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OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus One has an off-contract price starting at only $299, but don’t call this smartphone cheap. Hiding behind the OnePlus One’s 5.5-inch HD screen is some high-end hardware.

OnePlus One Look And Feel

The OnePlus One’s appearance isn’t particularly remarkable, a relatively plain slab of glass and plastic. It’s not that it’s ugly or even cheap looking, it just doesn’t visually distinguish itself from the crowd. The One’s utilitarian design and plastic outer shell might not rival the iPhone’s or HTC One’s smooth lines and aluminum bodies, but it creates a handsome style all its own with a flush mounted earpiece and raised display.

While the outside of the One is plastic, the inner frame is made from a magnesium alloy, which is lighter than aluminum. This metal inner frame gives the One terrific rigidity.

The phone feels great in the hand, despite its relatively large footprint. This is especially true for the Sandstone Black version, whose textured back has a unique feel that we've yet to see in other phones and provides a reassuring grip. The smooth, glossy back of the Silk White version, however, feels quite slippery.

A black bezel surrounds the 5.5-inch 1080p display, reasonably thin on the sides but much wider at the bottom. This lower bezel seems a bit too thick for the three, semi-redundant capacitive buttons (Back, Home, and Menu/Multitasking) it hides, adding to the One’s overall height and making it taller than the LG G3, but shorter than the iPhone 6 Plus. The bezel above the display is home to the ear piece, front facing camera, a multicolored LED notification light, and light/proximity sensors.

Around the entire device is a chrome-like plastic band that appears to be sandwiched between the display and the body of the phone. While it isn't metal, the faux chrome is the One’s sole piece of flair, prominent but not tacky.

On the back, the simple curves and tapering of the phone are a bit reminiscent of those found on the HTC One X, especially the white version. The curves help make this large device a bit easier to handle for those who aren't used to the large form factor. Aside from the usual mandatory FCC markings, there is a tastefully sized ‘1+’ logo, the not quite flush 13MP camera with dual LED flash, one of the three microphones the One employs in its “tri-microphone noise cancelling technology,” and most interestingly, a CyanogenMod logo. Given that OnePlus is an official CyanogenMod partner, and the One is the first phone to exclusively ship with CyanogenMod out of the box, this is quite unique to see.

The top features the usual 3.5mm headphone jack and a second noise cancelling microphone, which help’s the One record stereo audio.

The bottom includes the microUSB charging port, yet another microphone, and dual, but not stereo, loudspeakers.

The left side is home for the Micro SIM slot, located near the top, with the volume rocker below. The buttons have a nice tactile feel and convenient placement, although they are a tad small.

On the right side there is nothing but a strategically placed power button.

Accessories

The OnePlus One comes packaged in a rather nice white and red box. Inside is a tool for ejecting the SIM tray, with its own red protective sleeve.

There’s also a nice looking red, flat-style charging cable. The wall plug comes in a separate box, allowing OnePlus to ship region specific adapters with the phone.

  • MrEssesse
    You forgot to mention how the iphone 6 plus costs 299 $ with a 2 year contract, unlocked its around 700 $.
    Reply
  • Mike Coberly
    So the device itself supports the CDMA bands, but is not compatible with one of the major CDMA carriers here in the US? What a shame. :( This could easily replace my now aging Galaxy Note 3.
    Reply
  • kamhagh
    wow cyanogen improved a lot since 2005 ! :D im gonna try it again on my nexus 4 :D
    Reply
  • kamhagh
    i meant 2010 :|
    Reply
  • Memory Ever
    Summary is all kind of noise voice out because it's a China phone.
    If this is a phone from Apple, people will only ask when they can buy it. They don't real care about of the specification.

    This is the different.
    Reply
  • house70
    Got one for my wife, she loves it, esp. that she doesn't have to keep an eye on the battery icon anymore. This thing will run forever... Getting another one for myself.
    For about USD 350 you can't really do any better. They could sell it for 550-600, but they won't.
    CM12 (Lollipop- based) is around the corner.

    Only thing they botched really big was the sales; this phone had a huge potential to when first launched, but making it almost impossible to buy doesn't help.
    Reply
  • uplink-svk
    As owner of three 1+1 phones I'm heavily dissapointed with this phone. I really loved the Crysis Music trailer, and there I decided to go for this phone.

    Things that really dissapointed me are:

    - display is yellowish, at least was on all three pieces I owned
    - it's made out of cheap plastics, I don't care it feels "great", I wanted metalic phone, like they said it's gonna be in the beginning
    - one of the pieces was doing purplish photos
    - it's way too big
    - CM is fine, but still misses some of the basic features offered by 3rd party GUi from Samsung/HTC, which are in my eyes normal - RMAing the 1+1 is a hell, You need to send it back, wait and stuff, thank You, but no

    In general I bought the first one for 290 euro, second one for 250 euro, and third one for 390 euro, which are pretty good prices in my country for these phones, and all were a disaster :\
    Reply
  • rexter
    This is what Nexus 6 should have been - price-wise. Watch out Google here's OnePlus. Too bad, you'll need an invitation to get one, why not invite me instead if I give them my e-mail; this just show that the company don't have much stocks to share to every, I suppose? and that pink wall paper reminds me of Ubuntu. I like the black one if I can get my hands on one... or two.
    Reply
  • Karksken
    Can you use this one as phone too or is it just a tablet(review). Smartguys please give us on smartPHONES also the real info as Phone quality, connection quality, e.a. info when you get the out of memory error when there is still a lot of mem available and you SIM is disconnected. How does the apps interact with the phone part.
    Reply
  • D A
    The invites are easy to get with a little patience. I just bought three of them in the last tow weeks. All my invites I got where from google + where previous buyers are giving out the invites hourly. Jut go onto Google plus and do a search for "Oneplus Invite", then click "MOST RECENT". be patient and keep refreshing and be ready to respond to a post where someone is offering an invite... respond with your email address that you would like one. I did this for all three of my invites, there was only one person that did not send me the invite. I was able to get all the invites within an hour.
    Reply