OnePlus One review – perfect hardware, software and the price

OnePlus One is the one handset that everyone would want to own, but it is not that easy to get one. OnePlus is the company that launched the One handset with killer specifications that you would usually find on high end smartphone but with almost half the price.  Read the OnePlus One review to know more.

You need an invitation to buy the One, I got one and bought the One. The OnePlus company however does not ship the product directly into India and hence I did it via PPObox (check this post). I got the handset with 64GB internal storage and have spend Rs. 26,712.88 including shipping and customs. OnePlus is planning to setup base in India, and it would be really good if they can price it at under Rs. 25K (for 64GB).

Box Pack: The box is slim, simple with white / red colour combination. I got the Global version with LTE 4G support. There was no earphone, user guide and warranty card. Inside the box you will get the One, data cable (nicely packed, a bit different that the usual) and SIM tray ejector pin. The travel charger was packed separately – you will need a adapter to use it in India or just use any other good quality travel charger.

OnePlus One box pack

Design and Display
The 64GB version comes in SandStone black colour option. It looks and feels completely different. The sand like material covers up the sides too. The body is a bit rough but you will get used to it, it is comfortable to hold. Build quality and finishing is very good.

A silver bezel connects the body and the screen. The battery comes built in. Power button is on the right, volume rockers on the left, micro USB at the bottom and 3.5mm audio jack on the top. There are dual speaker vents (with mono output) at the bottom. Weight with battery is 166 grams and dimensions are 75.76mm x 152.52mm x 8.75mm.

OnePlus One review and unboxing

The touchscreen is 5.5 inches LTPS IPS with TOL (Touch On Lens)  and gorilla glass 3 protection. The screen supports 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution i.e 401 ppi. Touch is very smooth and responsive, the viewing angles and colour reproduction are also great.

There is LED notification and you can choose any colour you want (multi colour). Also included are accelerometer, proximity, light, gyro and magnetic sensors. The handset can also monitor steps (check video review).

OnePlus One Review

OS, Memory and Storage
The OnePlus runs on CyanogenMod 11S that is based on Android 4.4.4. The icons are flat and looks good. Plus this customized ROM gives a lot of options that are missing on the stock version.

OnePlus One side view 8.75mm thick

This ‘One’ handset comes with 3GB RAM (LP-DDR3, 1866MHz) and 16GB / 64GB optional storage (eMMC 5.0). There is no micro SD card slot. On the first boot you get around 55GB of storage space and 2.2GB free RAM (650MB used by system). I was able to connect an OTG pen-drive – OTG is supported.

Performance and Benchmark
The One houses a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Krait 400 quad core (MSM8974Pro-AC) processor with Adreno 330 GPU (578MHz). Performance is very smooth and lag free. The CyanogenMod ROM is also pretty light weight. Check out the Benchmark Scores.

OnePlus One back with rough touch

Benchmark scores

App Result
Quadrant 23416
Antutu 37639
Vellamo Browser (2824) Metal (1627) Multicore (1854)
Nenamark 2 61.5fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Camera and Entertainment
There are dual cameras. 13MP auto focus using Sony Exmor IMX 214 sensor is placed on the rear with dual LED flash and a 5MP on the front. The camera app is easy to use and different. To browse through / change the modes you need to swipe down (check the video). The dual LED flash isn’t that powerful.

OnePlus One 13MP rear AF camera + dual LED flash

The still quality is very good do check the sample images. The handset can shoot 4K videos in DCI and in HDR mode. 4K DCI is 4096 x 2160 and 4K UHD is 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution. It is better to use UHD as that will fit better on almost all 4K screens.

You can check the sample 4K video attached at the end of the review. I did face some focusing issues when shooting in 4K mode. The tap to focus did not work for close up objects. I had no issues with 1080p video shoot.

You can also select the Video Codec (MP4, H.263 and H.264). The hardware can also shoot 720p slow motion videos at 120fps (Sample attached at the end of this review).

OnePlus One 5.5 inch screen with FHD resolution and corning gorilla glass 3 protection

Gaming
The One handset is sealed and does not support external cards. However if you have the 64GB version you get ample of storage space for apps / games. I installed and played the MC4 (Modern Combat 4), Asphalt 8 and RR3 (Real Racing 3). All of these games played without any issues.

Others
Sound is very loud, I have to keep the volume a little low as compared to other handsets. Sound quality via loudspeaker and earphones are also very good. My Samsung earphone worked well. The single SIM slot can houses a Micro SIM with 4G / 3G support. I don’t have 4G in my city but 3G worked really well without any issues. In call sound is also very good. It makes use of tri-microphones for noise cancellation.

I did not find any issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. GPS is with A-GPS / GLONASS support and the lock is almost instant. You can double tap to wake up the screen. “Okay Google” works. You can also start some apps like camera, torch etc directly by simply drawing the character (C, V) on the screen when the handset is in standby mode – screen is off.

The CyanogenMod gets a lot of updates (already got 2 small updates) and it will get the Android L.

OnePlus One SIM tray (micro SIM)

Battery
3100 mAh Li-Po battery comes built in. Here is how the battery performed.

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 25 minutes 8% (34)
4K DCI video with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 23 minutes 8% (36)
Asphalt 8 + MC4 + Real Racing 3 GamePlay 13 minutes 5% (37)
Battery Charge 3 hours 30 minutes From 7% to 96%.

Verdict
OnePlus One indeed is the 2014 killer device. It is powerful, loaded with excellent – hardware, software and the camera. It can shoot 4K videos. There is good 3GB RAM and 64GB storage (depending on the model you choose). Handset doesn’t heat up much, however when recording 4K videos it does get heated up, a bit faster.

OnePlus one hands on

Overall experience and game play is above expectation. For the price tag of under Rs. 27,000 (if bought from the oneplus.net website) it is definitely a must buy smartphone. Hopefully if the OnePlus One does enter the Indian markets they might price it at under Rs. 25,000.

[Rating – 4.5 out of 5] – Buy the OnePlus One from official website.

The One Image Gallery

Sample Images shot using the One handset

Front 5MP camera

OnePlus One Video review

4K DCI video shot using this handset

1080p video sample video

Slow Motion video 720p @ 120fps

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