The OnePlus One was (and is) one of the most popular phones among people worldwide – for providing a great piece of hardware for an affordable price, and CyanogenMod 11S out of the box. And months after its release in specific countries, it has finally found its way into India.
The OnePlus One 64GB version was launched in India on 2nd December 2014 through Amazon.in with a price tag of Rs. 21999. There was an invite system for OnePlus One Amazon held few contests for these invites. I was in the lucky 1500 guys to get an invite first
So here is the review...
Body and Build:
First thing that you'll notice after holding the phone is superb body with great built quality. The back cover has a rich sandstone texture and the Cyanogen branding on it.
The phone has an elegant chrome frame around screen and a black “slab” look to the front.
It has option to use on-screen buttons (navigation bar) or captive buttons as per your comfort. There is massive 3100 Mah li-poly non-removable battery that gives a good battery backup and last for a day even with heavy usage and playing high-end games.
The bottom has two custom built JBL speakers. Though they aren’t stereo, the sound output is one of the loudest I have heard from a phone, and the quality is pretty crisp. There is a lack of bass though. There is an inbuilt app called "Audio FX" for audio tweaking, which works like a charm.
The screen is a phablet size 5.5’ IPS LTPS LCD display with resolution of 1080x1920 pixels(401 dpi). It has a wide 178 degree viewing angle. And because it is an IPS display, the screen produces great colours and deep blacks. I found the screen more brighter than most other phones, like the HTC One M8.
The phone has “touch on lens” (TOL) technology, in which they have placed the glass more closer to touch sensors so that the phone is more sensitive. The screen is Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and is pretty much scratch resistant.
One of the oomph factor of OnePlus One is it's 13 MP Sony EXMOR IMX214 sensor and dual-LED Flash. This CMOS sensor boasts an incredible f/2.0 aperture. It has 6 physical lenses for distortion free images. Sony Exmor sensor helps for low light photography. It shoots 4k videos with 30fps, 1080p at 60fps and 720p at 120fps (i.e. slow motion) and front 5 MP camera shoots with 1080p video. There is an HDR setting for both pictures and video.
The camera app has options to change shutter speed, so you can experiment with light to get some classy clicks. It also features time-lapse video. The OnePlus One can click pictures in RAW format for professional editing. The focusing capability is remarkable and details come out crisp and sharp. The camera works great even in low light. It captures true colours almost all the times. The only issue would be that indoor pictures get grainy sometimes. The phone has 3 mics situated at different locations to bet noise free stereo sound.
Concluding, it is a camera made for casual photographers, and to me, its one of the bests.
Here are a few pictures:
One of the key features because of which this phone became popular is its flawless performance. It runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Chipset with Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 paired with 3GB DDR3 RAM. The phone also packs in an Adreno 330 GPU for great graphic rendering and is capable for running heavy games. No issues in multitasking either.
CyanogenMod provides a CPU tweaking option when on enabling developer options. You can adjust I/O schedulers and underclock the CPU for more battery life. There are three preset options
1) Power saver
Moreover, it chooses I/O schedulers automatically and underclocks or overclocks the CPU as required. CyanogenMod is a very light ROM for processor to handle and it uses minimum resources. As a result it out-performs other flagship phones. The OnePlus One's Antutu benchmarks cross 53k: proving that it is a beast. Overall, this phone is a real performer.
Android 4.4.4 CyanogenMod:
OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod 11S inbuilt. It's pretty stable and I haven't noticed any major bugs. As mentioned above, one of the reason for its such a great performance is this light CyanogenMod ROM: it uses minimum resources, improving the phone’s performance.
CM has many customisation options and themes. There are thousands of themes available for CM 11 on the Play Store. It has some great wake up gestures like ‘double tap to wake’. Drawing circle on the lock screen will open the camera app. There are gestures available to control music also.
Adding to this, there are some slick shortcuts such as double tapping the status bar will lock the phone. You can adjust brightness by sliding over the status bar. Holding down the back key will kill the app. There is an option to change runtime from default Dalvik to ART. People are observing a massive boost in performance and battery life by changing the runtime to ART.
CM11 also has a “quiet hours” option in which you can set the time during which the phone will not disturb you. The infinite customisation options never bores the user- you can go on for ever!
The phone is intended for everyone, but is a special piece for the developers. OnePlus supports developers and does not void the 1 year warranty even after rooting or changing recovery and ROMs.
Service centers are provided in 25 metro cities by OnePlus.
A recent issue:
Micromax has signed its contract with Cyanogen to sell its phones with CM ROM, exclusively in India. Micromax has filed a case against OnePlus One for using CM out of the box, leading to a ban on the phone. Anyways, the phone will start selling in India soon with its own ROM (with 5.0 Lollipop).
I’m sure the review already convinced you of the capabilities of this phone. Indeed OnePlus has done a great deal of innovation and brought together the best parts to build a phone that’s perfect for everyone. I still say, it’s a flagship killer, especially for its price!