After a fantastic teasing campaign that had all of us eagerly waiting to see what the smartphone would offer, the OnePlus One is finally here. We were lucky enough to go hands-on with this fantastic device, that certainly managed to meet a lot of the high expectations it had set for itself. So, while we wait for a review unit to really dive into this smartphone (it’ll still take a few weeks,) we wanted to revisit the phone to tell you what we think are its most exciting features.
Here’s a look at our top 5 features of the OnePlus One!
Great design inside and out
The first feature we’ll talk about is also the first thing you’ll see and feel when you pick up the OnePlus One for the first time, and that is it’s build quality. With a 5.5-inch display, the One is larger than most of the other flagships out there, but despite its size, it does feel quite accessible. It will take a learning curve to get used to it, but just like with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the more you use it, the more “normal” it’ll start to feel.
While the OnePlus One is 8.9 mm thick at its thickest point, the back is tapered, going down to 4.6 mm at the sides, and this curved profile allows for the phone to sit very nicely in your hand. The back cover of the white version of the device is made of the so-called “Baby Skin” material we saw at the launch event, that made for a very nice feeling material, but also something that is very sturdy and distinctive compared to other devices.
While we were already fans of the ‘Baby Skin’ white backing available with the 16GB version of the OnePlus One, the back cover is removable, even if it’s a little difficult to take off. If you’re looking for something special, OnePlus will offer back covers made of some unusual materials, including wood, bamboo, kevlar, and even denim. This latter material seems a little farfetched, but it’s something that OnePlus assure us actually works really well. While not confirmed yet, rumors suggest that the different back covers may come in around the $20 price point, making them an accessible way to make your phone stand out a bit.
Top of the line specifications
As promised by OnePlus, and certainly as you’d expect from a self-proclaimed flagship killer, the OnePlus One features the best processing package currently available, with a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM. In the short time that we got to spend with the phone, performance was as smooth as you’d expect, with no issues at all.
OnePlus didn’t cut any corners with the other specs either, which is fantastic to see, especially when you consider the price point of this device. You get 16 GB or 64 GB options for internal storage, without the option of expansion though, a beautiful 5.5-inch 1080p display, a large 3,100 mAh battery, and a really good camera package as well, with its 13MP Sony Exmor RS sensor combined with a 6 parts lens with a f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash, along with a 5 MP wide angle lens front facing camera.
Of course, a more comprehensive review will be required to really run the device through its paces, but at least on paper and from our initial time with it, the folks at OnePlus put their money where their mouth is.
Great specifications are coupled with a fantastic software experience, with the OnePlus featuring the CyanogenMod 11S OS, based on Android 4.4 Kitkat. This is a version made by Cyanogen that isn’t necessarily built from the ground up and brand new for the OnePlus One, but will in fact serve as a marker to the future of CyanogenMod in terms of their image, and also some of the functionality.
CyanogenMod 11S brings the same functionality, customization, and power that we’ve come to expect with previous iterations of the OS, with some additional features made specifically for the OnePlus One, such as gestures on the turned off screen, that lets you go directly into an app. Another feature we’re looking forward to testing out is the new theme engine that lets you fully customize the look of the launcher.
And the final reason we’re really excited about the OnePlus One is of course, its price. While the OnePlus One might not offer anything that is significantly different from other flagships, its one true differentiation point is its price tag. Available for $299 for the white 16GB model and $349 for the black 64GB model, the One is priced perfectly as an entry point for a new company into the saturated smartphone market.
So there you have, the top five reasons we are very excited about the OnePlus One. We can’t wait to get a review unit in our hands to really run the smartphone through its paces. Granted, these features mean nothing if consumers have a hard time getting their hands on this device, so it’ll be quite interesting to see how OnePlus handles the One’s release.
Stay tuned to Android Authority as we continue to bring you great coverage of the OnePlus One and all things Android!