Update: OnePlus One is officially launched in India and the 64GB variant is priced at Rs 21,999.

Mobile phones have become a commodity in the current scenario. Every other day you hear about a new phone launch, a new phone maker in town and more. Barring the regular titans such as Samsung, Apple, Sony and HTC, few amongst the newest handset makers manage to generate a global buzz. Xiaomi, with its economically priced offerings in the form of the Mi3 and the RedMi 1S, vowed the Indian audience where most of its flash sales were sold out within seconds.

Another Chinese player that has garnered a lot of attention this year is OnePlus. Phone makers may take potshots at their rivals, come up with hilarious advertisements and so on. But OnePlus goes one step further as it adopts the tagline – 2014 Flagship Killer, Never Settle. That’s an ambitious tagline if there ever was one.

OnePlus One Sandstone 64GB ready to be unpacked
If  OnePlus One Sandstone 64GB ready to be unpacked

One of the main reason behind the buzz around OnePlus was being their unique idea to sell phones based on invitations only. Their OnePlus One was launched back in April, but thanks to its invite-only selling method, they could not boast of millions in sales numbers yet. The latest tally puts it at over 500,000 and it aims to cross the million mark by the end of the year. May be that’s another indicator of its December launch here? Who knows. The invite-only method has been discontinued in favour of the more familiar pre-order route – They have flash sales to that end. In an era when phone makers want to sell as many handsets as possible, this invite-only method was certainly unconventional, but led to a lot of word-of-mouth publicity.

Obviously, just the selling method isn’t the only reason behind the buzz. OnePlus One comes with top end specifications at an affordable price point and it comes with the Cyanogen Mod ROM of Android. A pre-rooted phone with flagship specs and an affordable price point – any Android geeks fantasy. So let us check out if the OnePlus One delivers on the ‘Flagship Killer’ buzz or is it just another phablet.

 

Build and Design: 8/10

OnePlus One Sandstone 64GB edition houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC which has a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU
OnePlus One Sandstone 64GB edition houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC which has a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU

OnePlus One has a 5.5-inch display which is surrounded on all sides by a metallic corner. There’s a slight dip on the top and the bottom of the display which shows the end of the glass front and beginning of the metallic edges. On the front, you only have the earpiece speaker section on the top and the front facing camera beside it. The display has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

You can insert the microSIM card on the left hand edge which is just above the volume rocker button
You can insert the microSIM card on the left hand edge which is just above the volume rocker button

The rear cover – Sandstone black in our case – covers the majority of the rear side as well as the sides of the phone. In fact, the front glass is separated from the rear cover only with the silver metallic lining. Although the rear cover is swappable, you will need a special instrument to get it to open as it offers a snug fit around the rear and sides of the phone. The Sandstone cover has a lovely texture which feels somewhat like a softer version of a regular sandpaper. It gives a great grip on the phone.

The top edge is clean except for the 3.5mm audio jack
The top edge is clean except for the 3.5mm audio jack

On the top of the phone you have the headphone jack whereas on the bottom you have the dual grilles for speakers with the microUSB charging port in the centre. The plastic-build sporting volume rocker button is on the left hand side and the power/standby button is on the right hand side.

The OnePlus One 64GB has a 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash unit
The OnePlus One 64GB has a 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash unit

Coming to the rear side you have the 13MP rear camera with a dual LED flash unit. You have a microphone places just beside the camera section. Below the camera is the OnePlus branding followed by the Cyanogen branding on the bottom of the rear side. We like the minimalist design of the phone. The curved rear also helps with grip. It weighs just 162 grams and is 8.9mm thick on the sides. OnePlus One does not have the Ingress Protection certification ie. it is not water and dust resistant.

 

Publish date: December 8, 2014 11:55 am| Modified date: March 4, 2015 12:48 pm

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