One day with OnePlus One

So, OnePlus One or as they said, 2014 Flagship killer! Hmm, will see.. 5.5″ screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz Quad-Core CPU, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 64GB internal flash memory, 4G LTE, 13Mpx Sony Exmor IMX214 camera plus 5Mpx front facing, 3100mAh battery, NFC, GPS & GLONASS, Miracast, Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz, Blouetooth 4.0 Starting from $299

Quite a good deal isn’t it? I have to note that on the time I wrote the post and because of lack of manufactoring resorces, OnePlus One could be bough through invite ONLY, which you could get from another owner of OnePlus One, which in my case was my colleague, a geek and a gadget fan. I think, at least 5 another colleagues asked him for invite. Reality is even having invite, most of people have hover finger at the latest stage, when you have to pay. Check this out – there are two versions of OnePlus One on official website : Silk White 16Gb for $299 and Sandstone Black 64Gb for, attention ❗ $349. Invite works only for 64Gb version 🙂 New Zealand, as well as Australia and Russia (so sweet we have so much in common) are not in the list of supported countries which means there is no way to order and get the phone via direct delivery. The trick is you have to open post box in USA and use it as your home address when buying the phone. That would cost you addintional $14 for USA delivery (which took 3 buisness days) and $28 for New Zealand delivery (7 calendar days). Suit case and bumber cost is $14 as well. Finally you have to pay $378.33 which is 500 New Zealand dollars. I’m not wondering, why people change their mind easily and don’t use their invite (you have 24 hours to use it).

Ok, lets get down the buisiness. Unboxing time! 🙂

I’d like to note, the phone came in very nice and premium packaging. The packaging is a white box with another one red box inside. It is just a pleasure to handle it – you understand that you have a really quality product, not a mass production one.

And here is the phone, together with temporary screen protector

And usb cable with clamp plus pin for SIM card slot removal:

The second box, which is white as well but smaller and thinner has charger inside (you have to get an adapter for it):

Suit case and bumber was in a separate box as well:

OnePlus One has well considered minimalistic design which does not irritate. Front panel has 5Mpx camera, ambient and motion detection sensors. There are indicator as well – during charge, it increases brightness with level of battery charge level. Speaker located in the middle and covered by small grid. Power button located on the right. Metallic frame around phone body gives you an illusion that OnePlus One made from a whole metall jacket:

There is absolutely no logos at front panel, but Cianogen caption on the back panel. 13Mpx Sony camera with double LED flash located on back panel as well. Back panel is removable and has rough coating which allows you to handle phone very confident without any fear to drop. On the left side there are volume buttons.

Successful combination of small weight and back panel with rough coating makes OnePlus One very convinient phablet with 5.5 inches diagonal. But you have to understand you can’t put it in shirt or jeans pocket (especially the back pocket).

Removing SIM card slot with a pin (to be honest – weird solution. Be careful while putting SIM card back – it can easily stuck):

Removing screen protector

Turning on! Cyanogen Mod 11 Android 4.4.4 with a huge variety of customization, air to air updates (I got at least three of them in a first day) and other cool stuff wellcomes you!

3100mAh battery + Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 = very good running time. Usually I charge OnePlusOne once in a two days. Thanks to Cynogen, you can change the behaviour of automatic brightness and CPU frequency algorithm. Charging battery takes 2.5 hours usually. The back cover can be opened, the battery is fixed and cannot be swapped.

Network and wireless interfaces
The signal is good, you can hear another person quite well which is true for him as well. Bluetooth and WiFi works without any problem. You even don’t have to turn them off to save battery charge, thanks to Snapdragon 801! The phone works in GSM networks, HSDPA and LTE (4G).

General quality of pictures and videos is very good. 13Mpx matrix allows to shot very detailed images in daylight and night in nice colours, including HDR mode. By default, all the images have 4208×3120 resolution. Camera can record video with 1080р and 4К resolution. One small drawback is wide angled optics which make some distortion, weak software and small amount of settings for such a good hardware, which means you can’t use it potential for a 100%.

Camera app works very fast, it takes less then one second for one frame, autofocus works correct, so comparing with my current HTC Desire S which is 3.5 years old I can’t complain at all! Frontal camera makes images in 1944×2592 resolution and captures 720р video. Sample pictures made with OnePlus One 13Mpx camera listed below:

OnePlus One has awesome 5.5 inch, 1920×1080 display with IPS matrix and Gorilla Glass 3. It has very natural colour rendering plus an opportunity of additional settings. Some users complained for yellowish brightening at the screen bottom which was fixed in one of updates as I understood. I lke the range of brightness – you can easily read from display even under bright sun. The only one wich: I’d like to have more bright picture while I am shooting images. By the way, Cyanogen allows you to adjust some particular values for different ranges of ambient light sensor.

I’d like to metion gestures as well, which you can run when display is off: double touch will wake up phone, drawing a circle will launch camera, latin V will laucnh torch (sometimes even when your phone is in the pocket), vertical swipe with two fingers is play/pause in audio player, drawing < and > will switch the tracks.

As I said, OnePlus One has a very top hardware and allows to execute any tasks in any amount with maximum speed and smootheness as it possible. Check this out: Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (Cyanogen allows change it frequency), 3Gb DDR3 RAM, 64Gb internal memory aaand no microSD slot 🙂 I think 16Gb version is not enough for people who listen a lot of music, watch movies and make tonns of images. Stereo dynamics, located at lower end have murderous volume so it’s impossible to skip any call. You can listen music and watch a film if you don’t have an external speakers. Finally, phone has three! microphones to capture surrounding sound.

Among the shortcomings, I would highlight the following: the phone is not available on the market (almost), sensor buttons and camera have to be improved. There was the only one bug I noticed happening when the battery charge is quite low – OnePlus One will notify you and ask to connect the charger even after you gave it to him. As for the rest – it really is the flagship with a great display, capacious battery, very powerful hardware and pleasant design.

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Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
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