The Price is Right: OnePlus One Packs Hot Spec for Only $299
April 23, 2014 3:37 PM
comment(s) - last by
The budget hardware race is alive and well for Android
A key to Google Inc.'s (
) rise to global smartphone hegemony has been an abundance of
premium hardware specifications
. So far the lion's share of those handsets have come courtesy of Google's branded
, which taps various partner OEMs such as Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) and LG Electronics, Inc. (
Today China's OnePlus, launched its
(1+1, get it?), which offers the first serious competition to the
in the mid-range Android market. In most areas
the OnePlus One beats the aging Nexus 5
, which was launched at the end of Oct. 2013. The bad news, though, is that the OnePlus One won't land worldwide until mid-May.
By then, the Nexus 5 may get a price cut -- or we may see a hardware refresh of the Nexus line even. But at present OnePlus One clearly has a slightly superior hardware spec.
The phone carries
, which is based on Android v4.4 KitKat.
previewed the device and describes the replacement firmware's additions to stock Android,
CyanogenMod alone comes with goodies like SMS encryption, themes, app privacy guard, audio equalizer, file manager, enhanced camera app and more. With CM11S for the OnePlus One, you also get screen-off gesture controls (circle for camera, "V" for flashlight and gestures for music playback; as featured on the Oppo N1), option to toggle between capacitive Android buttons and on-screen buttons, voice wakeup (activates Google Now by default) and a card-style lock screen. These all sound pretty nice, but we'll have to see how well they fare in the final firmware.
While the phoine is a bit bulkier than the Nexus 5, some will likely prefer its design style. It trades the Nexus 5's monotone plastic frame for an anodized faux-metal rim and a swappable backplate (similar to the Moto X).
OnePlus's One packs basically the same CPU as the Nexus 5,
but with a slightly higher clock speed (Snapdragon 801).
One area where the OnePlus One will likely beat the Nexus 5 is in sound. It packs triple noise-cancelling microphones for superb call quality (beating even the likes of Apple, Inc. (
)) and also packs stereo speakers (similar to HTC Corp.'s (
) One series smartphones).
Pete Lau -- a former Oppo Electronics VP, is the brains behind OnePlus.
Pete Lau, CEO and founder of OnePlus [Image Source: Engadget]
He founded the firm last year, and quickly gained attention for his company's mantra/promise -- "never settle". While customers will have to be the judge of whether it lived up to that assurance, the initial results are looking impressive. Now the question is how well his young firm can navigate the supply chain.
He sounds confident enough, though, telling
You can use all sorts of marketing tactics, but when you're back to making a product, you must take users' actual needs into consideration. They are the ones who will actually use it, so they know best. You can exaggerate when you're selling a product, but when the buyers use it and are left disappointed, they'll still complain, right?
Therefore products should go back to basics: the users must feel good when using our products. If the users want something, we'll do it.
We'll have to wait for full reviews to draw conclusions about some of the phone's features, and obviously the inclusion of CyanogenMod versus a "pure" Android install will draw mixed reactions. But overall you have to hand it to OnePlus for "undercutting the Nexus 5" as many reviewers put it.
Even if Google puts out a better Nexus, OnePlus will be watching and waiting, refining its next model (1+2?). And that's happy news for Android buyers, and smartphone buyers in general who want an unlocked device at a budget price.
The countries with availability at launch will be Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. According to
, this month will actually see some sales based on an invitation scheme. We'll have to wait until midway through this quarter (Q2 2014/May) for general sales to open up in the 16 target nations.
To sign up for the invitation-based scheme, visit OnePlus's
. OnePlus is offering early buyers discounts -- in some cases offering the OnePlus One for as little as $1 USD (!!). But we're guessing that's a pretty limited quantity deal, so sign up now, if you're interested.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Nexus line
4/23/2014 7:31:53 PM
rumors point to a $100 nexus phone, which, I would say makes sense.
Google has driven penetration, but, the user experience for Android on cheap phones is terrible (experience with a $80 Android handset) excluding most Chinese phones, that is.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
OnePlus One Images Leak Ahead of April 23 Launch
April 21, 2014, 5:19 PM
Quick Note: Sleek White Second-Gen Nexus 7 Goes on Sale for $269
December 10, 2013, 4:55 PM
Nexus 5, Android 4.4 "Kit Kat" Arrive Today
October 31, 2013, 5:20 PM
Quick Note: 16 GB Google Nexus 5 Turns up on Google Play Store
October 18, 2013, 9:52 AM
CyanogenMod To Release Two-Step Easy Installer, Plots World Domination
September 18, 2013, 6:04 PM
Some High-End Luxury Watchmakers Crack Down Hard on Smartwatch Faces
November 26, 2014, 1:28 AM
Microsoft Admits Lumia 925 and 1020 Have Sleeping Sickness, Bug Fix is Planned
November 24, 2014, 1:12 PM
Report: Samsung Galaxy S5 Sales Have Come in 40% Below Projections
November 24, 2014, 6:58 AM
Quick Note: Google Chromebooks Now Coming with 1TB of Google Drive Space
November 21, 2014, 1:20 PM
Xiaomi Aims to be #1 Smartphone OEM Within 10 Years, Apple Urges Caution
November 21, 2014, 9:33 AM
Quick Note: Samsung's Request to Dismiss Microsoft Lawsuit is Rejected
November 20, 2014, 12:53 PM
Most Popular Articles
Uber Exec Threatens to "Spend Millions" to Stalk Female Reporter and Her Family
November 19, 2014, 12:31 PM
Apple Replaces “FREE” Label with “GET” on App Downloads in iTunes App Store
November 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
Rand Paul Casts Crucial "No" Vote on Obama-Backed PATRIOT Act Renewal Bill
November 19, 2014, 5:15 PM
FTC Announces Crackdown on Computer Speedup/Tech Support Scams
November 20, 2014, 1:40 PM
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information