Prologue

Hi, I’m Rif and I’m an Android enthusiast from Italy. I’ve had quite a few Android terminals starting from the HTC Desire and have learnt to deal with its interface back when there were four physical buttons on every device, and also some sort of trackball or trackpad (that I still miss every now and then). I am also a software developer, so I also know how to use a Linux command line and how to deal with custom roms, recovery mode, adb, fastboot and the likes to squeeze every bit out of my phones, when they start to get old and slow.

This is the prologue of this story, and it narrates of how I got a OnePlus device in the first place, up until I liked it so much I bought a second one, and recommended it to a lot of friends along the way, before learning the hard truth.

I have always been on the hunt for the perfect phone, but being a student, my search was greatly influenced by their price. I was given an iPhone 3G as a present, and since my dad spent around 800€ for it, after having a terrible experience with their customer service, I decided that my maximum budget for phones should never exceed 400€. I bought an HTC Desire more or less three years later, and used it for another three years, switching to CyanogenMod and learning my way through rooting and changing partition sizes. I used my loyal HTC Desire until it made me understand that he couldn’t take it anymore, and it kept formatting my external SD cart to make it clear that it was time to search for its successor. I then bought a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, since Nexus devices were rather cheap and packed a great set of specs. A couple more years passed: the Galaxy Nexus fell behind when Google decided to not update it anymore, so I had to resort to custom ROMs again, and managed to squeeze another couple of years out of it.

Then this new “OnePlus” company came about. They released an incredible phone  for an even more incredible price, blasting all the competitors’ models with its impressive full HD display, quad core processor and 3 Gigabytes of RAM. WOW! It also came with Cyanogen OS out of the box, what else could I ask for! Buying it wasn’t easy though, because you had to have an invite. OnePlus was some sort of startup, so even though this invite thing was really unusual, it made sense for them as a way to control their production and also helped spread the word of this hard to get device. A great idea, after all. With the help of a friend, I decided to take a chance: I knew buying from an emerging company was going to be a risky decision, but I decided to try anyway, because they seemed to know what they were doing: I chipped in, bought it, and named it “Uno”, the Italian for “One”.

My OnePlus one next to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus
“Uno”, my OnePlus One next to “Odin”, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Man, I was right. The OnePlus One is, to this very day, the best device I have ever bought or used. Cheap, fast, reliable and durable, despite being mostly built of plastic, the thing was though. I know this because I dropped it twice on the same evening on a metal grate (because of a very stylish pair of trousers with very poor pocket design), and even though the fall damaged the metal-looking plastic bezel around the screen, the screen was not cracked nor even scratched. I happily gave away invites to friends and to total strangers on Twitter when I got any, but kept one to buy a second OnePlus one for my stepmother. She still uses it, and has been very satisfied with it. I recommended this phone to friends, and they also were impressed about how good it looked and about how good it performed.

Then, the OnePlus Two was released. It was a good improvement in basically all aspects, but it was also more pricey: not that much, for what it offered, but since my OnePlus One was still going, I didn’t need a new phone. That, at least, until my girlfriend decided she wanted to join the OnePlus family buying a OnePlus Two. I asked my colleagues for an invite, because yes, you still needed an invite to buy the new model, and even though this time invites were not shareable, he kindly let me purchase it through his account, and after a couple of weeks, my girlfriend’s OnePlus Two arrived.

I fell in love with it, again, like I did for the first model. It was a huge improvement in how premium it felt. And it packed a punch! I did not want to buy one yet, so when I got my invite, I asked my friends if they wanted it. Sure thing, a friend of mine asked me to buy it, and so I did. It was really hard, but I didn’t want to spend that much money… Yet.

A few weeks later, a friend of mine (who already got its OnePlus Two), received another invite, and offered it to me: keep this in mind, this is an important part of the story. I wasn’t sure about spending 400€ on the thing, because my One didn’t really need to be changed, but in the meantime I had also got a job, so I could afford to spend some money on something I didn’t really need. I thought about it for two days, and when the invite was about to expire, I bought it. I kind of ran out of names for my devices, so I named it “Due”, which is again the Italian for “Two”.

Here is Due, my OnePlus Two, and some accessories for me and for my girlfriend.
Here is Due, my OnePlus Two, and some accessories for me and for my girlfriend.

I was not as pleased with the Two than I was with the One. Uno was still able to get me through a work day with around 80% of battery left, after more than a year since I bought it, while Due was barely capable of that even in its first months. This was really the only defect I could find, since I expected the initial software quirks to be ironed out (as they were) in the following months. All and all, I was also happy with my OnePlus Two, so much that I again shared my invites around and recommended to my colleagues to buy OnePlus products. I made them sell at least an additional OnePlus X to a colleague, and finally a OnePlus Three to my boss. Keep this detail in mind too, he might have a word or two to say on the topic in the future.

All was good, for about 11 months, until one day, my OnePlus Two started having strange signal issues.

And this, is the start of my sadly true horror story with the European OnePlus support.

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