The OnePlus One has been one of the most hyped smartphones of 2014. There's really not much else to be said, as OnePlus' marketing has been quite noticeable amongst Android enthusiasts. The OnePlus One seems to come from nowhere, although there is a noticeable resemblance to the Oppo Find 7A which is produced in the same factory. The OnePlus One is said to be a flagship killer, as its high-end specs come with a mid-range price. The 16GB version starts at 299 USD and the 64GB version starts at 349 USD. With a 5.5" 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 SoC, and plenty of other bits and pieces to go around, the specs are certainly enough to make it into a flagship phone. Of course, the real question is whether it really is. After all, while specs provide the foundation, what makes a phone bad, good, or great has to do with the entire phone, not just the spec sheet. At any rate, I've attached this spec sheet below to give an idea of what to expect from the phone.

  Oppo Find 7a OnePlus One
SoC MSM8974ABv3 2.3 GHz
Snapdragon 801
MSM8974ACv3 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 801
Display 5.5” 1080p IPS LCD (JDI) 5.5” 1080p IPS LCD (JDI)
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE)
Dimensions 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm, 170 grams 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 162 grams
Camera 13MP (4128 x 3096) Rear Facing, 1/3.06" CMOS size (Sony IMX214), F/2.0, 5MP FFC w/ F/2.0 aperture 13MP (4128 x 3096) Rear Facing, 1/3.06" CMOS size (Sony IMX214), F/2.0, 5MP FFC w/ F/2.0 aperture
Battery 2800 mAh (10.64 Whr) 3100 mAh (11.78 Whr)
OS Android 4.3 with ColorOS Android 4.4.4 with CyanogenMod 11S
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, DLNA, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, DLNA, NFC
SIM Size MicroSIM MicroSIM

Needless to say, the OnePlus One is a close cousin of the Find 7a, and its specs are top notch. There's a great foundation, so we'll move on with some initial hardware impressions.

Of course, the first part to look at is industrial and material design, along with any other immediate observations about the phone. From the front, the phone is almost a pure expanse of black glass. There are outlines for the capacitive keys, but these are quite faint most of the time. The contrast of the silver plastic ring only emphasizes this, and the lack of logos helps to make the design stand out by virtue of its minimalism. Picking it up, the feel of the sandstone black finish is incredibly unique and unlike anything I've ever felt. The finish has been described as soft sandpaper, and that's a description I'd agree with. It makes the phone feel much grippier than one might expect. The back cover is also strong, with no real give and no flex. Other than a few logos, the only significant design elements on the back are the camera, dual LED flash, and a hole for the microphone. The front of the phone has surprisingly great attention to detail as well. The silver plastic piece on the front of the phone makes the finger smoothly roll off of the display when swiping around, and the imperceptible feel of the earpiece helps to contribute to the sense that this is a single, well-built phone.

On the sides, the minimalistic theme continues. There's only a power button on the right side, a headphone jack and microphone port on the top, and a volume rocker on the left side. The SIM tray is also on the left side, and on the bottom of the phone we see two speakers, a USB port, and a microphone hole. In general, the feel of the power and volume buttons are great, with no slack and a clean, if subdued click upon activation.

Needless to say, OnePlus has done a fantastic job. However, there are a few issues to talk about. First, the size is definitely too much to handle. If the LG G3 was at the very edge between a phone and phablet, the OnePlus One firmly steps into phablet territory. At some point a line in the sand has to be drawn, and it only makes sense to do so here. The angular corners of the OnePlus One combined with its larger footprint makes for a phone that is almost impossible to comfortably use with one hand. I can't help but feel that this would've been a far more impressive phone if shrunk to a 5" display size, as in my experience it takes two hands to comfortably use this phone. The other issue is much more subtle though. For some reason or another, the glass lens covering the display of the phone feels as if it has noticeably higher friction than other phones I've used. It almost feels as if the oleophobic treatment of the glass is either missing or thinner than most. Of course, overall the phone is great from a basic design perspective. The size seems to be a matter of OnePlus' start-up position and the need to share parts with the Find 7a, although the feel of the glass is unlikely to be an issue for most.

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  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, November 22, 2014 - link

    How bout a Samsung Alpha review? The >5" space doesn't suit me.
  • MDX - Sunday, November 23, 2014 - link

    So, in summary, you liked the phone but cyanogen had too many options? I'm pretty sure this phone is targeting those who enjoy the additional privacy and options provided by Cyanogen. Anandtech as a whole seems to conveniently ignore the privacy issue as a whole (very disappointing, btw) but to do that for this review is to completely ignore one of the main reasons why this phone has become so popular. Yes, one can put cyanogenmod on most any android device, but not everyone has the will or the know-how to do so.
  • madwolfa - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link

    "..the first to kill the concept of a 650 USD"... but what about Nexus??
  • Narg - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link

    They should have used Windows Phone for the OS, then it would have been 100% polished and virus free...
  • Rashkae - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link

    So, why not review the Sony Z3 as well?
  • Chostakovitch - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    Here si an invite which have 12 hours left: GLVT-FMIA-VRIY-JQHG.

    I am a happy customer of this product since 3 weeks. I planned to buy the Nexus 6 but changed my mind because the hefty price tag.

    I am an AnandTech reader since the 440BX days.

    I don't agree reviewer point about software. For example, I am so happy to be able to block by default all the intrusive apps request to personal stuff as localization, address book, journal logs, photos and so on. CyanogenMod is a must.

    It is sad that OnePlus plan to use their colorOS for their next flagship killer.

    Finally, this is true that the device height is a bit too big for me but since it is a bit less than iPhone 6 plus, this is acceptable. Anyways, I bet everyone will follow the band wagon and change their small iPhone 4/5 for phablet within the next two years.
  • nasqb112 - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    I should have posted this earlier, but I was able to purchase the 1+1shortly after it was released. After having used it for a while, I can confidently say this is one of the best phones I have ever used. It feels like a very premium device and the grey, fine-sandpaper textured back does wonders for grip. At first I felt it was a little too big (I feel 4.7 - 5.0 is the sweet spot) but I quickly got used to it. The screen quality is great as well as the sound (obviously not as good as HTC One). As a fairly heavy user, the battery is up to task. It last all day and I come home with a solid amount of battery left (around 40%). To get an idea of my typical day: GPS high accuracy is always on and I use the phone for emails, texts, google maps/yelp, Uber/Lyft, watching movies/shows and reading kindle books during commute to and from work.

    In terms of the software, Cyanogen Mod is highly customizable and response time for launching apps and switching screens is fast. I have recently (over the past 2 weeks) had a couple of glitches but these were minimal such as the lock screen being unresponsive until I pressed the power button down again to wake it up.

    I live in NYC and have used the phone on both T-Mo and AT&T. It was as simple as popping in a SIM card and the phone worked right away. I was impressed as I expected to have to switch up a lot of settings. Call quality is good, especially on AT&T. I wish there was a version of this phone that supported VZ bands!

    If you have the opportunity to purchase this phone, I say pull the trigger! Paying $350 for 64gb is a great deal considering this is a premium device from a new company with great support. The forums are very active so you can get help quite quickly if you need it. As a guy who switches his phone around once per year (awesome corporate phone policy!), the 1+1 was awesome enough to keep me from switching to an iPhone 6+ as well as the Nexus 6 so it is a great device. I highly recommend it!
  • Dark._.Knight - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    My phone One Plus One charge to 100% took time 5\6 hour. Why? First charge took8/9hours. Now 5/6 hours? It happen to all one plus one phone user?

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