OnePlus One Review

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.


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.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • MrEssesse
    You forgot to mention how the iphone 6 plus costs 299 $ with a 2 year contract, unlocked its around 700 $.
  • 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.
  • kamhagh
    wow cyanogen improved a lot since 2005 ! :D im gonna try it again on my nexus 4 :D
  • kamhagh
    i meant 2010 :|
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • uplink-svk
    As owner of three 1+1 phones [two 16 gigs, one 64 gig] 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 [which sounds totally derp]
    - 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 :\
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4745454b
    I love mine. I have the case for it which I don't like. Blocks the notification light, feels like it's about to break already on the seem that flips open, corners are already chipped/broken after two drops, etc. But I love the feel of the 64GB/Black backing. The reviews are right, while it's plastic it's a good plastic that doesn't feel like its about to fall out of your hand.

    I didn't get one with the yellow screen. As I understand it the problem has to do with incorrect settings in CM11. Oneplus on their forums had steps you should take to adjust the gamma to make it whiter. I haven't hand any camera lock ups or incorrect touches either. My biggest problem with the phone part are bad photos in bright light/outside, and REALLY quiet call volume on speaker. The latter went away with an update. The former might be correctable if I understood the camera settings. To be honest I don't take a lot of outside pics so it doesn't bother me that much.

    The only real competition for this phone that I can think of is the 4G Moto G which is $230ish. Considering the difference in specs its worth the extra $70ish + If you hate large phones then obviously this isn't for you. Frankly I'd like to get a 7"+ phone so I only have to carry one device with me everywhere.

    Edit: I forgot to mention you can find these on Swappa. That's how I got mine. It should have been $350 + I think another $15 for the flip open case. Counting tax and shipping it would have cost me ~$380? ish? I got mine on Swappa for $410. Counting the shipping and swappa fee he made a bit of money, but nothing crazy. There were plenty of $500+ phones, but you can sort by price. ;)
  • triculious
    I've had the OPO since around two weeks after it launched and then purchased another one for the girlfriend. Our experience has been nothing short of amazing.
    The screen size, while big, is handled with ease thanks to the curved back and the phone works smooth as butter.

    I've haven't had any issue with mine, no yellow screen, no random reboots, nothing of those problems reported by some. I'm not saying they don't exist, just that they don't happen on all of the units. My gf's one had a random reboot issue which was fixed by an update and hasn't had any problem since then.

    I love it as a phone as the sound is loud and clear and apparently the other side can hear me perfectly fine as well. No reception issues to report on neither unit.

    The camera works fine for me. I'm no pro photographer and I'd be delusional to think I can get superb results with a phone camera. The pictures are good enough to keep and learning how to use the camera settings helps too.

    The battery lasts forever. No need to worry about it and using the charger the phone gets full in something like an hour and a half.

    I really love my phone. I've been having an excellent experience with it and at a superb price.
  • whiteodian
    Great review Matt, very thorough. I bought a 64GB 1+ for the wife when they had the October pre-sale. They had issues getting it billed correctly through PayPal, and I was in limbo for 4-5 days while they figured it out. I wasn't too stressed. If I didn't get it, I didn't just drop $400. :D My initial shipping time was like 4-5 weeks. They fixed their problem and had it shipped to me within two weeks. Very good.

    The phone is very nice. I also purchased the clear case - nice, but not much grip to it. The basic screen protector - don't waste your money. There are sticker tabs that you are supposed to pull off once in place. They were a pain in the ass to remove and I had to clean sticker residue off. Just get one off Amazon. There is a tempered glass one that has good reviews.

    The phone itself seems to have a slight problem with it. The glass was not fully glued on the bottom right along the edge. I thought it might be bubble in the screen protector, but it wasn't. I could probably go through their RMA process, but it isn't impacting the phone's screen, yet. She is fine with using it as is, but I told her if it spreads, we are going to RMA. Everything else has been great with it. I'd buy myself one if it wasn't so damn big. I'll stick with my Nexus 4 for another year.
  • San Pedro
    Well for now, no invite needed.
  • rmva346
    So, this phone is now roughly 8 months old. Why is it just now being compared to the other flagships that came our most recently, within 1 and 2 months? Why was this phone not reviewed half a year ago? This sucks and is too late. Clearly, the phone was literally a flagship killer in April of 2014, not even counting the price. This is like comparing the last year's R9 290X to the GTX 980 and GTX 970 and then stating that R9 290X isn't the "flagship" card...
  • Ole Jensen
    Not sure why people complain about the invite system, it's pretty easy to get one, I just jumped on the public offering in october, and got one easy. For the money, it's not a bad phone, but it's not a great as it's cracked up to be, there is a reason why it's cheap. I (And several others according to the forum) have had issues with the screen. It sort of flickers a little sometimes, a reboot fixes that. The screen is also sometimes hard to read in bright conditions compared to what I'm used to. Also the lag/misinterpretation of the touchscreen as described in this article, is VERY annoying.

    Another thing. As some mention, the specs are not stellar anymore, this is already an old phone, and compared to the iPhone 6 Plus it feels old. The old saying is you get what you pay for. Well with the One, you might get a little more than you paid for, but it's not so much that it rivals the new flagship phones.

    If you decide to get one, get a screen protector. The screen is very brittle, and when it breaks, it's almost certain doom for the phone. The glass shatters in a way Corning Gorilla Glass would never do, and it also most often destroys the functionality of the screen. Reading through the forum, comparing to how many have actually bought one, there are surprisingly many cases of smashed screens. A drop of 1 feet (On hard surfaces), has destroyed quite a few Ones. And the RMA is a nightmare. It takes forever to get it fixed, and the screens are a lot more expensive that getting a Note 4 or iPhone fixed, factoring in transport etc.
  • nipsip
    OnePlus has the absolute worst after sale customer service of any mobile handset manufacturer plus their warranty period is a joke. If you have a problem with this phone and want it repaired, buy another phone because you will not get if fixed or replaced in an acceptable time frame (say 60 days). RMAs can take weeks and they have just added India to the market, so take that under consideration. You are far better off paying more for say the Moto X for peace of mind in customer service. Also you cannot read text messages on the Mercedes Benz like you can with other devices like Moto X, iPhone, Galaxy.
  • vampelle
    INVITE??? which era r we living in?

    that why i am not interested. so for me down point for oneplus one company and its phones.
  • James Preston Thomas
    I read all the specs and reviews and it seems more than worth it. The few semi-negative reviews sounded like disgruntled iPhone users. Their complaints didn't seem to be upheld by other owners. For $299, it's well above its class. I guess if the price meant nothing, I'd likely go with the Nexus 6, but cost DOES matter, especially when the 'flagship' phones SHOULD be between $400 and $500!
  • 4745454b
    More or less exactly James. Point out any new phone that has similar specs for $300. Anyone? If you want a 1080 quad core phone with a 13MP camera, I know of only one that costs $300. The Nexus phones are nice, but you aren't getting one with similar specs for $300.