OnePlus announces Android smartphone with better specs than new flagships at half the price

OnePlus announces Android smartphone with better specs than new flagships at half the price

Summary: OnePlus just announced their OnePlus One high end Android smartphone with specs that beat the S5 and HTC One (M8) with a price starting at just $299.

OnePlus announces Android smartphone with better specs than new flagships at half the price
(Image: OnePlus)

I recently reviewed the HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5, but have a tough time justifying the $700 price when you can find great devices for half the price. One new contender was revealed that has specifications even greater than these two flagship devices. The OnePlus One will launch in May using an invite-only system.

CNET had a chance to get some hands-on time with this $299 Android smartphone and I recommend you take a look at their image gallery. The OnePlus One looks similar to the Nexus 5, but has even more impressive internal specifications.

The device runs CyanogenMod 11S, which is based on Android 4.4 and looks a lot like a stock Android device. It will be available for $299 for a 16GB white model and just $50 more ($349) for a whopping 64GB black model. I am glad I waited to buy a new phone as this may be my next Android.

Specifications of the OnePlus One include:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor at 2.5 GHz
  • 3GB of RAM (both the S5 and One only have 2GB)
  • 5.5 inch 1080p IPS Gorilla Glass 3 display
  • 13 megapixel Sony camera with dual LED flash and 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • Integrated stereo speakers
  • 3,100 mAh battery
  • Dimensions of 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm and 162 grams
(Image: OnePlus)

This new phone looks too good to be true with specifications beating out the new flagship models priced twice as much. It looks like the only thing missing is water resistance.

As stated in their press release:

The first 100 OnePlus Ones will be available through the OnePlus Phone Smash, starting April 25th. OnePlus fans can go to to apply to smash their current phone in exchange for a OnePlus One. 100 lucky applicants will get the very first 100 OnePlus Ones for just $1 as well as the ability to invite their friends to buy the OnePlus One.

I have a lot of phones available in my collection and I would be willing to smash a couple to get a chance to pick one up so I signed up to enter this Phone Smash lottery. Given the phone is so inexpensive, make sure you can't just sell your existing phone and buy one before you go smashing an iPhone 5S or something.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

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  • Specs

    IMO, all phones are fast enough nowadays. This has been true for a while.

    To me there are features that are much more important than processor speed, and even screen resolution, altough a minimum of 400 ppi is niche. These are features like battery life (anything below 48 hours is rubbish), microSD, always-on clock on the display, the ability to copy arbitrary files via USB cable, USB charging, Miracast (as in "actually working" not "ticked a box on a spec sheet"), 2+ years of updates to current OS versions, complete absence of irremovable crapware, decent screen size (4.5-5.5 inches), IR port along with very easy to use software to control various IR devices (not having to press 5 buttons to manually decide which device is being controlled) ...

    Obviously, there's no phone released or about to be released that has all of those.
    • Galaxy Note 3

      Apart from the guaranteed 2 years of update, Note 3 has all that. The always on clock can easily be achieved with a daydream AMOLED widget and the AMOLED screen uses minimal power to display just the time.
    • oh the removable crapware

      Can all be disabled without rooting. Uninstalling them would need root.
      • Almost

        I found Miracast does not work reliably on that device, crapware is worse than any other device I know of and gets even worse with every update, the always on clock (daydream) is only on when charging, and at least the samsung IR software is a nightmare if you frequently switch between devices (I'm sure there has to be a good app for that somewhere).
        It does have the USB functionality, battery life, microSD, and I'd consider it to be extremely likely to get 2+ years of updates.
  • except battery it is not beating S5 of HTC One

    except battery it is not beating S5 of HTC One, we can not trust the hardware so much from first time makers. Specs are relevant but not advanced then the current gen phones.
    • Better specs

      Looking at the HTC One (M8), the OnePlus One has a better rear camera, larger battery, higher clocked processor, and option for 64GB internal storage.

      Looking at the S5, the OnePlus One has a better front facing camera, larger battery, and option for 64GB internal storage.

      When you consider this is also half the price of the other two then it is definitely a device to consider.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • The Price Difference

    Beats out any small quibble you may have with this phone.
    luke mayson
  • specifications that beat flagships?

    Apart from the 3gb RAM, there isn't any other spec that beats other flagship phones.
    S5 has every other specification beating this phone and a Note3 trumps it in every way except the newer SD801 overclocked CPU.
    The S5 beat it with more sensors (barometric, temperature, heart rate, fingerprint), glove operable touchscreen, waterproof, removable battery, Infrared sender, USB3, QI charging.....list goes on
    It's not really a flagship spec device apart from the CPU. Rather a second tier phone with a flahship CPU.
    • The specs are close

      So close that most would not even notice if one is better than the other. I think the camera is better on the OnePlus.

      But then its 1/2 the price with 0 bloat running an OS that should have updates for years to come.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • I like Cyanogenmod

    After a few mistakes (non-existent updates & junkware on Samsung) I said I'd only ever buy 'Nexus' Android products, but the Oneplus-one is an exception. Out of curiosity I installed Cyanogenmod on my old Galaxy Nexus when I got my new Nexus 5 and it gave a better experience than the OS it replaced. I'll probably buy this.
  • Back button is on the right side?

    Why for the love of god, would they place the BACK button on the right side of the home button?

    Why the need to defy Android interface guidelines? This phone is nearly perfect in every way, yet.... Back button on right.... Sigh.

    Sometimes being different isn't smart folks.
    • BACK button on the right side

      If that's true I've just changed my mind - not buying it if those folks are so idiotic that they've swapped the button locations just for fun - Nexus thanks.
  • Crass decadence

    Smash something that most people in the world could never afford to buy? Pretty sick! (meant in the literal sense rather than as moronic youth double speak)