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OnePlus One Review

OnePlus One 8.6

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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.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
OnePlus One 23780.6
OPPO Find 7a 21584
LG G3 23551
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22270
Higher is better
OnePlus One 37599.6
OPPO Find 7a 36694
LG G3 30634
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 31543
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
OnePlus One 1714.3
OPPO Find 7a 1330.67
LG G3 1322
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1214
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
OnePlus One 2841.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2310
Lower is better
OnePlus One 929.9
OPPO Find 7a 744.3
LG G3 947.2
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 599
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
OnePlus One 11.8
OPPO Find 7a 10.6
LG G3 7.5
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 9.77
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
OnePlus One 1190
OPPO Find 7a 1120
LG G3 951
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1033.6
View all

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.

  • Options

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:15 19

1. Duketytz (Posts: 534; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)

You caught the legendary Pokémon! Well done Chris!

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:27 17

3. alltechinside (Posts: 248; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)

Even Legendary Pokemons are easier to find lmfao

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 14:12 1

25. Jinto (Posts: 436; 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: 1280; 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: 1280; 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 12

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

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

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 09:35 8

5. jellmoo (Posts: 2000; 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 10

9. Rydsmith (unregistered)

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

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:49 4

16. jellmoo (Posts: 2000; 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 3

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 1

19. jellmoo (Posts: 2000; 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 3

24. Jinto (Posts: 436; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

No, its a random # generator

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 10:04 2

11. o0Exia0o (Posts: 901; 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 10

20. jellmoo (Posts: 2000; 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: 901; 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 3

6. Grenmad (Posts: 35; 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: 1064; 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: 107; 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 1

22. jove39 (Posts: 1968; 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: 1070; 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)


Is much better, with class prestige materials

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 11:26

21. Neo_Huang (Posts: 1067; 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: 436; 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: 1062; 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

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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OnePlus One

OnePlus One

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