OnePlus asks users to settle for a device without swappable covers


oneplus bamboo

It’s time for more OnePlus drama.

More people are getting their hands on the OnePlus One, but they won’t be able to use one promised feature. After months and months of teasing bamboo, silk white, and sandstone black swappable back covers, OnePlus is pulling the plug. The reason? “Technical difficulties.” They say they didn’t settle, but had to arrive at a “complicated decision.”

OnePlus may not have settled, but their users sure did.

These swappable back covers were a promised feature during the OnePlus One hypetrain. But now they are saying the covers suffered from creaks and and loosening during testing. The good news is a small number of bamboo cases passed the testing, and they will be made available in the OnePlus online store. They are also talking about making special kevlar or denim versions of the OnePlus One. So instead of buying a cool accessory to change the look of your phone, as promised, you can buy a new phone altogether.

What are your thoughts on OnePlus’ latest fiasco?

[via OnePlus]


Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. I think they have learned a valuable set of lessons. The biggest being communication. I got my Oneplus One with a bit of luck. But they were not upfront about delays and expectations vs reality. Another area is promises. We all know a new company likes promising the sun and the moon, but a lot of companies also reel in realistically what they can provide. This company on the their hand didn’t do this and have now out them in a position where the consumer has no trust. I hope they learn from this and try and do better if there is a next time. I do love the phone and it really is great, but a company wide mishandling of the lead up to the device screwed them over.

  2. Disappointed perhaps, but, labeling this as “Drama” is a bit dramatic/over the top.

    If you read the entire post from OnePlus, they explain & admit the design isn’t conducive to swapping out back covers & will address this design in future models.

    Even with this bit of news, I’d say their 1st effort into the smartphone business, albeit a different approach, netted one of the best phones of the year.

    Not bad for their 1st go-around.

    1. specs wise sure but everything else about the phone (the way it was marketed, released, truths twisted, etc) is garbage and they have lost a LOT of would be loyal customers due to their non-professional way of managing their “business”.

    2. It’s a very reasonable explanation, except for one thing: they used these covers as a selling point before they even knew if they would work. It’s bad business.

      1. True enough.
        However,I don’t believe it was an entirely empty promise/selling point.
        I believe they made a good-faith effort in delivering on this option & admitted that it turned out to not be a feasible/doable option
        No phone is perfect,but at the price & features you get,nothing comes close.

        Also,I see no reason why a 3rd party mfg wouldn’t attempt to fill this gap……..

        1. They should have determined whether it was feasible or not *before* they advertised the feature. It’s one thing to advertise a feature that’s still being developed, it’s another to advertise a feature that you don’t even know if it’s possible to do.

        2. lol, look at how many disappointed and disgruntled customers and tell me it’s not empty promise, LOL

  3. I keep reading the word “promise” left and right in every other article. Instead of instigating readers with all this “drama”, why not be more correct, neutral and fair with the choice of words? When manufacturers announce upcoming products’ features, that’s hardly a promise. They’re simply sharing their plans with the community, not swearing an oath. Unless everything at Phandroid goes according to plan every time, this way of reporting is irresponsible, and you’re doing a disservice not just to the electronic manufacturers, but to the readers who will now feel entitled to go on outrage feeling cheated by the company who broke their “promise”.

    God forbid a manufacturer should release two flagships in the same line of products within less than a year because their phone by default becomes obsolete and useless.

    1. In most cases I would agree with you. OnePlus is different because their entire marketing campaign for this device was based around the idea that other phones suck and you have to settle. But now that is what OnePlus One owners have been constantly asked to do.

      If you can’t walk to walk don’t talk the talk.

      1. Joe, thank you for taking the time to reply.

        That would the case with every flagship product release, not just this one in particular. Manufacturers tout the planned features and benefits, and the honest will admit that they love to be seduced. That doesn’t mean they always pan out, and that does not make it a promise either. At the end of the day, if the final product is not what you expect, cancel your pre-order, and/or don’t buy. The early adopters always know there are risks involved one way or another.

        And if we are to be frank, swappable backings are, generally speaking, neither unique, ground breaking, or an innovation. Read Phandroid’s own summary of this device . You will soon realize that this feature is nowhere near close what people thought made this device stand out.

        It’s really not a dramatic event.

    2. Wait…. what???? So you are saying a manufacture can make all kinds of claims about their product and NOT have to live up to them? The removable/swappable backs was advertised by Oneplus as a feature of their One phone. Not only that, but the backs have been listed for sale on their web site with availability as “Coming Soon.” How in the world can you give Oneplus a pass on that, claiming it wasn’t a promise???? They ARE STILL ADVERTISING THEM for sale on their website for goodness sake! You have been drinking to OPO cool-aid for far too long, my friend…..

  4. Have a OnePlus, don’t really care. I was vaguely interested in getting a bamboo cover, but probably wouldn’t have sprung more than $30 for it, and I have a feeling that even if they were able to pull it off, it would’ve cost way more than that.

    1. Agreed.. I love my OPO. Just got an aluminum bumper case which looks very nice. The sandstone cover has a great feel and everyone who holds the phone notices it instantly. I’d like a bamboo cover, but it’s definitely not the end of the world. Ever since the latest update (33R), the thing has been rock solid with no issues at all. Great battery life, nice price, nice specs. Can’t complain at all. I spent the money I saved on a new Moto 360 and couldn’t be happier.

  5. Meh… Another issue with the one plus one

  6. “Never Settle”… OnePlus sure knows how to eat those words!

    1. They are on the verge of obesity from how much they’ve eaten.

  7. Unicorns

  8. One minus

  9. Glad I ditched that crap.. And made some cash off it to pay for my LG G3

  10. What the hell?! Am I going to have to do some asinine promoting again to be able to buy one? This phone is pissing me off, especially the little bugs.

    Anyone else having issues with dual touch on the screen (can’t zoom in/out, gets all wacky sometimes)?

    1. No problems w/mine at all.

      BTW,orders/pre-orders start next month,confirmed by OnePlus today:

      1. I’m talking about the covers. Good to know we switched from exclusive phones to cases now.

      2. lol, it says IF available… that’s a HUGE IF!!!

  11. One Plus is nothing BUT a technical difficulty. Serious bait and switch going on with this company.

  12. im glad I let my invite expire. Nexus is almost here !

  13. they can still sell the covers. they just won’t be swappable and will come already placed on the phone from the factory. they hinted at doing this in the thread announcing this news.

    they don’t need to totally ditch the covers.

  14. Can’t complain at all. I spent the money I saved on a new Moto 360 and couldn’t be happier.

  15. Why do ppl still care about One Plus? lol

  16. I sold my note 3 after receiving my opo. Comments on here just go to show the losers who don’t have one lol

  17. I personally will never buy another HTC Device or phone for that matter with a built in battery. My HTC One X+ is not even 2 years old and i get 5 – 6 hours battery life max with minimal useage.. 3-4 hours with moderate and under 3 if i am on it constantly. So sorry HTC you have lost me!

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