So as I previously posted on reddit, I was invited to the OnePlus HQ in Shenzhen and this is the follow up.
My appointment time was 3:30 p.m. so we set out from Guangzhou around 12 p.m. We reached SZ in a little over an hour by the high speed CRH train. One of our friend had an allergic reaction on the way and so the hunt for a medical store began. We found one and bought her medicine (Don’t worry, I spoke to a Doctor first), then we grabbed a bite and were on our way.
The HQ is not so far from the nearest metro station, and we did have Christina on wechat to help us. We found the correct street, and were sending her pictures of building as ‘is this the one?’
Nice game we had going there of “Find the office”. Well we did find the building quickly enough and it looked beautiful!
Up the elevator we went, and found ourselves at the doors of the office. The reception are sits right in the middle of the two office wings. A very minimal setup, with a couch and a few chairs. A silver One Plus logo adorned the wall in front. Ling and Christina welcomed us there and led us to the conference room. We had complementary goody bags waiting for us there. Thanks guys! First up was a presentation about the OnePlus ideology and their mission behind the brand. A very simple introduction to what OnePlus is all about. I knew most of the stuff, but it was a nice way to introduce the brand to my friends. Ling: “Our idea is to keep things transparent, and we try our best to do that. The people send us emails like good job and all, and we still reply to all of them. Not some automated reply, but a proper reply even if it’s a Thank you.” Ling then called Carl Pei in the room for an informal meeting. Carl seemed very chill about stuff and one could clearly see that he was busy. Even then taking a few minutes off work to meet fans is not something everyone would do. Ling asked if I had a questionnaire for him, which I didn’t, so I decided to ask some questions anyway. Here’s how it went (I don’t have a recording, but this is best to my memory) Me: You must have read the news about the Mi 4 and Windows deal? Anything like that for One Plus? Carl: Yeah, but it’s not Xiaomi who is doing it. It’s Microsoft. We did have a chat about this and we are open to it if Microsoft is interested. Me: Tell me more about the Oxygen and Hydrogen ROMs. Why make things different for Global and Chinese markets? Carl: It’s the expectation of the public. The global audience wants a pure android experience. They don’t like bloat and things, while in China people expect all types of apps pre-installed. Hydrogen comes without the Google package and hence built for the Chinese market. Which ROM are you on?
Me: I’m a total flashaholic. I switch ROMs very frequently which my friends here hate. I flashed Color OS 1.2 last night before coming here, as the camera is very good and Color OS 2 beta has a battery drain issue. I used CM before, but switched as Google services don’t play well here and kill the battery. Okay one more question, what is the mystery things going to be revealed in April? *Ling is laughing, we look at her* Carl: Haha! That you’ll have to wait to find out. Me: Tell us something, I swear it stays in the room. Carl: Okay, I won’t show it to you, but I can tell you that it’s not the things people online are speculating. Me: So no gaming console, wireless controller or a gamepad? Carl: No Ling: There is some other news if you guys want? Me: Sure Ling: There may be more Shibas coming With that, we left the room and went on with the tour. Many of the fans know that the office does not have cubicles. According to Ling, it’s much easier to just shout and call people that way.
The chairs as asked by fellow redditors are IOO : Link
According to Ling, these have a lot of knobs and buttons and she is completely wasting their potential. She then led us to the game room. They had a projector, Xbox 360 and a PS4 (which people don’t play much due to lack of games). A piano and a drum set were in the other end. Pete loves to play the drums and has a tutor for that.
They had a few people working in the balcony, which overlooked the Hong Kong border. It was a beautiful sight.
Then she took us to the meet the global division of the team. There was Una, playing with her toy. She was happy when she saw us and started playing with my friends. Ling said that her job was 90% Una and 10 % other things, as she takes care of her. We also met Steven there, the man in the Horse mask revealed.
So we went ahead and met Pete. He was working there with everyone else. He was glad to meet us and we took a pic with him. Ling also showed us the 3D printer in the office and they were excited about the things people are making for the device. Then we went and met with the staff developing the Oxygen OS. They told me I could try it, if I don’t take pictures. The ROM has some Paranoid Android DNA but I liked what I saw in the battery graph with the Google play services installed. I joked if someone would flash it on my phone, but they said that you better wait for a few days than sign a NDA.
Ling told us that the Hydrogen OS team is based in Taiwan and hence we can’t meet them. Next up we met the Oxygen OS team: Aaron, Carlo, Arz and Hieu. Arz was messing with us about the OnePlus two and we were poking around for that. For now they are concentrating on the Oxygen release. I did ask and they confirmed that camara2 api is not included in this build, but they will be adding it in the next few updates.
Since it was Steven and Catherine’s birthday party we were on the roof celebrating. We had to move to the games room due to the rain though. Ling and Christina started a game of limbo with the prize of 100 yuan, while others were busy playing football. OnePlus blog (That’s my friend in the edge of the pic) The birthday boy and girl, cut their cake and it was delicious. Soon it was time to head back. So we said our goodbyes and off we went. It was a fun trip, as it’s not every day you can waltz in some company office and have fun with the staff.