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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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