Today in a Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) held by four employees of OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone upstart fielded questions on everything from when VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) will be enabled in the OnePlus 2 to what exactly happened in its fallout with Android-focused blog Android Police. But the most interesting questions the four employees answered were in regards to why the new phone doesn’t include hardware features standard in other recently launched smartphones like NFC for touch-based payments or wireless charging.
These questions are particularly interesting in how they contrast with other statements the company has made about the OnePlus 2, particularly how the device includes “innovations from the future,” and with OnePlus’s overarching “Never Settle” mantra about a philosophy to device manufacturing which includes eliminating gimmicks, bloatware, and compromises.
One Redditor asked OnePlus that with such a powerful mantra like that, wouldn’t it be ironic to settle “without quick-charging or wireless charging if I choose your phone?” Here’s what one OnePlus employee had to say about that:
We’ve always said that never settle is true for us too. That means, if you’re not happy with the product you shouldn’t settle for ours either. With the OnePlus 2, we made the set of choices that we think delivers the best user experience, but because users are not the same they won’t all feel the same. That’s fine – we’ll work hard to make each iteration better than the last.
Another OnePlus employee also noted that, although the OnePlus 2 uses the older USB 2.0 over the newer, improved 3.1 standard, that the 2’s 5V-2A power brick will (apparently) see the device charge to 100% from 0% in approximately 2 hours. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology, which is found in many new Android smartphones including the LG G4, for instance, is said to charge a device from 0% to 60% charge in just 30 minutes.
Our own Stephen Hall recently penned his thoughts on the OnePlus 2’s lack of NFC and quick charging capabilities, chalking up a lot of his disappointment to his need for quick charging capabilities in a device with such a large battery (3,300 mAh):
I love seeing that my Nexus 6 is dead, realizing that I’m leaving the house in an hour, plugging it in, and then getting enough juice in 1 hour to take me the rest of the day. I don’t worry about charging my phones as much any more, because they charge so fast.
The slower charging of the 2 on top of its inability to take advantage of the NFC-based Android Pay coming in Android M left him disappointed along with much of the Android community. “OnePlus’ brand is built on the “#NeverSettle” mantra, from its phone’s wallpapers to its ad campaigns,” said Stephen. “The lack of these two features means I’m settling.” Too little tangible execution to back up its bold statements, making OnePlus’s marketing seem like a lot of hot air and hyperbole.
In regards to the apparent “breakup” with Android Police related to an negative editorial piece the blog wrote about OnePlus and it’s recent unveiling of the OnePlus 2, the company somewhat talked around the situation, saying that anyone is welcome to purchase its devices and do their own reviews:
I’ve posted about this before – here’s a tl;dr: we don’t mind criticism, especially the constructive kind. Our PR department has limited resources and an almost unlimited amount of publications to support. Nobody has been “cut off” – anyone can buy our device, review it and post about it, but we can’t give invites to everyone that asks.
We don’t know what kind of relationship AP held with OnePlus so we’re not sure how explicit this breakup was, but from AP founder Artem Russakovskii’s Google+ post on the matter we get the feeling that Android Police benefitted from receiving review units from OnePlus as well as regular batches of invites to give out to its readership.
Finally of note, the company responded to questions about CEO Carl Pei’s recent remarks to USA Today that OnePlus will be releasing another phone this year on top of the OnePlus 2. Many assumed that this phone would be the successor to the OnePlus 2, with one Redditor asking, “You’ve announced you’re busy with a second phone in several interviews already. Are those plans still up and if so, is there anything you can tell us about that project?” In response, an employee confirmed that another phone is coming but that “we can only tell you that this is not going to be the OnePlus 3 nor a OnePlus 2S.” Maybe this one will ask less settling of us.