OnePlus has already unmasked the design of its next flagship – the OnePlus 6 and the design screams “Apple”. Well, not entirely but the OnePlus 6 is expected to feature a notch design at the top of its display. The design has been met with lots of criticism from fans and this had prompted OnePlus’ CEO Pete Lau to make some clarifications on why the company had to settle for a notch design despite the disapproval of such by the majority of its fans.
Pete Lau has now released yet another essay which explains the company’s overall design philosophy. The CEO began with an insight into the major feature of a product which in his opinion is burdenless user experience. Pete Lau believes excellent industrial design should give people a sense of ease, which is best embodied by a burdenless feeling. The drive to achieve this is a long process which, according to the CEO, requires work on a daily basis to refine the subtle details, even if those details may seem minor.
By the way, Pete Lau also hinted that he isn’t only the CEO of OnePlus but also the product manager. So, he is in a good position to discuss. Curiously, the philosophical analysis talked about pursuing an “honest design” which will perfectly serve the function of the product and even embody the product itself rather than tacking on additional elements just for the sake of hype. While we tend to agree with the CEO, the statement seems to sacrifice innovation on the altar of “honesty”. Ironically, the OnePlus 6 is having a design similar to the iPhone X. While we look for the perfect smartphone, users are also known to gravitate towards innovation just like the full-screen revolution ignited by the Xiaomi MIX and fuelled by the Galaxy S8.
Pete Lau further created a controversy with his opinion on the smartphone design which we ordinarily see as something that should be different from the other smartphone, at least to some extent. The OnePlus CEO thinks we misunderstand industrial design. He opined that a truly good design does not deliberately pursue the exaggeration of the external form but may even extend to a prioritization of the internal form: the material, the craftsmanship, and the tiny details. With this kind of opinion, we’ll agree with the CEO that as the CEO and product manager, his greatest responsibility for the product lies in making tough but ultimately necessary decisions. I the long run, if the decisions are well-founded with principled reasoning, the end result will stand up on its own. Afterall, every decision the company claims it makes is based on countless rejections, resulting in a quick, continually iterative process.
The essay also touches on the OnPlus 6 design which he said also went through a similar process of continual iteration before reaching its current state. The company maintained its signature horizon line and precise curve to the back of the device which has remained as important elements of OnePlus’ design language right from the OnePlus One to the OnePlus 5T. He again reiterated that the device will come with a glass body. The company’s design team tested over 70 glass prototypes before selecting the best one and the device will have 5 layers of Nanotech Coating instead of 3 which give the back of the device a stronger impression of depth.