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Behind the Scenes – How a smartphone launch takes shape

  1. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 11, 2021

    dsmonteiro , Mar 11, 2021 :
    BTSciudnv.png

    Hey everyone,

    The hype train is on! As the starting whistle, @Pete announced the launch event and the partnership with Hasselblad, and, as tradition dictates, we re-opened the doors to The Lab. Still on their way, there are plenty more interesting topics that you don't want to miss.

    In this thread, though, we'll give you a unique look into how a major smartphone launch and its keynote take shape. You'll have a front-row seat to many BTS moments so make sure to keep an eye on this thread. We'll also share interviews, photos, and testimonies. Even the header image is a BTS shot. Can you guess what it is? Is there anything, in particular, you'd like to know or see? Ask in the comments below.

    Here's how the journey started:

    Back in Nov 2020, a secret project called Lemonade was launched. A team with members from different departments was established and united with a single aligned goal – make the best product possible and have as many people as possible knowing about it. @Pete, @Kinder L., and @Oliver Z. were appointed as the decision-makers, with Marketing, Product, Creative, OxygenOS, Industrial Design, Platform, E-Com, Legal, Support, PR, Brand, and Regional teams all being involved in this project.

    In the past 5 months, there were countless discussions on every detail, we heard arguments and also cheers. With everyone's effort, we're finally a few short days away from unveiling our brand-new products in our March 23 keynote.​

    Join this thread and you'll have the chance to win one of our limited lemonade T-shirts.
     

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  2. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 11, 2021

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  3. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 11, 2021

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    dsmonteiro , Mar 11, 2021 :
    You may also want to check this short documentary – Behind the Lens. In the first episode @Pete and Bronius Rudnickas from Hasselblad talk about how this partnership came to be.

     

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  4. Crystal Z.
    Global Community <3 Staff Member Mar 12, 2021

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  5. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 12, 2021

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    dsmonteiro , Mar 12, 2021 :
    This one is fairly easy to explain so I'll have a go.

    When we first launched the OnePlus One, its internal codename was 'bacon'. While we didn't keep the food-themed naming in the following devices, we returned to it with the OnePlus 5 – 'cheeseburger'. Since then, we've usually resorted to junk food or street food names – dumpling, enchilada, fajita, hotdog, instantnoodle, kebab. Sometimes, however, we needed to become creative. Guacamole didn't technically meet the criteria for "street food" but ended up being OnePlus 7 Series' codename. With J, it was even harder so we jumped to kebab. Lemonade might not be street food but is definitely a street drink. 😉

    Codenames make it easier to talk about an unreleased product without mention its name, but they end up becoming part of the product's history.
     

  6. Crystal Z.
    Global Community <3 Staff Member Mar 13, 2021

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    Crystal Z. , Mar 13, 2021 :
    That's a great question @derLenno

    Each of the teams mentioned by @dsmonteiro in the first post represents countless other staff members, across different offices, countries, and time zones. To streamline communication and reduce leaks, teams have a point-of-contact (POC). For the Community team and Lemonade, that POC is me.

    That means I'm the one to attend all meetings, preparing the team's proposals to engage our users throughout the different periods in the product lifecycle, making sure that other teams know what the Community team is up to and every Community team member is aware of what they need to be doing regarding Lemonade. A while after the launch, I'll need to make a post mortem report that goes through what went well, what went wrong, and where we can improve in the future.

    We also need to consider leaks, only one POC from each team could access the key assets for the product, sample shots, and I only got the access few days before pre-launch (Mar 8). At that time, I suppose you know more about the product assets than I do because of external leaks (hard to control :()

    Meetings become more frequent as we near the launch. We have daily catch up twice a day in these 2 weeks, not to mention weekly meetings, and regional catch up meetings, online and offline. Due to time zones and the difference, they are usually after dinner time here (9 or 10 PM) in China, so that our colleagues in India, Europe and North America can join. We also host training sessions so that people from different departments and regions get to know all about the device.

    Tl;Dr: Yes, it’s a PITA.
     

  7. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 13, 2021

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  8. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 14, 2021

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    dsmonteiro , Mar 14, 2021 :
    There are different stages of prototyping across the product lifecycle.

    While there are other ones prior to these, I'll focus on the ones where the product is more matured: EVT – Engineering Validation and Testing, DVT – Design Validation and Testing, and PVT – Production Validation and Testing. They follow a logical succession. With each new step, the product is closer to release. EVT checks if everything is working and according to the set requirements, iterating as needed. In a DVT stage, you have small batches where you start stress-testing the device and making sure it conforms to regulations, with smaller iterations. Finally, PVT is nearly identical to the phone you buy, this step only stress-tests production, making sure all procedures are being performed correctly and efficiently.

    As soon as the EVT stage is reached, you start seeing some around the office, inside clunky protective cases that obfuscate the phone's looks. Imagine an unnecessarily big case that you can't remove. In the early stages, they are tested only inside the office and very few people have them. POCs from each team, like @Crystal Z., can make the requests for their teams' needs. Teams use this chance to get acquainted with the product, experience the device for themselves. Since I write some of the content for our team, I usually get the device a couple of months before launch, so I can know everything about it in advance. (No, I don't get to keep them)

    Staff is under Non-Disclosure Agreements by nature, so we don't have to sign any NDAs specific to this testing. So only a pinky swear is needed, @atenaa. 😉

    But now the fun part. While most of you might not be aware, users are also part of this process. We run FUT (Friendly User Trial) programs where we invite users to try the device sometimes months before it's. We've also had Community Sample Shot events, where we seed devices to some of the best photographers the Community has to offer. All of these users are, for obvious reasons, under NDA. I was lucky enough to try the OnePlus 3 as a user, in one of, if not the first FUT program.

    There are no hard dates for each of these steps. As prototyping is bound to have iteration, things are ever-changing.
     

  9. Crystal Z.
    Global Community <3 Staff Member Mar 15, 2021

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  10. Kinder L.
    Head of R&D Staff Member Mar 15, 2021

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    Kinder L. , Mar 15, 2021 :
    Well, the full story is far more complex. November was marketing kick off, at that time, we already have our T1 or even early EVT prototype.

    A product R&D is a long journey, before T0 - T1 - EVT - DVT - PVT phase of prototyping, we had to evaluate product positioning, specs confirmation, CMF (Color, Material, Finish) testing, etc. A good example is one of the camera sensor that we're using on the 9 Series, Sony's IMX789. As you can read here, we've been developing it for 2 years. Another example is CMF. The finish we first introduced with the OnePlus 6 has been in constant evolution, continuously improving from then until now.

    So to answer your question, the first prototype was assembled much earlier than Nov, and some of parts you'll see on the OnePlus 9 Series are the culmination of an even longer process.
     

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  11. Hope L.
    Chief Designer Staff Member Mar 15, 2021

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    Hope L. , via OnePlus 9 Pro Morning Mist , Mar 15, 2021 :
    Last week, @Crystal Z. reached out to me, wishing to have a community exclusive showcase. It's not every day we can share what we do on the ID (Industrial Design) lab and I still remember how exciting it was when I first showed some of the hundreds of un-released CMF prototypes we have stocked in our Lab.

    Now I'm happy to share two of the finishes that we explored for the OnePlus 9 Pro

    9pro-1.jpg

    9pro-2.jpg

    These CMF didn't make it into the top ones, but every design is unique and has its own highlights.

    I will gradually share more un-released OnePlus 9 CMF soon.
     

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  12. Hope L.
    Chief Designer Staff Member Mar 16, 2021

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  13. Crystal Z.
    Global Community <3 Staff Member Mar 16, 2021

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    Crystal Z. , Mar 16, 2021 :
    Just get to know the white T-shirt I posted earlier will only be available next month. Do you (the potential winners) prefer to wait or switch to the black one?

    blackT-shirt.jpg
     

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  14. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 16, 2021

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  15. Hope L.
    Chief Designer Staff Member Mar 17, 2021

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  16. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 19, 2021

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  17. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 22, 2021

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  18. Crystal Z.
    Global Community <3 Staff Member Mar 23, 2021

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  19. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Community Expert Mar 23, 2021

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  20. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 11, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 11, 2021 :
    It's getting pretty hot! I'd love some fresh lemonade :D

    Just saw that Tilen is on the recording schedule, this is going to be good :cool:
     

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  21. KaranRIyer
    KitKat Mar 11, 2021

    KaranRIyer , Mar 11, 2021 :
    U stayed glued to the forums haha 😋
     

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  22. Mark Falsing
    Moderator Moderator Mar 11, 2021


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  23. KaranRIyer
    KitKat Mar 11, 2021

    KaranRIyer , Mar 11, 2021 :
    Interesting thread @dsmonteiro cant wait to see how this unfolds. I would like some Lemonade too
     

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  24. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Community Expert Mar 11, 2021

    Cheetosdust , Mar 11, 2021 :
    Thank you for the thread (and for the lemonade), @dsmonteiro

    The amount of people involved in creating a product will never stop to surprise me.

    Yes, who were the first people to test the prototypes and what precautions were in place to prevent leaks at the time? Also, when did that testing started? :cool:
     

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    script, jlasensiofi, drl431 and 14 others like this.
  25. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 11, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 11, 2021 :
    Call it coincide, I was just going to minimise the tab when I saw a new thread on the recents tab from dsmonteiro. He gets the good stuff, I couldn't resist :p
     

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  26. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Mar 11, 2021


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  27. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 11, 2021

    McJader , Mar 11, 2021 :
    I love the header! @Cheetosdust your wish is granted:D. Hey David, thanks for the thread, have nothing to ask off the top of my head, maybe will post later.
    Agreed:p
     

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    drl431, TibiTibi, YRJ and 6 others like this.
  28. akshatswar
    Gingerbread Mar 11, 2021


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  29. hojsimpson952
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 11, 2021


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  30. Aarav Sahni
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 11, 2021


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  31. the_o2
    OnePlus 9 Series Expert Community Expert Mar 11, 2021

    the_o2 , Mar 11, 2021 :
    Yes, a Smartphone :cool::cool:

    Yes, your presentation without any edits :rolleyes::D

    Do I need Instagram ID for that 🤔
     

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  32. Navdeep_Malik
    Jelly Bean Mar 11, 2021

    Navdeep_Malik , Mar 11, 2021 :
    I guess it takes a lot for making a perfect lemonade for the people of the world...and we would love some
     

    #15
    TibiTibi, Dresa91 and KaranRIyer like this.
  33. otto2
    Photography Expert Mar 11, 2021

    otto2 , Mar 11, 2021 :
    Hello @dsmonteiro did I read right? The whole project started in november? Including developing and assembling first prototypes?
     

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  34. KaranRIyer
    KitKat Mar 11, 2021


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  35. Tobikage
    Nougat Mar 11, 2021


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  36. SRD.
    Lollipop Mar 11, 2021

    SRD. , Mar 11, 2021 :
    The lemonade & moon are pretty interesting, every day more & more Hasselblad is heard all around. So, the expectation is too high and I am sure, The camera department of Oneplus 9series ( Pro maybe) 'll stand out.
    good to see the behind-the-scenes. Thanks, @dsmonteiro.
     

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  37. KaranRIyer
    KitKat Mar 11, 2021

    KaranRIyer , Mar 11, 2021 :
    True even i couldn't resist when i saw the post. 👍
     

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