5 things we want to see from OnePlus in 2023

5 things we want to see from OnePlus in 2023

OnePlus 10 Pro review revisited top-down focus on camera

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

It’s fair to say that OnePlus had a mixed 2022 from a critical standpoint. The OnePlus 10 Pro was in some ways a regression compared to its predecessor, the OnePlus 10T was a throwback to the OnePlus One in both good and bad ways, and the company expanded into Xiaomi-esque ecosystem offerings. The manufacturer also announced that it is matching Samsung’s firm update commitment for an unspecified number of phones.

However, the firm had a somewhat disappointing year in some other areas. OnePlus has ceded its number one spot in the Rs 30,000+ (~$363 and above) market to Apple and Samsung in India. The company is also still in the “other” division in terms of North American market share, while Google has moved on to earn a top-five spot.

Needless to say, we have some ideas on how OnePlus can improve in 2023. Here’s what we want to see from the Chinese brand in the new year.

No compromise photography for flagships

OnePlus 9 Pro shows back

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 10 Pro represents a step back for the company’s photography efforts. The early 2022 flagship delivered a downgraded ultra-wide camera compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro, while also offering the same outdated 8MP 3x telephoto camera with ho-hum zoom capabilities. Our review also criticized the low-light snaps in general.

The OnePlus 10 Pro was a big step in the wrong for photography, after the well-received OnePlus 9 Pro.

So we hope that OnePlus makes an effort to deliver a camera experience without compromise, both in terms of hardware and software. We’d love to see a one-inch main camera, a more capable ultra-wide shooter, a solid periscope lens and top-notch night shots on board the OnePlus 11. Will we actually see this wish list with the upcoming OnePlus 11? Probably not, but we still want better software processing and improved secondary cameras, at least.

Things were much worse for the OnePlus 10T, as it was effectively a mid-ranger in terms of its imaging experience. Needless to say, we’d love to see Oppo pool resources for a truly great OnePlus camera experience in 2023 instead of just taking the Hasselblad brand for its own phones.

Stop the water resistance

oneplus 10 pro back on white wood

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The OnePlus 10 Pro offers a welcome IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, but there is one catch. This rating is limited to the T-Mobile version of the phone. This comes after the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 9 took the same approach, offering only an IP68 rating for the carrier models.

This unnecessarily complicated approach to water resistance ratings also extended to the OnePlus 10T, which only received an IP54 splash resistance rating in the US. Customers who live elsewhere have not been given this rating.

Related: The best waterproof phones you can buy right now

It’s especially troubling to see OnePlus buyers nickel-and-dime unlock OnePlus 10 Pro when the phone retailed for $900 at launch. If cheaper devices like the Pixel 6 series, Pixel 7 duo, Pixel 6a and Samsung Galaxy A53 can offer IP67 ratings at the minimum across variants, why can’t OnePlus do the same for its top flagship and the T series?

A streamlined Nord portfolio worldwide

OnePlus Nord N20 left rear profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

OnePlus continued its march of Nord phones in 2022, with the Nord CE 2, CE 2 Lite, N20, 2T, N20 SE and N300 all launched this year. It’s a bit of a challenge to tell the difference between the devices, but another big issue is that OnePlus has effectively split its Nord line into US phones and global phones.

Unfortunately, the US tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to Nord releases. While the US has seen the Nord N20, N20 SE, N200 and N300 over the past few years, it has missed out on some competing devices like the original Nord, Nord 2, Nord CE 2 series and more.

OnePlus needs one simple portfolio of Nord phones to rule them all.

We really hope OnePlus decides to offer a solid Nord product line around the world, because it’s clear that the US often gets a close second. A more streamlined, global product line will also help each device stand out and should translate into more resources behind each device for long-term software support.

Bring extensive updates to Nord devices

OnePlus Nord 2T in hand with screen on

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

OnePlus offers the standard two OS updates and three years of security fixes for mid-range Nord devices. We’d like to see the company do a bit better on this front, like offering four years of security fixes, if not three OS as well. But this current policy is still better than the update promise for low-end Nord devices that are common in the US.

Related: Here are the phone update policies of every major Android manufacturer

The cheapest Nord devices only see one OS update and two years of security patches. This is frankly terrible and below Google’s recommendations of two OS updates and two years of security patches. It’s especially disappointing when phones like the Nord N20 and N10 ship with outdated software to begin with.

So we beg OnePlus to offer two or more OS updates for its cheapest handsets, along with three or four years of security fixes. This is especially necessary in light of customers today who hold on to phones for three or more years.

A more polished, consistent Oxygen OS

oneplus 10t vs oneplus 10 pro screens

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus announced in February that it would abandon an attempt to unify Oxygen OS and Oppo’s Color OS skin. This plan would have seen the two skins share the Color OS code base. However, OnePlus subsequently decided that the two skins would “remain separate from each other with their own distinct characteristics.” That said, the two still retain some shared development resources.

As such, we thought Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 10 Pro felt like a rough mash-up of Color OS and Oxygen OS in our review. There is nothing wrong with Color OS; this is one of the better skins around. However, we found differences in font size between the gallery app and the rest of the skin, errors that resulted in missing notifications and a general loss of identity. The latter complaint was also reflected in our second opinion review.

The colors OS views are painfully clear when using Oxygen OS on recent OnePlus phones.

We hope to see a more consistent Oxygen OS from a visual and style perspective, as it’s pretty much just a Color OS skin right now. In fact, Oxygen OS 13 looks a lot like Color OS 13, right down to the same “Aquamorphic Design” language. So we don’t have much hope for a more visually distinctive OnePlus skin in 2023. But at least OnePlus needs to iron out the functional kinks to deliver a more reliable experience.

That’s all we want to see from OnePlus in 2023. What do you want to see from the company next year? Let us know in the comments section below!

What do you most want to see from OnePlus in 2023?

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