OnePlus One user and forum member “MiYzu” posted his major issue on the OnePlus online forums on August 25, and it was about his OnePlus One phone appearing to just smoke out and burn up without no external causes. We’ve seen a lot of phones do this, one recent “under-the-pillow” incident comes to mind, but this is a very real concern for OnePlus, especially as they begin to build on their early hype.
The user says that the phone had been in his rear pocket when the incident happened, with the phone burning through his pants and causing a burn on the back of his leg, presumably. As we can see from the pictures, it looks like the burning process started from the battery and got hot enough to even burn through the user’s Cruzerlite case.
On reading the thread posts, some forum members did point out that the user had complained of a charger issue beforehand – maybe a few months back – and they pointed out that the issue may have started from the bad charger itself. Be that as it may, there are probably millions of phones out there using defective chargers but do not spontaneously combust on its own.
OnePlus is struggling to find street cred in a very unforgiving market. Things like this – and even misguided sexist marketing ploys – give arguments like “you can’t buy a USD$600 phone for USD$300” and the relative mistrust on Chinese gadget manufacturers more ammunition. OnePlus needs to deal with this issue decisively to move to a position of credibility. As of writing, the user has reported the incident to OnePlus but the company has not posted an official response yet, nor has the user informed the thread of a private one. Worse, the forum thread has been removed, which speaks badly for OnePlus' handling of criticism and issues.