Not to be confused with the HTC One, the startup known as OnePlus has unveiled its first smartphone. The OnePlus One appears to be quite the Android powerhouse, sporting a 2.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU on the inside and a 5.5-inch 1080p Gorilla Glass display on the outside.
Based on the unsubsidized pricing ($299 for 16GB model), the OnePlus undercuts the unlocked Nexus 5 by $50. The catch? You have to be invited to buy a One on April 25th.
The OnePlus One runs a customer user interface based on Android and skinned with CyanogenMod, which features a more flat design. The Taiwanese company promises the OS will stay up to date for at least two years. CyanogenMod also offers some interesting privacy and security features, such as SMS encryption and an app privacy guard. We’re curious to see how well the screen-off gestures work, including circle for launching the camera or V for turning on the flashlight.
Rounding out the specs is a 13-megapixel camera with Sony Exmore IMX214 sensor and support for 4K video, a 5-MP front camera, and dual JBL-powered speakers. The company claims the 3100-mAh battery should last for more than a day of on a charge. While you won’t find a microSD slot, you will find NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and support for 4G LTE.
Taking a page out of the Motorola Moto X customizability playbook, OnePlus allows you to swap out the back plate on the One. You can choose a base model of either Silk White (made of powdered cashew nuts) or Sandstone Black. Then, when you need a slightly more fashion-forward look, simply pop on one of four wooden covers, or denim or even Kevlar.
By comparison, Google’s Nexus 5 features an older 2.26-GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU paired with only 2GB of RAM and no dedicated GPU. Plus, it only offers a 1.3-MP selfie shooter and an 8-MP rear camera. Plus, you don’t get the nifty customization options. We’re excited to pit these two no-contract options head-to-head in our benchmarks to see how they stack up.