OnePlus, which makes some of the best Android phones, can trace several features on devices like the OnePlus 9 Pro back to similar capabilities on Oppo handsets. Oppo can say the same thing. And in the future, it sounds like these two phone makers are going to be a lot closer.
Posting in the OnePlus Forum, CEO Pete Lau broke the news. Specifically, Lau — who already serves as Oppo's head of product experience — wrote that OnePlus will "further integrate our organization with Oppo," which leaves a lot to the imagination as to how the move will affect future phones from either company.
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You may be unfamiliar with Oppo, since the company doesn't sell its devices in the U.S. yet. However it's one of OnePlus' stablemates at BBK Electronics, and produces some great phones, such as the Oppo Find X3 Pro. Oppo's SuperVOOC charging technology is also the basis for OnePlus' own Warp Charge system, one of the best parts of its recent phones.
Hearing the two companies are joining forces may sound extreme, but from what Lau writes, saying that OnePlus will "continue to operate independently", it sounds like it's more back-end changes than something you'll notice in future OnePlus or Oppo phones.
However this likely means more sharing of parts and research that will improve the phones of both companies. It may mean even more budget handsets for OnePlus like the Nord N200 or Nord CE, since Oppo makes several cheaper handsets in the form of the Reno and A series. We may even see Oppo finally make landfall in the U.S., although the political climate is still not that welcoming for Chinese phone makers.
The OnePlus 9 Pro is the best of the best phones overall, so there's not much that needs improving for the OnePlus 9T, assumed to be coming later this year. When the next OnePlus flagship does arrive though, it'll be interesting to see what might have changed as a result of this new OnePlus/Oppo relationship, and likewise when we see the next batch of Oppo phones emerge.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.