RIP OnePlus. Long live Samsung the Android King

On the face of it, this might seem to be an extreme reaction. But having moved to OnePlus 7 after having used the Samsung Galaxy S7, I thought I would never come back to Samsung. After all, Samsung was messing up its Android phones, and still do in some ways. But eventually, OnePlus messed up even bigger. Such that when I moved back to Samsung S20 FE 5G recently, I was actually glad to be back in Samsung’s world.

Why I no longer recommend OnePlus phones:

  • No more clean Stock Android UI: Oxygen OS 11 dumped the stock Android like look of the UI. The biggest reason I (and most others) loved OnePlus was for the clean UI but OnePlus decided to dump its biggest USP. The new UI which many say is borrowed from Samsung’s One UI is actually much worse than One UI. OnePlus also announced merging of its operations with Oppo, so much that Oppo’s Color OS would become the new underlying base of Oxygen OS, probably with just the Oxygen OS skin on top. Frankly, I don’t have an issue with Color OS becoming the underlying code, as many claim it would be more stable, but the Oxygen OS skin on top is no longer attractive for me.
  • Delayed & Buggy Software Updates: OnePlus which was earlier known for its quick updates, is no longer even half as good. Even their flagship phones get bi-monthly security updates instead of monthly earlier. Also their Android OS updates come much delayed. Moreover, OnePlus updates have become extremely buggy and are causing lot of system instability. Some updates are even dropping existing features (eg. Always On Display on OnePlus 7 series). Samsung on the other hand has upped its game and provides super fast updates to even its low end phones!
  • Basics Wrong: OnePlus phones don’t get the basics right. As we reported earlier, VoWiFi works well only on 5Ghz band, and auto brightness & proximity sensor issues plague the entire OnePlus series. Samsung thankfully gets all the basics absolutely right!
  • Unimpressive Cameras: OnePlus never got it right with camera and even their Hasselblad co-branding hasn’t improved their cameras. Users need to use the GCam mod to get decent photos. Samsung cameras on their flagship phones provide very good picture quality.

Samsung is not yet perfect and they still need to improve their Exynos processors but I was glad to see Samsung launch its S20 FE 5G in India with a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The A52s and the upcoming M52 have capable higher mid-end series Snapdragons as well. Importantly, higher mid-end & high end Samsung phones don’t lag anymore, the way they lagged in TouchWiz days which was another reason why many had dumped Samsung for OnePlus earlier!

Do I miss stock Android? Of course, I do. But stock Android phones are a rarity nowadays with Google not launching its Pixel series in India anymore! So there is no option but to develop a liking for One UI which is probably one of the best in the Android world today.

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