People in New York were lining up around a city block to buy this $530 Android phone

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
  • OnePlus devices are among the few Android smartphones that people line up for in masses, as they do for new iPhone releases.
  • Oddly enough, OnePlus devices aren’t nearly as popular as Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy phones.

On Monday, OnePlus hosted a small event at a pop-up store in New York where people lined up around the block to get a chance to buy the new OnePlus 6 smartphone.

Those at the head of the line started lining up around 6:30 a.m., more than 12 hours before the store opened its doors. Others took days off work and travelled from New Jersey and Long Island to stand in line. There were even some tourists from Italy.

Oneplus 6 lineAntonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

One of the only other phones that sees massive lines of eager buyers is a new Apple iPhone.

Few Android phones have garnered as much hype as the OnePlus 6. More than 15,000 people were lining up for the phone in 26 cities across 11 countries, according to a tweet from OnePlus.

And yet it’s not a massively popular device. In New York, I’ll see many more Samsung and Apple phones than OnePlus devices. Pedestrians walking by the line who asked me what it was for had no idea what OnePlus was.

While it might not be a popular device, the $US530 OnePlus 6 is a fantastic smartphone that easily contends with the $US1,000 iPhone X. It doesn’t have features like wireless charging or an official water-resistance rating like the iPhone X, but OnePlus fans waiting in line made it clear that they don’t really care about those kinds of things – most were lured by the OnePlus 6’s comparatively low price tag and supreme performance.

Oneplus 6Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Some people in line even owned the Samsung Galaxy S9, which is barely two months old and has almost every feature under the sun. They were willing to switch to the OnePlus 6, a phone with fewer features.


“Stock Android” was the most common answer, referring to the clean, simple version of Android you’d usually find on OnePlus devices and on Google’s Pixel 2. Samsung’s version of Android is altered, and the company’s redesigns can result in slower performance, at least compared with phones that run stock Android.

Unfortunately, you won’t find OnePlus phones at your carrier’s store to try – you’ll need to head over to the OnePlus website if you’re interested in buying it. But you can take my glowing coverage of the OnePlus 6 and the massive lines that OnePlus loyalists form as an indication that it is, indeed, a great smartphone. Just note that it’s not available on Verizon.

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