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OnePlus and Xiaomi duke it out over OnePlus 12 quality control issues (Update)

OnePlus China's president has addressed concerns about the OnePlus 12's quality control.
By
December 12, 2023
OnePlus 12 Official Image
OnePlus
TL;DR
  • OnePlus China has spoken out regarding the OnePlus 12’s quality control and build quality complaints.
  • The company says a gap between the camera housing and the rest of the phone isn’t a design or quality issue.
  • OnePlus and Xiaomi executives nevertheless traded verbal blows regarding the issue.

Update: December 12, 2023 (8:55 AM ET): OnePlus has now issued an emailed statement to Android Authority regarding the OnePlus 12’s durability concerns. The statement is largely identical to a post made by Oneplus China president Li Jie Louis (read the original article below) and also directs users to read the post.

Check out the full statement below:

We have noted that posts are circulating on Weibo, which make baseless and misleading claims, and our China team continues to monitor these and take appropriate action against them. You can find a full statement from the President of OnePlus China at https://weibo.com/7582893032/NwLNd4R3v.
At OnePlus, we place great importance on delivering products of exceptional quality and reliability. That’s why we design all our phones to be durable and prevent breakage while allowing for variations in thermal expansion and contraction coefficients among the materials we use.
The OnePlus 12 incorporates three different materials in its stunning design, including the back glass, camera module, and middle frame, and it is common to use industry standard adhesives to seal the joint points to improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the device.
The camera module of the device features a curved design, which serves two purposes – enhancing the device’s aesthetics and integrating the antenna to significantly improve signal reception, while still allowing OnePlus 12 to be dustproof and waterproof.

Original article: December 12, 2023 (8:05 AM ET): The OnePlus 12 is already available in China, but some early users have complained about a gap between the camera housing and the rest of the phone. A few other users also complained about excess glue in the seam between the housing and rear cover.

Now, OnePlus China president Li Jie Louis has posted a lengthy response to the issues on Weibo. For starters, the executive claimed that this “is actually not a quality or design issue.”

OnePlus addresses OnePlus 12 concerns

The executive elaborated on this claim in the machine-translated post:

Due to the different thermal expansion and contraction coefficients of different materials and mass production requirements, any mobile phone will reserve a certain tolerance to prevent it from being easily broken.

Products do indeed need to be built with tolerances in mind. Fail to incorporate these tolerances into your phone and you might have a catastrophic failure like camera lenses cracking or your glass rear cover spontaneously spiderwebbing.

Li also seemingly asserted in the post that flagship phones generally use a glue application process. Then again, it seems that the use of glue isn’t the issue so much as it’s the fact that it’s plainly visible, as per the user images below.

Li also reassured users that the OnePlus 12 camera housing gap didn’t affect the phone’s IP rating, noting that dust sealing and water-resistant coatings are implemented inside the phone.

The OnePlus executive also said that users who don’t like the OnePlus 12 for whatever reason can exchange or return it within seven days.

OnePlus and Xiaomi fight it out

The OnePlus China president also took umbrage with rival companies who brought attention to the issue. Xiaomi executive Lu Weibing didn’t mention OnePlus by name but asserted on Weibo yesterday that these issues were due to less stringent quality control standards.

“Some brand executives frequently end up maliciously misleading the public,” the OnePlus representative said, presumably referring to Lu. “They dare not compare their product capabilities and only dare to make small moves. Obviously, a certain friend is worried about threatening its flagship product (sic).”

The Xiaomi executive has seemingly dug in his heels regarding his claims. Lu claimed in a machine-translated Weibo post that four factors led to the OnePlus 12 having a camera gap.

Redmi general manager Lu Weibing has doubled down on criticism of the OnePlus 12.

These factors included the different materials used in this area of the phone (rear cover, camera housing, and frame), the phone’s large radius of curvature due to a thicker design, tolerance standards that vary from company to company, and material tolerances in opposite directions amplifying the gap.

“In the face of this disaster, the emergency solution is ‘dispensing glue.’ However, if dispensing is not carried out in a dust-free factory, foreign matter will easily stick to it.”

Indeed, one of the images shared on Weibo (seen above) shows an insect in the phone’s glue.

Do you think the OnePlus 12 build quality is concerning?

1452 votes

Lu also admitted that the visible appearance of glue doesn’t affect the phone’s usability and that it won’t be a big problem if you don’t care too much about the device’s appearance.

Either way, we’re glad to see OnePlus China allowing users to return or exchange their OnePlus 12 units if they’re not happy. But we’re not sure whether the company will improve the build quality in time for the global release. We’re also not sure whether this return policy will apply to global users in case they’re not happy with the phone’s build quality.