OnePlus says its 'perfect smartphone' will offer the 'best specs' for under $500

At the end of last year, start-up manufacturer OnePlus promised to deliver "the perfect smartphone at a disruptive price". The company engaged in an open dialogue with smartphone users to see what they valued and prioritised when seeking to define the ideal handset, and has now revealed a "guaranteed" price range for its launch device. 

Last month, OnePlus began to reveal a few teasing crumbs of information about its first smartphone - known, somewhat unimaginatively, as the 'One'. In a series of Facebook posts, the company promised the device would "be built using only the best components and 2014 flagship specs, both inside and out", and that it would launch in the second quarter of this year. Nine-band LTE support was also promised. 

A significant revelation was made too in the confirmation that OnePlus would be using a customised version of the extremely popular Android user experience, CyanogenMod.

But what price tag is attached to supposed smartphone perfection? As BGR reports, the company's founder and CEO, Pete Lau, has said that the "OnePlus One will be priced below $500 USD unlocked and off-contract, guaranteed." That's certainly aggressive pricing for what the company is pitching as the superlative device. 

In a related Facebook discussion, OnePlus told a potential customer that they don't plan to launch a lower-spec or mid-range version of the One: "There won't be a mid-range version, we're committed to creating the best smartphone ever."

Them's fighting words, to be sure. We just hope that the company has what it takes to eventually live up to all the hype its generating. 

Source: BGR | images via OnePlus

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34 Comments

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If they want to produce something different, they'd go for high end specs (at least GS4 level) on a 4.3-4.5" 720p-1080p display with minimal bezel. A phone that is more reasonably sized for one handed use. The only competition in that area right now is the Sony Z1 Compact, the rest is just crappy qHD midrange stuff.

Bold claims, considering "perfect" is a relative term. What is perfect for one person can be completely inappropriate for someone else. However, I think if they can delivery a high end phone for reasonable amount of money, they'll have a winner on their hands for sure

Hello,

Xerxes said,
What is perfect for one person can be completely inappropriate for someone else.

Thats the biggest flaw that this phone has.

Humm sound interesting, if the best hardware is in the phone hopefully the quality of the result it will give will be the same. Like 1 poster said, you can have a cheap camera in a phone but if the lens is top notch the quality of the pictures will blast away any competitor with a better camera.

I really hope they live up to there words, like that the competition will be force to make better quality phones at a lower price.

It'll flop just like every other over-hyped, mystery handset produced by some unknown, newly founded company. It'll get lots of attention from the fanboys and tech press leading up to it's reveal, but when a physical unit actually makes it to the hands of reviews, it'll fail harder than a plane made of bricks, and fade into obscurity.

Wapoz said,
It'll flop just like every other over-hyped, mystery handset produced by some unknown, newly founded company. It'll get lots of attention from the fanboys and tech press leading up to it's reveal, but when a physical unit actually makes it to the hands of reviews, it'll fail harder than a plane made of bricks, and fade into obscurity.

No..not necessarily.

It's all about the distribution channel and marketing....and of course price.

The handsets you know now....are pretty just in America. There a tons more handsets that are big in other countries like China and Japan, that we don't even know of. That's why Lenova went ahead and bought Motorola because their Chinese handsets couldn't break into the American market.

If this company could....then more power to them. Hopefully it could shift the P&Q equilibrium point of high end Android phones down some.

Also, let's not forget...this OnePlus Company could license their hardware to the Wireless carriers the same way HTC did a decade ago.

b_roca said,
Is that what you say to your girlfriend?

What is the point of these kinds of comments? If you want to post crap like that go back to 4chan and please stay there. The comment system desperately needs to be reformed on this website, and I say that as a 10 year plus member and reader who has to suffer through reading asinine comments like this on an almost daily basis.

JVillanueva said,

What is the point of these kinds of comments? If you want to post crap like that go back to 4chan and please stay there. The comment system desperately needs to be reformed on this website, and I say that as a 10 year plus member and reader who has to suffer through reading asinine comments like this on an almost daily basis.

Missing sense of humour?

Hello,

JVillanueva said,

What is the point of these kinds of comments? If you want to post crap like that go back to 4chan and please stay there. The comment system desperately needs to be reformed on this website, and I say that as a 10 year plus member and reader who has to suffer through reading asinine comments like this on an almost daily basis.


Report the post if neccesary and be done with it

HoochieMamma said,

This isn't 2007 anymore. No one wants physical keyboard buttons on a phone.

I wouldn't mind a physical keyboard.

HoochieMamma said,

This isn't 2007 anymore. No one wants physical keyboard buttons on a phone.

My wife does. She's extremely upset that she cannot upgrade to a good phone with a physical keyboard. Personally, I can't stand how noisy they are and don't see how people could ever type on keys that small, but that's what she likes.

Hello,

HoochieMamma said,

This isn't 2007 anymore. No one wants physical keyboard buttons on a phone.


So Tony and Darrian's wife are noones? Right...

Wouldn't mind physical keyboard, and a joystick for use as a mouse.. and controlling games. Buttons should be laid out for dual use as controller and keyboard..

Real games are unplayable without a control stick. #### touch screen controls!

8-core 64bit CPU or more?
Tegra 4 or K1?
4GB RAM or more?
2/3 SIMs?
20MP camera or more?
Removable Battery 4000mAh or more?
Gorilla glass or similar or better?
External storage?
Waterproof?
Wireless charging?
WiFi ac?
NFC?
If you keep adding stuff, you realize how much of a dream a 500- pricetag is.

tomasse said,
8-core 64bit CPU or more?
Tegra 4 or K1?
4GB RAM or more?
2/3 SIMs?
20MP camera or more?
Removable Battery 4000mAh or more?
Gorilla glass or similar or better?
External storage?
Waterproof?
Wireless charging?
WiFi ac?
NFC?
If you keep adding stuff, you realize how much of a dream a 500- pricetag is.


Exactly.

It will definitely not beat the Lumia1020 camera so it won't be the best. I doubt it will beat the fantastic audio recording capabilities of the Nokia 1520 so it won't be the best. It runs Android so it sure won't be the best. I predict that $500 will not be what the cash register says if you buy one, especially when you are not in the US.

Don't believe the hype, I'll believe it only when I see it.

You sound like a fanboy. You have no idea if it will have a better camera, MP isn't everything. Any photographer can tell you that. You have no idea how the recording will sound. And if you think that iOS or WP is better than Android then you must really not have used anything else. Name another OS that has as much hardware support, customizability, and isn't made of stupid tiles or so bad in UI/responsiveness that even long term Apple fanboys dislike it.

Altima said,
You sound like a fanboy. You have no idea if it will have a better camera, MP isn't everything. Any photographer can tell you that. You have no idea how the recording will sound. And if you think that iOS or WP is better than Android then you must really not have used anything else. Name another OS that has as much hardware support, customizability, and isn't made of stupid tiles or so bad in UI/responsiveness that even long term Apple fanboys dislike it.

lol an android fanboy telling fanboy to a WP fanboy

paulheu said,
It will definitely not beat the Lumia1020 camera so it won't be the best. I doubt it will beat the fantastic audio recording capabilities of the Nokia 1520 so it won't be the best. It runs Android so it sure won't be the best. I predict that $500 will not be what the cash register says if you buy one, especially when you are not in the US.

You can say all of that with certainty when little info has been given...um, ok then. And most people get a phone for other reasons besides camera/sound recording.

I have a WP phone and an Android tablet, and that is how it should be. WP is a much better phone experience than Android. Phones are meant for communication, and WP does that exceedingly well; it's based around it. That it can run apps and thus be used for gaming is great, but not essential. That it has an outstanding camera means that I no longer use my aging digital camera.

Android is great on my tablet. I use it primarily for games, most of which are not available on WP, and sometimes for watching movies, and it's just excellent for that. I use it to read my books and comics (WP has no apps that can do that well, and also it's on a phone, whose small screen isn't well suited to it). It has its bugs and it sometimes crashes unexpectedly for no obvious reason, it's slow to boot with a bunch of apps installed, but it doesn't really matter because it's not on my phone and it's not the device I use to communicate with the people in my world. Android has a lot of pluses, not the least of which is its gigantic app library and numerous customization options. It is not 100% stable or reliable and it's slow to boot, and those issues prevent me from wanting it on my primary communication device anytime soon.

Does that make me a WP fanboy? I don't think so. If WP7 hadn't ever come out I might never have gotten a mobile phone, because Windows Mobile sucked, iOS sucks, and Android wasn't reliable (plus, honestly, Android 2.x sucked). WP8 is great primarily because on the rare occasion that it does crash or become buggy I can reset it in a matter of seconds, regardless of how many apps I have installed. I sometimes get frustrated that I can't get the latest game I want to play and that Readmill hasn't made an app yet. Still, it has simplicity and focus on its purpose and it's extremely reliable, and those things matter more than anything with a phone.

Darrian said,
I have a WP phone and an Android tablet, and that is how it should be. WP is a much better phone experience than Android. Phones are meant for communication, and WP does that exceedingly well; it's based around it.

Phones are better for communication? What....an Android phone user can't hear the other person from the other end of line? LOL. Darren, I have both a WP and Android phone. The experience level for both is dead-to-rights the same. However, if you ask me (and countless many others) the Android phone is preferred phone, because of the ecosystem, the customization, and depending on the vendor one chooses the power of the phone.

As of right now, it's no contest the of how superior the Android phone is over the Windows Phone. Android phones are capable of Kinect-like features (Samsung), Touchless features (Motorola), Camera (HTC), Music (HTC) and whoever wants to contribute to the Android party. As for Windows Phone, it only has Nokia which only the camera, which nobody cares for, because if actual people did then the 520 series phones wouldn't be dominating the 3% Windows marketshare.

I didn't say you can't use Android to communicate. I never even said I don't like Android. I only said I don't like Android on my phone, and why. Android tries to do many things and isn't exceptional at any of them. I won't say it crashes all the time, but it happens more than I like (this is probably alleviated quite a bit on devices with 2GB of RAM, but you shouldn't need that much to be stable), and when you do have to reboot it because it is becoming laggy or it crashes it takes forever to start up once you have a decent amount if apps on it. If you keep it close to stock and hardly install anything then it is probably more reliable, but who does that? Anyway, I'm not hating on Android, or this phone, I'm only saying there are valid reasons to prefer WP and doing so doesn't make one a WP fanboy.

Altima said,
You sound like a fanboy. You have no idea if it will have a better camera, MP isn't everything. Any photographer can tell you that. You have no idea how the recording will sound. And if you think that iOS or WP is better than Android then you must really not have used anything else. Name another OS that has as much hardware support, customizability, and isn't made of stupid tiles or so bad in UI/responsiveness that even long term Apple fanboys dislike it.

you just said "megapixels isn't everything" which is the basis of the design of the pureview camera on the 1020. Its not about taking 41mp images, its about the images being 5mp and super accurate to the extrapolation of data from the additional pixels. Its clever in how,it works but the results are unquestionable. All the blind tests i have seen on photography sites show the clear winner as the 1020 (this is against decent point and shoot stand alone cameras).

whether they do anything better than Nokia is something i don't know, but it wont be easy.

The only way it's going to be "perfect" is if it has cutting edge EVERYTHING. Obviously different people care about different aspects, will need expandable storage and removable battery because people still do ask for those features.

The thing they can't get "perfect" will be the screen size, there isn't a perfect size.

McKay said,
The only way it's going to be "perfect" is if it has cutting edge EVERYTHING.
Unfortunately not even then. Even cutting edge stuff might fall far short of what people really want, which might simply not be possible with current tech. "Perfect" is a stupid marketing term anyway.

Hmm. Interesting. Under 500 unlocked/off contract isnt bad...but that depends on the specs and if they deliver what they promised.

Last month, OnePlus began to reveal a few teasing crumbs of information about its first smartphone - known, somewhat unimaginatively, as the 'One'.

HTC's probably going to take issue with that.