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OnePlus One (Retail) Unboxing and Hands-on

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A few weeks back, Tim had a chance to go hands-on with the OnePlus One, the incredibly affordable yet high-end phone from a Chinese semi-startup. The phones he played with, along with those used in countless reviews over the last month, were pre-production models of the white 16GB variant that probably weren’t ready for prime time. The device we just received today (thanks to an invite), which is an official retail version of the 64GB Sandstone Black variant, is probably much more ready to be shown off to the world.

So, let’s unbox it! 

There was a lot controversy surrounding its size, spec changes, invite system, delays due to software changes, and countless other things. I don’t know if all of that has been fully settled yet, but the company is indeed shipping phones to its early invitees.

Up until today, I had not had my hands on the OnePlus One. I had heard that it was big (maybe too big), buggy, and a phone that people will either love or hate, without much room to fall in-between those two extremes. After just a few minutes with it, even though it is huge, something about it is drawing me in. The textured back feels great, with the phone switched to on-screen buttons, it feels usable, and I am sort of excited to see where CyanogenMod has grown to after not having used it in quite some time.

Here is a quick unboxing and mini tour of my initial thoughts.

Don’t forget to drop any questions you have in the comments. We can test anything you would like to see tested at this point.

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  • Tommy

    Given its blistering performance, the OnePlus One is a phenomenal deal for a high-end smartphone, as long as it’s compatible with your network and you’re happy to compromise on customer support and slightly sketchy software. And if you have decided to become a proud owner of this device, perhaps you’re in the market for a solid and beautiful protection case as well.

    http://9cases.com/2014/06/best-and-cheap-oneplus-one-cases-2014/

  • Sometwo

    Full camera review please!

  • Cristian Beltrán

    se ve muy bien el dispositivo… y con cyanogenMod se puede modificar muchas cosas…
    quisiera que me inviten para poder presumir uno
    jaja

  • Bull Winkle

    This is all CGI. The phone doesn’t exist.

  • skrusrnmz

    Was wondering if the it supported MHL or Slimport? Was searching around and couldn’t find anything conclusive.
    Thanks!

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I am afraid I’m interested in things that won’t be a part of any initial review: durability/longevity and warranty exchange process.

  • JD

    Oppo Find 7 > OnePlus One

  • Guest

    Reminds me of Oppo Find 7.

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  • Azi

    black only available in 64GB ?

  • AngryBadger

    64GB on-board storage… nice :). I’d be happy with 32GB. Unless it has a microSD slot… 32GB or up for me.

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  • Marc Adam

    “With so much going for the phone, the LG G3 is currently the best smartphone you can get in the marketplace.” – CNET. Odds are that OnePlus won’t have their supply chain filled before the G3 hits the US market so no matter how good the OPO may be if you can’t get one, or can’t get one at the advertised price, it may as well not even exist.

  • M3D1T8R

    The capacitive buttons are backwards from standard Android (and typical on screen). I was about to rail on them for this, but then I had thr thought that this is for China and some other international markets where they like to have the buttons in this order (reading text goes right to left also). Then they have the normal on screen as an option.

    But then, come to think of it, why not just have a software option for reversing the on screen buttons? That’s the point of onscreen, they can change in different circumstances.

    So yeah, in conclusion, they must have just put the capacitive for peole who really like Samsung phones and their perennially terrible buttons.

    No thanks.

    • Paul Quirk

      I’m pretty sure with CM, you can set the capacitive buttons to do whatever you want them to do

      • M3D1T8R

        If true, great. But they still physically are shaped the way they are. A little confusing if you remap the back button to be where it’s lit up as recent apps, and vice versa. Turning off the backlight would maybe help, but still.

        • Scott Ricketts

          Check out the hands on videos, the backlight does turn off and it’s totally a black strip.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Steve Kondik, head of CM said that if it had been up to him they would’ve gone completely on-screen. But unfortunately, the Asian market love their capacitive keys for some strange reason.

      And yes, in CM you can move the software keys into whatever configuration you want.

  • Oblivion_of_Mediocrity

    the most amazing is how all these mediocrity-makers can’t even REPEAT the colors of their products in their ads, press renders, announcements and boxes.

    HTC phones are always have cameras without glass in ads and videos.
    LG can’t even describe used materials and colors properly.
    SAMSUNG creates fantasy pictures of their phones.
    Motorola launches pathetic mediocrity without even actually launching it.
    Oppo One Plus One Black stone was black UNTIL today. It’s gray!

    • Paul Quirk

      As far as I can recall, they’ve always called the color of the 64 GB phone “black sandstone”. If you google black sandstone and look at the images, they are all dark grey.

  • Scorch

    Does it over heat when playing games ?
    Could you test the voice wake up feature ?

  • needa

    speaker. call quality. and signal strength. i guess what i want to know is did they ‘skimp’ on the insides in order to give bang up specs?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      CM is awesome. It’s pretty much stock Android, with just a few tweaks. The new theme engine really opened things up for people who love customization.

  • Oliver

    I would like you to compare 2g, 3g and 4g signal strength between OnePlus One and the Nexus 5.

  • Cody

    When are they releasing the 5″ model? :D

  • flosserelli

    I know it’s early, but if no one at DL wants to keep it, how about a giveaway? :)

  • Jason Melling

    Too little too late. People have already moved on and have forgotten about this phone.

  • madkoda

    are the capacitive touch buttons always so dim or can you make them brighter?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      They’re always that dim.

  • ben

    I would love if you could test the always listening feature!

  • David Li

    Not a lot of phones have a micro sd card slot? All the galaxy phones (the vast majority of Android devices), the M8, Z2, Find 7, G3, G Pro 2, all have micro SD card slots.

    • Detonation

      This year’s flagships do, but the previous generation of flagships did not, other than the Galaxy line. Glad they’re making a comeback though.

  • Robert Young

    CAMERA COMPARISON! LG3,IPHONE5S, AND S5

    • http://androidbanget.com/ AndroidBanget.com

      vote for G3

      apdetgadget.com

  • digdug

    Battery life in comparison to Xperia Z2?

  • msk

    too much shimmy for me.

  • T_Dizzle

    Please test your ability to send it to me

  • Dan

    Wait for your review. Best flagship phone you can’t buy. LoL

  • Richard Jackson

    If you get a chance try out the Moto X like touchless control. The key work I think is “OK Snapdragon”. I know the pre-production model that feature it was flaky but I hope they got it working now.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      I hope they changed the keyword too.

      • Richard Jackson

        I hope you can choose it. I hope the same for the Moto x+1

        • NOTE4

          Motorola BY LENOVO made in China doesn’t bother you, right?

          • Jason B

            Most phone components are already made in China anyway. The X was only assembled in the US from Chinese made parts. Only the actual silicon is made elsewhere – like TSMC (Taiwan).

            Not sure what your point was though.

        • LionStone

          Yea I’d change it to, “Hey Fackwors!”, lol!

      • JD_26

        what if they made it “OK One+1″ and….

        the phone responds : for the last F^*@# time its TWO!!!

    • Richard Gao

      I think it’s “Hey Snapdragon”

      • Richard Jackson

        I think your right.

      • Jprime

        hey wackdragon?

      • tom riddle

        it’s “hey jackwagon”

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    I’ve followed this phone since January and rode the hypebeast pretty much the entire way. A few weeks ago I pretty much gave up on One+ because of how badly they butchered the launch of this device. At this point, I’m pretty sure the DL review will be the deciding factor for whether I buy this or not.

  • iNomNomAwesome

    Just wanna know about the Moto X2, I can’t imagine living without Active Display and the twist camera anymore

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Twist? Seriously? You’re pretty much the only person I’ve ever heard say they actually use that.

      • Matt

        I use twist as well.

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

          Wow, two people. Impressive.

          • Raven

            Me 3 and my wife 4. I do the twist as I pull it out of my pocket and it is ready to take a picture before I even have my arm up to aim. Especially useful for bypassing the PIN lock screen to take a picture.

          • Eric R.

            If you have an M8 all you need to do is have the phone landscape and press one of the volume buttons and the camera opens

          • Raven

            Does this work while the phone is locked, from the regular lock screen or from the PIN lock screen?

          • Abhijeet Mishra

            Same with the camera button on the Xperia Z1. IMO that button needs to make a comeback, launching the camera, taking a quick photo including focusing it with a half press, just improves the camera experience. Unfortunately, gimmicks like twisting phone, putting it in landscape mode and pressing volume, or clenching with fist to take a photo have taken its place. (People think camera button isn’t necessary and that it can be pressed by mistake, but that really doesn’t happen enough to justify not having it.)

          • Raven

            I agree with you there. I have always missed the dedicated camera button from my old OG Droid.

          • Jprime

            i use it too

          • Macalee Harlis Jr.

            my wife also uses it… you would be surprised the amount of people that use that feature. Its nice

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          • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

            The fact that I can twist, means that I don’t have to put the camera icon on my homescreen, or ever even look for it.

          • wolfedude88

            Someone has their panties in a bunch, wow!

            I used it as well when I had my moto x, very handy.

          • Dustin Kear

            I’m back on Nexus 5, but when I had my Moto X I used the twist basically every time I took a picture. You swung and missed on that one bro.

          • imlip

            i use it all the time.

          • JeffColorado

            My dog uses it. And my parakeet. Twist is awesome.

          • TYWIN

            lololol

          • Aaron

            I use it as well ALL the time. I never really open the camera up without using the twist feature. Why turn your screen on, find the camera button and click when you can launch the camera before you even get it completely out of your pocket. It really is a useless feature to a lot of people.

          • tom riddle

            i use it as well as my son….twist away!

      • https://www.facebook.com/christopher.johnsc chris_johns

        i use it all the time

      • https://www.facebook.com/christopher.johnsc chris_johns

        i even use it when the phones open and im using it and want to jump to the camera quick…works really well…i actually wont try a dif camera app although id like to because id lose this feature

      • djab

        I use twist camera all the time.

      • K

        What little software tweaks the Moto X has people tend to use…unlike Touchwiz which is overdone with gimmicky addons

      • sr_erick

        This is one of the best features of the Moto X. I use it all the time. I can’t remember the last time I actually used the camera icon to open the camera app. Twist = convenience.

      • Cody

        It’s one feature I miss when I switch to my G2.

      • TC Infantino

        I use the twist to open camera as well. It is fast and it lets you get those shots that you might miss if you have to take 5 or six steps to open the camera.

      • Lucky Armpit

        Me too. Can’t imagine opening the camera now any other way.

      • tdurden64111

        LOL! Trololo. Most convenient thing ever.

      • terry12s

        I use the twist all the time as well

      • Jeff C

        I use it all the time, I don’t even keep a camera icon on my dock anymore. It is the absolute quickest way to take a picture and it helps me get a lot of shots that I might otherwise miss.

    • Miguel Angel Portela

      I got tired of waiting and just opted for the Xiaomi Mi 3. Glad I did….

    • Tee

      Heck, I’d be scared to use the twist after reading all those customer complaints about the grommet/spacer around the front facing camera sliding around in there lol!

  • KeepItReal

    How much Chinese spyware does it come with?

    • Mr. No

      …wat…

  • bsinc1962

    Do you need to remove the back to put the sim card in?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      No.

      • bsinc1962

        Thank you

  • Muji Samovar

    “I wish they hadn’t done that [with the capacitive buttons]”

    That’s self-evident. Those that prefer on-screen buttons, self-evidently, prefer they did. That’s the WHOLE POINT OF THE OPTION.

    Between this and bitching about large phones, when the market clearly has expressed its feelings on the topic, is beyond pointless. You’ve amply peed on your territory with respect to these matters. Tell us something we don’t know about the product since you can actually handle the device. Kee-rist.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      You mad bro?

      • Muji Samovar

        Not particularly; I just find his “contrarianism”, if it can be called that, is getting one note and repetative.

        We come here for news and access. Telling me a 5.5″ phone is large is not news or access. With a very interesting phone like the One Plus (an upstart with top tier specs looking to break into the US market), I’d think he could spend his screen time telling us something slightly more insightful about his initial impressions about where this fits in the competitive landscape.

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

          Wow, you’re definitely mad.

          This was a simple unboxing, not a review. Chill your tits.

          • Muji Samovar

            Neither of us is him (wait…AM I?), so he can do with my criticism of his work as he will. If he’s going to go through the trouble of doing these, you’d think he’d want to make the most of it. Including re-hashed material from three month old blog posts seems like hot dog filler to me, but then again people like hot dogs. I’ve expressed my preference that he try and provide something substantive to get me to watch in future.

          • LionStone

            Yea I’d prefer they just open the sucker beforehand and cut all the tape so we don’t watch him struggle (use a knife?) and do all the set up so we don’t have to sit thru that, even for an ‘unboxing’.

  • Mark

    Can I have your phone? sick of waiting for an invite

  • jrop

    I would kind of like to see this compared to the Moto X (size/battery/performance). I know it’s a lot bigger, I just want to see how much bigger. The largest phone I’ve ever owned was 5″, and that was pushing it for my phone-size preference.

  • Michael

    Bear motion cases have the same texture. For anyone who that same feel.

  • shamatuu

    there are better phones coming out with the 805 and since they have a very strict rule on how to get one its not worth it at this point because when you do get one there will be one phone with the 805 chip.

    • Bryan Mills

      No phones have been announced with an 805, and there probably won’t be for a while.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      There really isn’t anyone left to release phones for a while. Moto is probably not going all powerful with the 805. First phone we’ll probably see that in is the Note 4. And I don’t think between 801 and 805 it makes much of a difference.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Better phones yes, and for nearly double the price. Are those said phone twice as good? Hell no.

      This is an awesome phone for an awesome price. It’s sad that the company behind it is shady as hell.

  • burkett375

    It came with CM? I thought there were issues and it was going to ship with Color?

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Looking forward to watching this video later. Really interested in what you guys think of build quality.

  • http://www.ytmnd.com MH

    How does it compare to the Note 3 size wise?

  • Daniel Walsh

    OnePlus is a huge joke and they’re pathetic.

    • Bryan Mills

      Oh, cause an unreleased phone is a joke, lol.

  • Orion

    Holy crap! An actual retail box lol.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Crazy, right? :P

  • JSo

    Why do people like “unboxings?” I always skip to where the phone is taken out. lol

    • MistaButters

      It’s like Christmas morning. We are living vicariously through Kellen.

      • Dustin Kear

        That is a great response…so true!

    • tom riddle

      is it strange that i like the sounds of cardboard and plastic being ripped apart…..

  • master94

    Thats pretty nice box. Too bad the device at this rate wont ever be out

  • SeanPlunk

    It’s a cool device. I hope once Verizon goes VoLTE stuff like this will be available for us too. Probably wishful thinking though, I’m sure Verizon will still find a way to lock things down :(

    As an aside, if anyone has a spare invite I have a buddy dying to get one for AT&T. Please let me know.

    • silver_arrow

      They will probably pull a Nexus 7 and just refuse to activate them in stores.

      • LionStone

        You got it…Verizon will never let this touch their network.

  • T4rd

    Even with the botched launch, if I wasn’t on Verizon and these were available in the next few months, I would still be pretty interested in it.

  • Bryan Mills

    So, you didn’t get an empty box? ;)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Heh nope, actually had all the goodies in there. :)