OnePlus Phones: All You Need To Know

From the OnePlus One to the OnePlus 6

Two OnePlus 6 smartphones, one facing up and one facing down. The screen says
Two OnePlus 6 smartphones.

Chinese company OnePlus, founded in early 2013 with the motto "Never Settle," set out to make a better phone, one that would be both high-tech and priced lower than the competition. Since 2014, the company has regularly released new smartphones, starting with the OnePlus One, all made to compete with pricey flagship phones from Samsung, Google, and other high-end Android device makers. OnePlus smartphones are available around the world, including in the U.S., but only for AT&T and T-Mobile.

OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6 smartphone with a colorful screen on a purple background
OnePlus 6 smartphone.

Display: 6.28-in Optic AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x2280 @ 402ppi
Front camera: 16 MP
Rear camera: Dual 16 MP/20 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 8.0 Oreo
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: May 2018

The OnePlus 6 has the largest screen of the series, at 6.28 inches, even though it's nearly the same size as the 5T—that results in an ultra-slim bezel.

Like the iPhone X, it has a notch at the top of its display, which houses the front-facing camera and earpiece. This smartphone has a glass body, compared to the 5T's metal one, retains the headphone jack, and is water resistant. Like the 5T, the fingerprint sensor is on the back panel below the camera. The OnePlus 6 does not support wireless charging.

It's available in three versions: 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. There is also a OnePlus 6 Avengers: Infinity War edition for sale in some world markets but not currently in the U.S.

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5T smartphone
PC screenshot

Display: 6.01-in Optic AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x2160 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 16 MP
Rear camera: Dual 16 MP/20 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 7.1 Nougat
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: November 2017

The OnePlus 5T, which is upgradable to Android 8.1 Oreo, isn't a huge update of the OnePlus 5, though it introduces a few changes. Updates include a larger screen and thinner bezel, a facial unlocking option, and a repositioned fingerprint scanner. Its camera also has tech that enables it to take better low light photos.

Like the OnePlus 5, it has a dual primary camera for bokeh-style shots, a headphone jack, NFC support for mobile payments, and lacks a microSD card slot. The OnePlus 5T is available only in a 128 GB configuration. One fun feature is that its gallery app can display your photos on a map so that you can retrace your travels. It also has a twin app feature in which you can run two instances of some social media apps if you have multiple logins.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5 smartphone with colorful image on screen
PC screenshot

Display: 5.5-in Optic AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 16 MP
Rear camera: Dual 16 MP/20 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 7.1 Nougat​
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: June 2017 (no longer in production)

The OnePlus 5 is also upgradable to Android 8.1 (Oreo) and has a few new features compared to the OnePlus 3T. Like the 3T, it has a headphone jack, a fingerprint scanner on the front, NFC support, an alert slider, lacks a card slot, and comes in 64 GB and 128 GB configurations.

New features include:

  • Support for fast charging via OnePlus' Dash Charge feature.
  • The dual primary camera can output bokeh-style images.
  • Support for Bluetooth 5.0, which can broadcast to multiple devices and has a more extended range than the previous version. 

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T smartphone on table
Wikimedia Commons

Display: 5.5-in Optic AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 16 MP
Rear camera: 16 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Final Android version: 8.0 Oreo
Release Date: November 2016 (no longer in production)

The OnePlus 3T is similar in looks and features to the OnePlus 3, though it has a different finish. Like the OnePlus 3, its fingerprint sensor doubles as a home button, and it has an alert slider for managing notifications on the side panel. The phone also has NFC built-in and lacks a card slot.

  • Sports a gunmetal finish as opposed to the 3's aluminum finish.
  • It comes in 64 GB and 128 GB configurations.
  • It has a larger battery than the OnePlus 3. (3,400 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh).

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3 smartphone with white background
Wikimedia Commons

Display: 5.5-in Optic AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 8 MP
Rear camera: 16 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Final Android version: 8.0 Oreo
Release Date: June 2016 (no longer in production)

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the OnePlus 3 was that it heralded the end of the much-maligned invite system that was required to purchase older devices. It differs from the OnePlus X design-wise in several ways but shares some features with the OnePlus 2. The OnePlus X dropped a few features found on earlier phones, that the OnePlus 3 brings back, including the alert slider and NFC.

  • It has an aluminum finish compared to the X's glass.
  • The fingerprint scanner is back.
  • The alert switch is back.
  • Brings back the USB-C port last seen in the OnePlus 2, but this time it supports fast charging as long as you use the charger and cable that comes in the box.
  • No more card slot; 64 GB onboard storage.

OnePlus X

OnePlus X smartphone and box
PC screenshot

Display: 5-in AMOLED
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 441ppi
Front camera: 8 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: micro USB
Initial Android version: 5.1 Lollipop
Final Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Release Date: November 2015 (no longer in production)

The OnePlus X represents a step back in many ways. First, it has a smaller screen than both previous models and a micro USB port rather than the OnePlus 2's USB-C. Second, it has limited 4G LTE compatibility in the U.S. While the OnePlus X is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks, it didn't support the same number of LTE bands as previous handsets, thus limiting support for high-speed data. At first, the OnePlus X was available only via the invite system, but the company abandoned that approach with the release of the OnePlus 3.

The OnePlus X's primary differences are:

  • A smaller display (5-inches) than the 5.5-inch OnePlus 2.
  • Glass panels on the front and back, rather than metal.
  • Lacks the alert slider on the side of the phone that manages notification frequency.
  • Lacks a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone.
  • It uses a micro USB port rather than USB-C.
  • It accepts memory cards up to 128 GB (16 GB onboard storage).

OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 smartphone from the back
Flickr

Display: 5.5-in IPS LCD
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 5 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: micro USB
Initial Android version: 5.0 Lollipop
Final Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Release Date: August 2015 (no longer in production)

The OnePlus 2 is slightly smaller than OnePlus One overall but shares the same size screen. Like the OnePlus One, it was only available for purchase using the company's glitch invite system. The OnePlus 2 came in 16 GB and 64 GB versions and lacked a card slot.

  • Metal frame rather than plastic.
  • Adds a fingerprint sensor on the front.
  • The new alert slider on left so you can adjust notification settings: all, none, or priority alerts only.
  • It's one of the first phones with USB-C, but it doesn't support fast charging.
  • Lacks NFC, a feature the OnePlus One had.
  • Runs OnePlus's OxygenOS; the OnePlus One ran Cyanogenmod (now called LineageOS).

OnePlus One aka OnePlus 1

OnePlus One smartphone home screen
Wikimedia Commons

Display: 5.5-in IPS LCD
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 5 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: micro USB
Initial Android version: 4.4 KitKat
Final Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Release Date: June 2014 (no longer in production)

The OnePlus One was a promising smartphone hampered by its elusiveness. To buy one, you had to go through the company's required using a frustrating invite system, rather than going to a store to try before you buy. It entailed requesting invites from friends who already had a OnePlus device, signing up for a reservation, or gaining one through social media. Some reviewers found the phone too wide to use with one hand comfortably. The OnePlus had a plastic body, no card slot, and came in 16 GB or 64 GB models. It ran on CyanogenMod 11S, a popular Android ROM based on KitKat.