We've all had a phone reach a premature death, running out of software updates well before the device is actually too slow to be used. Thankfully, the custom ROM community helps keep your old gadgets alive, and there's no better ROM out right now than LineageOS. The open-source project brought Android 11 to nearly 60 phones earlier this month, and two more are about to be added to the list. The OnePlus 6 and 6T have picked up Android 11 courtesy of LineageOS, with nightly builds for both now available.
The OnePlus Watch is a very confusing product — it lacks the smarts of a real smartwatch, but it’s also a terrible fitness band with botched tracking. So what is it trying to be, exactly? Frankly, I don't have a clue, and neither does OnePlus, seemingly. In its haste to deliver some kind of smartwatch, the company came out with a half-baked wearable that falls flat in several crucial ways.
There was a time not that long ago that OnePlus phones were a guaranteed excellent value. That's no longer the case as the company has increasingly focused on flagship devices and carrier partnerships, pushing the cost of some devices over $1,000. Still, that doesn't mean OnePlus is incapable of delivering a good value anymore. The new OnePlus 9 is only $729, which is more than two Benjamins less than the OnePlus 9 Pro. It's even cheaper than the OnePlus 8T it replaces, which is a welcome reversal of trends.
OnePlus had changed from the scrappy upstart that launched a hard-to-get phone at a crazy price. In some ways (okay, a lotofways) it's matured as a company. But, although it's doing better than it ever has before in a pure business sense, OnePlus also seems to be stumbling, losing track of precisely what made it great, even as it celebrates its triumphs. As I see it, nothing better defines the current state of OnePlus, a victim of its own success, than the OnePlus 9 Pro.
OnePlus isn't the nimble startup it used to be, and its update policy has taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of years, especially for phones that aren't the latest flagships anymore. After months of radio silence, the company has finally confirmed when Android 11 will hit the OnePlus 6 and the 6T — but it's further out than you'd hope.
After introducing its brand-new store app to the US and Canada shortly before launching the OnePlus 9 series, OnePlus has expanded the application to Europe, as it announced in a blog post. After a short exclusive beta phase that forced you to download the app manually from the manufacturer's website, it's now available in the Play Store for European, too.
Despite all of the criticism OnePlus is receiving for its updatepolicy, its latest phones, and the OnePlus Watch, the company seems to be in a great state. It just reported one of the strongest quarters in Europe ever, with a 388% growth in sales and 286% in revenue compared to Q1 2020, with the UK being in the top three of the best performing markets.
OnePlus might not be the fastest manufacturer when it comes to updates anymore, but at least you can get your hands on new releases early, if you're okay with the occasional bug or issue. OnePlus' extensive Open Beta program lets owners participate in the software creation process, to an extent, and the latest phone to receive a new Open Beta version is the OnePlus 8T with version 4.
OnePlus is rather slow when it comes to software updates as soon as one of its phones isn't the flagship anymore, and that shows when you look at the OnePlus 6 and 6T. The phones still haven't received Android 11 about half a year after Google first launched it. Sadly, that isn't changing with the latest software update, either. It comes in the form of OxygenOS 10.3.10 and doesn't bring a lot to the table.
While the OnePlus 9 Pro did score decently in our review, it failed to earn our full approval like the 8 Pro did, or even the slightly cheaper OnePlus 9. There aren’t many big downsides to the phone, but it does fail to live up to the general expectation of a OnePlus flagship and lacks some of the company's characteristic razzmatazz.