OnePlus opens pre-orders for its $300 CyanogenMod phone

Next Monday OnePlus will start taking pre-orders via its website, offering those with and without invites the chance to buys its flagship.

Image: OnePlus

Anyone keen on OnePlus One, the low-cost CyanogenMod powered-phone with flagship specs, will be able to order it during a one-hour window on October 27.

Having so far managed orders for the OnePlus One via a tricky invites-based system, OnePlus is now offering an easier way for fans to buy the phone, which offers high-end features at a mid-range price. The 16GB version of the One costs $300 while the 64GB edition costs $349, and has similar specs to the $600 flagships from Samsung, LG, and HTC. The OnePlus One runs on the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod.

OnePlus's new pre-order system will go live on October 27 at 15:00 GMT (08:00 PST, 11:00 EST), giving anyone the opportunity to place an order — handy for those who haven’t managed to snag an invite, say, by befriending well-connected users on the OnePlus forums. The Monday launch however comes with a few catches: pre-orders will be open taken for just one hour and limited to one device per person.

OnePlus says it's not abandoning the invites-based system and if fans have an invite, they can get their devices faster. However, the new pre-order system is aimed at taking the OnePlus One to a wider audience.

"While the pre-order system won't completely replace the current invites method, it is certainly a huge step towards expanding the reach of OnePlus," it says.

"If you get an invite after submitting your pre-order, you can use it to skip the queue and get your device shipped right away."

The fact that it is opening pre-orders, albeit in a limited way, suggests the growing confidence in the company that it can manage its inventory levels which, given the fact it's decided to "forego hardware margins", will be fairly important for its survival.  

According to OnePlus, in October it sent out batches of 20,000 and 30,000 invites as a way of testing whether its servers were up to the task of taking orders en masse. 

For those unfamiliar with the OnePlus, it's basically the hacker's dream phone. The 5.5-inch HD display device offers fairly broad LTE support in the US and Europe, and is kitted out with a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor.

It differs from many other Android smartphones by having a non-removable 3,100mAh battery and no microSD slot. With $50 separating the 16GB and 64GB model, the latter of the two would seem the wiser choice. The other key features are that it ships with the custom Android ROM CyanogenMod and is certified for Google Mobile Services. And for the hackers out there, warranties won't be voided if they opt to root the device.

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