OnePlus’ 10T launch was a strange return to in-person events
At least nothing about the scene at OnePlus’ 10T launch event and a place called Gotham Hall, how could that be? The ceiling and walls are lit up in bright red and the audience is bathed in a blue glow. There is also a chandelier in the center of the ceiling that gives off real The Phantom of the Opera vibes.
OnePlus hasn’t left much to the imagination leading up to its launch event. For one, two 10Ts are embedded in the wall where attendees walk in, so the jig is up. While it’s trending, OnePlus has rolled out specs ahead of time, from the chipset to the controversial missing alert slider. Here’s a color-by-numbers picture of the phone with almost every bit shaded except for one key feature: the price.
Like everyone else sitting around me in the section reserved for media, I’ve had the OnePlus 10T to test under the ban for a few weeks now. We know how it works, what it costs, and have formed our opinions on who should or shouldn’t buy it. We are not here to learn anything new; We’re here — just down from Broadway — for a little theater.
There are also a few hundred others in attendance, and it’s not just tech industry types: OnePlus opened the doors to anyone who paid $25 for a ticket. As the seats are filled, attendees begin to crowd into the back standing room, and a man with an extreme movie announcer voice informs us all that more chairs are coming.
There aren’t enough chairs for everyone, but the event starts anyway, and the venue is as cinematic as it suggests: projectors light up the walls above and around the stage to emphasize what’s being announced: flashes of lightning for fast charging. ; Volcanic rocks etc. for design. reveals You think you’re in a really dramatic stage show or maybe Cirque du Soleil, but no, it’s all about a phone.
To that end, there’s a slide at the beginning of the presentation that’s just raw specs that gets rapturous applause. A gentleman behind me asked “Where’s the alert slider?” Two times when presenters stop. This is truly a unique type.
The presentation drags a bit and by the end of Color OxygenOS 13 bit, we are all ready to get out of our seats. Someone nearby is playing a game I don’t recognize on their phone — maybe it’s the 10T? It’s a good use case though. Maybe the presentation went on too long — we watched one video twice! — or maybe I have to pee. If it is a virtual event like all other events in the past few years, there will be no problem. But I’m stuck in my seat and standing-room-only attendees block my way out. At the end, we get a big prize and are encouraged to visit the demo station in the rooms at the back of the theater.
Perhaps it’s a fresh approach after two-plus years of a somewhat isolated existence, but the demo scenario is a bit Wonderland-esque — familiar but not. The server has plates of iced coffee with OnePlus branding and names that play on phone features, such as “Long Life Late.” There’s a full menu of snacks and drinks like this, but the branding doesn’t go so far as to cover the Bud Light logo on one of the coolers.
In one room is a deconstructed model of the phone’s cooling system, encased in dry ice and dramatically lit, as if it were the Ark of the Covenant. There’s also a wall of previous OnePlus devices with alert sliders as far as the eye can see — what an irritation.
Of course there are swag bags on the way out and back through the looking glass on 36th Street, oppressive heat and blinding sunlight. One of the show’s presenters is waiting for an Uber (see? They’re just like us!), and I linger for a minute before moving on to the next thing on my calendar. It wasn’t exactly Hamilton, but it was a good – if a little weird – bit of entertainment.