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OnePlus One Review

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Camera

Not the very best, but definitely up there. The UI is clean-looking, and, with some exceptions, easy to navigate.

The OnePlus One is equipped with a 13-megapixel, 1/3.06'' Sony Exmor IMX214 sensor paired up with a dual LED flash. The unit has a wider-than-average, f/2.0 aperture, and a 6 lens setup that is said to eliminate color aberration and distortion at the edges. Up at the front, you get a 5-megapixel shooter that is actually pretty good.

But let's first talk about the camera software, as this is still untested area. On the whole, the CyanogenMod team has once again managed to strike balance between simplicity and extra features, in much the same way they have with the rest of the One's interface. To that end, the UI is lightweight-looking with minimal clutter. That said, once you open up the settings menu, you're introduced to a plethora of options, but these are well organized and easy to navigate through. Some examples include controls for ISO, exposure mode and slow shutter speeds. In terms of video, you can also switch to a different video or audio codec. Lastly, there's even an option that switches the UI around so that left-handed folk can navigate it easier.

Our only two complaints with the UI are that, firstly, the viewfinder shows a 16:9 preview, while the camera churns out snaps in a 4:3 aspect ratio. This makes it impossible to know exactly how much of what you see is going to end up in the processed image. And secondly, flipping through shooting modes is done with a vertical swipe up and down, and that can make it kind of hard to quickly get to a shooting mode that happens to be the farthest from your current one. This is made worse by the fact that effects, such as Sepia, Mono, and Posterize, are also on that list, taking up slots. Thankfully, you can remove those, and cut the list down to the essentials, and access the wealth of extra shooting modes (night portrait, snow, candelight, backlight, etc.) and effects (neon, emboss, negative) through the circular icon on the menu.

Turning to image quality, we've gotta say that the OnePlus One delivers on the whole. Perhaps most importantly, we came across no significant deviations in terms of color reproduction. That said, occasionally we got underexposed snaps that are too dark. As for HDR snaps, these are pretty good on the whole, though highlights occasionally get some visual artifacts added to them. Generally, images have a fine look to them, detail is good, and noise, while present, is kept at acceptable levels.

When indoors, the OnePlus One also does a decent job. Colors are, again, fairly accurate, though it should be noted that snaps are on the warmer side (and a few exhibit a slight pinkish hue). As for environments in complete darkness, the OnePlus One's dual LED flash configuration proved capable enough to illuminate just enough of the scene, allowing the camera to snap a fairly realistic snap. That said, don't let the addition of an extra LED flash fool you – we've seen more powerful implementations out there, and without an extra lamp.


Image size:
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2.7
No data
494
353
LG G3 2.7
4.3
No data
No data
OPPO Find 7a 3.3
3.8
500
445
OnePlus One 3.4
4.5
656
573
View all

As for video capture, the One is solid. You get the now usual flagship feature set, including UHD and 4K DCI video capture at 30 frames per second (FPS), 1080p FHD capture at 30 FPS, and even slow-mo's that are shot at 120 FPS and 720p resolution. Thankfully, all of the above modes produce high quality footage.


Multimedia

The OnePlus One offers a well-rounded multimedia package.

The built-in Gallery is the only essential app that OnePlus and the CyanogenMode team felt needs direct intervention, and, to that end, the app here is skinned, and is more modern-looking. For whatever reason, the Gallery takes a about 2 seconds to open an image (thankfully, moving from one to the other is quick enough), and we never found a way to check out the expanded details of a certain photo (e.g. Resolution or EXIF data) through it, which is just odd. The video player, like with the stock Android Gallery app, is not stand-alone, and is instead only available through the One's Gallery. Again, oddly enough, video files won't show their name. That said, all the popular video encodings run smoothly at 1080p resolution.

As for music playback, the One again relies on a stock Google solution – Play Music. The phone's secret weapon is the AudioFX app that comes with a bunch of ready-made equalizer presets, and also allows you to add reverberation effects. The loudspeaker is potent enough to fill a small- to medium-sized room with above-average quality sound.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
OnePlus One 0.93
LG G3 0.57
OPPO Find 7a 0.54
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0.43
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
OnePlus One 78
LG G3 81
OPPO Find 7a 80
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 76
View all


43 Comments
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posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:15 16

1. Duketytz (Posts: 521; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)


You caught the legendary Pokémon! Well done Chris!

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:27 16

3. alltechinside (Posts: 247; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


Even Legendary Pokemons are easier to find lmfao

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 14:12 1

25. Jinto (Posts: 410; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


Lol, google should work with OnePlus for the Nexus 6

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 02:33

32. techperson211 (Posts: 710; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


I don't think that google will depart with lg in making nexus phones . Look at nexus 4 and 5 they're good flagship phones with affordable prices . This one plus sh*t invite system kills them , I don't think people will be interested in one plus 2, not unless they make it available globally.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 02:37

33. techperson211 (Posts: 710; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


I don't think google will depart with lg in making nexus phones. I mean look at the success of nexus 4-5 . They're are flagship phones with prices that are acceptable. This one plus sh*t invite system is so annoying . If they'll do this again to one plus 2 then this all hype of NEVR SETTLE is just plain BS.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 13:39

23. erroct (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Jul 2012)


AHAHAHA so did I :P

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:27 10

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1384; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


you forgot to mention that the phone is made out of unobtanuim

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:35 5

5. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Could you at least make some sort of pretend effort to explain the scores in your reviews? It's utterly nonsensical to see a device come through with a great battery, great screen and through the roof benchmarks all at a crazy low price, and then get a score lower than other flagships that don't perform as well.

Do you use a random number generator to calculate the final score?

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:54 9

9. Rydsmith (Posts: 198; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


It's called reading the review, you should try it sometime.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:49 2

16. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Then please, enlighten me oh wise and learned master. Please share with me how this magical score is calculated. Please give us some of your vaunted wisdom you've picked up from this "reading" you speak of. Us humble peasants cannot hope to understand things at your advanced level. We can only read the words that are here, and not the ones you are making up in your head.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:57 2

17. thephonedude (Posts: 60; Member since: 27 Oct 2012)


Here you go knave,http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate now begone! Or else you shall be banished to the depths of the dungeon!

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:02

19. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Alas good sir, that still doth not explain overmuch.

A device that benchmarks higher, comes with what they measure as a great screen and great battery life and half the price of competition is scoring lower than said competition.

There doth need to be a better explanation.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:02

18. thephonedude (Posts: 60; Member since: 27 Oct 2012)


Simple : You came to the wrong age.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 13:54 1

24. Jinto (Posts: 410; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


No, its a random # generator

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:04 1

11. o0Exia0o (Posts: 428; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


Your right the author of this review just seemed to throw out a number with out thinking about it. The great battery, great screen, the through the roof benchmarks all at a crazy low price and then there is this crazy invite system making it next to impossible to actually buy one....I personally would have given it a lower score. Just my 2 cents though!

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:04 6

20. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Should availability be taken into account though? It's an honest question. Are we grading the overall ability and quality of the device, or should something like limited availability be taken into account i n the final score? Was it with devices like the Nexus 4 and 5, which had their own availability issues?

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 22:45

29. o0Exia0o (Posts: 428; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


Yes I do believe that availability should factor in to a devices rating. I will agree that there have been some problems with the launches and availability of Nexus devices but it has not been on the scale that One Plus has. Also when a Nexus device is launched it is available for order to anyone to order and just because the initial stock sells out does not mean that anyone who did not get in on the first batch will not be able to order one. I could go on the playstore right now and order a Nexus 5. Can you order a One Plus One right now (without an invite)?

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:39 2

6. Grenmad (Posts: 11; Member since: 06 Jun 2014)


Hated this phone marketing gimmick until I got my invite yesterday and ordered one lol.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 19:57 1

38. apple4never (Posts: 974; Member since: 08 May 2013)


lol same got an invite this morning

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 03:52

46. loloonline (Posts: 3; Member since: 24 Nov 2014)


I agree Totally with you

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:48

7. ryan5609 (Posts: 99; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


Ordered 2 OnePlus phones yesterday (dont ask me how, glitch on their part) going to keep one and sell the other. I hated, and still hate their marketing gimmick, and the way they went about selling phones. Glad they finally eased up a bit on the invites and finally started handing them out to early forum members. Looking forward to getting the device, just worried about the size, coming from a Nexus 5. I'll give it a few days, but if it is too big for my liking, I'll keep my Nexus and hope the Nexus 6 isn't quite as large.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:54

22. jove39 (Posts: 1330; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


OPO is larger than N5...but feels comfortable in hand...if small phones is your thing...you probably won't like it just because of size. sandstone back cover is good...no need to worry about finger prints...and also it doesn't slip from hand.

So far best features I liked in OPO over N5 are excellent audio playback quality and battery backup. And ofcourse, it comes pre-installed with CM 11S...you'll have a lot to play with.

One gripe - If you try to use iPhone headphones with OPO it's mic won't work.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 09:19

45. ferraribrain (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Nov 2014)


i am not satisfied with the size other. my company gave me an iphone 6, which is compatible with our servers and client inputs. did you sell it. i just got mine november 16, 2014. where did you put it. i used craigs list; no takers.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:52 2

8. refillable (Posts: 673; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


If not for the 5.5 inches and it's availability, I would pretty much say it's the best of H1 2014. However as there are too much gimmicks, It's not.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:06 1

12. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Oppo7

Is much better, with class prestige materials

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:26

21. Neo_Huang (Posts: 718; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)


The Oppo Find 7's screen sucks, has lower benchmark scores, and much lower battery life.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 10:00

35. Jinto (Posts: 410; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


PA got a defective model with bad screen

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:07

14. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


So this is a rooted handset?

With CM11 Rom
So we can tinker with the Cpu, Gpu, voltage settings?

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:36 1

15. vuyonc (Posts: 385; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


B-b-but this deserved like a 9.5. The phone practically doesn't exist b-b-b-but it so kills these flagships.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 16:13

26. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


I'm wondering how its camera compares to the G3's

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 20:49

27. brasstax (Posts: 144; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Looking at the size comparison - Can't help realizing that LG has done an absolutely incredible job of keeping the dimensions down. It looks positively tiny in comparison to the other 3 phones. If I didn't know my stuff, I can easily think that it's got the smallest screen size of the bunch, when in fact, only the note 3 has a slightly larger screen.

LG deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting. People croon endlessly about the metal clad m8 or the glass & metal iPhone, but doesn't managing size better, also fall into excellent design & build department?

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 20:50

28. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


The camera is absolute rubbish (or at least, the algorithms being implmented are). I feel sorry for anyone that would fork out money on this phone, aven if it is ridiculously affordable. I would imagine that compromises and/or sacrifices where made left, right and centre in an attempt to keep the costs low.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 23:41

30. gaara6775 (Posts: 517; Member since: 20 May 2014)


S**t just got real.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 00:42 2

31. pubbaa (Posts: 21; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


by the time this becomes readily available other manufacturers would have released even better phones, apart fro the marketing and the fact this really a "oppo" ,end of the day this is just another chinese brand...i was hyped for this but...now I'm not sure..

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 06:24

34. SanderBelaen (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 May 2014)


What icon pack is he using?
Or is it a cyanogenmod theme?

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 02:27

40. Chris.P (Posts: 309; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


CyanogenMod, yes. There are plenty of options in this regard, though.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:15

36. platformwars (Posts: 82; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


Why is there no video for the review? i prefer watching videos to reading the full thing. Did you not have the phone and copied the review from somewhere else PA?
Please release a video.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 07:27

39. beedeezy14 (Posts: 12; Member since: 17 Dec 2013)


I ordered mine yesterday. I'm an early supporter.

posted on 16 Sep 2014, 23:53

43. braulio_rj (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Hello! Is there someone could send me an invitation to buy this piece of heaven? Or at least where I can get one? Thank you!

posted on 18 Sep 2014, 23:45

44. a1369366 (Posts: 25; Member since: 24 Aug 2014)


sometime, i really WONDER how much the reviewer got paid to do the review....
xiaomi, 10 time easier to get, and no one did a review here at PA.
1+1, impossible to get, and the reviewer got one with no issue?

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OnePlus One

OnePlus One

OS: Android 4.4.4 4.4
view full specs
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 8974-AC, Quad core, 2500 MHz, Krait 400 processor
3072 MB RAM
Size6.02 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches
(152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm)
5.71 oz  (162 g)

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