If the name OnePlus doesn’t ring a bell for you, then you probably are missing out something. It’s a Chinese phone brand that is so popular its recent OnePlus 6T smartphone had more people lined up outside the T-Mobile stores than the iPhone XS.
OnePlus phones are so well-built and well-designed but always come with a very competitive price tag. We also shouldn’t forget that OxygenOS is still by far one of the best looking Android skins available in case you’re not fully into Vanilla Android. Unfortunately, OnePlus lately has been into some serious trouble. And it wasn’t the first time.
In October 2017, it was found out that OxygenOS collects private data without user’s consent. It wouldn’t be a big issue had the company laid out a user agreement. And it wasn’t just all that.
Just a month after found guilty of unpermitted data collection, in November 2017, the company has again run into some serious security issues when it was discovered that a backdoor called EngineerMode is allowing some OnePlus phones to be rooted without unlocking the bootloader. Of course, hackers cannot steal user data without them physically having your phone. But the real concern is what if they do? Attackers can easily achieve root access and execute some malicious command had them had the target phone. OnePlus, however, since patched this vulnerability by removing EngineerMode. But the list goes on.
In January 2018, OnePlus announced a massive credit card breach which affected around 40,000 consumers. To all affected users, OnePlus is providing a year of free credit monitoring. But the damage has been done, and users have to deal with the consequences of a stolen credit card.
As if it wasn’t enough for OnePlus, just days after announcing the credit card breach, a suspicious clipboard APK was also found in a beta build of the OnePlus 3T. Upon tearing down the app, a code inside revealed that it copies information placed in the clipboard and attempts to send it back to a Chinese company that “develops a smartphone application that helps to identify caller identity based on big data capabilities.”
“We apologize to our beta test users, for the confusion over an experimental HydrogenOS feature appearing in the global OxygenOS beta, which is being updated to remove it,” OnePlus said in a statement with Android Police.
“The experimental HydrogenOS feature is designed specifically for the Chinese market, where a unique competitive situation between two major web service providers has led to some e-commerce weblinks being blocked.”
According to OnePlus, the app is designed specifically for the Chinese market. But how it made its way into the global version of the ROM is unknown. This could just be an honest mistake for OnePlus, but careless dealing of private user data can lead to some pressing problems.
“There’s been a false claim that the Clipboard app has been sending user data to a server. The code is entirely inactive in the open beta for OxygenOS, our global operating system. No user data is being sent to any server without consent in OxygenOS.” OnePlus later added.
And to a more recent note, OnePlus is caught cheating its OnePlus 6T ad. A Twitter user notice a OnePlus sponsored ad popping on what looks like an IG Stories. Strange enough, the real-life OnePlus 6T, the company’s current flagship, doesn’t look like the phone in the ad. And we wish it was.
— Pedro Peguero Jr. ⌁ (@pedropeguerojr) December 21, 2018
The phone showed has way thinner chin than the real-life OnePlus 6T. Almost like the company’s marketing department accidentally uploaded a wrong phone in a wrong ad. Sure, things like this never backfired before. And so expect people would still line up for the next OnePlus smartphone. And while it’s nowhere near serious compared to the company’s previous debacles, this does question the company’s credibility. Seriously, what’s going on with you OnePlus?