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Reader Ratings And Advice: Flagship Smartphones

OnePlus One

The OnePlus One received one of the best ratings for all of the smartphones we asked readers about, with an average rating of more than 4.6. The high-end specs, combined with a low price, seem unmatched. It also drew the most interest, with 175 readers weighing in.

>> See the In-Depth OnePlus One Review

Most of the OnePlus One owners who gave feedback believe that the phone offers excellent value for a phone with flagship specs, including a Snapdragon 801 chip, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (on the $350 model), and a good 13MP camera with 4K and 720p 120 fps video recording and RAW support.

The second-biggest reason our readers like it is its CyanogenMod operating system, which is similar to stock Android but also highly customizable and comes with its own file manager. Many people also praised the phone's battery life, which can last more than 18 hours with moderate use.

The major drawback of the OnePlus One for many of our readers seems to be its large size. They would have preferred a smaller version, but most have already learned to adapt to it.

Other readers complained about poor support from OnePlus, which is still a small company, and the inefficient way to preorder its products. Some other OnePlus One negatives include the lack of microSD support, which can limit the ability to record 4K videos; the nonremovable battery; and some minor screen coloring issues.

If you're a OnePlus One owner and you haven't given us your feedback yet, the form is still available. Below, you can see some of our readers' most representative comments for this device.

Top Ten Comments:

Comment: "Because I have one, and I love it to bits! Every aspect of the phone is above average of the summer 2014 flagships, and at half the price, this phone is the best bargain I have ever seen for flagship level smartphones.The screen is perfect for me, 5.5" is probably to big for many but I love it, and 400ppi is just good enough to not need improving, ever.The design is so clean and elegant, the battery life is great at 3100mAh, and since I installed the snapdragon battery app I've been going to bed with 50-70% left!The camera is ok, but the software is brilliant. Auto is good, HDR is brilliant, and the phone can take true RAW images. There is also a setting called clear image, where the phone will take a burst of a few shots, combine them and make the image clearer without sacrificing detail and it works! Video is also great, it can take true 4K and 720p @ 120fps.The speakers are very loud and crisp (notice when I say speakers instead of speaker -- there are two downward facing Yamaha speakers which are great, but can sometimes buzz a bit).The front facing camera is amazing, 5mp and really sharp!Call quality and reception is ok.Performance is amazing with a Snapdragon 801 @ 2.5GHz and 3GB of ram. Also the phone comes in 16 and 64GB storage options.The overall feel of this device is very premium even though the price is so low, this is a result of the fact that OnePlus has not spent any money on advertising.This phone is amazing, an insane bargain if you can get an invite."

Comment: "So many reasons to love the One+OnePrice, ability to swap carriers.The speed is fantasticThe community is so helpful and eager to Share the love.The battery life ohhh the battery life. I'm at 6% on 18.5 hours of non charging.customizability is fantastic and is what you expect out of cyanogen rom.Storage for price"

Comment: "-Price is right! $359.34 at checkout. 64GB black version-Performance is more than what I'm expecting.-Battery is better than $800 Galaxt Note 3, idle or same task everyday. (email, wechat, msg, etc.)"

Comment: "The value for money is superb !The design and specs of this phone awesome. Furthermore the operating system is cyanogenmod which makes the best out of the phone.The phone is blazing fast, packed with a 3100mah battery which last u a full day at least."

Comment: "With open Android (cyanogen mod), good screen, long lasting battery and very good camera with RAW image feature makes that phone absolutely awesome and worth every cent, most important, it is so cheap compared to competing smartphones."

"Pros:Display size and definition, brigthness and color gamma, good camera with 4k video, 64gb, long lasting battery, cyanogenmod OS

Comment: "I personally own "one" 64GB model, and for the most part it lives up to its name as the flagship killer.Advantages: Great Customization in CyanogenMod especially with the CM11 theme feature. High resolution screen. Impressive camera that takes 4K video and now can take RAW photos for photographer post-processing. Very smooth performance and plenty of RAM to chew through. Regular updates and soon to be Android L (Lollipop) compatible. Pretty useful quick gestures for camera and flashlight. Feels pretty solid to hold in the hand and doesn't slip easy. Very cheap (see disadvantages too) in comparison to LG G3 (similar spec nearly double the price). Fantastic warranty that allows for rooting, unlocked bootloaders and ROM flashing (within reason).Disadvantages: Very unwieldy device, larger than a LG G3 in comparison meaning large hands are needed for one hand navigation. A lack of LTE band 20 (800 Mhz) causes problems in rural areas ie. 90% of Ireland so for the most part, I personally never see over half a Mb download living in Meath. 33% signal drop out rate (mainly indoors). Priced at least €60 more in UK/Ireland due to UK tax and conversion rate to Euro. Requires parcel motel to ship to Ireland (not available easily in all countries)."

Comment: "Probably the best feature of this phone is CyanogemMod 11, and the worst is the size ... I would more happy if it were a bit more smaller"

Comment: "The reason why I bought the OnePlus One is because it is the only powerhouse smartphone offered at a low price of $349. Similar flagship phones are nearly double the cost off contract. Its fast performing Snapdragon 801 2.5Ghz Quad Core processor combined with 3GB of RAM makes multitasking and gaming a pleasure. I really like the minimalistic design of the Cyanogenmod OS. It's fast, stable and very customizable. There's absolutely no bloatware compared to carrier locked phones. The long battery life of 3100mAh provides me with nearly 2 full days of normal usage. The phone feels well built in my hands with its magnesium alloy body compared to Samsung phones.Unfortunately the OnePlus One doesn't have a microSD slot which can be problematic for those that want to record movies in 4K. The lack of optical stabilization in the camera can make video recording appear jittery and taking pictures can be difficult in low-light environment. Since the battery is non-removable, owners would have to send in their phones to get it replaced. Finally, it can be difficult for anyone to purchase the OnePlus One since it's not readily available but only through invitations and limited preorders."

Comment: "The design is great, specs are top notch, feels manageable even with the 5.5" screen. But there's a weird yellow band on the screen, some touchscreen sensitivity problems, and customer support is extremely slow. For the price, though, it's still a solid deal."

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • Janithdalw
    In my opinion best phones are,

    The best Hardware => iPhone 6 Plus

    The best Phablet => Note 4

    The overall the best phone => Note 4

    Better value for money => OnePlus One

    I don't know why Tom'shardware added the G3 into the list. It has a poor battery life and the display also not so good despite the 2K resolution. I would rather replace it with the Z3.
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    I'd say:

    If you have deep pockets and want a phone that provides a great (if constricted) experience, get the iPhone 6

    If you want a design that can turn heads and feel rock solid at the same time, get the One M8. Or better, wait for the upcoming refresh.

    If you can get an invite, get the OnePlus One. It's hard to get ahold of an unit, but it's probably the best device in relation to cost, and best device all around. If you can't, get the Moto G.

    And if you want the best big phone/phablet of the market, get the Note 4.
    Reply
  • Tomtompiper
    If you want a good phone around the size of an iPhone 6 go with the Sony Z3 Compact, it beats the iPhone hands down. I like big screens so my choice was the Note 4, and I'm very happy with my decision. The S pen is fantastic and the video quality is outstanding. If I was being ultra critical I would ask that the plastic inserts in the metal frame were better colour coordinated. http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=6538&idPhone2=6378
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Tom's, where is the Sony Xperia Z3 (and the smaller Z3 Compact?) I feel that you're missing out on what I feel is the best phone, with the best camera and, in my opinion, the least amount of customization to Android and what customization there is, is extremely intuitive useful.

    Or is this a primarily a US-based line-up, where you'll have to list the Xperia Z3v, the Verison version, which I don't think is on par with the international Z3?

    @Tomtompiper: I miss my stylus from the P990i days... :-)

    Thank you.
    Andrew
    South Africa
    Reply
  • Matous Mojzis
    Where is Sony Z3 or Z3 Compact ?
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    I think that you should have done a very brief survey for all respondents to first complete before commenting on the handsets. That could have provided better context for the results. Not sure if this was done or not to be honest, but if not, then it would surely add value. Just as an example, 2 users have completely opposite opinions about battery life - yet the one uses the phone more for work-related activities, sees the occasional small video and chats - no gaming or movies or tinkering with apps and does not have LTE connectivity so doesn't use it. The other person that hates the battery is a heavy gamer when they're bored, or watches a full episode or 2 of a series on the daily commute and tinkers a lot with new apps etc. Suddenly very obvious why one person says that the battery life is great compared to the other one that thinks it sucks.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Weird. My S5 has no lag even with "restrict cpu performance" enabled to increase battery life.

    The bloatware isnt even active.. its just installed and hangs out.
    Reply
  • randomstar
    I am a bit biased towards windows phones, and would love to see at least one of the top models here. I have not found anything that I feel compares well against my older 928 Nokia on the new iPhone.
    Reply
  • beetlejuicegr
    Where is the Nexus line?
    Reply
  • Lkaos
    Funny people saying an iPhone has the best sound when the phone's speakers are MONO and not STEREO....

    Reply