The mobile market is quite populated, hosting dozens of companies with more or less history behind them, all of them competing one another in the fight for supremacy. The competition is fierce and even big-shots like Apple and Samsung are somewhat struggling to maintain their position, given the fact that a large number of Chinese manufacturers have lately started to gain a lot of attention.
With all that in mind, one would think that a brand new company would have a really difficult time breaking the ice in the mobile market. However, there’s always an exception to the rule, and this year the exception seems to be OnePlus and the recently announced “One” smartphone.
For those of you who are not familiar with the story, last year in November, Oppo’s vice president Pete Lau resigned from his position to set up his own smartphone company, which he calls “OnePlus.” When the announcement was made, Lau promised that his intentions were to build a “perfect smartphone” for gadget enthusiasts across the world.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Those were pretty mighty words considering the market status, but they certainly ensured that Lau and his new company got a lot of attention.
Meanwhile, numerous leaks and rumors concerning the OnePlus One were hitting the market, with Lau himself teasing the community with bits of information surrounding his first entry in the smartphone market. Then, on April 23, the moment of truth arrived, and the One became official. Can it deliver on its promises? Let’s take a look at what the OnePlus One has to offer.
OnePlus One Overview
We’ll start off by reminding everyone that the OnePlus One is meant to be a budget-friendly flagship phone, offering a complete package without having to pay a small fortune for it. Hardware-wise, the One packs a 5.5 inch IPS LCD display boasting a resolution of 1080 x 1920, resulting in a pixel density of 401 ppi. The panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, while underneath beats the heart of a Qualcomm MSM8974-AC Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz. The processing unit is paired with an Adreno 330 graphics chip and 3 GB of RAM. In the storage department, the OnePlus One will be offered with either 16 or 64 GB of storage, with no possibility of expanding the storage via microSD.
As far as multimedia goes, the One features a 13 MP main camera mated with a 5 MP front-facing sensor. In fact, the main camera is a 13 MP Sony IMX214 unit with six lenses and an f/2.0 wide aperture, and OnePlus claims that the camera has a very low shutter speed of 0.3 seconds. As for audio quality, the OnePlus One boasts a set of JBL stereo speakers fitted at the bottom edge.
Last but not least, the smartphone is powered by a 3100 mAh battery, and runs on a redesigned CyanogenMod operating system based on the latest version of Android KitKt.
Aside from these specifications, the One also promised a premium build quality, something that could compete with the likes of Apple. Sure enough, the handset is quite impressive in this regard, featuring a magnesium chassis. The smartphone measures 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm (6.02 x 2.99 x 0.35 in) and weighs 162 grams (or 5.71 oz). At first, the handset will be offered in two main flavors: “Silk” white and “Sandstone” black.” However, OnePlus has also announced that it will produce numerous “StyleSwap” covers for the One, which will be manufactured from various materials, including wood, Kevlar, bamboo and denim. Both the wood and bamboo StyleSwap covers have been spotted on the blogosphere recently in a handful of leaked pictures, and both flavors look interesting to say the least.
OnePlus One – Price and Availability
So far the OnePlus One seems to be a very decent flagship smartphone, and there’s not a lot to criticize. As such, the One has attracted a lot of attention from prospective customers, especially given the highly competitive price. OnePlus made the smartphone’s price official shortly after the gadget’s announcement, and U.S. consumers will be able to purchase the One for just $299 for the 16 GB model, or $349 for the 64 GB flavor. That’s pretty much half the price of the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S5, and it’s a price-range that should worry Google. In Europe, the OnePlus One will cost €269 and €299 respectively, and in the U.K., the handset will cost GBP229/269.
As for availability, the One has already been offered in limited quantities on an invitation-only basis. The company also held a contest in which people could win a free One, and 100 16 GB Silk white OnePlus One units have been built for the winners. OnePlus is expected to ramp up production towards the end of May, and in early June, the 64 GB Sandstone black variant will hit the conveyor belts.
The handset will be available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Taiwan.
All in all, the One is a very intriguing smartphone and we’re confident that the handset will be gaining a lot of attention in the months to come. Would any of The Diplomat’s readers be interested in purchasing the OnePlus One? What are the main features that could persuade you to buy this smartphone? Is it a Nexus killer? Feel free to join the comment section below.
Vlad Andrici is editor for gforgames.com and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.