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OnePlus One Review

OnePlus One

Posted: , posted by Chris P.

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Interface and functionality

If you ever felt like stock Android is great, but could do with some extra functionality, then look no further than the OnePlus One's CyanogenMod OS.

Alongside the One's affordable price tag and interesting pick of materials for its body, the CyanogenMod 11S OS based off Android 4.4.2 KitKat driving the OnePlus One is among its defining points.

There's a lot to talk about here, but those of you who have utilized the custom ROM before will know what it brings to the table for the most part. The CyanogenMod version on the One has seen some noteworthy changes over the many ports available for a wealth of devices, but, at its core, we're talking about the same piece of code.

Looking at this holistically, the OS is a lot about emulating the stock Android feel without diminishing what makes it great – speed and ease of use. Instead, the CyanogenMod team has built on top of it, and in areas the team felt need changes. To that end, the software is basically like vanilla Android with a defining layer of customizations perched on top – the UI is skinned to an extent (essential apps only have a new icon, they're identical with stock Android on the inside), and you get a host of new features that you simply can't get with Google's original version.

For example, the built-in Trebuchet launcher allows for quite some visual customizations – you can choose between many homescreen transition effects, assign specific actions to buttons when on the lockscreen (i.e. long-press the home key starts the music player), and customize the quick toggles in the notification pull-down menu. There are also a few available status bar customizations, like the ability to show battery percentage (why is this still not core Android functionality?) and to switch the icon. While still on the topic of looks, the included Themes Showcase app allows you to browse hundreds of themes (paid or free) that can be downloaded and applied to the OnePlus One with a few clicks.

The CyanogenMod team is also fairly big on security, so the OnePlus One has advanced features in this area. For example, control over which apps can access personal data, like your contacts list, is easy and straightforward with Privacy Guard, and you can even enable the so-called WhisperPush service, which encrypts text messages. Lastly, blacklisting phone numbers from calling you or sending you text messages is baseline with the software.

On the whole, we quite like what we're treated to here – the extra layer of functionality is minimal, but somewhat liberating, and does not come at the expense of speed. That's right, app load times and navigation are both top notch.

Processor and memory

This is what we call true no-compromise performance.

In terms of processing might, the OnePlus One is right up there, with the best there is currently. Its powerful, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974-AC) chip makes use of four 2.5GHz Krait cores and an Adreno 330 GPU, both of which deliver outstanding performance. Also helpful in that regard is the 3GB RAM module on board, which makes the OnePlus One kind of future-proof.

As can be expected from such a configuration, the One runs whatever you throw at it with ease and finesse. Even the most graphically-complicated 3D games do not strain the processor, and we're yet to see it allow stutters. This, as we pointed out in the previous section, extends to general UI navigation, which is done without a hitch. The OnePlus One really is a no-compromise device in this regard.

As for memory, there are currently two versions available, both with 3GB of RAM on board: a Silk White model with 16GB of internal storage, and the Sandstone Black edition we have on hand, with 64GB of storage. And no, there's no microSD card slot to be found anywhere.


Internet and connectivity

No complaints here.

Like most mainstream devices nowadays, the OnePlus One comes with Google's Chrome browser pre-loaded. That's a good thing, seeing as Chrome has become something of a reliable benchmark as far as browsing on your mobile goes.

Again, as can be expected from such a hardware configuration, page load times, rendering and navigation are all fluid, and leave nothing to desire at this point. 

As for connectivity, the phone comes with FDD LTE coverage for bands 1, 3, 4, 7, and 17. When LTE isn't available, the phone reverts back to the now older, 3G HSPA+ standard, meaning speeds of up to 42.1 Mbps. Looking at the rest, we've also got support for NFC, MHL, DLNA, A-GPS, 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and USB 2.0.

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OnePlus One

OnePlus One

OS: Android 6.0 5.1 4.4.4 4.4
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.6Excellent
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz, Krait 400 processor
3 GB 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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