5 things we want to see from OnePlus in 2023

OnePlus 10 Pro review revisited focus on top-down camera

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

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

However, the company had a somewhat disappointing year in a number of other areas. OnePlus relinquished its number one spot in the Rs 30,000+ (~$363 and up) market to Apple and Samsung in India. The company also continues to be lumped together when it comes to North American market share, as Google continues to earn a spot in the top five.

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

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 legacy 8MP 3x telephoto camera with ho-hum zoom capabilities. Our review also criticized the low-light photos in general.

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

So we hope OnePlus puts in some effort to deliver a no-compromise camera experience, both in terms of hardware and software. We’d like to see a 1-inch main camera, a more capable ultrawide shooter, a solid periscope lens and top-notch night shots onboard the OnePlus 11. Will we actually see this wish list come true with the upcoming OnePlus 11? Probably not, but we’d like better software processing and improved secondary cameras at the very least.

It was much worse for the OnePlus 10T, as it was basically a mid-ranger in terms of image experience. Needless to say, we’d love to see Oppo pool resources for a truly great OnePlus camera experience in 2023 rather than just using the Hasselblad branding for its own phones.

Quit the chicanes of 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’s one catch. This review is limited to the T-Mobile version of the handset. This comes after the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 9 took the same approach, only offering an IP68 rating for the carrier models.

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

Related: The best waterproof phones you can buy right now

It’s especially annoying to see that OnePlus were nickel-and-dime unlocked OnePlus 10 Pro buyers 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 at least IP67 ratings for all variants, why can’t OnePlus do the same for its top flagship and the T series?

A streamlined Nord portfolio worldwide

OnePlus Nord N20 back left profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

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

Unfortunately, the US tends to get the short straw when it comes to Nord releases. While the US saw the Nord N20, N20 SE, N200 and N300 in recent years, it 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, as it’s clear the US often gets sloppy seconds. A more streamlined global product line would also help each device stand out and should translate into more resources behind each device for longer term software support.

Bring comprehensive updates to Nord devices

OnePlus Nord 2T in hand with display on

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

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

Related: This is the phone update policy of each major Android manufacturer

The cheapest Nord handsets see just one OS update and two years of security patches. That’s frankly appalling and below Google’s recommendations of two OS updates and two years of security patches. This is especially disappointing when phones like the Nord N20 and N10 came with outdated software to begin with.

That’s why we beg OnePlus to offer two or more OS updates for its cheapest handsets, along with three or four years of security patches. This is especially necessary given that customers are now holding onto their phones for three years or more.

A more polished, consistent Oxygen OS

oneplus 10t vs oneplus 10 pro screens

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

In February, OnePlus announced it would stop trying to unify Oxygen OS and Oppo’s Color OS skin. Under this plan, the two skins would share the Color OS codebase. OnePlus subsequently decided that the two skins would “remain separate with their own specific properties”. That said, the two still maintain some shared development resources.

That’s why we thought Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 10 Pro felt like a gross mishmash of Color OS and Oxygen OS in our review. There’s nothing wrong with Color OS; it’s one of the better skins out there. However, we found font size differences between the gallery app and the rest of the skin, bugs that resulted in missing notifications, and a general loss of identity. This last complaint was also reflected in our second opinion review.

The attributes of Color OS are painfully obvious 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 is very similar to Color OS 13, right down to the same “Aquamorphic Design” language. So we don’t have much hope for a visually more distinctive OnePlus skin in 2023. But OnePlus needs to at least 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 below!

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