OnePlus One officially announced: here’s what you need to know

April 23, 2014
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After plenty of teasing and heavy marketing, the newcomer OnePlus has now officially unveiled its OnePlus One handset at a special event in Beijing.

Ever since the launch of the company was announced by former Oppo exec Pete Lau, OnePlus has a promised us a device that “never settles”, breaking the mold to give us something worth truly being excited about. Whether the OnePlus One actually meets this ambitious goal is probably a matter of personal preference.

So what’s under the hood of the much-teased OnePlus One? At the heart of the device you’ll find all the hardware you’d expect from a flagship 2014 device including a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM and either 16 or 64GB internal storage. The OnePlus One also includes a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13MP Sony Exmor IMX 214 rear cam, 5MP front cam, 4G LTE, a bevy of sensors, and a 3100 mAh LiPo battery.

The OnePlus One adopts a minimalist design language that is very reminiscent of the Oppo Find 5, and even the Find 7 to a somewhat lesser extent. Like Oppo’s devices, the OnePlus One offers a high-end build that feels good in the hands and is noticeably lighter than what you’d expect from a typical ‘phablet-sized device’. The OnePlus One will also feature removable covers that will come in a variety of different materials including wood and denim, though these backs won’t be available right at launch.

Probably one of the biggest selling points for the OnePlus One, however, is that it is the first device to be built front the ground up with CyanogenMod in mind. Unlike the Oppo N1 CM Edition, the OnePlus One features a custom-tailored version of Cyanogenmod that is designed to take advantage of all that the One has to offer.

Dubbed CyanogenMod 11S, this Android 4.4 KitKat-based OS not only includes everything you’d except from CM, it also adds several new features and even has a theme engine and store that allows you to truly customize the look and feel of the OnePlus One.

OnePlus One specifications

Display5.5-inch LTPS IPS with TOL display, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 401 ppi.
Processor2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801
Adreno 330
RAM3 GB
Storage16/64 GB, no expansion
Camera13 MP rear LED flash, Sony Exmor RS sensor, 6p lens, f 2.0, 4K, HDR
5MP front, f 2.0, 80 degrees field of view
Battery3,100 mAh
ConnectivityGPS, GLONASS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
NetworksGSM/WCDMA/FDD-LTE/TD-LTE
SoftwareCyanogenMod 11S based on Android 4.4 Kitkat
Dimensions152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
162 grams
ColorsSilk White/Sandstone Black

Pricing and expected availability

Looking at the specs above, it’s obvious that the OnePlus One isn’t a lightweight in terms of hardware prowess. A device with this kind of power under the hood could easily be priced at $550 or higher, but, remarkably, OnePlus will offer the One for just $299 for the 16GB model or $349 for the 64GB version. This puts the OnePlus into the same pricing category as the Nexus, and yet it delivers improved specs and a larger display.

The OnePlus One will initially be available in Belgium, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Taiwan, the UK and the United States.

The OnePlus One will become available from late May. OnePlus has several contests in the works and other ‘invite only’ ways of getting your hands on the device. OnePlus is even holding a special “smash” contest”, where you can apply and offer to smash your current phone and in exchange you’ll get a OnePlus One for just a buck!

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April 23, 2014 – Following months of anticipation, OnePlus today revealed their flagship device, the OnePlus One. Embodying the OnePlus motto of ‘Never Settle’, the OnePlus One boasts industry leading design, superior build quality and top of the line specs at a disruptive price point.

“By paying attention to the smallest details, taking a holistic approach to product design, and working with the best partners such as Cyanogen Inc. and Qualcomm Technologies, we have been able to create the greatest day to day user experience in a smartphone without compromise,” said Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus.

Steve Kondik, CTO of Cyanogen Inc. echoed Lau’s sentiments. “I am incredibly proud of the effort our team has put in to the CyanogenMod build for the OnePlus One. We’ve brought out the full potential of the hardware and complemented it with innovative new features to give users a fresh new experience and the tools to tailor the One to their personal style,” said Kondik. “We will continue to expand this effort to provide a genuinely enjoyable and powerful operating system for the user.”

Attention to the Smallest Details
The OnePlus One was designed to be beautiful, timeless and comfortable in the hand. Embracing this design language, the One features subtle curves, sleek lines and a slightly raised, jet-black display. Even the smallest details belong uniquely to OnePlus, from the custom cut and engineered PCB boards to the specially designed battery and dyed inner casing. Each component is meticulously aligned and adorned with a OnePlus logo for a gorgeous device inside and out. Measuring only 8.9mm thick, the OnePlus One is ergonomic and easy to grip, with a tapered edge of just 4.6mm.

CyanogenMod
Debuting with the One is CyanogenMod 11S, a special release tuned to take advantage of everything the One has to offer. CyanogenMod 11S reveals the first phase of a unique visual experience blending the best of Android with the freedom CyanogenMod is known for. Unlike most OEM skins, there are no limits to customizing your One – mix and match thousands of themes or return to stock with the new theme engine and store.

Advanced Camera and Gallery apps make capturing and viewing memories even more fun. Record your world in perfect detail with 4K video. Then relive it from the cloud in Gallery, organized by your life.

Championing privacy has been a core part of CyanogenMod’s purpose. SMS encryption between your One and CyanogenMod or TextSecure-compatible device means chats stay between friends. Privacy Guard keeps nosey apps at bay by helping you control how they use your data.

Fast, Smooth, Powerful
The OnePlus One is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 processor with quad-core CPUs at speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core, making it the world’s current fastest available processor in a smartphone. Custom Krait CPU architecture, integrated 4G LTE connectivity, Qualcomm® Adreno™ 330 GPU and 3GB of LP-DDR3 RAM combine to offer a fluid and lightning quick user experience.

“Today’s premium mobile devices are measured by their ability to deliver immersive experiences through high-speed LTE connectivity and advanced multimedia, all without compromising performance or battery life,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are proud to have our Snapdragon 801 processor powering the unique OnePlus One to deliver innovative new user experiences to consumers around the globe.”

A 3100 mAh battery and energy efficient display work together to power the OnePlus One for more than a full day of use.

Experience More, Capture More
The OnePlus One packs a 5.5” 1080p full HD JDI screen. LTPS and TOL (Touch On Lens) technology provide an incredibly sharp picture and make the gorgeous 178 degree vision display significantly more shatterproof.

A Sony Exmor IMX214 13 megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash delivers amazing shots day or night, made more precise and detailed by the 6 physical lenses. Even selfies are more beautiful with a 5 megapixel distortion free front-facing camera and extra wide 80 degree capture angle.

High Quality and Useful Features
The OnePlus One is more than just amazing hardware. Uniquely engineered software offers features that you really want and simplifies your user experience without adding extra, unnecessary bloat. Voice command lets you wake the device or you can launch your favorite apps by drawing pre-set gestures on the sleeping screen. Choose between on screen and capacitive navigation buttons to suit your preference.

Pricing and Availability
The OnePlus One will initially be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States in 16GB Silk White for $299/€269 and in 64GB Sandstone Black for $349/€299.

The first 100 OnePlus Ones will be available through the OnePlus Phone Smash, starting April 25th. OnePlus fans can go to oneplus.net/smash to apply to smash their current phone in exchange for a OnePlus One. 100 lucky applicants will get the very first 100 OnePlus Ones for just $1 as well as the ability to invite their friends to buy the OnePlus One.

About OnePlus
OnePlus is a global technology startup committed to creating beautiful devices with the best possible hardware to ultimately create a better day-to-day experience for users. Developed around the mantra, ‘Never Settle’, OnePlus aims to disrupt the industry by providing top of the line technology to users around the world. For more information, please visit http://oneplus.net.

Buy or pass?

So, there you have it. Is the new OnePlus One the flagship killer that’s billed to be or was the hype too much?

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