OnePlus 3T launched: Hurdles that lie ahead

After months of speculation, it was finally announced. We are talking about OnePlus' knight in shining (Gunmetal) armour, the new OnePlus 3T flagship. And today, it finally comes to a country that probably has more fans than anywhere else on the planet, India. And it is a big deal, especially when you consider that Google has priced its piece of "Android perfection" so high up there along with Apple's iPhone 7 this year.

However, once the announcement was made it was clear that the OnePlus 3T was a mid-year replacement. It was an afterthought, something that would not happen every year as per the Reddit AMA. With that said, it is clear that the 'T' is not an 'S' moniker that Apple uses every second year, to make more profits by cutting down on design costs and using upgraded hardware. It's a one time thing.

But there are a couple of upgraded specifications on the refreshed OnePlus 3T. In my previous article, I mentioned five differences that stand out between the old and the new handset.

With that said, the OnePlus 3T arrives at an awkward time, just to sustain OnePlus' sales till the next year. It is also a time when many are expecting Sony, HTC and Huawei to launch new Daydream-capable handsets before the Mobile World Congress (MWC) announcements begin in February next year. Many have suspected that Huawei among the others is already working on one.

And the awkward timing is what presents many hurdles that OnePlus' marketing teams will have to work their way around.

Snapdragon 835

Yes, all eyes are on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 right now, the 820 is old and that makes 821 "recent". While most manufacturers won't make the jump from their already launched 820 flagships to the 821, they will in February at the MWC.

So what does this new chipset bring? Simply put, it is expected to be the first chipset manufactured (by Samsung) using the 10nm process that will bring plenty of benefits when it comes to factors like power consumption and clock speeds. Other than that it takes up a smaller footprint, meaning that it can be squeezed into thinner, smaller or even foldable smartphones. Then there's VR support which is expected to be in there (not confirmed for now). So there is plenty to look forward to.

The OnePlus 3T arrives at a time when the next big milestone update from Qualcomm will take just six months to arrive in smartphones. In short, it makes little sense for OnePlus 3 owners to upgrade and those looking to move to a new flagship will see the OnePlus 3T get old in just six months. More importantly as per the yearly product release cycle, OnePlus should be announcing its OnePlus 4 in about six months from now. See what I mean?

Daydream

At the Google Pixel launch, it was evident that Google focussed on two things, Google Assistant and Google Daydream. For now, the Pixel is the only Android smartphone that has both built-in (legally) and this paves a way for the Pixel brand to grow. As far as sales in India are concerned, things are looking up for the Pixel brand of premium smartphones.

Daydream View

Everyone expected the OnePlus 3T to pack in Daydream as everyone thought that the 821 was the minimum requirement to pull off the same. But as per the reddit AMA, Carl Pei made it clear that the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are not Daydream compatible and that the company has no intent to support it in the future as well (blaming it on earlier design decisions). So here's another problem for buyers. While the success of Daydream cannot be challenged at the moment, the world is moving to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) whether its games, apps or just pure entertainment. So yes you will be buying a flagship smartphone that will be deemed outdated when the MWC announcements begin to pour in February next year (two months away).

Dual cameras

Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera

It's a "thing" that every manufacturer including Chinese brands like Xiaomi have already announced in some of their flagships, I am talking about talking about dual cameras. While many may not know what to do with them, companies like Apple, Huawei have found ways to sell them. The OnePlus 4 may have them, but the OnePlus 3T still does not. I am a fan of the OnePlus 3's camera, but that dual camera could have made for good reason to upgrade to the 3T.

Price

And here where the biggest hurdle lies. The price tags for the OnePlus 3T are just out. The 64GB variant of the 3T is priced at Rs 29,999, while the 128GB variant at Rs 34,999. The rise in price tags were expected considering the updated chipset, bigger battery and front-facing camera. With a few upgrades, that won't really bother current OnePlus owners. With that said, it should not really bother new fans as well who would be switching to a new OnePlus for the first time, but if the above mentioned factors affect them, they would try and avoid this transition product.

https://twitter.com/cmankad/status/804580601672167425

The tweet above is exactly where many owners of the 3T will find themselves when the next OnePlus arrives in six months. This is because next year there will be a new OnePlus 4, with a Snapdragon 835 inside along with 128GB internal storage, a new design and it may end up costing right about the same, which would make a six month old OnePlus 3T look really old.


Published Date: Dec 02, 2016 01:21 pm | Updated Date: Dec 02, 2016 01:21 pm