If theres one thing I am, its a ‘phonehobo’. I constantly swop, buy, sell and generally get bored with my handset. Its like a nerd disease, its easily caught but never breakable. As soon as I think I have found a handset Im happy with, along comes something else to tempt me to buy it. Its a bank account draining, sim card swapping and emotionally unfulfilling affliction I hope you don’t catch.
The OnePlus One is the next handset in line for me. This is a phone and company that I have been very outspoken about. Their marketing practices and general company image have recently come under scrutiny, even warranting a ban from the OnePlus Twitter and Google Plus accounts, apparently. But, I managed to get my hands on a much sought after invite thanks to Artem at Android Police, and placed my order.
Invite To Buy
If you are lucky enough to get to place an order for a OnePlus One. Be prepared for this process to take over your life. The OnePlus one orders page will quickly become your home page, and be checked over and over again.
After ordering, your status will seem to crawl from pending shipment, to processing, and then you feel like your life is over. Processing to shipping can take anywhere between a couple hours to 2 days. Nothing seems to be too much trouble for the customer services however. As I changed my delivery address slightly, it was done quickly and without any delay in processing. Once the OnePlus One is shipped it will be with you VERY quickly.
Initial Hands On
The first thing that hits you is the packaging, even the shipping box has amazing attention to detail, a small pull string that slowly opens the box that you expect will make all your dreams come true. But it only reveals more of the type of packaging that makes Apple look like they throw iPhones it into a box. High quality cardboard and smooth sliding makes even the OnePlus One unboxing a joy.
The OnePlus One it nothing short of huge. Don’t believe the marketing that this is a 5.5inch display in a 5 inch body. If you have small hands, you’re going to find this a struggle. At least at first. But struggle you must, as after taking out the nice key ring mounted sim ejection tool, putting in your sim the huge screen fires into life making it all worth while.
OnePlus For Hardware
The OnePlus One has a small chrome band all the way around, which means at any point of holding you will be touching touching it. Combined with the high quality, hugely grippy back on the sapphire black makes holding it a delight.
The backing is very strange to feel, almost like an ultra fine sandpaper, or almost smooth granite like. It makes the phone provide superb grip in the hand. However the camera protrudes ever so slightly from back, so be careful of resting on a surface.
Almost the whole of the front of the phone is dominated by the huge 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches giving a ppi pixel density of 401. Its not the pixel pushing of the LG G3, but its pin sharp and displays vivid, if a little warm colours. Topping the screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 means it should withstand some punishment.
If you have ever flashed a Cyanogen Mod rom before you will know what to expect from the OnePlus One. It runs an exclusive version of Cyanogen’s fork of AOSP Android, AOSP + if you will. It brings in hundreds of ways to customise the OS, from simple battery icon tweaks right up to full on theming. Get into personalisation as much or as little as you like.
What Cyanogen also brings with it is several security improvements over Google experience or AOSP Android. Here you will find things like Whisperpush, Cyanogen’s version of secure text messaging system TextSecure. As well as an up to date system that has several security holes patched. And unlike flashing a CM rom, the device is NOT rooted out the box.
For those wishing to tinker, the boot loader is unlocked via the usual fastboot oem unlock, and the device has quite a developer community already. With roms popping up form teams such as Paranoid Android.
A more thorough hands on will come in the next week or so, once the device has been used more. If there one things we know our readers like, it real world reviews! Feel free to ask any questions about the OnePlus One on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.