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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.