OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices



  • Torn between keeping my OnePlus 3T, buying a relatively expensive Librem 5, I was searching for affordable alternatives.

    The new OnePlus Nord with flagship specs and Oxygen-OS pre-installed seems like a very attractive alternative to me and a potential great opportunity for UBports to offer UT on an up to date mobile device.

    With upcoming ways (Halium 9) to get new-ish devices ported I'm wondering as to whether the OnePlus Nord is a viable option to be ported to in the foreseeable future. Is there any talks with OnePlus, considered to be one of the most active and open minded parties when it comes to collaboration, to work together on an easy install of UT on this particular device? It could open up a great market.



  • Might happen or not. Would not hold my breath for it.
    Your best bets right now are probably Jolla Phone or PinePhone (which really isn't much worse spec wise than the Librem5 especially in the new 3GBram/32gb storage version).

    In the last Q&A it was also mentioned that Marius has this keyboard phone, forgot the name. So that has a higher chance of seeing a sufficiently usable port.

    But honestly, for now stick with the Oneplus3t. It is still a quite good phone.



  • When talking high end smartphone: better, newer, faster, ...

    What are you looking for ?
    We are tought that new is better, that faster CPU is better, more memory is better...

    But do you really need it ?
    Android and iOS are exhausting the devices they're running on just for fancy tricks.
    Ubuntu Touch is way lighter and asks less from our devices.

    Storage is important but I don't see why one would need an octo-core 4GHz CPU to run "Machine vs Machine" or any app available on the open store.

    Convergence might be an explanation, but that's not a valid short term argument.



  • @3T_Ed
    About this port, I guess Halium will help.

    About talking with OnePlus, do you have something to support that they are "active and open minded" and that we might be able to talk to them anyhow we do with Pine64 or Volla ?
    I'm curious about it.



  • @AppLee said in OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices:

    When talking high end smartphone: better, newer, faster, ...

    Agreed, that's not the holy grail and in this case not what triggered me to ask if the OnePlus Nord will be ported.

    What are you looking for ?

    Frankly, I'm looking for an affordable smartphone by 2020 standard design. Most important thing would be security, followed by (replaceable) battery lifetime.

    But do you really need it ?

    No. Frankly a fully working phone without backdoors is what I need. Personally I would have liked a jack on this one though

    Android and iOS are exhausting the devices they're running on just for fancy tricks.
    Ubuntu Touch is way lighter and asks less from our devices.

    I know. Don't really care about fancy phones.

    Storage is important but I don't see why one would need an octo-core 4GHz CPU to run "Machine vs Machine" or any app available on the open store.

    Again you're right and I agree.

    Convergence might be an explanation, but that's not a valid short term argument.

    That would certainly be a welcome feature, but for me only if native Office-like apps would be supported. My Lumia 950 allows for convergency-like features, hardly ever use it.
    Convergence is a major opportunity if the phone could be the hear of a shell (think Nex Dock Touch, I recall Pine64 mentioning plans on a solution like that)

    @3T_Ed
    About this port, I guess Halium will help.
    About talking with OnePlus, do you have something to support that they are "active and open minded" and that we might be able to talk to them anyhow we do with Pine64 or Volla ?
    I'm curious about it.

    In the market OnePlus has been accepted even on the high end level both technicall and pricewise as being a competition for iPhones and Android Flagships. Like laptop manufactures Dell, Lenovo and others OnePlus has always been open to open source Linux. They still have a solid customer base in Linux/Ubuntu Touch, many of them being an early adopter from their crowdfunding campaign.

    OnePlus has now decided to put a mid-level smartphone 'below' the high-end product line (learned from their OnePlus 😵 and market this in a segment that they aimed for with their earlier models. It seems to me that OnePlus is extremely aware of this ongoing exhausting business models by Android and iOS you mentioned above. So is the public, who can see themselves buying a new phone while no real new features are added.

    I believe it is a smart move by OnePlus to market the OnePlus Nord as a mid-range affordable smartphone with flagship specs that can be seen as an all-in-one solid product without customers having to break the bank. One could advocate the Nord can be considered the '2020 OPO-like future proof' phone that can (still) be relevant for years to come. I would not be surprised if Oneplus would be open to work with UBports on this one. They have seen the Pinephone shipments and how well the Linux Community have been working on that. Why not do the same with the Nord? To me this phone has all the ingredients and I would certainly buy one if ported and supported by UBports community as they do with Pinephone.



  • @3T_Ed said in OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices:

    They have seen the Pinephone shipments and how well the Linux Community have been working on that.

    Thanks for your return.
    Do you have a link or a statement from officials in OnePlus to support that ? Or is it how you analyze it ?
    Do you have insider information on OnePlus strategy ?

    I don't know much about this company, I never used their product, never intend to do so.
    But I'm curious about their activy towards the libre (except their android being open sourced)



  • @AppLee

    It's my impression based on the analysis of the product, its market positioning, target groups and the dedicated OnePlus Nord video trilogy (scroll down to 'Watch New Beginnings').

    Today I have sent an inquiry to OnePlus regarding their official position and possible collaboration in porting this particular device. Should have their reply within 48h and will let you know.



  • Update
    Re my question to OnePlus' position regarding the Nord porting.

    Just received a reply. It's too generic if you ask me so I sent another email kindly asking OnePlus for a more specified answer.



  • @poVoq
    Thank you for your reply and advice. Although I have a lot of faith in Purism Librem 5 to become a great mobile device for the mainstream (as of their 'Fir' version) it is too expensive for me. For now the 3T unfortunately is lacking some features to have it as my daily driver but I agree with you the 3T is still very good. The OnePlus Nord looks to me like a real value for money device including 5G support.

    Looking at the Nord I see it as the 'new OPO' for people looking for a justifiable product running Ubuntu Touch: Design, specs and price-wise one of the most interesting devices on the market that just like the OPO could be an extremely good basis to build a new UT fanbase on.



  • @3T_Ed Even if the Volla phone seems 'closed' (for the moment?) and is not perfect (no notification leds), it is a good mid-range phone. It has an Android 9 base, is in partnership with uBports, which should guarantee development and loan follow-up. I think a bit like you, but I can't bet on the fact that such and such a new phone will have a development that will go all the way (too few super developers despite good will) or will have such a lack that will not be filled. We can think that the Volla and the Pinephone will reach their full potential in the medium term.



  • @domubpkm

    Good points. I agree that sponsors devices like Volla Phone should be on my shortlist (and it is) and we should expect those devices to get them to be supported.

    On the other hand I do see some advantages to include the Nord on the shortlist and to advocate for it to be ported:

    1. OnePlus has proven to be a (relatively) easy device to port. Devs are familiar with its devices in general.
    2. OnePlus has proven to be a real competition to the iPhone and Android mainstream devices like Samsung. It has become a renowned company in just a few years time. Building on that name would be the easiest way for UBports to gain brand awareness and pushing UT forward in EVERY segment, but especially in the segment UBports is likely to be most successful in
    3. OnePlus has proven with the Nord to take the mid-range segment seriously by manufacturing a device aimed exact towards that market by offering an affordable device built from scratch (learned from their X-version) with hardly no compromise compared to their flagship models
    4. OnePlus are already wide spread and accepted amongst the UT community. Chances are they will replace them by new devices of the same brand. The Nord will bring them at least the minimum specs
    5. OnePlus devices including the Nord are widely available already. In brick and mortar stores, online sales, even in OnePlus concept stores.
    6. OnePlus has an immensely growing fanbase and brand awareness in growing countries/continents even beyond the duopoly
    7. OnePlus has a plethora of accessories
    8. OnePlus has shown to be a company able - and to keep - to design, produce and distribute a lot of models in a short time
    9. Et cetera

    Now these arguments make it very acceptable for me to think the Nord will be a very likely successor of the OnePlus One and will be on many peoples shortlist soon. I wish Volla Phone to have that same future.



  • Let's assume for a moment that OnePlus will see the overlaps in their Nord model, its targeted market and related objective role UBports could play in their expansion.

    If OnePlus was to go 'the Pine64 collaboration route' by sponsoring UBports (providing dev resources as well), providing several Nord devices for development and planning for a UBports edition of their 'Nord' in stores and through their existing online sales channels, supporting Ubuntu Touch.

    Would that not be an extreme opportunity to break the duopoly offering the best of all worlds?







  • @3T_Ed Your plea is good, accurate and valid. It is subordinated to the fact that a hypothetical partnership could be established between ONE PLUS and uBports or to the sole will (and means) of uBports to want to develop a new porting, but it is possible: in any case I think it will take time, so you (we) will have to be prepared to wait...
    I'm not at all the spokesperson for VOLLA but note that two different OSes could be alternated (very interesting) and maybe the possibility of having a dual-boot (also very interesting).



  • @domubpkm

    Agreed and I believe we're all into those options. OnePlus according to their videos are looking for ways to meet their unchartered potential markets, still very much depending on Android. I think it would be in a mutual interest for OnePlus and UBports to team up and the best and fastest way to break the duopoly on the market in HW and SW.



  • @domubpkm said in OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices:

    closed

    What do you mean by "closed"? I see that you still can preorder the Volla phone at Indiegogo (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/volla-phone-free-your-mind-protect-your-privacy#/) or by email at https://volla.online/; and they seem to be ironing out the last issues in the Ubuntu Touch port: https://github.com/HelloVolla/ubuntu-touch-beta-tests/wiki/High-level-epic-overview-for-Ubuntu-Touch-port



  • @GT Of course the smartphone is totally 'Open' to buy it 😊 !!!
    My expression 'closed' may not be totally appropriate: the most likely correct idea is 'not open source hardware' which may have slowed down the purchase of this good smartphone.
    For what it implies, developers, more knowledgeable than me, will be able to back up the answer if they want.



  • @domubpkm said in OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices:

    'not open source hardware'

    Afaik Purism Librem 5, Pine64 Pinephone (see misconception and Necunos NC_1 should be considered to be the 'true Linux' smartphones that come as close to 'fully' open source available on the market in terms of hardware. [edit:]Librem 5 appears to be the most 'freed' of proprietary hw/blobs.



  • @3T_Ed said in OnePlus Nord - Porting to premium new devices:

    Librem 5 appears to be the most 'freed' of proprietary hw/blobs

    Is there an article you could link to that supports this claim, similar to the one from Pine 64?


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