Australia already has quite a selection of mid-range smartphones that offer premium tech at value prices. Can it handle one more?

When it comes to smartphones in Australia, one thing you can’t say is that we’re limited in what we can find. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Locally, we see devices released regularly across the typical price points, ranging from cheap as chips to middle of the road to a little bit higher, and all the way to premium’s best of the best of the best.

One of the most exciting areas is that of mid-range, an area that is truly beginning to compete hard with big screens, high-end cameras, fast 4G modems, and so on and so on. You might even say there’s as much focus on this part of the market as there is the flagship premium world.

Mid-range isn’t just exciting, but truly varied, with choices from Huawei, Motorola, LG, Oppo, HTC, Samsung, ZTE, and Sony. Everyone practically has a player in the race, and some have several, practically living there.

Overseas, OnePlus is one of those providers, offering choices for the mid-range that encapsulate high-end choices. Australia, however, hasn’t seen a OnePlus phone, but that could change in the coming months.

This week, OnePlus announced on its forums that it would be offering a soft launch program for its OnePlus 5 phone later in August, using this as a way to test the market and its supply chain before getting feedback in Australia and prepping the market for later releases.

While OnePlus has never officially popped up in Australia, it can be imported, as fans have done in the past.

It’s worth noting that OnePlus is owned by Oppo, and so some of the phones bare similarities to models Oppo releases locally.

Case in point, the OnePlus 5 looks a little like the Oppo R11 from the outside, even featuring dual cameras, though the technology is a little higher end inside the OnePlus model, with a Snapdragon 835, up to 8GB RAM, more storage, support for Bluetooth 5.0, and Near-Field Communication (NFC), something Oppo tends to skip on every one of its devices.

OnePlus’ upcoming release may end up offering yet one more product for people to choose between, but what it also could do is give the big boys some serious competition, too, because while the mid-range is quickly growing fierce with competition, much of it says the same.

For OnePlus, its migration to Australia could end up doing what Huawei has done, attacking the high-end devices with phones that nail the value proposition and make the other guys sit up and take notice.

And if anything, OnePlus could just provide one more great choice for your next phone. We’ll know soon enough, especially with the release impending, even in a soft launch state.

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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