Life Tech OnePlus’s cheap new smartphone aims to disrupt the Australian market

OnePlus’s cheap new smartphone aims to disrupt the Australian market

The OnePlus 5 will be up for sale in Australia later this month
The OnePlus 5 will be up for sale in Australia later this month Photo: Getty
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An affordable smartphone will launch in Australia this month, promising the clearest camera and fastest charging battery on the market.

OnePlus has positioned its newest smartphone as a cheap alternative to competitors, with an outright cost of US$479 (AU$603).

The price tag sets itself apart from the iPhone 7 Plus, which costs US$769 ($AU966), while the Samsung Galaxy S8 is US$719 (AU$903) outright.

The Chinese-owned company claims the OnePlus 5 will provide a full day’s charge in just 30 minutes and will take the clearest possible photos.

But Vassilis Kostakos, from the University of Melbourne, said he was not convinced OnePlus 5 would be a major blow to competitors.

“Whether OnePlus manages to displace Apple and Samsung depends on a number of factors. Clearly its low price tag is attractive,” Dr Kostakos told The New Daily.

“It has most of the features that one expects from a flagship product. Its lower price can be explained by the fact that it has neither state-of-the art audio nor an advanced display, and it does lack some of the more advanced sensors, such as an iris scanner.”

Software updates could also be delayed, because OnePlus uses a custom version of the Android operating system and users would need to adapt updates to their handsets.

“It is also possible that certain applications may not function properly because they have not been tested on this handset,” Dr Kostakos said.

“To a large extent this is not OnePlus’ fault, but a general problem with Android smartphones due to the market fragmentation. This is a problem that Apple does not face.”

OnePlus was accused of cheating in benchmark tests earlier this year. The company denied the allegations.

“Smartphone benchmarks are used to measure the speed of smartphones, in terms of running applications and performing calculations,” Dr Kostakos said.

Features of the smartphone

OnePlus said the phone had one of the best cameras on the market.

“The OnePlus 5 features the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today for clearer photos than ever before,” the company said in a statement in June.

The smartphone is 7.25 millimetres thick. Photo: OnePlus

“The dual camera provides some of the clearest photos on the smartphone market today and gives users more control to take stunning photos in all conditions.”

The smartphone also promises a full day of battery power from just 30 minutes’ charge with Dash Charge, “the fastest charging solution on the global market”.

The phone comes in Midnight Black and Slate Gray colours. It is 7.25 millimetres thick, slightly slimmer than the 7.3mm iPhone 7 Plus.

OnePlus 5 also has a Reading Mode and Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode.

“Reading Mode utilises an ambient sensor and grey-scale mapping to make reading as comfortable as reading an actual book,” OnePlus said.

“Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode allows users to play their favorite games without being disrupted by notifications or accidental hardware button presses.”

In a statement on Thursday, co-founder Carl Pei announced a soft launch of OnePlus 5 later this month.

“The goal will be to test our product and supply chain, and we’ll be opening up a limited trial run for sales,” he said.

The New Daily has contacted OnePlus, Apple and Samsung for comment.

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