Is The OnePlus One A Nexus 5 Killer?

Say hello to the oddly named OnePlus One: a high-spec new phone from a Shenzhen-based company (not to be confused with the HTC One) that runs a CyanogenMod version of Android straight out of the box.

The hardware’s certainly impressive. It packs a Snapdragon 801 with a quad-core 2.5GHz CPU, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM, while the display is a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD panel protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3. Also packed inside is a 3100mAh battery, 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera and 5-megapixel wide-angle front facer. In terms of connectivity, you have NFC, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS along with LTE and WCDMA support for most of the world. Phew.

The design is sleek too. It’s subtle curves taper from 8.9mm thickness in the centre down to 4.6mm at the edges, and the white and black variants come with a special coating — supposedly made from powdered cashew nuts — which give it a soft, strokable finish. You can also swap off the covers for versions made from wood, kevlar or, errr, denim. We didn’t say the design was perfect.

On the silicon runs CyanogenMod 11S, where the S signals that it’s a special build for the phone. Essentially a plain Android ROM, CyanogenMod is favoured by Android enthusiasts because it’s so tweakable, and this is the first full-production phone to ship with it. It’s refreshing change from heavily skinned devices, and means that the device is clearly squaring up to Google’s Nexus range.

And here’s the kicker: The unsubsidised price for the phone is $US300 for the 16GB model and $US350 for the 64GB version. That aggressively undercuts the Nexus 5 — which retails at $US350 for 16GB or $US400 for 32GB version. Of course, whether that’s too good to be true or the bargain of the century will have to wait for a review to find out. Fingers crossed. [Engadget]