After months of taunting competitors and consumers, OnePlus has finally released its smartphone, aptly named OnePlus One. The naming convention may be odd but the phone itself is amazing, touting components and an OS that could make top smartphone manufacturers squirm. Still, it’s the company’s first attempt and only the consumer market will tell whether or not it succeeds. Read on down for the full breakdown of the OnePlus One.
OnePlus is just about unheard of. It’s a brand new startup formed by the former VP of Oppo (another slightly unknown smartphone manufacturer building high-end smartphone devices) , Pete Lau. The brand has almost no awareness other than the hype for change in overall smartphone design, so it’s currently hanging on its new and hipster, geek factor. However, it turns out OnePlus is actually a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oppo. So despite many fans chagrin to cheer the underdog taking on Android smartphone makers, this project is still relevant to Oppo, run by people who work for Oppos, and includes shareholders from Oppo. It’s a great marketing ploy, nevertheless.
The OnePlus One is a beautiful take on smartphones with a higher-end build quality that’s comparable to Oppo’ Find 7. It’s also a bit like the HTC One (large metal body). However, the phone’s construction is very unique in that it’s built with actual magnesium. This makes it very strong and light. It also has removable back covers which you can swap out for those with different build qualities and charm. Bamboo, Wood, Denim, and Kevlar are all currently available. Its beautiful 1080p display comes in at a slightly hefty 5.5″, but its gentle arcs and rounded corners make the device a nice fit for your hands.
The OnePlus One has some of the top hardware of any smartphone. It arguable beats out the M8 and the S5. It’s packing a Snapdragon 801 with a quad-core 2.5GHz CPU along with an Adreno 330 GPU. It also has a whopping 3GBof RAM just like Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Here’s the real kicker. The OnePlus One actually has a 13MP Sony Exmor camera capable of filming 4k video and 720p slow motion at 120 fps, which is just about unheard of for any smartphone on the market. The screen (as mentioned) is a beautiful full 1080p and 5.5″. The front camera is also 5MP, which is equivalent to the HTC One and greater than the back camera of the HTC One.
The OnePlus One is the first phone released with CyanogenMod of Android, CM11S. This is also known as CyanogenMod 11S. If you haven’t heard of CyanogenMod, it is a modified version of Android that is very close to Google’s pure OS. However, so far Cyanogen has only been utilized unofficially by jailbreakers and Android modders since Android creation. CyanogenMods have added functionality and give users access to settings stock Android does not. Nevertheless, CM11S is uniquely customized for the OnePlus One and has many features flagships are touting these days. It allows voice control like the MotoX, quiet hours, its own flavor of icons, and allows indepth customization of themes, fonts, and functionality more so than your average Android device. The OnePlus One will be the first phone that fully ships with CyanogenMod.
The OnePlus One will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, and many other European countries. Currently in the US the $16GB version runs at $299, undercutting the Nexus 5 by $50. Or, if you want you can quadruple the storage to 64GB, it’s only $50 more. Absurdly cheap, right? So what’s the catch? Word of mouth is the only way you can purchase the OnePlus One. You have to be invited by a friend or receive an invitation direclty from OnePlus to purchase. Talk about marketing ploy. In addition, you can buy one for a dollar with a contest on their website right now, offering 100 OnePlus Ones for $1 to the few lucky applicants. Check it out here.