The OnePlus One smartphone aims to take down current flagship phones with cutting edge specs at a price point lower than Google’s Nexus. It took me a second to realize the name of the company was “One Plus” and the first phone is the “One”. We’ll have to see if HTC will weigh in on that branding…
“We are not a company looking to go global. We were born global, with employees hailing from all corners of the world.”
-OnePlus Mission Statement
The spec sheet is formidable for a $299 phone. A 5.5″ 1080p screen, protected by Gorilla Glass 3, will be powered by a Qualcomm 801 series chipset. The camera is a 13MP Sony sensor capable of 4K video recording. 16GB of built in storage (though there is no SD card slot), and 3GB of RAM for demanding services and games. A 3100mAh battery should provide almost two day run time. Triple microphone arrangement for stereo recording and noise reduction, and rear firing stereo speakers complete the hardware.
The radios on board look like they’ll be fully compatible with AT&T’s network. Looking at the various bands included, you should see support for T-Mobile LTE, but it might not work well on their 3G network.
In all this looks like an ambitious device at any price. Moving this phone at roughly half the price of our current flagships certainly opens up some exciting potential.
One area the team might be saving some money is on software. The OnePlus One uses a build of CyanogenMod, a custom version of Android built by a team of developers off of the Android Open Source Project. It’s known for being an aggressively lean and fast flavor of Google’s OS. Since OnePlus isn’t developing their own custom build of Android, and it doesn’t seem that they’re applying skins or themes either, it’s one area the company has been able to pinch some pennies.
Starting April 25th, the first 100 OnePlus One phones will be available via a “Smash” promotion, where customers can secure a One for $1 if they smash their old phone. I find promos like that to be a bit crass, as I’d rather see people recycle, but you can be sure there will be a line of people ready to grab an inexpensive phone even cheaper.
You can see more of the OnePlus One in their teaser video, or scroll lower for the full PR.