Equipped with Cyanogenmod and priced to kill, OnePlus One is easy on the wallet and the eyes

Founded by former Oppo Electronics VP Pete Lau, Beijing, China-based OnePlus has from the start seen tons of hype surrounding its upcoming global smartphone offerings.

Among the things OnePlus has done to differentiate itself has been pledging to use CyanogenMod, a replacement firmware solution based on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android.

Despite not being officially offered with any past smartphone, CyanogenMod still managed to attract over 10 million registered users, and potentially as many as 25 million total users (when unregistered users were factored in).  Those numbers make it one of the world's most popular firmware solutions.

And now, thanks to the new deal with OnePlus, it's become serious business.

OnePlus One
OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau is a former Oppo Electronics VP. [Image Source: OnePlus]

The rest of the rumored spec of OnePlus's introductory "One" flagship smartphone (aka. "the 1+1") have plenty more to love.  The phone's spec has already started leaking, ahead of its April 23 official unveil:

OnePlus One
  • SoC: 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 801
  • Display: 5.5" 1080p JDI display (JDI = Japan Display Iniative, a joint venture from Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502), and Hitachi Ltd. (TYO:6501)
  • Rear camera: 6-Piece 13 megapixel f/2.0 Sony Exmor IMX214 camera
  • Memory: 3 GB DRAM
  • Storage: 16 GB or 64 GB of internal NAND flash
  • Battery: 3100 mAh
  • Chassis: Metal-trimmed plastic with StyleSwap replaceable back covers
  • Firmware/OS: CyanogenMod 11S, based on Android v4.4 (KitKat)
  • Dimensions: 152.9 x 72.9 x 8.9 mm
  • Price: < $400 USD/€350 (unlocked)
OnePlus One
OnePlus One

The phone looks to come with red accessories, including cabling.
OnePlus One

The leaks show a Lightning port adapter, similar to the kind Apple, Inc. (AAPL) uses. It's unclear whether this is just a comfort to iPhone users looking to make the switch, or if the OnePlus One is actually scheduled to include a Lightning port of its own.
One Plus One

The StyleSwap colors resemble a less tightly integrated version of the MotoX, with trims such as bamboo wood and denim.

OnePlus One StyleSwap
Is there room for one more premium smartphone maker?  Who knows, but OnePlus and its founder are eager to test the waters.

A final note is on the distribution itself.  OnePlus is reportedly opting for a rather novel, global invitation-based purchase scheme, to slowly ramp up production.  It writes:

To [avoid] problems [such as supply shortages], we have created a much more user friendly way of buying the device through the OnePlus Invite System. With an invite, you can be 100% sure that you’ll actually be able to buy it, and it ships within a few days. In contrast to staying up in the middle of the night trying to buy one along with 20,000 other people. So in the true spirit of the OnePlus name, a good product gets spread by word of mouth, shared among friends for that extra personalized touch.

The OnePlus smartphone will have to best the likes of the Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) Galaxy S5 and the HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) One (M8), as well as non-Android challengers such as the upcoming iPhone 6 and Nokia Oyj.'s (HEX:NOK1V) Lumia 930.

[Images Source: OnePlus BBS]

Sources: OnePlus BBS, via RedmondPie, OnePlus

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