One+ Nord has only been out in the wild for a week and the company is being picked apart by the media for pre-installing app services for Facebook and Netflix.
But what did you expect? I mean, how do you think they kept the cost of the Nord devices down while including 4 cameras, faster CPU, glass body, AMOLED 90Hz, fast charging and in-screen fingerprint scanner for €399
Casholla! Sweet cold hard cash from companies such as Facebook and seemingly Netflix too. For pre-installed and uninstallable background service apps.
This is of course not a new concept and has been happening for years straight across the spectrum of manufacturers and we really shouldn’t be surprised at this point. I’m not here trying to piss on One+’s efforts, the Nord appears to be a really solid phone for the money, let down really only by the cameras and lack of stereo speakers. However, what does make me mad is poor excuses. OnePlus reasoned that the pre-installation of these apps as “system apps” ensures better battery efficiency on Facebook and enhances HDR playback on Netflix.
Give us a break, just hold your hands up One+ and admit that Facebook and Netflix paid you a load of money to bake these apps into our phones and that has helped you to drive the price south. It’s not even a shameful tactic. As a matter of fact it’s really smart, considering 90% of people will install facebook’s services or Netflix from the Google Play Store anyway.
One one hand it might be smart, but that doesn’t mean that taking a deal to install these apps with no option to remove them is the right thing to do. We’re in an increasingly data security conscious world and the last thing phone users want is to be forced to carry around a glass brick with Facebook services quietly sitting taking up space and occasionally sending the odd bit of data home. The actual space consumed is negligible, average Jane & Joe wouldn’t even realise it was there but if it came to them wanting to uninstall and they couldn’t, that situation might cause a certain amount of alarm even headlines!!
The simplest advice for choosing a budget phone is, to read between the lines. Usually when a deal looks too good to be true, it probably comes with a few caveats, potential for pre-baked apps being one of them.
In reality though you shouldn’t let this put you off from choosing a device or even the One+ Nord. Would the option to completely remove the apps be nice? Of course, however the value from the rest of the device and its features will generally overshadow this mild inconvenience.