OnePlus has not so subtly revealed that the company’s first smartwatch is on its way. This is not OnePlus̵
The important question is: what does the new device mean for big smartwatch rivals like Apple and Samsung? Pretty much.
Google’s Pixel 5 has just landed, but is it any good? See my review here.
Before OnePlus released its wireless buds, I wrote about how the company’s focus on smart connectivity between its devices would be the main selling point. Buy a OnePlus device and be rewarded with ecosystem-specific exclusives: Like the ultra-low latency mode, Buds automatically switches when you play on a OnePlus phone.
A quick company interview with OnePlus CEO Pete Lau in May explained where the company plans to take this ecosystem vision in the future. “As early examples, the company points out how its smart TV has a shortcut to switch between apps and can automatically reduce the volume when a call comes in on OnePlus phones,” explains the story.
Lau calls all of this “deeper optimizations,” and I suppose it will be the same for the OnePlus Watch. I’m excited to see how the company makes all of its associated technology sing harmoniously together. For example, I can imagine using a OnePlus Watch as a remote control for your OnePlus TV with more in-depth control. But that kind of collaboration between OnePlus devices is not the reason Samsung, Apple and others should be worried. How OnePlus prices the watch is what’s important, and I’ll be happy to bet that the Chinese company is going very, very low.
The reason I mention OnePlus Buds is that they were surprisingly cheap. They launched at $ 79 – significantly less than Google’s Pixel Buds ($ 179), Apple’s AirPods ($ 159) and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus ($ 149). The new OnePlus Buds Z is even cheaper at $ 50.
OnePlus 8 took the company back to its roots with advanced specifications at a low price. OnePlus Nord did the same, but went one step further on the price. The company’s “flagship killer” marketing line, which it unusually dropped – as its phones snuck up in value – could now make a legitimate comeback. OnePlus Watch will almost certainly follow the company’s recent sudden shift in pricing strategy. Expect the laptop to be not only $ 20 or $ 50 cheaper than the expensive competition, but something approaching two-thirds of the price or even less.
Not only is OnePlus going down this route. Google stepped away from manufacturing a top flagship for the first time this year, and Samsung released a surprisingly inexpensive version of the Galaxy S20. Many of the technical briefings I have almost attended this year have talked about making cheaper devices for consumers with cash straps that have less money due to the financial damage that Covid-19 has caused. OnePlus’ flood of cheap 2020 devices suggests that it follows the same logic, meaning we can also expect a similar aggressively priced portable device at some point in the near future.
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