talk of the game, as you’re saying we talked about the camera, we have so many people searching about OnePlus before the launch so naturally, they’re gonna hold us to very high regards,” he states.
“So, we’re not celebrating – like I said, this is our very best phone so far financially – but internally we’re not celebrating. All our [teams] – the service team and the product group – they have a good deal of work to do. There cannot always be a gap between expectations and delivery, you gotta work hard on bridging the gap.”