Posted in: Android, Hands-on, Mobile phones

OnePlus One hands-on

The OnePlus One is finally here after some delays that could have potentially ruined the occasion. Thankfully those delays didn’t last as long as we feared so without further ado here goes the One.

Sharing a name with a popular HTC handset we know the OnePlus One has some proving to do but covers the right basics as a start. For one it brings a capable Snapdragon 801 chipset, a 5.5″ 1080p display and a 4K-enabled 13 MP snapper. Adding to a good foundation the One could also be the Nexus fan’s dream come true with a tailor-made CyanogenMod 11 OS for a clean, near-stock Android KitKat 4.4.2 experience.

The One is simplistic and well made. It has a clean glass front with only three capacitive buttons underneath the display which barely light up by default and don’t take away from the flat look. The display is massive at 5.5″ and with a 1080p resolution is very sharp with 401 ppi density. Thankfully the bezels around it are minimal and add up to an acceptable frame considering the display size.

That’s not to say the OnePlus One isn’t massive. Compared to something like an LG G3 it will sit okay, with the same being said for the Sony Xperia Z2. But if you’re coming from a Nexus 5, Moto X or G or an HTC One (either one) this device is a true phablet to you.

OnePlus One

The back panel could easily strike you as non-removable but there actually is a trick. You’d need to remove the SIM card slot and then apply quite a bit of pressure coupled with sufficient nail length but you will be able to get it off. That comes handy if you want to try any of the other wooden or jeans-like panels on for size. It features a very interesting finish. It’s matte and textured and feels like suede. You’ll either love it or loathe it as we’ve found but it’s safe to say that it feels well-made and will deter smudges and fingerprints with ease.

While on the subject of the back there lies the 13 MP snapper with dual LED flash. OnePlus had much to say about it as it should offer superior performance and has UHD video along with slow motion support.

The buttons feel nice with good feedback. The display has superb colors and viewing angles and looks bright, although we haven’t truly tested it on a bright sunny day so we’ll withhold judgment.

Cyanogen has made a custom OS for the OnePlus One. On the surface it feels very close to stock but has a custom lockscreen and built-in theme support that sets it aside from the purist pack. You can change themes, icons, fonts while the default ones give the One a very simple, minimalist look.

Icons are square with very little drawings on them and the whole UI feels custom. If you’re longing for the normal-looking stock Android you can always revert to it.

Things run smooth as is expected from the Snapdragon 801 powerhouse located inside. Be on the lookout for our full review coming soon.


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