The OnePlus One has been one of the most talked about handsets during 2014, not always for the most positive of reasons! The handset was announced in April and finally launched in June. It’s been briefed as a “flagship killer” with the slogan, “never settle” applied. The OnePlus One is based around a 1080p 5.5-inch screen, a 2.5 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB of RAM and either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. There’s a 13 MP rear camera, a front facing 5 MP camera plus the usual expected radios encompassing 4G LTE. This hardware is competitive but another reason why the OnePlus One might be considered something of a flagship killer is that it runs CyanogenMod 11S, based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat, right out of the box. This makes it a great choice for people who want to tweak and tune their devices. Oh and the price, as the OnePlus One is excellent value.
The poor publicity surrounds how the device was marketed and launched, with OnePlus sticking to an invite system and running competitions in order to offer the device. Some of these competitions have worked well, some have not; but regardless, the OnePlus One has been on many peoples’ lips for 2014. Now, OnePlus have announced plans to launch the model in India, starting with a price of Rs 20,000 (the price has not yet been finalized). This is $325 or £205 and appears to be for the 64 GB model, as the 16 GB device will be launched second. To put this into perspective, it’s under half the price I paid for my HTC One M8. The OnePlus One is unofficially available in India for around twice this price. This price will put the OnePlus One right into the heartland of Indian high end smartphones, where it’ll compete with the Xiaomi Mi4 plus other devices from Motorola, Samsung and Nokia. For India, OnePlus is dropping the invite system of buying handsets (the process it has adopted for the American market) and instead it’ll be using a pre-order system, not unlike Xiaomi. Perhaps there’s still mileage yet in hunger marketing – that is, offering a small number of the handsets to consumers to keep demand high?
OnePlus is taking the Indian market seriously as it is setting up a dedicated support team of between five to ten individuals. In an interview with the Economic Times, OnePlus Director Carl Pei said, “India is a super hot market with rapid data growth and this is the right time to enter the market. We are talking to all three leading e-commerce players in India to start our operations. We hope to finalise our partner this week. Other snippets from Carl include that OnePlus is in final discussions with Indian 4G providers for bundling the One and also that OnePlus have considered a Microsoft Windows handset and “are still looking into it.” Maybe we’ll see a OnePlus One for Windows, echoing the HTC One for Windows?