Leaked images reveal the OnePlus One - the “best smartphone ever”, apparently

In just a few days’ time, on April 23, OnePlus will finally unveil its first handset, after weeks of dropping little hints and nuggets of information about the device, one Facebook post at a time. The company was apparently intending to save the big reveal of the handset itself for the launch event on Wednesday but, as is so often the way, leaked images have apparently outed the device prematurely.

Android Authority has published a series of images that first appeared on the OnePlusBBS.com forums, which give us the first clear look at what is believed to be the new OnePlus One. The site cautions that it cannot confirm the authenticity of the images, but they certainly appear to support what we already know about the device.

The aesthetic of the handset, as Android Authority notes, is not dissimilar to Oppo’s design language. This is no great surprise, given that OnePlus was founded by Pete Lau, former vice-president of Oppo. Lau was instrumental in bringing CyanogenMod to Oppo’s handsets; this is the same Android-based user experience that will run on the OnePlus One.

 
OnePlus One's interface is a modified version of CyanogenMod (images via weibo.com/cnsellin)

The leak has also given us our first look at the StyleSwap covers that adorn the rear of the device. Numerous options will be available, including bamboo, denim and Kevlar. Lau said of the covers last month: “The designs are elegant and attractive, but still durable and strong. No matter how often you like to change the look of your phone, there will always be a cover that will fit the mood.”

OnePlus has promised that the device will feature “better-than-everything industrial design”, and the entire raison d’être of the handset is predicated on the idea that customers should “never settle” for anything less than “the perfect phone at a disruptive price”.

At less than $400 in North America, €350 in Europe and £290 in the United Kingdom, that pricing may well prove very appealing for those seeking a high-end device at relatively low cost. With a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC, 5.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM, 3100mAh battery, 13MP camera and up to 64GB of onboard storage, the One will significantly undercut rival flagships on price, despite closely matching them on specs.

However, if you’re reading this and shouting “shut up and take my money!” in the hopes of getting your hands on the new handset, you may be disappointed to hear that OnePlus has made the whole process of purchasing the device spectacularly complicated.

The company has decided that the pre-order system - widely used by manufacturers and retailers, and well-understood by customers - is not good enough, claiming that pre-orders often result in “a long time between paying for your order and actually having it shipped.” Instead, OnePlus says it has “solved these problems” by instituting an ‘invite system’. The only way to get an invite to purchase the OnePlus One is “through friends, contests, and on [the company’s] forum.”

Unsurprisingly, OnePlus has faced some backlash among those who have been eagerly awaiting the device for months, not just because it appears that they'll have to wait a lot longer to be able to buy one, but also in response to the confusing nature of the system, and lingering ambiguity over how invites will be made available. One potential customer, John Cservek, voiced his dissatisfaction on the company’s Facebook page:

You’ve introduced this system in an effort to give consumers a less frustrating way to purchase the OnePlus One. Nothing is more frustrating for a consumer than being told they will need to execute a process they don’t understand in order to spend their money.”

Cservek is not alone – plenty of others have also expressed their disappointment over the invite system, with many saying that they would rather buy a handset elsewhere than have to wait indefinitely. 

Source: OnePlusBBS.com / Android Authority via Engadget | images via OnePlusBBS.com unless stated 

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47 Comments

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Well, these guys do know how to market. They sell an phone with some fancy covers as if it's the next best thing. This is a run of the mill Chinese phone you'll find all over alibaba.com. You can buy them wholesale at about $115 a piece when you order 3000 probably quite a bit less when you order more.

They look like you can just snap them on.

The wood grain one looks like it was peeled off the side of a minivan though.

Price - good
Spec - great
OS - Android, and not only that, my favourite modification of Android too. (Cyanogenmod)

The phone has my attention lets just say, could be a tempting upgrade from my ageing Galaxy Nexus.

Indeed thats the only thing that screams "no" at me, i think it might honestly end up just been too big. Specs, OS and Price though ticks all the box's.

On screen buttons would be nice, however would not be a deal breaker for myself.

The capacitive buttons are a deal breaker for me. Nexus devices have spoiled me.

Additionally, the non-standard version of Cyanogenmod is a big "meh" in my opinion. I'm sure there will be a "vanilla" Cyanogenmod at some point.

siah1214 said,
These people are a lot of talk. Already can't be the perfect smartphone, it doesn't run 8.1.

I would personally say that's one of the things that makes it a potential perfect phone.

InsaneNutter said,

I would personally say that's one of the things that makes it a potential perfect phone.

Have you tried 8.1? It is It really is the perfect OS. Smooth as butter, super easy to use, looks awesome and now has all the features people requested. Microsoft outdid themselves and created an OS that takes everything people love, put in into a better package and add the unique WP features. They should have called it WP9 or perhaps WP10 just to put it in perspective. For example I love the way they implemented swipe. So much simpler and its also the best swipe I've ever used.

Noone denies it, but the only colour that exists in WP is BLACK/White. You can set custom colours etc, but that won't make anyone to buy it. Plus, the minimalistic squares are boring.

On the other hand, on Android you can flash everything, even your own mum(not YOU specifically, it's a joke :p) I'm having more fun on Android than any other mobile OS.

Haha whenever someone claims Android to be the best OS, it always reminds me on a comment I read on /r/Apple.

"Android is a bug, not a feature." :rofl:

Ronnet said,

Have you tried 8.1? It is It really is the perfect OS. Smooth as butter, super easy to use, looks awesome and now has all the features people requested. Microsoft outdid themselves and created an OS that takes everything people love, put in into a better package and add the unique WP features. They should have called it WP9 or perhaps WP10 just to put it in perspective. For example I love the way they implemented swipe. So much simpler and its also the best swipe I've ever used.

I'm not saying the OS its self is bad, however i simply do not like the interface on Windows Phone. Stuff like text been half off the screen in apps just bugs me too: http://oi57.tinypic.com/i4o6k6.jpg

The OS has some good features and i think universal apps are a great idea, along with some of the improvements in 8.1. However when i use Windows Phone i always feel like the OS is just not designed for me.

Edited by InsaneNutter, Apr 20 2014, 10:53am :

Ronnet said,

Have you tried 8.1? It is It really is the perfect OS. Smooth as butter, super easy to use, looks awesome and now has all the features people requested. Microsoft outdid themselves and created an OS that takes everything people love, put in into a better package and add the unique WP features. They should have called it WP9 or perhaps WP10 just to put it in perspective. For example I love the way they implemented swipe. So much simpler and its also the best swipe I've ever used.

Major, major lack of apps. That will be Windows Phones Achilles heel for a long time.

McKay said,

Major, major lack of apps. That will be Windows Phones Achilles heel for a long time.

Out of curiosity, which ones? Snapchat doesn't count, because 6snap i better than the original ;)

pantera9 said,

Out of curiosity, which ones? Snapchat doesn't count, because 6snap i better than the original ;)

I don't count 3rd party unofficial apps that could get shut down at a moments notice.
No actual Youtube App that isn't just a link to the homepage, no dropbox, no GAME app, no Playstation companion app, no VLC app, no clash of clans, no Google Play Music app, no Snapchat app.

Those are the apps I use regularly. The apps that are on Windows Phone are often more expensive if they're paid, or substandard and outdated.

Only real complain from you is the Playstation Companion app (which is in the works).
Rest have alts, some are because the platform you are bought into (blaim Google, not MS for those).
Rest have alternatives or even better versions. VLC is coming but already has alternatives.
Other than that, there's plenty of high quality apps (HERE, Office and some more) you don't have on other platforms.

To each their own, but the apps are not what's stopping you from getting WP.

McKay said,

I don't count 3rd party unofficial apps that could get shut down at a moments notice.
No actual Youtube App that isn't just a link to the homepage, no dropbox, no GAME app, no Playstation companion app, no VLC app, no clash of clans, no Google Play Music app, no Snapchat app.

Those are the apps I use regularly. The apps that are on Windows Phone are often more expensive if they're paid, or substandard and outdated.


Seems to me your "reasons" are excuses.

Shadowzz said,
Only real complain from you is the Playstation Companion app (which is in the works).
Rest have alts, some are because the platform you are bought into (blaim Google, not MS for those).
Rest have alternatives or even better versions. VLC is coming but already has alternatives.
Other than that, there's plenty of high quality apps (HERE, Office and some more) you don't have on other platforms.

To each their own, but the apps are not what's stopping you from getting WP.

I never said it was just apps. But apps will always be an issue. I don't trust giving my login details to "some guy" for an unofficial app. I'm not blaming Microsoft for lack of apps, I'm just saying they have a sore lack of apps.

McKay said,

I don't count 3rd party unofficial apps that could get shut down at a moments notice.
No actual Youtube App that isn't just a link to the homepage, no dropbox, no GAME app, no Playstation companion app, no VLC app, no clash of clans, no Google Play Music app, no Snapchat app.

Those are the apps I use regularly. The apps that are on Windows Phone are often more expensive if they're paid, or substandard and outdated.

Metrotube is really, REALLY good.
CloudSix is great.
Don't know what GAME is.
Playstation app is coming soon, plus, it is a Microsoft platform, so you should expect Xbox centric stuff before Playstation stuff.
VLC is on the Windows 8 store, and with universal windows apps, it is around the corner
There are alternatives to Clash of Clans
No Google Play Music app? Dawut? Do you expect the Google Play Store on Windows Phone, too? Xbox Music or Nokia MixRadio works amazingly.
6snap is working fine.

And you say you don't trust these third party apps, but there's no passthrough to "some guy" it directs straight to Snapchat/Dropbox/YouTube servers.

mastercoms said,

Metrotube is really, REALLY good.
CloudSix is great.
Don't know what GAME is.
Playstation app is coming soon, plus, it is a Microsoft platform, so you should expect Xbox centric stuff before Playstation stuff.
VLC is on the Windows 8 store, and with universal windows apps, it is around the corner
There are alternatives to Clash of Clans
No Google Play Music app? Dawut? Do you expect the Google Play Store on Windows Phone, too? Xbox Music or Nokia MixRadio works amazingly.
6snap is working fine.

And you say you don't trust these third party apps, but there's no passthrough to "some guy" it directs straight to Snapchat/Dropbox/YouTube servers.

GAME is the UK store that sells video games, they phased out member cards in favour of the App to collect points.

Google Music is on iPhone too, so I don't see any reason why I shouldn't expect it on Windows Phone.

McKay said,

GAME is the UK store that sells video games, they phased out member cards in favour of the App to collect points.

Google Music is on iPhone too, so I don't see any reason why I shouldn't expect it on Windows Phone.


Don't expect any google services because google are being ######## to WP users. Not only do they not provide any solutions for them, but they shut down the 3rd party ones as well.

Ronnet said,

Have you tried 8.1? It is It really is the perfect OS. Smooth as butter, super easy to use, looks awesome and now has all the features people requested. Microsoft outdid themselves and created an OS that takes everything people love, put in into a better package and add the unique WP features. They should have called it WP9 or perhaps WP10 just to put it in perspective. For example I love the way they implemented swipe. So much simpler and its also the best swipe I've ever used.

8.1 is not the perfect OS. Sounds silly for any loyalist to claim their favorite phone is the best. In fact is sounds quite "pre-schoolish".

Lord Method Man said,
I don't understand the need for a YouTube app for WP. Does YouTube's mobile website not work or something?

Not as well as a dedicated Youtube App does. Can't upload videos for example.

JHBrown said,
8.1 is not the perfect OS. Sounds silly for any loyalist to claim their favorite phone is the best. In fact is sounds quite "pre-schoolish".

Just as silly to claim that the phone you're making is the "perfect" phone. Really can't wait for this thing to flop just because of the amount of hubris. I'd say the same thing if it was packing WP.

JHBrown said,
8.1 is not the perfect OS. Sounds silly for any loyalist to claim their favorite phone is the best. In fact is sounds quite "pre-schoolish".

You have to see it within its context. This is a topic about the 'best phone ever' and I was responding to someone who said it was the 'perfect phone'. I was only continuing in the style of the conversation.

However from one point of view it is the perfect OS. As it that I once said WP was lacking a number of features from making it perfect. All of those features were added in 8.1 and then some.

InsaneNutter said,

I'm not saying the OS its self is bad, however i simply do not like the interface on Windows Phone. Stuff like text been half off the screen in apps just bugs me too: http://oi57.tinypic.com/i4o6k6.jpg

The OS has some good features and i think universal apps are a great idea, along with some of the improvements in 8.1. However when i use Windows Phone i always feel like the OS is just not designed for me.

To each their own butyYou do understand that half the text is offscreen as a sign that you can swipe to the left for more content, right? It's way I love the design of WP. Each element of the design is multiple functional. It really is a clever OS.

siah1214 said,

Don't expect any google services because google are being ######## to WP users. Not only do they not provide any solutions for them, but they shut down the 3rd party ones as well.

Well, Metrotube works fine.

mastercoms said,

Well, Metrotube works fine.

And MyTube is MUCH better than any firstparty application. It's the most feature-rich youtube app ever created on any platform. It even runs music in the background AND under lock.

It is certainly intriguing. The purchase could have been implemented in a first come - first serve basis as almost everyone else does it. This way they can sell quickly and put customers on hold if they can't meet demand initially.

The height is just too much for one handed use. My main option is the HTC One M8 and it is 1cm taller than my One M7. The OnePlus One would be 2.x cm taller than the M7 which breaks it for me.

The company has decided that the pre-order system - widely used by manufacturers and retailers, and well-understood by customers - is not good enough, claiming that pre-orders often result in “a long time between paying for your order and actually having it shipped.”

Here's an idea then: how about you allow people to pre-order straight away and only charge them when the phone is ready to be shipped? It's a rather unorthodox method used by only most online stores today.

hahah, seriously.

this way they will have a perfect idea of demand, and even if some orders might not go through (credit card issues), the majority will be fine.

Their reasoning for this "invite" bullcrap is pathetic. not sure what game they are playing, but i might look elsewhere for my next phone (wait for Nexus 6 for example, or get Z1, now that the Z2 has come out)

very disappointed with them!!

They might be hoping the invite system will lend it an air of exclusivity or something that will have more people craving it just because it's not available to all (initially at least).