[Poll results out] Opinion: Here're 3 things we'd like to see from a Google-OnePlus collaboration

New updates are being added to the bottom of the story…

Original story (from Jan 24, 2021) follows:

One major reason Google was able to retain the Nexus fan base and even expand it gradually over the years was the affordable price tags. The last premium Nexus device, the Nexus 6P, was priced at just $499 at launch.

At the time, equally powerful devices like Samsung Galaxy S6, LG V10, HTC One M9, and even the iPhone 6/6s attracted a much higher cost of beyond $650 at launch. The OnePlus 2, on the other hand, came in at just $329.

OnePlus 2

Rocking a powerful Snapdragon 810 SoC allied to 3/16GB memory, nothing stood in the way of the OnePlus 2’s success. Even better was the near-stock Android 5.1 Lollipop that brought similarities with Nexus software.

The likes of Xiaomi, although not anywhere close to the stock Android experience on the Nexus devices, were also hot on the heels of Google. Eventually, Google caved in, switching to the premium market in 2016.

Fast-forward to 2019, Google realized its mistake and reverted to its old days, beginning with the Pixel 3a. At the time, OnePlus phones had already seen significant hike in price, taking off its competitive edge.

Google seized this opportunity and thanks to its affordable price tag and stock Android, the Pixel 3a immediately rekindled the Nexus vibes among the faithful. But something else was still missing.

Google Pixel 3a

Even at $479 for the bigger Pixel 3a XL, the phone was still short on hardware when compared to, say, the OnePlus 6T that was unveiled a few months back and priced at just $549 at launch.

To be more specific, the OnePlus 6T offered a far more superior processor, more memory (RAM and storage), and a much better build quality, among others, just for an extra $70.

If anything, this suggests Google could have easily made better, more powerful phones than the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL and have them priced reasonably, you know, just like the OnePlus 6T back in the day.

But the company — even to date — chose otherwise, instead churning out midrange phones with cheap build quality and less powerful chipsets, the latest one being the Google Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 5 is priced at $699

Make no mistake, the Pixel 5 is an excellent device, but with what the likes of OnePlus or even Xiaomi and Realme have been doing, one can’t help but think Google should do better, especially at $699.

A Google-OnePlus collaboration coming this year

Before the Pixels, Google Nexus phones were all products of collaborations between Google and other established smartphone makers. Perhaps this is why Nexus devices were able to command reasonable prices.

So, why did Google ditch this model? Rather, why shouldn’t Google tap OnePlus and bring back the Nexus vibes, but this time with a great piece of hardware running on the best Android software?

1. A super Android phone

If anything, this is just one of the things on my wishlist amid talks of a Google-OnePlus collaboration later this year.


Sure, this collaboration might have nothing to do with phones, but I’d definitely love to see a super Android phone to take on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultras of the world.

We all know OnePlus nails it when it comes to hardware and performance in general. Pair this with the buttery smooth Pixel software and you have a device that can easily stand against the big boys.

2. Official Google Camera support for OnePlus devices

Sure, OnePlus users can already sideload GCam mods on their phones to enjoy the top-end photography that has made Pixel phones such a force in the industry. But official support for this would be even better.

A scenario where OnePlus devices can fully take advantage of the Google Camera software while at the same time offering loyal users the option to use the stock OxygenOS camera app would be more than ideal.


3. Dual boot between OxygenOS and Pixel ROMs

Last but not least, a successful collaboration between OnePlus and Google is one that should result in some sort of support for dual boot between OxygenOS and Pixel ROM for OnePlus and Pixel devices.

This way, OnePlus users can choose to install the official Pixel ROM (with all the goodies) on their devices without the usual hassles of installing custom ROMs and vice versa (for Pixel users).

We recently saw reports that Vivo is working on a smartphone environment where users can opt to boot different versions of Android on the same device. If anything, OnePlus and Google can borrow a leaf.

Of course, this is just wishful thinking and these might never get to materialize. And you are also allowed to draw your wishlist for this dream Google-OnePlus collaboration in the comments below.

While still here, let us know which one among these three you’d like to see in the event of a successful OnePlus-Google collaboration. The article will be updated after a week with the poll results.

Update 1 (January 31)

The poll results are out. Exactly 50% of those who voted say they’d like to see a new smartphone out of this collaboration. Close to 30% voted for official Gcam support, while the remaining were in favour of a new ‘Pixel ROM & OOS dual boot’ feature.

In case you missed the poll, you can still share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.