OnePlus One gets official as the most affordable flagship ever
After months of intensive teasing, the OnePlus One has been officially announced today. This is the first smartphone made by OnePlus, a startup that was founded last year by a few ex-Oppo employees. OnePlus is based in Shenzhen, China, but it will sell the One to a much more global audience. In fact, sales will debut in 15 countries and territories, so this isn’t your typical Chinese smartphone maker we’re talking about here – only peddling its wares in its native country and, at most, a few others.
The OnePlus One comes with top of the line specs and an incredible price. It has a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LTPS touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3, a 13 MP Sony-made rear camera with dual-LED flash, a 5 MP front camera, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 16 or 64 GB of internal storage (though no microSD support), 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and a 3,100 mAh battery. It runs CyanogenMod 11S, which is based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Its dimensions are 152.9×75.9×8.9 mm, and it weighs 162 grams.
The OnePlus One has a magnesium chassis, an all-glass front, and a replaceable back cover. Many covers will be made available sometime after the launch of the smartphone.
Spec-wise, the OnePlus One matches the Samsung Galaxy S5 in the chipset department, outshines it in RAM and the front camera resolution, though the Korean company’s beast has a higher-res main shooter. The battery in the One is bigger than every mainstream flagship out there save for the Sony Xperia Z2, though if you compare it to other phablets it does lose out to some. And the lack of microSD expansion will be missed by some, though if you go for the 64 GB version that probably becomes quite unimportant. And just notice that OnePlus is charging only a $50 premium for going from 16 GB to 64 GB, whereas the likes of Apple want no less than $200 for the same thing.
The OnePlus One will initially be out in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the US.
And the amazing specs aren’t even the best thing about this phone. The 16 GB version will be available in white and will be priced at $299 in the US, €269 in the Eurozone, and £229 in the UK. The 64 GB model (available in black) will retail for $349, €299, and £269, respectively. These prices are for unlocked devices. Now read that again.
The OnePlus One is cheaper than the already insanely cheap LG-made Google Nexus 5. That’s… astonishing. It will become available in mid to late May, though getting your hands on one may note be as easy as you think. There’s apparently going to be an invite system at work, so no pre-orders or anything like that – you’ll need an invite to be able to buy a OnePlus One. At least at first. Once you do get an invite (from a friend who already has a OnePlus One, or from the company itself via various upcoming promotions and contests), you’ll have the device at your doorstep a few days later. OnePlus says this system was needed in order to not have frustratingly long periods in which it would be out of stock, but it certainly doesn’t seem like this take on things is going to be frustration-free either.