After three years of making "flagship killers", upstart smartphone manufacturer OnePlus is setting up shop in Australia. For those not familiar with the brand, OnePlus has garnered a reputation for building smartphones with high-end hardware that, in some cases, have drastically undercut the competition.
"First of all, I know that many of you have purchased our products via friends or family traveling abroad, or through parallel imports," said OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. "This can’t compare to the user experience when dealing directly with OnePlus. Sorry that you had to endure this, and that it took us so long. The good news is that we’re finally taking steps to enter Australia."
The recently launched OnePlus 5 will be the first OnePlus smartphone to be available in Australia. Pei says the company will begin with a soft launch program this month to test the "product and supply chain".
The OnePlus 5 is quite similar in look and feel to OPPO's R11 (the same parent company owns both brands), but has different hardware under the hood. Key specifications include a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of expandable storage, a 3,300mAh battery, a front-facing fingerprint reader, and a USB Type-C connector. It runs a customised take on Android dubbed Oxygen OS.
As with the OPPO R11, the OnePlus 5 has a dual rear-facing camera configuration, made up of a 16MP sensor and a 20MP sensor. By swapping between the two lenses, the OnePlus 5 is able to simulate zoom.
Local pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the OnePlus 5 starts at USD$479 for a configuration with 64GB of storage, or USD$539 for a 128GB model. These convert to approximately $600 and $680, respectively. GST and "Australia tax" could of course mean we might pay more.
Even if the entry level OnePlus 5 were to launch at $699 in Australia, it would be the cheapest Snapdragon 835 powered smartphone on the local market by a margin of $300.