OnePlus, the Chinese mobile startup founded late last year by former Oppo VP Pete Lau, has formally launched its first flagship phone, the OnePlus One. OnePlus has steadily hyped the device in the five months since it was founded, but today the company’s announced that the One will be available to select users in the US, UK, and various European and Asian countries beginning on April 25.
Much like HTC’s hero device of the same name, the One doesn’t skimp on the spec sheet. It sports a Snapdragon 801 chipset — the same one found in the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S5 and other recent flagships — with a quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3 GB of RAM, a 3,100 mAh non-removable battery and either 16 or 64 GB of storage space. NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band WiFi, and support for almost every LTE and WCDMA bands are all built-in as well.
The One’s 5.5-inch, Gorilla Glass 3 display makes it rather large, but its 1080p resolution should keep everything on screen sufficiently sharp. On the back of the phone lies a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor sensor with dual LED flash capabilities, while a 5-megapixel shooter sits on its front. Software wise, the One comes running a lightly skinned version of CyanogenMod 11S, a customized new version of the popular Android mod, rather than Android 4.4 itself.
Outside of software and specs, the One also looks to be taking some chances when it comes to its physical frame. It’s relatively thin (8.9 mm) and light (162g) for a 5.5-inch device, and its back is made of a curved, black or white cashew casing that can be replaced by wooden, Kevlar, and denim equivalents, a la the Moto X. Those alternative backs, which OnePlus dubs “StyleSwap” covers, will be available later this year.
The most aggressive piece of the OnePlus One’s pitch, though, may be its price: the 16 GB model will be available for just $300 unlocked, undercutting the similarly inexpensive yet powerful Nexus 5 by a full $50. What’s more, OnePlus will offer the 64 GB model for only $50 extra. The first few Ones will launch through a limited, invite-based promotion on OnePlus’ website, with a full launch coming sometime shortly thereafter.
On paper — and it’s important to stress that — the device looks like it could be one of the better values on the market today, especially in the eyes of smartphone enthusiasts. We’ll hold off on any final judgments until we spend more time with the device, though. For now, you can find more details at the source link below.