OnePlus One

OnePlus: The One by OnePlus is impressive, especially considering it sports flagship hardware and asks just US$299 for the 16GB “Silk White” version and $349 for the 64GB “Sandstone Black” version, both of which will be available some time in Q2’14. The prices are for unlocked, contract-free units. Here are some specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch 1920×1080 LTPS IPS LCD by Japan Display Inc. (JDI) with CABC and Display RAM (DRAM), Touch On Lens (TOL), and Gorilla Glass 3
  • Viewing Angles: 178/178
  • SoC: 2.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 578MHz Adreno 330 GPU
  • RAM: 3GB 1866MHz LP-DDR3
  • Storage: 16GB (Silk White), 64GB (Sandstone Black)
  • Cellular Connectivity: LTE 1/3/4/7/17/38/40 (AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.)
  • WiFi: 2.4/5GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Miracast (WiFi Display)
  • Bluetooth: 4.1
  • Camera: 13 megapixel Sony Exmor IMX214, dual LED flash, f/2.0 6-element lens, and 5 megapixel 80° viewing angle front-facing
  • Video Capture: 720p at 120fps – 4K
  • Battery: 3100 mAh LiPo

Japan Display Inc. (JDI) was formed when Sony Mobile Display, Toshiba Mobile Display, and Hitachi Displays was merged in April 2012. JDI’s focus is on small and medium sized LTPS displays and manufactures them in its two LTPS fabs in Japan.

Touch On Lens (TOL) is also known as One-Glass Solution (OGS), Sensor On Cover (SOC), Sensor On Lens (SOL), Direct Patterned Windows (DPW), and a few more. With TOL an ITO layer is deposited directly underneath the cover lens of the touch panel eliminating a sheet of glass making the overall solution thinner, lighter, and optically clearer. TOL is the alternative to embedded in-cell touch solutions, which is used in the iPhone 5s.

In addition to awesome hardware for a dirt cheap price, the One comes loaded with CyanogenMod, an aftermarket distribution based on Android OPS (Open Source Project), specifically version 11S based on Android 4.4. CyanogenMode claims performance and reliability increases over ROMs released by Google, T-Mobile, HTC, etc. Although I have not personally installed CM, I have been involved in a startup that is working toward bringing hardware-based secure communications using CM, which I have come to trust as one of the few Android distributions that take privacy seriously.

The hardware on the One looks pretty good, but I’ll need to see real life performance reviews especially for the display and the camera before I’m sold. If all goes well for the One the 64GB in Sandstone Black for $349 is a steal.