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Best OnePlus phones of 2021: these are the top new or older OnePlus handsets
Our ranking of the best OnePlus phones has had a relatively recent and major update, as the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro have now launched and taken their places in our rankings below.
These followed the OnePlus 8T, and the company's new line - the more affordable OnePlus Nord, so between these phones and older but still excellent ones there should be a OnePlus handset for almost everyone.
We know now that the OnePlus 9T isn't happening this year so a new entry to this list isn't likely to happen until early 2022 when - hopefully - the OnePlus 10 launches.
Despite that, keep checking in regularly to see how things change for the best OnePlus phones if you want to keep on top of OnePlus phone choices.
Our most recent additions are the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro – two high-end handsets that put a big focus on the camera, but don’t skimp on other areas either.
Best OnePlus phones 2021
1. OnePlus 9 Pro
A giant leap for OnePlus photography
Release date: March 2021
Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Snapdragon 888
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+The best OnePlus camera phone+Great power
Reasons to avoid
-High price-No microSD support
The OnePlus 9 Pro is a top-tier flagship and one that improves on the main weakness of previous OnePlus phones – their cameras.
Thanks to a new Hasselblad partnership and a ‘freeform’ ultra-wide lens, designed to reduce the distortion at the edge of images, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the best OnePlus camera phone.
But a fancy new camera isn’t all this has going for it. There’s also its top-tier pairing of a Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM, for enormous amounts of power, and its 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+, ensuring visuals are among the best you’ll find on a phone.
With a typically premium design too, plus water resistance, and a respectable 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging and 50W wireless charging, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a phone with no obvious omissions or compromises, yet one that still costs less than the top rivals – although its price is certainly still on the high side.
Read our full OnePlus 9 Pro review
2. OnePlus 9
A great-value option with no major drawbacks
Release date: March 2021
Dimensions: 160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 888
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Great specs for the cost+Good camera
Reasons to avoid
-No telephoto camera-Lack of flagship-material polish
The OnePlus 9 has many of the best features of the OnePlus 9 Pro, including its Hasselblad camera partnership and freeform ultra-wide lens (designed to correct the distortion that ultra-wide images often suffer from). It lacks the Pro’s telephoto camera, but otherwise the photography performance is similar – and a lot better than previous OnePlus phones.
You also get just as much power here as on the Pro (or as on most 2021 flagships), thanks to a Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM. Plus the same size (4,500mAh) battery, with just as fast 65W charging – though the wireless charging is slower here, at 15W.
The 6.55-inch AMOLED screen isn’t quite as sharp at 1080 x 2400, but it still has a 120Hz refresh rate, and costs have been cut on the design of the phone, as it has a plastic rather than metal frame.
But these savings are passed on to the buyer, as the OnePlus 9 while not cheap is great value for what you get, and should be the perfect fit for anyone who doesn’t need the extra bells and whistles of the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Read our full OnePlus 9 review
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Chinese electronics manufacturer, subsidiary of BBK Electronics
"1+" redirects here. It is not to be confused with +1.
OnePlus Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (一加科技) is a Chineseconsumer electronicsmanufacturer headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in the Tairan Building (泰然大厦) at the Chegong Temple (车公庙) subdistrict of Futian District. It was founded by Pete Lau and Carl Pei in December 2013, and is currently majority-owned by Oppo as its only shareholder, which is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics along with Vivo, Realme and iQOO. The company is best known for making smartphones, and officially serves 34 countries and regions around the world as of July 2018[update].
OnePlus was founded on 17 December 2013 by former Oppo vice-president Pete Lau and Carl Pei. According to Chinese public records, OnePlus' only institutional shareholder is Oppo Electronics. Lau denied that OnePlus was a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo and stated that Oppo Electronics and not Oppo Mobile (the phone manufacturer) is a major investor of OnePlus and that they are "in talks with other investors", although OnePlus has confirmed it uses Oppo's manufacturing line and shares part of the supply chain resources with Oppo. The company's main goal was to design a smartphone that would balance high-end quality with a lower price than other phones in its class, believing that users would "Never Settle" for the lower-quality devices produced by other companies. Lau explained that "we will never be different just for the sake of being different. Everything done has to improve the actual user experience in day-to-day use." He also showed aspirations of being the "Muji of the tech industry", emphasizing its focus on high-quality products with simplistic, user-friendly designs. Continuing Lau's association with the platform from the Oppo N1, OnePlus entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Cyanogen Inc. to base its products' Android distribution upon a variant of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod and use its trademarks outside of China.
The company unveiled its first device, the OnePlus One, on 23 April 2014 which was intended to capture market from the Google Nexus series. In December 2014, alongside the release of the OnePlus One in India exclusively through Amazon, OnePlus also announced plans to establish a presence in the country, with plans to open 25 official walk-in service centers across India.
In April 2014, OnePlus hired Han Han to help market its products in mainland China.
On 9 March 2014, the company expanded its operations to the European Union.
On 16 December 2014, The Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court banned the import and sale of OnePlus One phones following a lawsuit by Micromax alleging it has exclusivity for shipping phones with Cyanogen OS software in India. On 21 December 2014, the ban was lifted. The device continues to be shipped with Cyanogen OS; however, a customized version of Android specially designed by OnePlus and named OxygenOS has been released, allowing later OnePlus devices to be sold in India.
OnePlus made its products available in Southeast Asia for the first time, partnering with Lazada Indonesia on 23 January 2015 and was expected to expand during that year throughout the region. In June 2016, OnePlus decided to pull out of the Indonesian market due to local regulations for imported 4G smartphones restricting sales of the OnePlus 2.
At the launch event of the OnePlus 6 on 17 May 2018, OnePlus announced it would be opening five new OnePlus Experience stores in India, as well as 10 new service centers.
According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, OnePlus topped the Indian premium smartphone market last year with a 33 percent share, beating Samsung Electronics with 26 percent. In the IDC survey, OnePlus ranked third in India's market with more than $500 in the first quarter of this year after Apple and Samsung Electronics. And it ranked second after China's Vivo in the 300-500-dollar market.
On 16 October 2020, Carl Pei resigned as director of OnePlus.
In 2021 Oppo and OnePlus combined their hardware research teams via OPlus.
In July 2021 OnePlus Merges OxygenOS With Oppo's ColorOS, Both companies’ software will remain separate and continue to serve their individual regions (OxygenOS for OnePlus phones globally, ColorOS on OnePlus and Oppo devices in China) but share a common codebase, which OnePlus says should standardize its software experience and streamline the development process for future OxygenOS updates.
Advertising and marketing
Early phones were only available through a system whereby customers had to sign up for an invitation, which OnePlus called an invite, to purchase the phone at irregular intervals. The system was claimed to be necessary for the young company to manage huge demand. OnePlus ended the invitation system with the launch of OnePlus 3 on 14 June 2016. Announced via an interactive VR launch event, the OnePlus 3 initially went on sale within the VR app itself. OnePlus touted the event as the world's first VR shopping experience. The phone was made available for sale later that day in China, North America and the European Union on the OnePlus website, and in India on Amazon India.
"Smash the Past"
On 23 April 2014, OnePlus began its "Smash the Past" campaign. The promotion asked selected participants to destroy their phones on video in an effort to purchase the OnePlus One for $1 (US). Due to confusion, several videos were published by unselected users misinterpreting the promotion and destroying their phones before the promotion start date. OnePlus later revised the rules of their promotion by allowing consumers to donate their old phones. There were 140,000 entrants in the contest with 100 winners.
OnePlus Playback is a series of music videos in collaboration with popular Indian singers, beginning in 2018 .
In May 2019, OnePlus made a deal with ‘Avengers’ actor Robert Downey Jr. to endorse OnePlus 7 Pro. Before him, it was Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan who used to endorse OnePlus in India.
Partnership with Hasselblad
On 8 March 2021, OnePlus announced a $150 million deal with Hasselblad to develop camera technology for OnePlus, which also included the new OnePlus 9 series phones that also included improved cameras made in partnership with Hasselblad.
Controversies and criticism
"Ladies First" controversy
On 13 August 2014, OnePlus hosted a contest to give invites, which were hard to come by at the time, to their female forum members. Users were asked to post a photo of themselves with the OnePlus logo, images would be shared in the forum and could be "liked" by other forum members. This received major backlash for objectifying and degrading women, resulting in the contest being pulled within hours.
Criticism of customer support
The customer support at OnePlus was once the subject of strong criticism. In 2017, the company increased the number of customer service staff and set up customer service and repair centers in Asia, Europe, and the United States, greatly improving turnaround times for repairs and other issues.
OnePlus USB-C cable
After several weeks of customer complaints on OnePlus forums and on Reddit, Google engineer Benson Leung showed that the USB-C cable and USB-C-to-Micro-USB adapter offered by OnePlus at that time did not conform to the USB specification. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei on 26 November 2015 admitted that the cable and adapter did not conform to the USB specification, and offered refunds (although not for cables bundled with the OnePlus 2 phone).
App performance throttling
In July 2021, the company was accused of, and then admitted to throttling app performance. The throttling was uncovered by Andrei Frumusanu at AnandTech when he discovered the OnePlus 9 significantly diminishing the performance of Chrome.
XDA Developers said in 2020 "OnePlus usually does a decent job of bringing some of the new features it launches with its latest flagships to older devices."
Main article: List of OnePlus products
OnePlus is known for making Smartphones, Headphones, Wearables and Televisions. Some of its products are known as "Flagship Killers" for providing a better experience for a lower price than their counterparts. Their products overall have received mixed reviews
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- Media related to OnePlus at Wikimedia Commons
For other uses of "One plus one", see 1+1 (disambiguation).
The front face view of the OnePlus One ("Sandstone Black", 64 GB) running Cyanogen OS 12
2014 Flagship Killer
|Compatible networks||GSM, WCDMA, LTE|
|First released||23 April 2014; 7 years ago (2014-04-23)|
|Availability by region||25 April 2014 (Invite-only release) |
6 June 2014 (Worldwide release)
2 December 2014 (India)
|Discontinued||26 April 2016 (2016-04-26)|
|Dimensions||152.9 mm (6.02 in) H|
75.9 mm (2.99 in) W
8.9 mm (0.35 in) D
|Mass||162 g (5.7 oz)|
|Operating system||Original: Android 4.4.2 "KitKat": CyanogenMod 11S (global version)|
Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean": ColorOS (Chinese version)
Current: Android 5.1.1 "Lollipop": OxygenOS 2.1.4 (global version)
Android 6.0.1 "Marshmallow": HydrogenOS 2.0(Chinese version)
Unofficial: Android 11: LineageOS 18.1
|System on chip||QualcommSnapdragon 801 MSM8974PRO-AC r2p1|
|CPU||2.5 GHz (2457 MHz) quad-core Krait 400|
|GPU||Adreno 330, 578 MHz|
|Memory||3 GB 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM|
|Storage||16 GB (Silk White), 64 GB (Sandstone Black)|
|Removable storage||None; Removable SIM card slot|
|Battery||Non-removable 3100 mAhLi-Po|
|Data inputs||Multi-touchtouchscreen display, triple microphone configuration, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, digitalcompass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor|
|Display||5.46 in (139 mm) 1920x1080 pixel resolution, 401 ppi pixel density, 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)|
LED-backlit IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16:9 aspect ratio, 600 cd/m2 max brightness (typical), and oleophobic coating
|Rear camera||Sony Exmor RS IMX214 13 megapixels (4128×3096 px), autofocus, dual-LED flash, DCI [email protected] (native support, OpenCamera lets you do 30fps @ 100 Mbps) [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], HDR|
|Front camera||5 megapixels, [email protected] (extra-wide 80º viewing angle)|
|Sound||Dual mono speakers, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack|
|Connectivity||GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz; Bands: 1/2/4/5/8;|
3G (HSDPA 42 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.8 Mbit/s): 850, 900, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz;
LTE: 700, 1700, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2600 MHz; Bands: 1/3/4/7/17/38/40
Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) (2.4/5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, NFC, A-GPS & GLONASS, microUSB 2.0, USB OTG, USB Host, 3.5 mm headphone jack
|SAR||US 0.62 W/kg (head) 0.75 W/kg (body)|
The OnePlus One (colloquially abbreviated to OPO) is an Androidsmartphone manufactured by OnePlus. Unveiled in April 2014, it is the first product by OnePlus. The OnePlus One was designed to compare favorably – in performance, quality, and price – to flagship devices by leading smartphone manufacturers. It was also intended to be developer friendly, and has since received a wide variety of ROMs and custom kernels from the community. The OnePlus One shipped to most markets with the Cyanogen OS operating system pre-installed, a commercial variant of CyanogenMod.
The phone was first made available for sale on 25 April 2014, exclusively from the OnePlus website, but initially required prospective customers to obtain an invitation before they could purchase it. These invitations were primarily distributed by the company through contests, some of which attracted attention for their unconventional or controversial nature. On 6 June 2014, the device was available for general sale. As of 20 April 2015, the device no longer required an invite to purchase.
The OnePlus company was founded on 16 December 2013 by former Oppo vice-president Pete Lau. The company's main goal was to design his "dream" smartphone; one that would balance the quality of high-end devices from its major competitors with a lower price than other phones in its class. He argued that, despite their lower cost, users would "never settle" for the lower-quality devices produced by other Chinese companies, and similar startups such as Blu and Yota. Lau compared the ideals of OnePlus with those of the Japanese company Muji, with a focus on high quality products with simplistic designs. The company's primary cost-cutting measure was a decision to exclusively sell the device online, rather than at retail or through wireless carriers, citing the success of a similar online sales model for Nexus devices. Continuing Lau's association with the platform from the Oppo N1, OnePlus entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Cyanogen Inc. to base its product's Android software upon Cyanogen OS, a commercial variant of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod, and use its trademarks outside China.
The OnePlus One was officially unveiled on 23 April 2014 for a limited release on 25 April: described as a "flagship killer", its prices were set at US$299 and US$349 for the 16 GB and 64 GB models respectively—which one critic estimated was roughly half the price of the then recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S5.
Release and distribution
The device was sold online exclusively through the OnePlus website. Stock of the device was previously limited through an invite system; the company had made the device available for purchase without an invitation during special promotions, however, such as on Black Friday, and in December 2014 for the holiday shopping season. On 9 February 2015, OnePlus announced that it would begin to hold such open sales every Tuesday. In an announcement on 20 April 2015 marking the one-year anniversary of its release, OnePlus announced that the One would be available without an invite "forever", but hinted that the requirement may return for its successor. Co-founder Carl Pei explained that "by rigorously testing and improving our logistical structure over the last one year, we are far more confident that our processes have matured enough for us to handle the increased production and after-sales support that comes along with opening up sales. It's what we've been working towards, and now we're ready."
Invites were first given out through a promotion known as "Smash the Past", in which 100 users would be selected to win an opportunity to purchase a 16 GB OnePlus One for only $1, along with three invites they can give to friends, if they record a video of themselves breaking their previous phone. Some users misinterpreted the promotion, however, and prematurely posted videos on YouTube of them breaking their phones. Users were later not required to destroy their phones, and could instead donate them to the charity Medic Mobile.
OnePlus launched a second contest, "Ladies First", on 12 August 2014, inviting women to take photos of themselves holding the OnePlus logo or having drawn it on their bodies, with the winners decided by a vote receiving an invite to buy the One, and a OnePlus T-shirt. The promotion was met with controversy, as others felt that the contest promoted the objectification of women: some users posted entries that consisted of existing photos of women with OnePlus logos edited onto them, while another posted a picture of herself performing middle finger gestures, accompanied by a comment denouncing the contest as sexist. In response to the criticism, the contest was pulled only hours after it was announced: the company stated that "we want to encourage even more women to get involved with and excited about the amazing things happening in tech right now. The 'Ladies First' contest was a very misguided effort by a few isolated employees to do just that, however there is no question the post not only failed to better include our female community but actually perpetuated a stereotype that OnePlus in no way supports or condones." On 25 August 2014, OnePlus began a summer-themed photography coverage as a replacement, giving away 10,000 invites.
In December 2014, the One was released in India exclusively through Amazon; invites were still necessary to purchase the device outside special promotions, which have been held occasionally since its launch. OnePlus also announced plans to establish a presence in the country, with plans to open 25 official walk-in service centres across India.
In August 2015, nearly 18 months after its release, the One was officially released in the United Arab Emirates exclusively through a local online retailer souq.com. Customers can purchase the phone without the need of an invite.
Sales of the OnePlus One in India were temporarily halted following a temporary injunction granted to Micromax Mobile, alleging that the sale of the device in India violated its exclusive rights to distribute Cyanogen-branded products in South Asia—an agreement announced in November 2014 as part of a new joint venture, YU, and that its agreement superseded the agreement Cyanogen Inc. had established with OnePlus. The company disputed the arguments, noting that its Cyanogen-based software was different from that of Micromax's, and argued that the exclusivity agreement only meant that Cyanogen could not partner with any other company based in India, and did not inhibit the ability for OnePlus to market its products in the country with its trademarks.
In response to the partnership, OnePlus had already begun the development of a new, in-house Android distribution, known as "OxygenOS", which it planned to replace CyanogenMod with for the device that the company planned via software updates to models distributed in India, along with a version for Chinese models known as "H2OS". On 25 December 2014, the court reversed the sales ban, noting that YU and OnePlus were within different market segments—low-end and high-end devices respectively.
The device's internal hardware includes a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 system-on-chip clocked at 2.5 GHz, 3 GB of RAM, and a 5.5-inch, JDI1080pIPS LCD display. It includes either 16 or 64 GB of non-expandable storage. Its rear-facing camera features a 13 megapixel, Sony-manufactured Exmor IMX214 sensor, alongside a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The OnePlus One supports LTE networks using bands 1, 3, 4, 7, 17, 38, and 40. Due to the company's startup stature, only one model of the device was released worldwide, without any additional regional SKUs like other smartphones.
The chassis of the OnePlus One is constructed from magnesium, and is accompanied by a curved, textured rear cover in either black or white. Special denim, Kevlar, and bamboo wood covers were also unveiled as accessories, but the bamboo covers were temporarily cancelled due to quality issues. The device features capacitive navigation keys, but they can be disabled in favor of customizable navigation keys rendered on-screen.Anandtech characterized its design as being a "close cousin" to the Oppo Find 7A , although with a non-user-replaceable battery.
Outside China, the OnePlus One shipped with CyanogenMod 11S, based on Android 4.4.4 "KitKat". The latest version of CyanogenMod 11S is 11.0-XNPH05Q. In China, OnePlus One ships with Oppo's ColorOS distribution, based on Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean". Alongside additional features added to the Android platform through Cyanogen (including wider customization options, an audio equalizer, encrypted messaging, and application privacy controls), the 11S software adds persistent voice commands, and gestures that can be performed while the phone is in standby to perform various functions, such as double-tapping the screen to turn it on, drawing a circle to go to the camera, and drawing a "V" to activate flashlight mode.
An upgrade to Cyanogen OS 12.0, based on Android 5.0.2 "Lollipop" was released for all OnePlus One devices outside China on 14 April 2015. The latest version of Cyanogen OS for this phone is 13.1.2-ZNH2KAS3P0-bacon based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1(AOSP), released in August 2016. This brings latest September Security Patches for Android and improves the deep integration of "Cortana"-Microsoft's Digital Assistant into Cyanogen OS due to strategic partnership between Microsoft and Cyanogen; Microsoft also being an important investor in the company. Two in-house Lollipop-based distributions, OxygenOS and HydrogenOS, were released earlier, on 4 April 2015, outside and inside China respectively. On 9 April 2016, OnePlus One devices running Cyanogen OS started receiving Cyanogen OS 13.0.1 based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. Team Cyanogen started rolling out Cyanogen OS 13.1 on 10 June 2016. CyanogenOS 13.1 for OnePlus One includes mods for Skype, OneNote, Microsoft Hyperlapse and an updated Cortana mod.
Android 9.0 "Pie" is available for the device through the successor of CyanogenMod, LineageOS. The same applied for Android 10 and Android 11.
The OnePlus One has received a positive reception, not withstanding occasional technical issues and lack of support. The design was unique compared to other smartphones, with the rear panel's "[white] crisp smooth plastic or the [black] sandpaper-like texture [that] feels good regardless of your preference", while "the front panel is also beautiful because of its minimalist style and lack of visible hardware buttons". There was much praise for the One's hardware, shared with contemporary devices that often cost up to twice as much. Tests found that the One usually performed as well as or even better despite being half the price of its rivals, not only due to its specs but also attributed to its largely bloatware-free CyanogenMod OS. In addition, its CyanogenMod operating system offers more customization options than stock Android albeit being less stable. The OnePlus One was one of the fastest phones upon its release and its specifications have aged well after a couple of years.
The OnePlus One was generally considered superior to its closest competition. The similarly-priced Nexus 5 was more widely available and had more guaranteed updates from Google, however it suffered from some design compromises including mediocre battery life and camera quality to keep the price low, plus its internal hardware was aging. In terms of specifications and size, the OnePlus One could be compared to the much pricier 5.5-inch LG G3 whose screen was higher resolution but inferior quality.
Similar to the Google Nexus line of devices, the One has expanded the trend of high spec but mid-priced Android devices; by 2015 when the succeeding OnePlus 2 was released there was competition from numerous affordable flagships including the Moto X Pure and Asus ZenFone 2.
The OnePlus One's original distribution via an invite-only order system made the device difficult to acquire, so some reviewers decided against recommending it.
The OnePlus One, in retrospect, has been considered one of the best-supported community developer phones, with a wide variety of ROMs and custom kernels. The succeeding OnePlus 2 and subsequent OnePlus phones have not amassed such third-party support, furthermore their pricing has risen to mainstream.
As of the end of 2014, the OnePlus One has sold over one million units, despite only planning to sell up to 50,000 units. The East Asian market accounted for 39% of the company's shipments in 2014, followed by Europe with 33%, 22% in North America, and 7% in India. In total, the device generated a total revenue of $300 million through December 2014.
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| OnePlus One |
Phone one plus
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As not: a dick in his mouth means a fag. I did not want. And they give a fuck whether you like it or not.
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