OnePlus is one of the few small companies that might disrupt the Android phone market, dominated by giant outfits like Samsung. The company, started by former OPPO vice president Pete Lau, has launched the OnePlus One, which is a $299 phone with an impressive spec.
The company plans to offer the SIM-free phone for $299 with 16GB and $349 for the phone with 64GB of storage. Oddly enough there is no 32GB version. Europeans can expect £229/£269 and €269/€299 pricing respectively. This makes the OnePlus One extremely competitive and it even ends up cheaper than the Nexus 5, which offers the best value for money of all high-end Android phones.
OnePlus One has a Nexus killer spec
The OnePlus One spec is quite overwhelming, as the phone comes with a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 5.5-inch LTPS ISP full HD display, 13-megapixel Sony Gen2 Exmore Sensor rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera for high-res selfies, if you’re into that sort of thing. The f2/0 camera lens has six elements and promises good photos.
It also has a rather powerful 3100mAh lithium polymer battery and the Snapdragon 801 comes with global 4G LTE capability. The phone comes in two colours, sandstone black and silk white. The body is not aluminium or plastic, it is crafted from magnesium and weights 162 grams.
The OS of choice is of course Cyanogen which will be impressive for many modders around the world as this community based operating system is usually very fast to get the latest Android and many new features quite fast after Google announces them.
Does it stand a chance?
The One brand is a bit too similar to the HTC One, but we will let these two companies sort out their brand rights on their own. Microsoft also renamed its Skydrive to One and obviously the One brand is in demand these days.
The OnePlus One will initially be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States in 16GB Silk White for $299/€269 and in 64GB Sandstone Black for $349/€299. It can be customised with some very neat covers, denim or wood, it's up to you.
Personally, I believe that any phone with a screen bigger than 5 inches is too big and that mainstream phones should not feature screens bigger than 4.7 inches due to ergonomic issues and one-hand ease of use. However, millions of Galaxy Note phablet owner are proving me wrong. It is all a matter of taste and I happen to believe that mainstream phones should stay at 5 inches or less, while phablets should cover the 5 to 6-inch space.
The hardware is good, the price is great and the huge Cyanogen community is very interested indeed. Whether or not enthusiast interest can be translated into mainstream appeal remains to be seen. People in the know will buy the OnePlus One, but most average consumers won’t even know it exists. Their loss.
In an interesting PR stunt, the company is giving away the first 100 phones for $1, provided the buyers smash their old phones first. We doubt that one of our readers will be one of the lucky ones, as there seems to be a lot of interest and the OnePlus website seems to be crashing due to high traffic.
You can still try at the link here.