The first OnePlus phone arrived in 2014 for £ 279, less than half the current cost OnePlus 8. The higher end result of the OnePlus 8 Pro is more expensive than the iPhone 11.

OnePlus has been accused of losing the appeal of its original value, which saw it increase with the viral intensity of the most popular Kickstarter projects at the peak of crowdfunding. But unlike the £ 599 jetpack that you “ordered” and never received on Kickstarter, OnePlus One is real, quite brilliant, and the best value phone you can buy in 2014.

OnePlus repeats the same success formula several times, turning the lack of advertising expenditure into a selling point, which tells buyers more money they put into the phone itself. However, in the background of OnePlus put root. This is in a relationship with networks around the world, which will continue to sell mobile phones, such as Three and O2 in the UK.

This is a real sign of OnePlus maturity. And this tells us OnePlus CEO Pete Lau didn’t come up with a new, cheaper OnePlus phone idea the day before Fast company Interview where he announced the plan. Contrary to what some Reddit commentators think.

OnePlus has been considered a “cheaper” cellphone every year, and actually released it only in the second year of trading. OnePlus X is a 2015 budget alternative to OnePlus 2, and it may be the biggest failure in the company’s history to date.

The OnePlus X costs £ 199, has a metal and glass frame (ceramic is also an option), an OLED screen and a top class Snapdragon 801 CPU the previous year. And Samsung’s sensor cameras are a little dodgy, but you can’t order the entire menu on a Primark budget.

The phone still seems to be an extraordinary deal five years later, but OnePlus X isn’t performing and was quietly stopped eight months after it was launched. One day “out of stock” one day, never come back. So why is the affordable OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus 8 Z different?

Most importantly, OnePlus X is only £ 40 cheaper than OnePlus 2, which defeats it in every area unless you are interested in a smaller phone. At this point, OnePlus is still largely known only to technology enthusiasts who are “better” usually better.

However, the gradual rise in prices of OnePlus has changed that dynamic, especially this year. “This will be a stretch for some users to upgrade to the expensive 5G-capable 8G series when most of them might not even see a 5G launch in their country for the next few years,” said Neil Shah, partner at Counterpoint Research.

If OnePlus 8 Lite, just call it what you want, is £ 40 cheaper than OnePlus 8, of course, it will fail. But there is potential for costs of less than £ 200-300.

“This year’s 5G capability increases the overall cost / price for the OnePlus flagship and pushes it into a very premium $ 600-plus region, leaving a huge gap in the 4G smartphone segment which now grows $ 300- $ 600,” Shah said. OnePlus has completely abandoned the category that was once the reason for its existence.

But what else does OnePlus 8 Lite offer?

There are two good options for processors. OnePlus X has a mainstay chipset, but one is a bit old when launched. Transposed to 2020, this would suggest using Snapdragon 855 or 845. This is still a good CPU for new phones. But unless OnePlus finds millions of them to be cheap, one of the newer Qualcomm 7-series processors seems to be more suitable.

Snapdragon 765G and 768G are clear options. This is a mid-level processor with a faster GPU, allowing manufacturers to market it as a performance chipset even though their power does not approach the Snapdragon 865. They also have a Qualcomm X52 5G modem, which is widely seen as the key to bringing down 5G costs.

Samsung and Huawei also make 5G hardware cheaper. Samsung is called Shannon, Balong Huawei. But OnePlus is not yet using a non-Snapdragon processor and Huawei’s 5G hardware has a current radioactive controversy. Social distance advice.

Does Snapdragon 765G or 768G bring OnePlus back to its roots? Not. Some of the first OnePlus phones have the same processor as other flagships at half the price, but there is no way to do the same for OnePlus 8 Lite without adding too much cost, and making the rest of the OnePlus 8 range look bad. The difference in real-world performance is marginal when paired with well-optimized software, fast RAM, and fast internal storage. Technology nerds: this may be a compromise that you must accept.

But how do you signal that the cell phone has a lower design? Apple has used bold colors, and shifted from stainless steel to the glass side, on the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE.

Most Android manufacturers do their best to hide the difference, but make this phone out of plastic rather than glass. This is the cheaper type that OnePlus should avoid if OnePlus 8 Lite seems to cut above many high-priced affordable phones from other Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei and Oppo.

However, there is one change that can be made. OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro both have Gorilla Glass 5 curved on the front and back. The front is relatively expensive to implement, because the screen has to be curved too.

OnePlus must, and almost certainly will, use a flat “2.5D” glass for the front of the OnePlus 8 Lite. 2.5D glass briefly became a buzzword on cellphones, but that only meant the edges of the glass panel were slightly contoured, effectively softened so that it became an active part of the phone’s curve.

This means OnePlus 8 Lite will have a slightly thicker screen boundary than OnePlus 8, and will insert a slightly smaller screen inch into the same footprint. But this is an important visual and design difference that will make OnePlus make a cheaper cellphone that doesn’t have the “small” look of the iPhone SE style.

If OnePlus makes a cellphone with a 16: 9 screen like that, it will be laughed at by its own forum. Instead, OnePlus 8 Lite will likely have a screen that is slightly smaller than OnePlus 8, maybe 6.4 inches.

OnePlus doesn’t need to make a small cell phone, just need to make one that is really affordable. And by not reducing the size too much, we don’t need to see the sacrifice in battery life. OnePlus will actually be served well by making the phone a little thicker and using a 5,000mAh battery that allows the phone to work longer than its family members, only doing it with a little less glamor.

There is even a good argument that there is no need for an OLED screen, seen in every generation since OnePlus 3.

OnePlus has two good options for the OnePlus 8 Lite display technology. It can use one of the low-cost, 90Hz Full HD + LCD panels seen on cellphones such as Realme 6, or 60Hz OLED panels. OnePlus might not be able to use a 90Hz OLED screen without adding too much cost.

But which one to choose? This is the case that supports HDR and contrast, by choosing OLED, or prioritizing the sense of speed of the month refresh with a 90Hz LCD.

OLED is a better choice if OnePlus wants to sell 8 Lite as a reasonable purchase with very high basic standards. By using teardrop notches instead of the OnePlus 8 punch hole, we will also get the double benefit of (possibly) cutting manufacturing costs and visual setbacks for previous generations of OnePlus. That’s not a bad thing in this regard.

Screen technology is one of the most important choices in making OnePlus 8 Lite sit comfortably in the OnePlus lineup. But that might be one of the least important for everyday use. Almost every Full HD cellphone screen today, LCD or OLED, is very good by the standards we valued a few years ago. You might not see the brightness that burns suitable for sunny days, but you get 95 percent of everything.

The OnePlus 8 Lite camera is a different case. There must be wrong steps to take here, and some of the most interesting “right” ones are not worth it.

For example, the Xiaomi Ni Note 10 proves that the 108MP ISOCELL Samsung Bright HMX sensor is cheap enough to get into a mid-range phone and hasn’t been able to provide good 2x zoom, good general image quality and quite solid results in low light. But OnePlus cannot insert a 108MP sensor into its cheap cellphone when the most expensive model has a 48MP one.

It might also be tempting to suggest OnePlus 8 Lite should use the same Sony IMX363 sensor as the old budget camera champion, Google Pixel 3a. Look a little closer and you will realize this is not a silver bullet. Nokia 8.1, Pocofone F1 and Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite all use the same sensor and don’t perform almost at the same level as Google Pixel 3a.

Software and processing are the real stars of mobile photography today, at least until you reach the height of very expensive features such as the 5x “periscope” enlargement of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Oppo Find X2 Pro.

Therefore, OnePlus’s best choice is a boring choice, to stick to what he knows best. OnePlus 8 Lite must have the same Sony IMX586 main sensor that has been used for 7 days from OnePlus. And it’s the same 16-megapixel camera.

To stop there will test the OnePlus restraint. The main trend of affordable mobile phones now is to package it with a very inexpensive additional sensor that barely adds to the capabilities of the camera. This was done because they also hardly added telephone costs. They are toys in Happy Meal.

But OnePlus 8 Lite doesn’t need a 2MP OnePlus 8 macro camera. It’s better to do fewer things well, as evidenced by the iPhone SE and Google 3a. An important addition is something else. We want to see OnePlus 8 Lite has Night mode as effective as, or at least close to, OnePlus 8’s. With the same hardware this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Not too.

Modern night mode combines multiple exposures to increase detail and radically increase dynamic range. This means a lot of work for the processor, ISP (image signal processor) in particular, in a short amount of time. OnePlus’s challenge is to bring what it made to the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series processor and make it work with a much less powerful 7-series platform. That is, short of OnePlus doing fiscal magic tricks and adapting Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 into OnePlus 8 Lite.

This seems unlikely if the OnePlus 8 Lite is almost as affordable as it could be. Do you want to return to the OnePlus root? That means prices start around £ 299, for phones with 128GB of storage and maybe 6GB of RAM. There is also space for 256GB, 8GB RAM, editions worth £ 349. And cellphones are currently not available in the UK, like Redmi K30 5G, suggest this price might be realistic with 5G.

Those who like to dig up spec sheets might say the OnePlus 8 Lite’s outlook looks too ordinary, just another Chinese cellphone. There is no high-end Snapdragon processor, no agreement. However, both the mobile market and OnePlus have changed radically since 2014. And this OnePlus 8 Lite image is one that we can buy, and which is starting to make 5G look new normally.

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