OnePlus One is a new take on the smartphone flagship as we know it


After countless teasers and free positive press thanks to the marketing team behind the lean OnePlus One team, the device was unveiled early today as expected. It is the company’s first smartphone and also its flagship device for the foreseeable future and from the foregoing, this is likely the most interesting smartphone launch since the Find 7. Coincidentally, the Find 7 is made by Oppo, the company that OnePlus One founder Pete Lau was the vice president of engineering not long ago before he quit. In fact, if you ask many, the OnePlus One in itself looks much like the Oppo Find 5 and a leans a little towards the design of the Find 7. The two companies are also fans of Android’s biggest custom firmware build, CyanogenMod.

OnePlus One

So what about the OnePlus One?

  • It is the cheapest premium smartphone you’ll get in the market at the moment
  • It has all the specs you would expect of a 2014 flagship device (no, QHD displays are not part of that equation yet)
  • You won’t be able to pick it up as easily as you would either a Galaxy S5, a HTC One M8 or a Sony Xperia Z2. The company is just starting and would likely struggle to cope with the market demand for such a device if it opened availability to everyone. It is strictly invite only. Ok, not that strictly, the company is also running a campaign where a small number of interested guys will get the device for just $1 if they destroy their current high end smartphones. Huh? Yes.

Specs of the device are as follows:

  • Display: 5.5 inch 1080p display
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz with an Adreno 330 GPU in tow.
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM / 16 GB or 64 GB internal storage; non-expandable
  • OS: Android 4.4 KitKat in the belly of CyanogenMod 11S
  • Camera: 13 MP main/ 5 MP front
  • Battery: 3100 mAh
  • Others: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC,

The device will be available in the US, UK, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Italy, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Austria and Belgium at just $299 for the 16 GB Silk White model and $349 for the 64 GB Silkstone Black model. Actually that is the best deal the smartphone world has ever seen. No, forget the Nexus, it compromises on some things, this one doesn’t.

However, thanks to its design and build, the battery is not removable and there’s no slot for your microSD card (i.e no expandable storage). That should not be an issue since you can easily get the 64 GB version if you’re in line to get the OnePlus One.

There’s no exact release date announced by the company but all we know is that it will be hitting the market sometime in May.

Oh, it is also unlocked!

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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.