To be fair to the stagnant old world of Android, people are starting to think outside the box. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Project Ara, and even the YotaPhone with its e-ink secondary display on the back.
Similarly interesting is plucky young upstart OnePlus, which threatens to make significant waves tomorrow with the launch of the OnePlus One.
Who is OnePlus?
OnePlus was founded by former Oppo Vice President, Pete Lau, in December 2013, and for the past four months it’s been doing a significant amount of teasing about the imminent OnePlus One – the startup’s first smartphone. Indeed, the OnePlus One has been described as “perfect”.
Here’s the OnePlus motto; say it with me:
“TOO OFTEN WE MAKE COMPROMISES.
“TOO OFTEN WE MAKE TRADEOFFS.
“TOO OFTEN WE SETTLE.
“Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. But not always.
“Companies flood the market today with devices of all kinds. Some have the latest hardware, others have great software, and many come cheap. But all ultimately sacrifice something to cut cost and drive profit. Devices are now born from financial metrics and bottom lines rather than uncompromising passion and innovation.
“We believe in a world where product comes first, and everything else is secondary. We don’t accept the excuse that you can’t create a perfect phone at a killer price. We’re doing this right.
“Life’s too short to settle for anything less than excellence. Don’t compromise on the technology you bring into your life. Demand more. Demand better.
OnePlus One specs
Interestingly, as part of the extended launch campaign, we’ve been provided with a fairly comprehensive list of OnePlus One specs, and indeed there’s no sign of “settling” here.
For example, the OnePlus One was – at one time – earmarked for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, but OnePlus has upgraded the phone to the Snapdragon 801 – as found on the latest flagships from Samsung, HTC and Sony.
Other OnePlus One specs include a 5.5in 1080p display by Japan Display (401PPI), 3GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, 3,100mAh battery (non-removable; a removable battery would’ve come in at 2,500mAh, says OnePlus), and 16GB or 64GB internal storage (no microSD in either case).
As for operating system duties, the OnePlus One runs KitKat Android 4.4-based CyanogenMod 11S, which is specially made for the One. You can check out official CyanogenMod 11S screenshots at the OnePlus Forums.
OnePlus One design
Despite being incredibly forthcoming with specs and whatnot, the OnePlus One design has been kept largely under wraps until now. Well, mostly.
With just a few days till launch, the first OnePlus One pics have leaked, and appear to show a phone with a plastic body.
Many had hoped for HTC One M8-style aluminium, but then there’s the age-old argument that plastic is more durable, blah blah blah.
Actually, that brings me nicely to…
OnePlus One StyleSwap covers
Ready for another gigantic quote? This one concerns the OnePlus One’s Moto X-style interchangeable StyleSwap covers. Behold:
“Engineers and designers spend a lot of time creating the specific look for a phone, but then people tend to cover it up with a case. Don’t you think that it’s a pity to cover up a beautiful device? We believe that the appeal and beauty of a device should speak for itself. Adding size and bulk to a phone for protection is a thing of the past.
“With a number of different covers, you will still have the ability to customize your phone while continuing to protect it. The designs are elegant and attractive, but still durable and strong. You no longer have to sacrifice either protection or appearance to take care of your phone.
“To ensure the best look, feel, and level of protection, these covers will actually be made with their own respective materials (not silk or sandstone though).”
And here they are:
You’re looking at Denim, Bamboo and Kevlar. You’ll also be able to grab Silk and Sandstone StyleSwap covers, though obviously - as OnePlus says - the latter two aren't comprised of, like, actual silk and sandstone. That’d just be silly.
OnePlus One price and availability
Interested? Well, the good news is: the OnePlus One will officially be available in the UK, alongside Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.
Even better: OnePlus One price will come in at “less than £290” in the UK.
Who’s buying one?