Did you see it coming? The OnePlus 9R 5G just came to us out of nowhere. OnePlus did not ever hint that its 9th series would also feature the third phone as it never had happened before. When was the last time that OnePlus launched a toned-down version of the flagship series just days of its luxury premium global launch?
We all remember how Twitter and other social media platforms were abuzz on the day of the OnePlus 9 launch because of its over-the-top pricing. The base variant of OnePlus 9 was priced at staggering Rs 64,999. The shock was so surreal because it never was OnePlus’s category.
Upasana Joshi, IDC India associate research manager (client devices) says, “OnePlus over a period of time has carved a larger space/ brand value in the premium smartphone segment in India competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung. However, in order to have volumes in a price-conscious market, it is equally essential to have affordable offerings.”
The Chinese smartphone player has been the frontrunner in the premium category which is described as anything priced beyond ₹30,000 but going into luxury premium (above 50K) wasn’t expected too soon. It has been largely catering to the defectors of Samsung and those who could not afford iPhones. The absence of Huawei, Sony, HTC, and LG made it much easier for OnePlus to acquire that proportion of the market. The Google-owned Pixels are too few in numbers to compete even.
The OnePlus 9R for me is the new Nord for the brand. It has to gradually move the Nord, launched last year in July, below the 30K segment in the above tier. The 9R seems to be justifying the cause at the moment for OnePlus.
“While we saw the first affordable premium device “NORD” in 2020 garnering volumes for OnePlus, it was very much anticipated to have extensions in a similar price segment. It caters to aspiring consumers who wish to own premium devices or brands, however are pocket-friendly too. Also lies the next potential set of a consumer base who will be upgrading from a lower price segment to mid or mid-high segment in 2021,” Upasana added.
The OnePlus 9R features Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, 120Hz screen refresh rate, 48MP quad-lens and a 65W Warp charger. The smartphone is 5G-enabled too. The only aspect which is missing in 9R is the branding of Hasselblad which they have on the OnePlus 9 and its Pro version.
As the OnePlus says, Level up, with the OnePlus 9R 5G which means it’s rightly in the direction of being another Nord. There won’t be too many takers for the premium luxury phones but the 9R might give the same feeling to the potential buyers. With another lockdown on the cards, the people are cutting expenses because of the uncertainties that lie ahead in the second phase of corona.
OnePlus said that 9R targets the gaming enthusiasts but on the opposite, it’s a thoughtful strategy to acquire new and retain the brand loyalists who got irked with the prices of series 9 luxury phones.
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