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I'm Probably Not Going to Buy OnePlus Smartphones Any More

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Since almost exactly two years, I'm using a OnePlus 5 Android smartphone.

This is a small add-on to my previous blog posts on this device which explains why I refrain from buying another device from OnePlus.

Disadvantages

The proximity sensor is not working properly most of the time. This is causing me enabling or disabling things with my ear during a call. Very frustrating.

OnePlus repeatedly delivering spyware with firmware as reported in my previous article. After some media coverage they just renamed the spyware before re-shipping instead of stopping this behavior. Probably the main reason why I do not trust this company any more.

Sometimes, GPS does not get a fix. Even reboots don't help in these situations. On days when GPS is working, it's working very good though.

The NFC sensor is working with my standard NFC tags but not with NFC SoloKeys token which would be my main use-case for NFC.

The high SAR value does give me some concerns as reported in my previous article.

Advantages

The hardware switch for silencing the phone notifications is a bliss. I'd love to see all mobile phones featuring this hardware switch.

OnePlus is shipping updates until today. Mostly they're just security patches from Google but sometimes, they ship new features such as ZEN mode. Sadly, this has to mentioned as a positive example.

OxygenOS allows to remove network permission (mobile data + WiFi separately) from any given app. This could be achieved by third party apps like NetGuard on other devices. In my opinion, this has to be a basic Android feature. But Google does not seem to be willing to add features that limit network at all. Therefore, people will still be hacked by simple apps that spy on them.

Removing network permissions of an app on OxygenOS: Background data, WiFi and mobile cell data (DataUsage).

What To Buy Instead?

Last year, I wrote about my ideal mobile phone. Since then, some things have changed.

Having an audio jack has lost its "must have"-classification since I started to like my Bluetooth speakers. It's still a nice-to-have since, for example, playing sound in our car is still the most easiest tasks when using its phone audio connector.

USB-C is an even more important nice-to-have since the direction of the plug doesn't matter any more.

A working NFC feature got much more focus from my side since FIDO2 is a very promising candidate to replace password authentication. So my next mobile has to support my SoloKey.

I still want to have a smaller device. Fortunately, case frame width has gone down. Therefore, a decent 6" display could be put into a relatively small device. I'm looking forward to see more of this. Currently, this German article on small smartphones seems to prove that there are no good Android phones available with decent camera and other mid- or high-end features.

So, hardware producers: please put some phones on the market that target these requirements. I know lots of friends who would love to buy them and I've read many comments in this topic on the Internet by potential customers.

In the meantime, I'll probably use the OnePlus 5 until it reaches its end of life.

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