While the world keeps on raving about OnePlus's OxygenOS, there is another version of it without Google Mobile Services installed.

When we think of OnePlus, we think of their OxygenOS UI. It is among the best Android software out there with a Pixel-like experience thanks to a clean interface and almost no third-party bloatware at all (that is unless you purchase the phone via telco under contract). For any Android user who wants to experience a super-fast stock interface without resorting to Google Pixel or Android One smartphones or even flashing a custom Android ROM, OnePlus smartphones are definitely the preferred choice.

Despite the praise, it turns out that not everything is the same for everybody.

GSMArena via Android Central recently published a news article about the official price for the Chinese market of both OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. Prices would start at CN¥3,999 for vanilla OnePlus 8 with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage all the way up to CN¥5,999 for OnePlus 8 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.

As of April 17th, 2020, CN¥1 translates to USD 0.14. It means that the cheapest OnePlus 8 variant cost USD 565, while the most expensive one would be USD 850. This makes the Chinese market of OnePlus 8 models some USD 134 to USD 149 cheaper than the American or European market.

OnePlus 8 from OnePlus China website with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage sold for CN¥3,999 (USD$585).
OnePlus 8 8GB/128GB RAM/storage sold for CN¥3,999 (USD$585).

OnePlus 8 from OnePlus China website with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage sold for CN¥4,599 (USD$650).
OnePlus 8 12GB/256GB RAM/storage sold for CN¥4,599 (USD$650).

OnePlus 8 Pro from OnePlus China website with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage sold for CN¥5,399 (USD$765).
OnePlus 8 Pro 8GB/128GB RAM/storage sold for CN¥5,399 (USD$765).

OnePlus 8 Pro from OnePlus China website with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage sold for CN¥5,999 (USD$850).
OnePlus 8 Pro 12GB/256GB RAM/storage sold for CN¥5,999 (USD$850).

How is this even possible, I hear you ask. Is it because OnePlus was based in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and they can market their smartphones in their home country much cheaper than everywhere else? One main reason behind the price reduction could be contributed by the mobile OS itself.

Believe it or not, it turns out that OnePlus do sell their smartphones without Google Mobile Services (GMS) installed. It's not like OnePlus has been given a ban from the White House, unlike Huawei who had to build its own mobile service system in the shape of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). OnePlus is still allowed to partner with Google to have GMS installed for all their smartphones sold outside PRC.

In case you missed it, China has started banning Google all the way back in 2009 starting with YouTube. It would take a lot of space to explain the whole story, but it suffices to say that it has got to do with censorship. While Android OS is allowed to be available in PRC, it seems to be useless to have GMS pre-installed as the government has censored various Google services to their citizens such as Google Search and Gmail to name just two. With this kind of restriction, Chinese smartphone manufacturers decided to focus on creating their own Android ROM without GMS.

While we are all aware of Huawei's HMS, OnePlus's HydrogenOS is also another prime example of the case. At first glance, it looks exactly identical to the standard OxygenOS that other people around the world are most familiar with. It was the exclusion of Google apps where you can only see the difference between OxygenOS and HydrogenOS. It means that you have to rely on third-party apps, especially the ones made for China like Baidu.

So next time you want to bash about Huawei's misfortune with Google, always remember HydrogenOS.

SOURCE: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Can you live without Google services? If so, what are your personal experience from it? Let us know in the comment section down below.


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