When it comes to cell phones (or mobiles, as you may know them) we all know the heavy hitters: Apple and Samsung. They’re like the cool, big kids on the tech block, selling millions of devices every year, and each new product is met with fanfare and media attention across the globe.

But now and then, a new kid turns up on the block, and today that new kid is OnePlus — and it’s not afraid to shake things up. As a result, in 2023 it is out-competing the big boys and offers phones, earbuds and more. But how did it manage to do this, and is the growth it is experiencing sustainable?

Who is OnePlus?

OnePlus stands as a fairly recent entrant in the smartphone marketplace. Founded in 2013 by Pete Lau and Carl Pei, the company aimed to shake up the industry by delivering high-end smartphones at a more budget-friendly cost. Embracing the “Never Settle” mantra, the brand successfully captured the attention and loyalty of technology aficionados and early adopters. Prioritizing customer opinions and actively engaging with the community, OnePlus quickly gathered momentum, positioning itself as a formidable competitor to longstanding industry giants.

But how does OnePlus stack up against its more established rivals?

OnePlus vs Samsung

As a Chinese company, Samsung would have been in its sights from day one. The South Korean giant has the Asian market locked up thanks to its standout Galaxy series.

The Samsung Galaxy series is renowned for continuously innovating smartphone technology, allowing users to surf the web, play games online, access online casino games and much more. Each new model reveals enhancements that transform the user experience.

Some distinguishing characteristics include:

  • Super AMOLED displays: Samsung is celebrated for its high-caliber displays that deliver vibrant hues and profound contrasts, ensuring an engrossing viewing experience.
  • Samsung’s camera technology consistently remains among the most superior, integrating advanced image processing and diverse lenses to enhance both photography and videography.
  • The user interface from Samsung offers a refined and intuitive experience, allowing for effortless navigation and amplifying user satisfaction.
  • The DeX functionality enables users to convert their smartphones into a desktop-equivalent experience, linking to monitors, keyboards and mice.
  • As a globally renowned tech giant, Samsung has forged a reputation for quality and reliability, solidifying its position as a favored choice among consumers.

Conversely, OnePlus takes pride in delivering top-tier performance and an uncluttered Android experience at a more affordable cost.

Some key attributes of OnePlus include:

  • The OnePlus custom Android interface is sleek, fast and free of unnecessary applications, ensuring a streamlined user experience.
  • Technologies such as Dash Charge and Warp Charge from OnePlus facilitate quick battery rejuvenation, keeping devices ready for use.
  • With a concentration on high-performance smartphones offered at a more economical price compared to traditional flagship devices, OnePlus attracts cost-sensitive consumers looking for exceptional performance.
  • OnePlus has brought in high refresh rate displays, guaranteeing a smooth, highly responsive user interface.
  • The active community engagement by OnePlus involves seeking and integrating user feedback into software enhancements, highlighting a committed, user-focused approach.

OnePlus vs iPhone

In a side-by-side comparison between iPhone and OnePlus devices, several key differences and similarities emerge that highlight their individual strengths and weaknesses.

  • In terms of build, the iPhone boasts a premium metal and glass construction with water resistance, while OnePlus also offers water resistance but with plastic and glass materials.
  • Technology-wise, iPhone integrates high-end technology, ensuring a satisfying user experience with the latest features, whereas OnePlus focuses on technology that bolsters user experience but does not extend beyond that.
  • The iPhone operating system, iOS, provides a seamless performance with regular software and security updates, while the OnePlus OxygenOS offers fast performance, three years of software updates and four years of security patches.
  • The iPhone may have lower megapixels in its cameras but it captures superior detailed photos, especially in night mode, and video, in contrast to OnePlus’s higher megapixel cameras that struggle with capturing detail in low-light conditions.

Overall, it is clear that OnePlus stands out as a stellar choice for those seeking flagship attributes at an economical price point. It assures speed, captures splendid photos and reliably lasts throughout the day. However, for those in pursuit of a premium smartphone that delivers exceptional photo and video quality along with a flawless experience, the iPhone emerges as the preferred option, despite issues with its latest release.

Can it take on the giants?

In an era in which global consumers are increasingly delaying their smartphone upgrades, OnePlus is attracting new customers at a fast rate.

Under the guidance of President Li Jie, OnePlus has announced an astonishing 260% year-on-year growth in 2023, emerging as the fastest-growing smartphone brand. The launch of three products — the OnePlus 11, OnePlus Ace 2 and OnePlus Ace 2V, have propelled the company’s success.

This remarkable achievement provides a glimmer of optimism in an industry grappling with a downturn attributable to the global pandemic and economic recession. At a recent press conference unveiling the new Ace 2 Pro smartphone, Li Jie outlined the company’s strategic perspective, underscoring its dedication to developing device performance. In this gathering, Jie shared the remarkable accomplishment of the Ace 2 Pro, which set a new pre-sale record across all price segments and brands in 2023, with 150,000 units sold in just 26 hours.

In the first half of 2023 alone, OnePlus’s sales volume skyrocketed by 335% compared to the same period last year.

While OnePlus is still significantly behind its rivals worldwide, if it can continue to offer a high-end smartphone at a lower cost than its rivals, it is expected to maintain its progress in taking market share. Who knows, one day it may be able to emerge as a genuine worldwide threat, but it still has some way to go before it can catch the big boys.