Why the OnePlus 9 is overpriced and offers least value...

  1. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    OnePlus started off as the company that offers best and latest hardware for half the price of other premium smartphones. They made the right compromises by leaving out features most people can live without. A T-variant would be launched mid-cycle to compete with premium smartphones that usually launch in Q4 every year. The T-variant would boast the latest specs for included hardware.

    But this strategy was true only till the 7 series. With the 8 series, the strategy shifted to launching a Pro variant once a year. This would be the best smartphone from the brand for the year in terms of hardware. The T-variant would no longer have the latest hardware, but will only offer minimal upgrades over the regular non-Pro model. The older Pro variant will still be the better device over the newer T-variant. What this means is the latest T-variant would stop competing with premium smartphones that launch in Q4!

    With the 9 series, the strategy shifted further. They have now launched a R variant (although specifically for the Indian market this time), which will have a generation old hardware just to keep it affordable. It won't compete with the latest premium smartphones from other brands.

    The overhyped Hasselblad partnership has NOT done the magic it was expected to do. With a planned/ phased $150 mn investment over a 3 year period, they had to jack up the pricing even further to recover the costs. So the 9 series now offers pretty much nothing more (except for the software tweaks for the camera) compared to the earlier strategy, but has simply moved into the premium pricing space. One can only hope that the Hasselblad partnership will bring in the required magic over time, but my expectations from the 9 series has been watered down.

    Looking at the OnePlus 9 more specifically:

    1. No TELEPHOTO (Optical Zoom) lens
    2. No OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
    3. No LTPO panel
    4. No wireless charging (most markets)
    5. No IP68 certification
    6. Plastic Frame
    7. Only two 5G bands for India (https://www.bgr.in/news/oneplus-adm...errer=https://www.google.com&amp_tf=From %1$s)

    What does the OnePlus 9 offer over the 8T or 9R (8T and 9R are pretty much identical):

    Software tweaks for the camera from Hasselblad! That's it. You won't notice any performance difference either.

    Is the $200 (or 25%) premium for the 9 over the 9R/ 8T justified just for that?

    Absolute NO!

    The 8T (or 9R) is an easy winner over the 9 as they offer significantly more value for the price.

    Since the 8 Pro sells for roughly the same price as the 9, the 8 Pro is a much better deal for the price compared to 9.
    Last edited: May 13, 2021 at 11:19 AM

  2. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Instead of the Hasselblad partnership, they could have considered hiring some of the photography experts from this community itself to help them tweak the cameras. They would have saved hugely on costs (and therefore lower pricing), and the community would have been happier!

  3. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    McJader , Mar 28, 2021 :
    You make valid points, agreed with all of them.

    Artemus., Haroldj1590, Htsri and 10 others like this.
  4. Praty_28
    KitKat Mar 28, 2021

    Praty_28 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Add another point to the list "NO OIS". The OP9's sole purpose of existence is to justify the price tag of the 9Pro and nothing else. It is just like the move Samsung played to boost the worth of their Ultra flagship by providing a diminishing value for their base models.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021

  5. Arjun_Choudhry
    KitKat Mar 28, 2021

    Arjun_Choudhry , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Glass body, plastic frame ;)
    I agree with a lot of points here. Even the compromises made do not make sense here. Why not use the 8 Pro's camera hardware in the 9 (worse ultra-wide, but OIS and telephoto)? Why not use Warp Charge 30 on the 9, but support wireless charging?
    LTPO, I can maybe understand at this price.
    A metallic frame is the bare minimum I would expect from a flagship.

  6. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Mar 28, 2021

    dom_k , via OnePlus 7T , Mar 28, 2021 :
    I hope that no OIS in standart 9 is only misunderstanding like with Nord almost year ago (gsmarena and others tell us that it won't be ois here for some time). If not, well that it will be a huge step back, even 9R it has it and buying a standart 9 will be nosense.

    TheMystic and Praty_28 like this.
  7. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Absolutely. Just added the OIS part in the OP.

    I am not too happy with the direction the company is taking. Most important reason being their earlier strategy has worked exceedingly well, creating a niche for themselves and pushing OnePlus to the top as a premium smartphone maker.

    Starting off as a one or two smartphones (like Apple) brand, they have now diversified into budget products like the Nord, N10 & N100. Now the R. While it is a good thing to diversify the product range, it will also take away the exclusivity (reason why Apple discontinued their 'C' series) and dilute the brand. Their own products will now cannibalise their existing range. They already have the Oppo/ Vivo/ Realme brands to cater to the budget range. OnePlus was supposed to be a premium brand. But that no longer is the case. There is brand dilution for sure.

    Above everything else, the end product doesn't stand to the competition just yet. If I have to buy a $1,000 phone, I might as well spend a little more and get the absolute best (S21 Ultra, iPhone Pro Max). Money isn't really a constraint. At that price, the only differentiating factor today is the cameras. Without the best cameras, the pricing isn't justified. If performance is my main criteria, the 8T/ 9R is more than equipped for performance intensive work. The 9 series doesn't even come with Hasselblad cameras or something exclusive to the OnePlus devices. Their contribution is limited to software, and more specifically to the colour accuracy.

    This change in strategy could well be the reason Carl Pei left the company.

  8. Praty_28
    KitKat Mar 28, 2021

    Praty_28 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Yes can't agree more to this. The brand is constantly going downhill with each new device they release. The sales are going up no doubt but that is only because the marketing department is doing a fantastic job.

    Hype marketing has always been the strong point for OnePlus, be it the "First Every 90 Hz Fluid Amoled Display", "Display Mate A+ rated display with 10 bit colour accuracy", "First Ever LTPO display which goes all the way down to 1Hz" and "Hasselblad" being their most hyped collaboration so far.

    To be honest, none of these hyped features have lived upto their expectations post launch. All the A+ rated displays had tint issues, and now the hasselblad cameras which had a prime focus on color calibration failed miserably at being consistent with the colours. I do not own the device but my opinion is based on multiple reviews posted online and all of them have have found the camera which was the most hyped feature to be underwhelming.

    TheOnePlusLife and TheMystic like this.
  9. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Mar 28, 2021

    Bobbie63 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    It was a pretty good read with valid agruments until I saw this line:confused:

    Areebanwar, superplus, the_o2 and 7 others like this.
  10. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    They are not quite the company that they started off as: one that was community focused. Not anymore. Feedbacks are ignored and decisions are purely money centric than being customer centric. They have started bundling apps and services no one asked for (although at the moment they are within acceptable limits). Let's see how they go one from here.

  11. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    That was a guess since you and I don't know the real story.

    A founding member leaving an organisation isn't new, but isn't common either. There must be very strong disagreements in the approach and direction that the company is taking. And given that we are clearly seeing how the company has drifted away from what it used to be, my guess isn't actually as wild as it may seem to be.

  12. bobsta , via OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Consumers have different expectations but when OnePlus touted great things with the camera for the 9 series, everyone held their breath and once the reviews came out, a collective groan came from reviewers. It's cheeky to charge a higher price but not get the performance you would expect from so called flagship devices.

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter to a consumer like me. I'll go and buy a product from another manufacturer offering similar or better performance and quality. OnePlus are relying on their fan base to keep them going but when you get to a certain point with consumers saying enough is enough and a company doesn't take note of consumer dissatisfaction, well, that company will either have to adapt or disappear. For OnePlus' owners BBK it doesn't matter. They have other mobile phone brands such as Vivo and Oppo.

  13. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Mar 28, 2021

    Bobbie63 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    It has been quiet around our dear friend Carl at lot longer than the moment he announced his departure. What if I said I think he was put on a side rail long before his departure was announced. Some people are nice to have around with a start-up but are not suited to take the next step for a company, that’s when they need to start make money. For all we know, Carl was just there, being the smooth talker he is, the fact he speaks English and knows what’s going on in the rest of the world.

    it’s quite common when a company launches a new brand, the CEO moves to either a different position or disappears from the company scene totally. To start a new brand requires different style of management than to continue a brand.

  14. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    I'm amused at you suggesting Carl wasn't capable of taking the company forward.

    Carl was with Oppo, before he left Oppo to start OnePlus. The OnePlus brand that we know today owes a lot of its success to him.

    Building a brand from scratch requires a lot more skill than maintaining the momentum of a running vehicle.

  15. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Mar 28, 2021

    Bobbie63 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Sure if you say so. Carl is a saint to some, don’t wanna destroy the dream.

    Tobikage, the_o2, ghostofcain and 4 others like this.
  16. Moin2200
    KitKat Mar 28, 2021

    Moin2200 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Tbf at this point you are both just guessing out of the blue with one person thinking their guess is the better version...

    Perhaps you should take it to a private convo.

  17. TheMystic
    Lollipop Mar 28, 2021

    TheMystic , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Well, credit must be given where due.

    Carl moved from OPPO to OnePlus, both within BBK. Now he has left the group to start NOTHING. OnePlus was making a lot of money with him being at the helm.

    Given these facts, the exit suggests strong differences in the direction that was envisaged by him, which the rest of the team probably didn't agree with.

    KaranRIyer likes this.
  18. Moin2200
    KitKat Mar 28, 2021

    Moin2200 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Personally I like the 9 pro very much but I can't invest in full price and be uncertain about the software updates in the future as we have seen with last years models.

    Though I would like to be wrong.

    Arjun_Choudhry likes this.
  19. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Mar 28, 2021

    Bobbie63 , Mar 28, 2021 :
    Tbh, I’m not thinking much. Just reacted to the line “This change in strategy could well be the reason Carl Pei left the company.” I shouldn’t have said “I think” but “what if I said”.

    KaranRIyer and Arjun_Choudhry like this.
  20. Shailender Sharma
    Marshmallow Mar 28, 2021

    Shailender Sharma , Mar 28, 2021 :
    I would like to add this in the list of valid points discussed in this thread.

    OnePlus is using the same Front Camera
    Sensor: Sony IMX471, 16 Megapixels since the last three years (First came with OnePlus 7). If OnePlus is boasting so much about cameras, so why cost cutting on small things? Or 9 series users don't deserve a better selfie camera.