Oneplus one review


In conjunction with OnePlus’s announcements on June 1st 2015 on their second product launch, the OnePlus Two this coming third quarter of the 2015 that is highly anticipated by the Android community, we at MyGadget would like to arrive back on the One that had started it all. A little over a year ago, a phenomenon that could have been regarded to as the “true beginning of the end” of tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and not forgetting to mention Nokia’s dominance over the world smartphone industry, especially on the high end, cutting edge smartphone lines had happened.

Over the years, each and every one of the aforementioned companies would release their highest end phones they could feasibly produce (today commonly referred to as the “flagship” phones) at a standard hefty price of roughly RM 2,500 on release. Sure, the features are much to be sought after by almost every consumer but the question remains as to whether would it be worth the month’s salary to be wasted on it and only to have the new piece of high end hardware you have just purchased go out of style within the next ten months? This writer, like Pepperidge Farm, remembers the days where the everyday phone’s technology advancements were somewhat sluggish (think of the Nokia 3310 days) and phones could be used for up to as many years as possible, such era is for better or worse, is over.

Smartphones these days, although most are gaining in reliability over the years, likely do not last long unless it was released as a “top of the line” phone of its time. Take the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, for example. Unlike the flagship model S3 that it was based on, the S3 Mini did not age as well as the S3 did and most of them are not even bearable to use anymore due to its declining performance over time and terrible software support as compared to the S3. This begs the certainty that for one to possess a smartphone that would likely last longer than a year, one would need to spend a whole lot of money on getting a flagship smartphone. As mentioned before, these smartphones usually cost a little or a lot over RM2,000. For many years now, one would be restricted to be bound by that amount of financial commitment for a flagship smartphone. That time has passed. Today, there is a new player entering the smartphone world with other players at their knees in its wake. That player is OnePlus, releasing its one and only phone thus far, the OnePlus One.

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Cheaper by half the pricetag of a standard smartphone while maintaining most of the high end specs? I am sold!

Though a Chinese-made phone, the OnePlus One and its company appears to have set a firm hold onto the global market, including and especially the US market. How has this been a good thing? Think Xiaomi, Lenovo and maybe Huawei. The three companies especially Xiaomi, though having extremely well-priced phones for their above average specs, are quite lacking in the software areas of their phones, especially in language sense. Are you a person who is unable to read Chinese letterings? If you are, you might want to opt for the OnePlus rather than Xiaomi as Xiaomi still has a lot of residual Chinese wordings left in their English software versions and may prove to be a hassle to understand when customizing your phone. OnePlus and its phone, on the other hand boasts a strong hardware and software capabilities on its end. The One boasts many of the features found in other phone maker’s 2014 flagship specs, such as the Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, an Adreno 330 graphics chip and the option for a 16 or 64 gigabytes of storage. I know what you’re thinking about that last bit on the memory, since it comes with different storage options, the price difference would be huge like every one of Apple’s iPhones, right? Fortunately, you’re mistaken!

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As of May 2015, the OnePlus One is also up to date with the latest version of CyanogenMod 12S, based on Android Lollipop.

Following the local Malaysian market, the 16GB variant is priced at only a little over RM1,000 and its 64GB variant being RM1,200. I know! Only half of how much a standard flagship phone is priced at! It’s a steal!

It is important to note that this phone does not come with an SD card slot owing to the reason that OnePlus’s original intention of omitting it was to remove chances of corrupting SD cards to ruin the phone’s software integrity. As compensation to it, OnePlus went away from the manufacturer’s norm of charging exorbitantly on storage upgrades, one of the many things that make them different from everyone else!

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Two ultimate flagships of the year: OnePlus One beside iPhone 6 Plus

However, a quirk that anyone who wishes to own this piece of awesome technology that some might have the problem with is the size of the phone. Boasting a 5.5” screen size, it feels almost as hefty as the Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus. That being said, the user friendliness that OnePlus and its OS maker CyanogenMod had developed really takes away most of the hassles of using a larger smartphone. Even with the lock button conveniently placed within your thumb’s reach, you can also lock/unlock your phone by simply tapping onto the screen of the phone (notification bar at the top for locking gestures). In this author’s experience of owning the OnePlus One in the last 8 months, it has been a very pleasant experience to own it. Any smartphone user who yearns for high performance at an extremely generous price to performance ratio should (must) consider getting your hands on the OnePlus One.