OnePlus One

I've been a member of the OnePlus forums for a couple of months now, in the hope that I'd be sent an invite to buy the OnePlus One (OPO), which is the company's debut phone. This wasn't because I needed a new phone, but more because I was so intrigued by a phone with such a good specification - on paper - which rivals the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, at a significantly lower price point.

The phone starts at £229 in the UK for the 16GB and £269 for the 64GB. Due to the tiny £40 difference, I opted for the 64GB in Sandstone black.

To compare the price by itself, against my current phone (iPhone 5):

Phone Storage Price
iPhone 5 16GB £549
OPO 16GB £229
iPhone 5 64GB £709
OPO 64GB £269

Sources: Apple Store UK and OnePlus

That's a shocking 160% price difference.

I will freely admit that I love my iPhone and iOS. I am deeply in bed with Apple, from the iOS devices (iPhone, iPad mini) to my iMac and Macbook Pro Retina. I will also never leave the Apple ecosystem, unless something drastic happens.

With that in mind, I though "what the hell, I'll try the OPO". I have to say, initial thoughts were "wow".

Unboxing

There's nothing quite like that feeling of removing a brand new gadget from its boxing and wrapping.

Boxed up OPO

The boxes, unopened.

Unboxed OPO

Unboxed

Specification

You can find the full spec here, but the main run-down is...
CPU: Qualcomm© Snapdragon™ 801 processor with 2.5GHz Quad-core CPUs
GPU: Adreno 330, 578MHz (Same as the S5)
RAM: 3 GB LP-DDR3, 1866MHz
Display: 5.5 inch 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 401 PPI
Camera: 13 Megapixel - Sony Exmor IMX 214

OS: CyanogenMod 11S based on Android 4.4 - custom for the OPO.

Display

Oh my. What a gorgeous display. It isn't as good as the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8, but it is a higher resolution than my iPhone. The size (5.5 inches) is a little too big for my tastes (phablets never really been my thing), but I can't say much more than that on the display. You'll see it and love it the resolution and colour depth.

Battery life

Start - Finish: 06:00 - 23:00

This was probably a more intense use day than average, as it's the "oh I forgot I actually use all these apps and need to install them", plus "oh my god it's a new gadget and I must use it at all times".

I installed apps, made phone calls, texted people using normal messaging app, as well as Whatsapp and Snapchat. I took quite a few pictures, uploaded to Facebook and Instagram, along with a couple of test videos.

At the end of the working day, I still had 54% battery remaining. That was incredibly impressive, compared with my iPhone which I end up putting on charge around 15:00 as the battery is already at 40%.
battery 54%

Even more impressive was the battery life just before going to bed around 22:40. 30% charge remaining.

30% charge

If you own a smartphone, you know getting an actual day's use out of your phone is a miracle in itself.

Cyanogenmod 11s and Android 4.4.2

I'll go through this more thoroughly in a later post, but first impressions are quite pleasant. It's easy to use and find items you want to change. I had a bit of trouble finding out how I could add percentage to the battery icon, but managed it in the end.

One thing that really irritated me though is the lockscreen. Either you have a nice set of information displayed or you have security (pin or other). You can't have both. This, for me, is a major setback in comparison with iOS.

Setup

Hardware:

Steps:
1. Open box
2. Take phone out of box and peel off the cellophane wrap (oh my!)
3. Take sim out of old phone and insert into OPO using the provided sim-ejector tool
I had to buy a sim adaptor due to the iPhone using a nano-sim, compared with the OPO's micro-sim. I bought the Media Devil sim adaptor from Amazon.co.uk, works well.
4. Turn on

Software:

Setup for an Android-based device, as long as you already have a Gmail/Google Apps account, couldn't be easier. Sign in to your primary account and you get e-mail, calendar information, contacts, access to photos - everything you get online.

If you've already used an Android-based device with this account, you can automatically download any apps you had previously - couldn't be easier. As this was my first Android-OS device, I had to scrutinise my iPhone for the apps I actually used day-to-day, find them on the Google Play Store (easy!) and download. Done.

First day verdict

For Against
  • Gorgeous display
  • Battery life
  • Speed / smoothness of use
  • Camera
  • Price
  • It's a Phablet
  • Micro-USB (prefer lightning connector)
  • Re-invest in apps already bought for iOS
  • I'll be uploading test shots and more in the days to come. I'll let you know if I move back to the iPhone before the day is out...