It’s about time: OnePlus announces official Australian launch

Chinese phone-manufacturer OnePlus has officially announced that it will be launching the company’s most-recent flagship, the OnePlus 5, in Australia.

In a statement made via a blog post, the company said that rollout will begin with a “soft launch program” in late August, which will allow it to test the product and supply chain, and then respond to feedback from program participants. 

While OnePlus hasn’t released specific details about how the soft launch program will actually work — or how participants will be selected — it has invited Aussies to register their interest for “fan events”, which will take place in both Melbourne and Sydney during September. You can hit up this online Google form in order to (as OnePlus says) “join the party”. Naff.

The OnePlus 5 has so far been available in the US, UK, and most of Europe, although in the Asia-Pacific region it’s barely been seen outside of its home country of China. The company’s blog post mentions how flattered it is that Australians have taken to importing the handset (or gotten friends and family to purchase it abroad) and promises that these methods “won’t compare to the user experience when dealing directly with OnePlus”.

What's all the fuss about?

The OnePlus’ handsets, including the recently-released OnePlus 5, have generally been well-received in both the US and UK markets. 

In our in-depth review, we praised the phone for its flagship features and looks, as well as how it’s kept its price relatively low — at least in comparison to other brands’ premium smartphones. A dual-camera setup, exceptional overall performance and a high-quality aesthetic and feel all contribute to making the phone a serious competitor up against the major brands, and this is all compounded by the low price.

Although we don’t know what the OnePlus 5’s official Australian price is just yet, it currently starts at $479 in the US and £449 in the UK. For some context: The iPhone 7 launched in the US at $649 (£599) for the lowest storage option (32GB), which was priced at $1,079 in Australia. That could put the OnePlus 5 at around the $799 mark when it arrives Down Under later this month.