OnePlus One - The Flagship Killer?

OnePlus One different angles of phone

Billed as ‘The Flagship Killer’ the manufacturers behind the OnePlus One are certainly confident.

What is a OnePlus One?

The OnePlus One is a high-performance phone that works and competes like a high end smartphone, but comes at a budget price from a Chinese startup - "OnePlus"

What's so great about the OnePlus One?

It's got all the things that you want in a high-performance smartphone:

  • Up to 64 GB memory
  • Massive 5.5 inch Full HD screen
  • Crystal clear 13-megapixel camera
  • 22 hour talk time battery
  • Beautiful and stylish design.

How much will it cost me? And should I buy it?

€249, or €299, depending on what memory you'd like. Yes, buy it if you need a new phone... though if you're not in a hurry, it might be worthwhile waiting to see what the OnePlus Two will have in store this July!

Tell me more!

Originally only available to buy by an invite system, and marred by initial bad customer service, this phone has had to deliver in performance and quality in order to gain the excellent reputation it now carries.

OnePlus, a Chinese start-up seemed to come out of nowhere, but have managed to deliver a smartphone that is by far the best in its price point, outperforming many more expensive models and generating significant hype. Founded by Pete Lau in 2013, the company unveiled the Oneplus One in early 2014, with the device being released in late 2014.

The specifications on the OnePlus are undeniably amazing, it’s the company’s first offering, so only time will tell if they are able to take on the larger players by delivering products of consistent quality, but at the moment, their future looks bright.

"It’s perfect for early adopters, spec worshippers, tinkerers and anyone willing to take a gamble on an unknown - but utterly brilliant - gadget"

Available in 16GB white for €249 or 64GB in black for €299, this mobile phone packs impressive features for its price. While the battery isn’t changeable, and there is no possibility of storage expansion, spending €50 extra for the 64GB model is reasonable, and did we mention the funky textured back?

The black 64GB model features a textured back, feeling somewhat like smooth sandpaper, while the 16GB white model has a smooth plastic back. Unfortunately its not possible to mix and match the covers, but we think the extra spend for the black model is worth it.

Photo taken with OnePlus One camera

Picture taken with a PlusOne:

As you can see from the above photo the 13-megapixel Sony Exmor rear camera ensures snaps are crisp while a 5-megapixel front facing camera with an 80° viewing angle means you can squeeze all your mates into your selfies. Snapdragon 801 keeps things moving fast in the processor department. The battery life is impressive, with 22 hours of talk time reported.

The One runs Cyanogen Mod 11, a gently tweaked version of Android 4 that allows greater customisation. Some of this customisation is useful; automating features such as Bluetooth, ring volumes and GPS for different locations is handy, while other features like gesture customisation are often more gimmicky than useful.

Of course, the phone isn’t perfect, niggles such as slightly blurry pictures in low light are a disappointment, however its difficult to complain about such things when the unit is so damn cheap! Low call volume was initially a common user complaint, however this has been remedied by recent software updates.

The Oneplus One provides amazing performance and features at a ridiculously low price. There are simply no other phones with the same specifications that come anywhere near to being as cheap. The OnePlus Two will be launched later this month, but with a higher price and a return to invitation only sales.

"We now know that the OnePlus 2 will be announced on July 27...though it's been revealed that the OnePlus 2 will be available to buy invitation-only at first"

Judging from the scarcity of the original One model when it was launched it might be a while before the Two is freely available in large quantities, we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath if you’re holding out to buy one. But, if you’re on the hunt for a phone with flagship features at a budget price then you can’t go wrong with the One.