A year or so ago One Plus was a new company that excited the world with the prospect of an Android phone that was fantastic value for money but also offered something other Android phones didn’t have. That elusive factor that One Plus had was that they wanted to make a phone that provided the same quality, easy of use and style of an iPhone.
Android had become complicated; manufacturers were creating phones that lacked both the style and simplicity of the iPhone; the mood was one of experiencing Android through their services and their applications and not through the experience that Google created. That’s not to say that the other manufacturers were wrong to want that but that they overcomplicated it so much that to make that great experience required a step back that wasn’t going to happen. One Plus on the other hand started with that as a huge advantage.
2014 was a massive year for Android; the later half saw Android Lollipop refine and enhance that experience further and as updates were sent to smartphones around the world they simply muddled that experience. Google had spent time creating a beautiful style called simply “Material” and that wasn’t obvious to anyone buying those handsets mired in the complicated design that wasn’t what Android deserved.
But not for One Plus; by partnering with Cyanogen with the release of the One Plus One in 2014 they had ensured a simple, elegant user experience that matched with their phone. When Lollipop rolled out to the One Plus One in early 2015 that experience was not muddled.
So how did One Plus do it?
Apple had one thing correct about the iPhone; the design. The feel and the quality. The thought put into having a mute toggle on every model of the iPhone. They nailed it. No Android phone had come close but that was where One Plus was starting; a position of strength.
They were iPhone users so they wanted to create an Android phone that made them want to abandon their iPhones and that mission is what set them apart. It was never about copying the iPhone or competing with Samsung. It was about attention to detail and it was about not settling for anything less.
Does that mean they succeeded? Everyone has their own opinions about One Plus but in my usage of the One Plus One I felt that they did. They offered flexibility and quality that no one else had given to us in an Android phone and they got me to put down my iPhone.
One Plus Two?
That toggle mute switch that had lived on the iPhone is now part of the One Plus 2. Finally the complicated and confusing notification settings in Android are resolved with a switch.
“And that attention to
detail is what
With the One Plus 2 that has carried on and a more refined, further enhanced device and experience awaits consumers. There may be some compromises in hardware that others get caught up on (the absence of NFC) but those people miss the point. This isn’t about the hardware; its about the experience and with those refinements and the new design One Plus are showing that again.
They built their own Android OS with Oxygen which means that One Plus have taken another leaf from Apple; a complete hardware-software package that they control in house.
We will be reviewing the One Plus 2 when it is released; but a phone that builds on the One Plus One which was a great phone could only be better.