OPPO N1: The first CyanogenMod Android smartphone is on its way

OPPO N1: The first CyanogenMod Android smartphone is on its way

Summary: CyanogenMod, the alternative Android operating system, finally has a smartphone to call its own: The OPPO N1.

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CyanogenMod, the popular alternative Android operating system for smartphones, has always been for people who wanted a newer version of Android for their older smartphones. Now, for the first time, Cyanogen, CyanogenMod's parent company, in partnership with Oppo, a high-end consumer electronics company, are about to release the first dedicated CyanogenMod smartphone: The OPPO N1.

OPPO N1
The OPPO N1: The first CyanogenMod Android-powered smartphone will soon be shipping.

We still don't have many details about the OPPO N1. The company currently sells the N1 White, which can be used with CyanogenMod. Presuming that the N1 for CyanogenMod will be like the N1 White seems like a safe bet so here's what we know about it.

The N1 White comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core 1.7GHz processor. It has a large, 5.9-inch Gorilla Glass 3 screen with a 1080x1920 display. At this size, it's really more of a phablet than a smartphone.

It comes with 2GBs of RAM and your choice of 16 or 32GBs of storage space. Its single most unusual feature is that it comes with a 13-megapixel rotating camera, which can rotate up to 206 degrees. With six physical lenses, a CMOS stacked image sensor, and an f/2.0 aperture, this is a smartphone that also wants to be a mid-range camera.

The phone's one problem is that it doesn't support LTE-based 4G. It does support HSPA+ 4G, which is available from AT&T and T-Mobile.  

The big news, of course, is that OPPO N1 will  also be the first smartphone to ship with CyanogenMod 10.2, Cyanogen's last Android 4.3 release. This combination has been approved by Google and it has passed Google's compatibility test suite (CTS). This, in turn, means you'll be able to load apps to it from the Google Play Store instead of having to side load them.

This wasn't easy. In a Google+ post, Cyanogen co-founder and CTO Steve Kondik, wrote that he "and a bunch of other guys have not slept for over a month now."

Besides the work they've been doing getting the N1 ready for release with Google's blessings, the Cyanogen tech team has also been working on a new Screencast app, encrypted texting, and CyanogenMod 11, their take on Android 4.4.

The Cyanogen business team has also been keeping busy. The company just added $23-million in Series B funding from a pair of venture capital firms.

As for the CyanogenMod smartphone, Oppo will start selling it on December 24th. If its pricing tracks the N1 White, the 16GB version will go for $599 while the 32GB model will cost you $649. If this sounds like the smartphone you want for the new year, don't wait. Kondik wrote, "This will be a limited-run device."

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Linux, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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12 comments
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  • freedom

    Now that's the definition of freedom in the android world found nowhere
    belgarionjorg
    • I hope they do well

      Now it's up to the phone-buying public, to see if they appreciate freedom by buying one of these.
      Vbitrate
  • I've never understood why phone makers are so weird about that

    yes, I get they want to sell the new handset. But users can't do that for every new OS release, practically. So why not make the phone a more pleasant experience and push down the updates? If they're afraid of carriers, then they can require it to happen WiFi only.

    Cyanogen Mod wouldn't be needed if phone makers were not so thick headed about this.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Bricked phones = lower revenue for the carriers?

      Perhaps that's why they are a bit more careful about rolling out updates...
      brian@...
      • No

        The carriers want phones loaded (down) with their bloatware.
        cHarley1200
        • Not really...

          They want people to buy new phones for the latest version.
          Unbiased4You
  • To me, AOSP-based CyanogenMod is MUCH more interesting than either

    Android used in OHA-manufactured devices, including Google's Nexus devices, or AOSP-based Android used in Amazon's AOSP-based kit (the carousel). And not just more interesting, also more secure.

    And while I'm not a Google fan with its thirst for users data, kudos to Google for the Android compatibility test suite (CTS). This is what the equivalent test suite for Java should have been like with Sun and, currently, Oracle.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • What a GREAT idea

    Alternative to nexus. I would like to load cyanogen, but I´m too scared. I wish it was as easy as loading linux on a pc...
    simon@...
    • maybe..

      .you could try setting cyanogen on an older phone first, to see if you can do it. I was
      thinking about that too but not done it yet.
      larry9
    • It's easier than ever to upgrade to CyanogenMod

      They've made the installation so easy Google "requested" they take the installer down from Google Play (even tho you still need a computer to complete the process).

      Just go to CyanogenMod.org. Click the "Get Started" button and it will walk you thru the 4 step process.

      I have installed CyanogenMod on my G1, Galaxy S and Galaxy S2. I'm going to try the installer I mentioned above on my Asus Transformer TF300.
      tallbruva
  • not data-plan free

    The problem is, the cell companies will *STILL* screw you over on their data plans with this phone. Once they see it's a "smartphone", they'll stick you with data plans, regardless of whether or not it has 4G, or even whether or not you'd even *want* to use cellular data (rather than sticking to WiFi-only if you want to use online functionality). Thanks, but I'll stick with my flip-phone until they stop making them, then I'll just get rid of cellular service.
    jelabarre
  • Ubuntu Mobile

    I've been a CyanogenMod fanatic in the past and it certainly is a great alternative to the Google Android option. However, recently I have been lucky enough to trial/test a mobile device running Ubuntu and I've gotta say its a REALLY pleasant surprise!!! It is second-to-none in usability and has some powerful features. Some aspects need attention like hooking into the whole Google eco system and a few games seemed to play a bit more sluggish than an Android/Apple competitor - although I admit that may be to do with the hardware which is not very high-spec.

    Still love CyanogenMod but will maybe reserve a seat for Ubuntu at my table when some devices start shipping.
    free-your-software