Skip to main content

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.

Camera: Photo Quality Comparison

In this section, we will be comparing the OnePlus One’s imaging output to that of some other leading smartphones. While we did compare the One’s camera specs to the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4 at the beginning of the camera section, we did not have either on hand to provide sample comparison images. In the place of the iPhone 6 Plus we have samples from the iPhone 5s. Again like before, all images were taken in Auto mode, and we attempted to take each one in similar lighting conditions. Also, the Galaxy S5 takes images at a native 16:9 aspect ratio, so we cropped them to 4:3 for this comparison.

Indoor Performance: Low Light

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

This first comparison shows how the One performs in low light conditions indoors. In order to achieve decent results, the One shot at ISO 4500, which did result in an image with a lot of noise. The One does not suffer from an overly aggressive noise smoothing algorithm in post-processing like some other phones. Out of the images being compared here though, the LG G3 pulls off the win with a crisper image and the least amount of noise thanks to its OIS.

Indoor Performance: Low Light with Flash

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

With the addition of the flash, the image quality improves immensely for all the phones being tested. The One’s picture is captured at a much cleaner ISO 346. Unfortunately, it does seem that its dual-LED flash isn’t particularly powerful and is not able to light up the scene enough to be able to use an even lower ISO like the other phones.

Indoor Performance: Very Low Light

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

In extremely low light, none of the phones produce an image that one would consider usable. The One’s picture is much better than the Galaxy S5’s and marginally better than the HTC One (M8), which just doesn’t capture much detail. The iPhone 5s, thanks to its larger pixels, and LG G3 produce the best images in these conditions.

Outdoor Performance: Daytime

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

With enough light, most modern smartphone cameras capture good images, as is the case here. The One’s 13 MP sensor captures a lot of detail and the faster shutter speed and low ISO ensures that the picture is crisp and noise free. Colors look a little washed out compared to the iPhone 5s though. Also, the One doesn’t capture the correct color of the street, giving it a yellow cast.

Outdoor Performance: Low Light

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

We weren’t able to capture the same image for each phone under the same lighting conditions, so this won’t be a true apples-to-apples comparison. It's evident though that the One struggles with noise since its Auto mode favors a higher ISO in lower light conditions.

Outdoor Performance: Night

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

The One performs well in this dark scene, about on par with the iPhone 5s, though the Auto mode did set the ISO to 800, the highest of all the phones tested. The LG G3 comes out a little overexposed, with a lot more bloom around light sources. The HTC One (M8) performs the worst. Its white balance is way off and the 4 MP sensor just doesn’t capture enough detail.

From looking at all these comparison images, it’s clear that the One’s camera, while not always the best, can at least compete with the camera’s of other top smartphones on the market. It’s not unusual for lower priced smartphones to compromise on camera quality to keep the price down (Nexus 5), so it’s nice to see that OnePlus paid attention to this aspect of the phone. Its camera might not kill any flagships, but it can certainly compete with them.

  • 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