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What is the OnePlus R Series phone and is it really a ‘flagship killer’?

In 2021, OnePlus expanded its smartphone offerings by launching a new R series of devices titled similarly to its main flagships. But these R series devices were never released globally and therefore remained an enigma to many users. Dubbed “flagship killers” by OnePlus itself, the R series devices will see their first global release in 2024. But what exactly are these devices? Is it really worth considering? Here’s what you need to know.

The R series explained

The easiest way to explain the R series of OnePlus devices is to point to another similar option from another manufacturer. If you’ve been following Android devices, you’re probably at least a little familiar with Google’s Pixel A series smartphones. These devices build on the new technology seen in the tech giant’s flagship devices, but remove certain features and elements to help keep the cost more in line with budget devices.

The OnePlus R series is exactly the same, offering some of the same features that core OnePlus flagships offer, but at a lower price because it uses older hardware or lacks some of the more important features found in OnePlus phones top of the line. . This is a new way to close the distance between flagship devices and more budget devices, and Google and OnePlus seem to have found a lot of success in offering these types of devices.

Looking at previous versions of the R series, we see that the OnePlus 11R, released in February 2023, offered a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, while the flagship OnePlus 11 sported the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The other specs of the phones were similar, Additionally, the 11R sports a 6.74-inch display with a resolution of 1240 x 2772 at 120 Hz, while the main line OnePlus 11 comes with a 6.7-inch 2K display at 120 Hz, as well as support for HDR10/10+ and Dolby Vision.

This means that the 11R was very similar to the 11, but it offered slightly lower/older specs in some places to help bring the price down and make it even more affordable.

Are they really flagship killers?

That’s a good question, and to answer it honestly, you need to think of the R-series devices as more than just a line of budget or mid-range smartphones. Instead, it’s probably best to think of them as high-end devices from the year before. That is, they rely on design changes made to newer devices, but often feature a slightly older chipset, which reduces their performance somewhat. So while they may not be as powerful as a high-end flagship device, they come very close and will offer more than enough power for most people, while still saving them money. money.

Based on this definition, it’s very easy to view smartphones like the OnePlus R series as flagship killers because they essentially remove the need to buy a flagship device. Of course, the smartphone industry is much more complex than that, and no matter how good the device, there will always be users flocking to the latest and greatest from major flagship manufacturers like Samsung.

The world’s first version of the R series

All of this brings us to January 2024, when OnePlus will launch the world’s first version of the R series with the OnePlus 12R. Not much is known about this upcoming device, but there is a lot of speculation about what it will include. Based on previous specs of other R-series devices, the OnePlus 12R will likely sport the still-new but slightly older Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and feature some of the other hardware specs and features of the new OnePlus 12, while cutting back on others.

I don’t want to go into too much speculation here, of course, but the global release of this R-series device will make it a pretty attractive choice for users planning to upgrade their phone next year, as you would have understood it. another premium option to choose from that won’t force you to pay the higher price of a flagship. In this sense, OnePlus has a very good chance of taking the global market by storm with its self-proclaimed “flagship killers”, and honestly, I’m intrigued to see how this plays out for the company.

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