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You can buy a OnePlus One without an invite, but there are several catches
OnePlus did a great job drumming up the excitement for its “2014 flagship killer”, but not such a great job at actually making it available to eager buyers.
The invitation system in particular caused quite a bit of controversy, but OnePlus also had trouble shipping devices to early invite holders last week.
The good news is there’s a way to bypass all the waiting, but you’ll have to know a few things first.
Online retailer OPPOmart.com is selling the OnePlus One right now, no invite required. OPPOmart has a relatively good reputation, so if you’re going to buy a OnePlus One from a third-party, it’s as good as you get. Plus, you get free worldwide shipping, a 2-year warranty for the device, and a 30-day money back guarantee. And the device is in stock right now.
Now for the caveats – first, the price: OPPOmart only offers the 16GB version of the OnePlus One for $399, which is $100 more than what OnePlus asks for it.
Second, you won’t get CyanogenMod on the device – the retailer claims “CyanogenMod is not ready for the device yet,” so you will get instead a device running Color OS, the Android implementation offered by OPPO (OnePlus’ sister company) on the Find 7. It should be easy to install CM11 manually, but not everyone is comfortable doing that.
Third, you will need to be careful about the LTE bands. According to OPPOmart, the One supports the following bands: WCDMA: 1/2/4/5/8 (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) and LTE FDD: 1/3/4/7/17/38/40 (1800/2100/2600MHz). Before you place your order, make sure that your carrier supports some of the listed bands in your market.
With these sizeable catches out of the way, why would you shell out an extra $100 for the 16GB OnePlus One and go through the hassle of ordering from a third-party retailer? Well, if you live in one of the 16 markets where OnePlus currently sells devices, you might want to wait. But if you urgently need a phone, if you don’t have an invite, or if OnePlus doesn’t sell devices in your country, OPPOmart seems like a good alternative, and it’s definitely better than buying from shady resellers on eBay or Craigslist.