Oneplus’ carl pei the oneplus 6 is the company’s boldest design yet – cnet z gas ensenada telefono

OnePlus instead excels at building up its own hype with an active presence on social media and Reddit. It also collaborates with famous French designers, releases limited-edition colors at low inventory and sets up pop-ups with trendy retailers such as Hypebeast and Colette, the iconic streetwear store in Paris. Oftentimes, it’s as if each new OnePlus phone launch has the same buildup as the next big underground sneaker drop.

Founded in 2013 when Pei was 24, OnePlus is known for high-end phones packed with the latest hardware and priced more affordably than top-tier alternatives like the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel phones. Alongside Oppo and Vivo, it’s one of three phone makers owned by the Chinese corporation, BKK Electronics.

With no US carrier distribution for now and a US market share of only 0.4 percent of phones shipped according to the industry analysis company IDC, OnePlus is mostly known among Android enthusiasts. In its early years, word-of-mouth, super low prices (the first One started at $299, or about £180 and AU$320), and controversial promo campaigns helped the company garner a grassroots fanbase made up of passionate loyalists.

But this "cool" factor OnePlus gained in a short amount of time isn’t immune to judgement. Bad tweets notwithstanding, its phones have been accused of looking too uncannily similar to its fellow BKK subsidiary Oppo (compare the OnePlus 5 and Oppo R11, for instance).

In June 2017, XDA Developers reported that the OnePlus 5 skewed benchmark scores — a practice not entirely unusual among phone companies. Later that October, the company was found to be collecting an inordinate amount of user data. That was all topped off in January 2018, when the company confirmed that up to 40,000 OnePlus customers had their credit card information exposed due to a November hack.

Engraved on the back of the OnePlus 6 is something that hasn’t been seen since the first OnePlus One phone in 2014. It’s a simple, short descriptor that reads "Designed by OnePlus." But it shows how proud Pei and the design team is, with Pei even proclaiming the OnePlus 6 as the company’s "boldest design."

That’s not exactly surprising for a co-founder of a company to say. But the OnePlus 6 does look different than past years because of the black notch that sits above the phone’s display. A point of contention among phone users, the notch was first implemented by The Essential Phone and the Sharp Aquos S2, but it was the Apple iPhone X popularized the feature. Other Android phones like the Asus Zenfone 5, Huawei P20 and LG G7 have it too.

For Pei, the notch was a practical choice — one that may be interim but benefits the user nonetheless. It’s a kind of compromise that gives a smidge more screen real estate without increasing the overall size of the phone. And if you can’t stand the notch, a software update will let you can black out the rest of the top of the screen for a more traditional look.

To consumers, especially those who aren’t privy to the design process of phones, most devices can’t help but look the same. This is particularly true for the front of phones, and it’s a reason why companies concentrate on the backside to differentiate themselves.

This "secret" is the way the light reflects on the phone in a distinct S-shape. It’s no earth shaker, but it’s eye-catching when you notice it. Throwing in aesthetic Easter eggs isn’t completely unusual with phones. In the original Pixel, the glass shade of the silver and blue color variants are tinted yellow for a multicolored sheen known as a dichroic effect. There was no practical reason for it, as there is no practical reason for this S-shape, but it’s the small details industrial designers like to put in.

But being a high-volume phone maker isn’t the company’s modus operandi to begin with, and OnePlus considers itself to be doing well in the global sense. Revenue doubled in the last year to 1.4 billion. In the last quarter of 2017, 48 percent of premium Android phones in India (as in, phones that cost more than $400) were OnePlus phones.

In November, OnePlus was targeted by "a malicious script" that sniffed out its customers’ credit card info, according to OnePlus’ statement. A cursory poll initiated by a OnePlus forum user later reported 375 cases of fraudulent charges made after a recent OnePlus transaction.

Offering its apologies, OnePlus assured users that it moved its payments to a third-party site, conducted an in-depth security audit, set up an advisory panel of outside experts and offered one year of credit monitoring. But Pei acknowledges this can only cover so much.

Fast forward to today and Pei assured that user privacy is still a priority, perhaps even more so now that the General Data Protection Regulation will take effect soon. GDPR is a European Union-wide piece of legislation that will be enforced on May 25. It sets stricter security requirements on companies when it comes to data collection and privacy.

For instance, Pei believes the phone industry’s interest in augmented reality, VR and artificial intelligence technology is overhyped — at least for now. It also isn’t ready to leave the headphone jack behind just yet, though OnePlus launched its first pair of wireless earbuds so the option is available if people want it.