Our Approach to Honest Design

  1. Pete
    CEO Staff Member Apr 23, 2018

    Pete , Apr 23, 2018 :

    Before I start to talk about the industrial design of the OnePlus 6, I would like to share with you some facets of our overall design philosophy.

    In my last deep-dive, I mentioned that good user experience should be burdenless. Products are deeply tied to the people who use them. Excellent industrial design should give people a sense of ease, which is best embodied by a burdenless feeling.

    But to truly achieve such a feeling requires a serious approach and thought-out rationale, and the pursuit of this achievement can sometimes be painful. A company needs to be honest about the design of the product. It also needs to work on a daily basis to refine the subtle details, even if those details may seem minor.

    In Pursuit of Honesty

    Keeping industrial design honest means respecting what a product should be, rather than tacking on additional elements just for the sake of hype. An honest design will perfectly serve the function of the product and even embody the product itself, so that from the moment you hold it, the device “will speak for itself." And I believe users will naturally gravitate towards more "honest" designs.

    In August 2015, after a speech in Hong Kong, I met a OnePlus user who liked the sandstone finish and thought it was a design that “most clearly differentiated” OnePlus from other smartphone manufacturers. He asked me whether we could apply the sandstone finish on our future devices.

    At the time, I happened to be carrying the OnePlus 3 with me, which was still in the early stages of design. When I showed what I was carrying, the user exclaimed wide-eyed that the device looked beautiful. I asked him whether he would purchase a OnePlus 3 if it came in metal rather than sandstone black. “Of course,” he said. He could plainly see the superior consistency of the metal frame and how it made the phone more thin and exquisite.

    However, I didn't tell him that we had already tried sandstone black on the OnePlus 3, and saw results that were less than ideal. We found that the sandstone finish couldn’t compare to the overall smoothness and comfort of metal. As a manufacturer, we’d been exploring various materials in order to achieve more possibilities. Although sandstone black is different, we must look at the overall effect of the product and take an honest, impartial stance in order to improve the overall result.

    Design is in the (Seemingly) Insignificant Details

    However, there are still some people who still have misunderstandings about industrial design. They think that good industrial design should produce something that looks very different. However, good design—truly good design, does not deliberately pursue the exaggeration of the external form. In fact, it may even extend to a prioritization of the internal form: the material, the craftsmanship, and the tiny details.

    From the original OnePlus One to the OnePlus 6, we’ve always insisted on honing the fine details, even if the differences only amount to 0.01 millimeters. These seemingly insignificant details accumulate, and will ultimately contribute to an overall design that is greatly changed. Every decision we make is based on countless rejections, resulting in a quick, continually iterative process. As the CEO and product manager, my greatest responsibility for the product lies in making tough but ultimately necessary decisions. Of course, if my decisions are well-founded with principled reasoning, the end result will stand up on its own.

    One habit of mine is that no matter where I am—whether it's a business trip or just a day at the office, I'll always be sure to carry several prototype devices with me.  I like to take them out, feel the details and get a sense for how the device feels in my hand. Sometimes, I’ll just place them on the table and view them at the magic 45-degree angle. Rejections and suggestions for improvements often come organically, at random hours. If a prototype still feels fresh and exciting after several months, then it’s very likely that the design is just right.

    OnePlus 6 Design

    The OnePlus 6 also went through a similar process of continual iteration before reaching its current state.

    Appearance-wise, we’ve always maintained our signature horizon line and precise curve to the back of the device. From the OnePlus One to the OnePlus 5T, the horizon line and characteristic curve have remained as important elements of our design language.

    In addition to retaining the horizon design, we’ve also tried to incorporate glass materials on OnePlus 6. Although OnePlus is not the first manufacturer to use glass, we are confident that we are providing users with our interpretation of a familiar material.

    OnePlus 6's glass design is centered around creating a "sense of value" and "premium hand-feel." As I mentioned at the beginning, people relate deeply to the products they use. We gave a lot of thought to how users should feel when they use the OnePlus 6. The advantages of glass over metal are manifold: glass communicates a transparent, bright, and pure feeling. The way glass transforms under different lighting is a particularly important challenge—the OnePlus design team tested over 70 glass prototypes before selecting the best one.

    At the same time, we always want to create devices that feel premium to the touch. We care about the user's experience from the moment they touch the device. We also want our devices to feel burdenless in the hand, even after an extended period of use. OnePlus users have exacting standards for great industrial design. These standards often push and challenge us to meet our users’ expectations, to commit an extra layer of detail and polish in everything we do. As an example, the OnePlus 6's glass back contains five printed layers of Nanotech Coating, a first in the smartphone industry. We applied 5 layers of Nanotech Coating instead of 3, even though the degree of separation between each layer is extremely subtle and tough to discern. However, the additional layers give the back of the device a stronger impression of depth that our most demanding users will surely appreciate. Closely examine the OnePlus 6 and you’ll indeed see this subtle nuance embedded in each device.

    Over the past four years, core OnePlus users have consistently held the highest standards when it comes to the user experience and design of our devices. We know we’re creating devices for a discerning userbase. Your passion has in turn fueled our pursuit of perfection. The result? Our hard work and perseverance has always been rewarded with a sense of burdenless joy.

  2. Pete
    CEO Staff Member Apr 24, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Pete , Apr 24, 2018 :
    Understood. That's why we utilize Corning Gorilla Glass 5 which provides the best protection and performance in the industry. All of our products go through strict durability and drop tests, and the OnePlus 6 is still held to those same high standards.

  3. Pete
    CEO Staff Member Apr 24, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Pete , Apr 24, 2018 :
    After rigorous testing across a range of different material possibilities, we believe the glass on the OnePlus 6 creates a best possible user experience. The glass significantly improves signal reception and LTE performance, with a design and feel that I can't wait for you to experience. :D

  4. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Apr 23, 2018

    dsmonteiro , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Waiting for the jokes about the honesty part. :tearsofjoy:

    Seriously though, I'm quite curious about OP6's design. The back leaks look quite appealing!

    Having now read the article, sandstone > glass.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

  5. youbi
    Assistant Head Moderator Assistant Head Moderator Apr 23, 2018

    youbi , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Nice to see you still sharing more of this letters. Keep them coming. :)

  6. BobbyV8_
    The Showcase Reviewer Apr 23, 2018

    BobbyV8_ , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Woww! @RJBoss you might want to see this

    Is that a purple 6?!!!
    What do I see in the pics? - a curved back, glass design, purple body, Volume buttons moved to right side, antenna lines still there, same USB, 3.5mm jack, speaker.

    My guess - 5T with glass back & notch.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    nameerpv, Rockerpai, iamrock and 32 others like this.
  7. the_o2
    OnePlus 9 Series Expert Community Expert Apr 23, 2018

    the_o2 , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Whatever, People will bash you for the NOTCH and your honesty to copying Apple.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

  8. Akshay Sonker
    Honeycomb Apr 23, 2018

    Akshay Sonker , Apr 23, 2018 :

  9. Radeon962
    KitKat Apr 23, 2018

    Hansota, Wahoux, YASHPLUSONE and 21 others like this.
  10. the_o2
    OnePlus 9 Series Expert Community Expert Apr 23, 2018

    kakuism and Vishal Rajani like this.
  11. Cheetosdust
    Junior Moderator Junior Moderator Apr 23, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Thanks for the message @Pete

    Glass design? Oh my. Also, is that a tease for a new color like a dark twilight version of the special color used by Huawei? Looooking good. And it looks slightly curved.

    Just post a picture of the whole back, we're family here. ;) :p

  12. smartbuddy
    Ice Cream Sandwich Apr 23, 2018

    smartbuddy , Apr 23, 2018 :
    Good to see Pete still trying to connect with the community.

    Don't like the notch personally but the back is looking good if leaks are true.

    All the best to the OnePlus Team for the efforts.

    Bring it on, Oneplus 6!

  13. obakesan
    Jelly Bean Apr 23, 2018

    obakesan , Apr 23, 2018 :
    in 3,2,1...

  14. obakesan
    Jelly Bean Apr 23, 2018

    obakesan , Apr 23, 2018 :
    @petelau2007 thanks, looking forward to see the op6, am curious to see how much 'design' as gone into over the base model which seems to be taken from oppo?

  15. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Community Expert Apr 23, 2018

  16. Mahmoud Mahafdah
    Gingerbread Apr 23, 2018

    Mahmoud Mahafdah , Apr 23, 2018 :
    All what we ask for is that you don't take things out of proportion... Don't over hype things.. Don't makes us believe that you have one of the best camera and at the end we find that it's mediocre at best... Just be honest with us and we will support

  17. 36dbldz
    Honeycomb Apr 23, 2018

  18. script
    Moderator Moderator Apr 23, 2018

  19. Rodo20
    Gingerbread Apr 23, 2018

    Rodo20 , Apr 23, 2018 :
    My OnePlus 3T has 'clicky' buttons

  20. UnrulyTbag
    Apr 23, 2018

  21. Nick 89NL
    Cupcake Apr 23, 2018

    Nick 89NL , Apr 23, 2018 :
    i'm not a fan of glass on the back. using the S9+ now for a month, and i appreciates a sandstone back for the ergonomic grip it brings with it.

    when the back is glass, u will need to buy a case. and there goes the industrial design.....

  22. Saurabh40629
    Honeycomb Apr 23, 2018

    Saurabh40629 , Apr 23, 2018 :
    You just copy the fad and put the long story to make it look like you innovated. No doubt that you worked hard, even making copies take effort . Nothing against OnePlus, you have good products but wanted to voice my honest view about your designs. Stop following stupid fads.