OnePlus One: New Smartphone Rivals Others, Features Lower Price

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 02:35 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The tech world is buzzing about the new OnePlus One smartphone, which is offering many of the bells and whistles of the costliest smartphones on the market but at a price more people can afford.

The OnePlus One features a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz quad-core processor, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5, along with such features as 3 gigabytes of RAM and a 5.5-inch IPS 1080p display.

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The phone has a 13-megapixel, rear-facing Sony camera, which records 4,000-pixel video, and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter.

"Not all smartphones are created equal, but the new OnePlus One ... is roughly equivalent on paper with some of the most expensive smartphones in the world, albeit with a price that puts it much more within reach than most of those," Darrell Etherington wrote for TechCrunch.

"The OnePlus One starts at $299 for a white 16GB version, and will also offer a 64GB variant in black for $349 when it goes on sale in mid-May. It's a Nexus-killer, with more impressive specs at more affordable prices, running CyanogenMod for a highly customizable user experience," Etherington continued.

Startup OnePlus was created by China's Oppo VP Pete Lau, and techies will see some similarities between OnePlus and Oppo phones. But Sam Byford of The Verge said the OnePlus One shows diversity in its components.

"More interesting than the phone's components is the case that houses them — the One's white back cover finish is made of cashew, and you can swap this out for back plates using other materials including bamboo, wood, kevlar, and denim," Byford wrote. "Since the phone is constructed from magnesium, it weighs in at a relatively light 162g, and the 8.9 mm-thick frame tapers to 4.6 mm at the edges."

CNET.com writer Aloyius Low said he was less impressed with the camera, but was willing to keep an open mind.

"The shutter's really fast, but image quality seems to be pretty mediocre, with some detectable noise in the pictures taken in the bright outdoors," Low wrote. "Bear in mind the handset isn't the final retail version. I'll wait for a proper review unit before fully evaluating the performance of the camera."

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