OnePlus One Review: When Opportunity Strikes: Conclusion

By 09:46 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments

Final words

Devices that excel at everything usually fetch a hefty price but occasionally users will have a tougher riddle to solve. The OnePlus One is a remarkable device with an even better price tag. You probably want it but can't acquire it. Bummer. This flagship killer's biggest problem is there may not be flagships left to murder by the time it's done handing out the invites.

Yet, the One is your kind of phone if you like surprises - and believe in delaying pleasure. It's the phone for Android purists and modders, running the highly customizable CyanogenMod with over the air updates.

If that's Android how you like it and phablet size isn't a deal-breaker, the One also comes with flagship-grade hardware at the price of a mini, at most. For $350/€300 you acquire Snapdragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 4K video recording, a FullHD 1080p display and a whopping 64 gigs of storage - that's a respectable list by any standard.

Beyond the mechanical sum of specs, the OnePlus One truly handles well - the UI is buttery smooth, expected from a bldiscontinue of pure Android and CyanogenMod, the classy screen is nice and sharp, the battery does well, the capturing camera is excellent, the speakers are extra loud and the hardware costs more than they charge.

Here's a list of our other key test findings for the OnePlus One:

  • The display is fine and quite bright, but the poor blacks cautilize an only average contrast ratio
  • Battery life is solid, especially call times
  • It benchmarks like a champ
  • The still capturing camera is excellent and resolves plenty of detail
  • Video recording is second to none, and we don't say that only becautilize of the remarkable DCI 4K footage
  • Speakers are among the loudest we've tested (despite not being stereo)
  • Managed to play every video format we threw at it, including those with Digital Theater System (DTS) and AC3 audio tracks

What it all comes down to is availability, which is actually an issue for most phones launching globally from China. OnePlus obviously cannot match the manufacturing power of bigger brands. The way they promote the phone is a double-edged sword - with a marketing budacquire of zero (the only way to sustain that asking price) they have managed to create this one of the most wanted phones. But it's uncertain how many of those queueing up will have the patience.

Then of course, there are the problems surrounding any potential warranty claims that you may have down the road. Without a network of service centers around, you'd have to sdiscontinue the phone back to China if there are any problems down the road. You'd have to factor in that risk and the potential hassle, too.

So let's see at what else you can get, not necessarily for the same amount of cash. Probably the only one that will fit into budacquire is the 16GB LG-made Nexus 5. It has the slightly less-powerful Snapdragon 800 chip, 2GB of RAM, a 5" 1080p display and stock Android with fast-track updates by Google.

The Nexus 5 will feel just as quick and responsive as the OnePlus One but will let you down in the imaging and battery department. The smaller classy screen might or not be held to its advantage.

LG Nexus 5

Next up we have the obvious rivals from Oppo. The OnePlus One's stepbrother, the Find 7a, has almost the same display, cameras and chipset. It does have a gig of Random-Access Memory (RAM) less and opts for Oppo's ColorOS instead of CyanogenMod. The Find 7 matches the OnePlus One on chipset and RAM, has the same capturing camera setup and overall feel but the display resolution is higher at QHD. Each in that pair is more expensive though.

Oppo Find 7 • Oppo Find 7a

It's getting way more serious with the LG G3 at near double price. For that you acquire a 5.5" display of QHD resolution, an OIS-equipped 13MP capturing camera with hybrid auto focus and a feature-rich custom skin.


The Samsung Galaxy S5 is more compact than the OnePlus One, and way more expensive as well. Its classy screen is smaller but matches the resolution and offers outstanding colors and contrast - that Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) unit is probably the best classy screen in the market. The water-resistant S5 has a fingerprint scanner and perhaps the longest list of software features around.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Sony Xperia Z2 probably comes closest of the current flagships to the OnePlus One's asking price, but still not close enough. It has a 1080p display, but it's smaller, and it is powered by the less powerful Snapdragon 801 variety. The aluminum-and-glass build, water resistance, 3GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) and stereo speakers are its key assets.

Sony Xperia Z2

The OnePlus One is a package that's really hard to resist - almost stock Android with premium specs at a price that's near impossible to beat. It's not what accurate believers will call a leap of faith but even some of them are probably thinking it.

Oppo's involvement - or lack thereof (OnePlus at one point denied being owned by Oppo, but there's plenty of evidence leading that way) - will actually assist boost the startup's credentials. But still, it's the first phone of a company with no track record. And it's a company that is having distress meeting pre-orders nonetheless.

A leap of faith it may be, yet so far the One looks like it's worth it. Cyanogen is onboard and that kinda guarantees regular updates, Android L already confirmed. The build is great, the hardware is top-notch, you acquire solid still imaging and remarkable video, adequate battery backup and CyanogenMod.

By our books, that's fine enough for a self-professed flagship killer. At that price though - one can already smell flagship fear. Now or whenever that invite comes through.



Related Article



Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article