Chinese smartphone company OnePlus officially unveiled its latest flagship phone at an event in New York today.
OnePlus grew to prominence for its premium-style phones at mid-range prices. However, we have analyzed the OnePlus price evolution in the past to illustrate that while its smartphones are still typically cheaper than rivals in the space, they are not quite as competitive as they once were. That, in part, is the price of success as the company has had to invest more in its business and improve its customer support channels. These costs inevitably get passed down the line to the handset.
At any rate, with the OnePlus 6T now officially unveiled, we can take a look at how OnePlus’ newest device compares on price to other flagships that have launched this year.
It is often difficult to properly compare “like for like” with phones, due to slight differences in specifications and configurations, plus many other brands launch two or three versions of a device with different form factors. To keep things as simple as possible, we will compare the cheapest version of the OnePlus 6T with the cheapest version of its rival flagships off-contract.
It’s worth stressing that this won’t necessarily convey the full story, but it will give a broad indication of where OnePlus’ pricing is currently at compared to some of its main competitors.
The 6.41-inch OnePlus 6T will be available to buy in the U.S. from November 1 through OnePlus.com, starting at $549 for 6GB RAM / 128GB. You can bump that up to 8GB of RAM for an extra $30. For the 8GB / 256GB version, you will pay $629. All prices are identical in euros.
OnePlus vs. Samsung
Back in February, Samsung debuted its latest Galaxy-branded flagships, the S9 and S9+. The entry-level S9 costs $720, which only gets you 64GB of storage.
Price difference: OnePlus is 24 percent cheaper than Samsung.
OnePlus vs. Google
Google announced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at an event earlier this month. The entry-level Google Pixel 3 costs $799 for a 64GB device.
Price difference: OnePlus is 31 percent cheaper than Google.
OnePlus vs. Huawei
Huawei unveiled the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro a couple of weeks back. Neither device will be launching in the U.S., so we’ll use euro pricing here for the comparison. The Huawei Mate 20 comes in a bottom-end incarnation that offers 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage, and this will cost €799.
Price difference: OnePlus is 31 percent cheaper than Huawei.
OnePlus vs. Apple
Apple is perhaps an unfair comparison, but it is one of the other obvious players in the premium smartphone realm.
The Cupertino company launched a triumvirate of new phones at an event last month. The iPhone XR is the base-level “budget” device, which starts at $749 for a 64GB unit.
Price difference: OnePlus is 27 percent cheaper than Apple.
What this tells us
OnePlus is launching on a U.S. carrier for the first time with the 6T, starting with T-Mobile, which should go some way toward elevating the brand into the mainstream consciousness. But for those who like to buy their devices off-contract, OnePlus is maintaining a strong competitive advantage over rivals in the premium phone space.
Using a cross-section of other recently launched phones, we can see that while OnePlus’ phones have crept up in price from the sub-$300 bracket of a few years ago, they are still generally around 25-30 percent cheaper than other big-name brands in the space.
And interestingly, the top-level OnePlus 6T — which costs $629 — is still around 12 percent less expensive than the cheapest of the base-level devices we compare it with here.
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