So the most hyped phone of 2014 was probably this one, the OnePlus One – a relative newcomer to the phone scene it dropped a high quality, high spec phone for only $299USD (16GB version). AND you could only buy it with an ‘invite’ so that just increased the desire and demand.
It’s a first gen flagship phone, with a lot of the core team of OnePlus coming across from Oppo. The basic specs are:
- 5.5″ 1080p Full HD screen
- 5MP Front facing camera
- 13MP rear camera
- 4K Video resolution
- All day battery efficiency
- 3GB RAM & 64GB Memory
- 4G LTE Ready
So it’s definitely up there with the big boys in terms of specs and form factor, but at half the price.
Geeking out over the OS is pretty common too for Android lovers of the technical persuasion as it uses the mature and well supported CyanogenMod port of Android – which moves pretty fast and has excellent community support.
The phone I got has Android 4.4.4 on it (no Lollipop yet), I got a quick 8MB OTA update when I switched the phone on.
It was really easy to get up and running, to connect to Wifi, Google Account and get everything synced up. CyanogenMod gives you a LOT more flexibility when it comes to tweaking, icon skinning, themes and access to more settings.
So it’s a really good phone for Android power users.
As for the physical phone itself – the back of the phone is a lovely matte surface with a curve that makes the phone sit nicely in your hand, it feels quite light even though it has a pretty generous 3100mAH battery.
The battery is not removable or replaceable, which seems pretty normal in modern phones. Also it’s not aluminium, so if you’re looking for something like that – this is probably not the phone for you (and you’ll probably have to pay at least double what this phone costs).
It does feel solid though, well made, no gaps and the screen is excellent.
Another nitpick would be a lack of external storage support (no MicroSD card slot), which is another trend modern phone makers seem to be following. Partially due to the Android 4.x changes about 3rd apps not being able to edit files on external storage (which broke a lot of things).
And a lot of instability is caused by people putting poor quality or fake MicroSD cards into their phones, then they blame their phones for poor performance. So I can understand why the trend is moving in that direction.
In The Box
The packaging is rather nice, it has quite a premium feel to it – rather than some recycled brown cardboard box. It’s a rather smart white and red combination.
In the box you get:
– The phone (obviously)
– A charger with 3 pin plug and a fancy red USB cable (with gold plated connectors)
– 2 choices of SIM tray (Regular SIM and Nano-SIM)
– A tool to open the SIM tray in a neat rubber holder
Everything you need to use the phone really, nicely packaged and the accessories feel well made and of a good quality.
And yah, it matches my sofa – so that’s a bonus
Sample Pictures & Camera Performance
Liam is CONSTANTLY moving at the moment, he’s a little explorer – so it’s getting really hard to take clear pictures of him.
The OnePlus One did well capturing him whilst he was zooming around in his walker, and it got a fairly clear picture.
The main rear facing camera is a 13-megapixel camera with a Sony sensor, six-element lens setup and f/2.0 aperture. It’s REALLY fast and responsive and seems to have quite a short minimum focusing distance (which gives decent macro shots).
What surprised me was the quality of the pictures from the 5-megapixel front facing camera, which were sharp and very nicely balanced in terms of colour, contrast and white balance. The below is taken from the front facing camera – without any editing at all.
I love it because it makes me look good, without making me look like an alien. It’s way better than the front camera on the my current (way more expensive) phone, so this is definitely a plus.
The Macro performance is also better than my current phone as it seems to have a shorter MFD (Minimum Focal Distance) so you can get really great detail on close-ups, like this sushi shot:
This shot of my watch shows great detail close-up too, and the cameras ability to focus well at a short range.
The low light performance is good too, as this shot shows – it balances the bright lights and shadow areas well giving a well exposed picture under difficult circumstances.
There’s no way my previous phone camera could have captured this, it would have just been a grainy mess.
NOTE: All above photos are straight out of the phone, no editing was done.
All in all, this is a great phone. There are a few little things that could be better, but honestly for the price who is complaining? It’s represents absolutely excellent value for money and you’d struggle to find anything with similar specs, a great OS, solid build quality and a very capable camera for anywhere near this price.
Seriously why buy a mid-range ‘branded’ phone when you can get much higher specs and performance for the same price? I can’t wait to see what they do with the OnePlus Two!
The phone is a bargain at RM599* on the MaxisONE Plan, or even at the regular price of RM1199* without a contract for the 64GB version.
You can find out more about the Maxis OnePlus One here:
*Prices are exclusive of 6% GST