The OnePlus One is a noteworthy device from a business founded by former Oppo President, Pete Lau and formed to design his dream smartphone. This is a blend of high quality, high performance hardware and dictate with low pricing and despite their relatively lower cost, customers should “never settle” when it came to their devices. In order to keep costs down, OnePlus sell exclusively online and cut out the retail stores and carriers. OnePlus’ marketing and manufacturing budgets are reputed to have been minuscule, forcing the business to come up with a new way to build and market their One smartphone. OnePlus’ solution was to employ a variant of hunger marketing, that is to only manufacture a relatively small number of devices and restrict availability via an invite system: customers had to have an invite to buy their device.
As regards the hardware, the OnePlus One is based around a 2.5 GHz, quad core, 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor backed up by 3 GB of RAM. The smartphone has a 1080p, 5.5-inch display and either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage although there is no MicroSD card. There’s a Sony 13MP Exmor camera at the back and a 5MP front facing unit for selfies and video calling. The device supports 2G, 3G and a limited number of 4G LTE bands. OnePlus have only released one SKU around the world with the same bands, rather than tailor individual model designations for various regions around the world. As for software, the device originally came with Cyanogen OS 11S, which is based on Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat, apart from in China and here it was released with Oppo’s ColorOS, based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The device has subsequently been updated to Cyanogen OS 12S, based on Android 5.0.2 “Lollipop” plus two in-house Lollipop-based ROMs, OxygenOS (outside China) and HydrogenOS (in China).
However, despite the device’s hardware and software pedigree, the OnePlus One is known for a number of software issues. These include missing support to send MMS on some carriers, poor Bluetooth connectivity for in-car kits and issues with touch screen sensitivity. OnePlus and Cyanogen have released an update for the One, YNG1TAS2I3, which weighs in at 566 MB. The ROM’s update notes explain it should resolve these three issues, however we have seen Cyanogen promise fixes for the touchscreen in the past and these have persisted. Furthermore, this ROM is based on Android 5.0 rather than the very latest 5.1.1, but if it resolves persistent issues it is a worthwhile step forward.