OnePlus doesn’t need any introduction, most of the world already know the OnePlus now but this was not the same 6 years ago; on April 23rd 2014 when Chinese mobile phone manufacturer OnePlus had launched its first mobile phone with the tagline Flagship killer.
OnePlus was founded by Pete Lau (CEO) and Carl Pei in December 2013, till the launch of OnePlus One and even after the release of OnePlus the company was unknown to the majority of the mobile phone users. OnePlus One was available with the invite-only basis and it was undoubtedly among the best Android mobile phone, it was a true flagship killer.
It was a complete mobile phone, it had everything you might have expected from a mobile phone at that time and then the CyanogenMod OS. It was the time when CyanogenMod was running better than any other custom ROMs some features and performance of the CyanogenMod was even better than the Stock Android and Google’s Nexus phones. The current ROMs of OnePlus the OxygenOS (Global) and HydrogenOS (China) have just followed the path set by the CyanogenMod.
OnePlus has launched its 1st device, the OnePlus One on 23rd April 2014 which was intended to capture the market from the Google Nexus series. This smartphone was launched with a 5.5-inch full HD display (1920×1080 resolution), 401 PPI pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on it.
This phone weighed about 162 grams. OnePlus One was running CyanogenMod 11S based on Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). The Flagship Killer equipped with Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 (28 nm) processor. SD801 the flagship SoC of its time is a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 with Adreno 330 GPU.
OnePlus One also gained popularity because of its powerful and premium camera quality, it has 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and 1.12um pixel size AF lense. It also has camera features like dual-LED flash, Panorama and HDR.
OnePlus one was among the very few and if I am not wrong then the first Android mobile phone capable of recording videos with resolution: 2160p@30fps, 2160p(DCI)@24fps with HDR, stereo sound recordings.OPO has 5 MP selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture and can record 720p HD videos @30fps.
Other features include dual mono speakers which deliver loud & clear good sound and good enough to play media contents from YouTube and Netflix. It obviously has a headphone jack of 3.5mm, Type-C wasn’t even in the picture at that time so no TYPE-C. OnePlus made OnePlus One as feature-packed as possible, it has WLAN (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth (4.1, A2DP), USB (microUSB 2.0), and NFC.
It has sensors like Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass and ANT+(Plus). It has Li-Po 3100 mAh battery large enough to easily last a day and one and a half-day. OnePlus One gained huge popularity not just because of its flagship features but also because of the price tag. OnePlus One was a real flagship killer because it had all flagship features at around half of the price of other flagship phones from companies like Samsung, Nexus, Huawei, and LG.
Price of OnePlus One was 21,999 for 3GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Later the company had launched one more variant with 3GB RAM and 16 GB storage. I have been using the OnePlus One for the last two months as my daily driver thanks to Nishant for that and in this post, I am going to write down a quick review of the OnePlus One in the current scenario.
Owning the OnePlus One in 2020:- The OnePlus One I have been using has the latest Lineage OS 16.0 based on Android 9.
Vital things about this phone which were observed while using the phone:
1. User Interface: Lineage OS installed on the phone is not as good as the CyanogenMod but still way better than the OxygenOS available for the OnePlus One. It has tons of customizability options and smooth performance, and the snapdragon 801 chipset gives ultimate performance and makes it buttery smooth for the user.
2. Memory (RAM) Management: As mentioned above it comes in only 3GB variant. The RAM management of the phone is impressive, I have been playing Call of Duty regularly on this but never found any lags. Many times I have locked and left the phone for a while and sometimes for an hour. Still, it has all apps running in the background, it is not reloading anything after switching between the apps or games.
3. Camera: As I have mentioned earlier in the post that the Camera was one of the main feature and USP of the OnePlus One. The 13 MP rear camera performed well in the daytime, and in low light condition; it takes dull and noisy photos in the night or very low light without using its dual led flash, but if the flash is turned on it gives good results decent details, less noise, colour composition and the picture quality is really good.
The flashlight when used as a torchlight also works very good and it doesn’t sting the eye or creates pressure on the eye at all. This can be seen that OnePlus has done really great work on this phone and manufactured this device for a quite long run in the market. Hence, the real Flagship Killer.
4. Battery: When this phone was launched it had a really good battery backup when compared to other phones in the market at that time. It has the same 6 years old battery and after a full charge, it still runs 15-20 hours or sometimes a day and more. Charging speed is a bit slow but what could you expect from a 6-year-old phone.
5. Display: It has an FHD display and 16M colours which makes the display very sharp. Playing media contents and games on this device are still Bahut Hard. The display offers good fun to the user. One more good thing about the display is that its width provides very good room for thumbs typing and makes the user feel comfortable while typing on the phone.
6. Audio Output: There are total 3 speakers on the phone one is placed on the top which works as earpiece and the remaining two are down-facing speakers. While on a phone call the earpiece produces clear sound and it is quite loud as well, whereas the bottom facing dual speakers fires sound really well when a phone call is on the loudspeaker and gives very clear sound.
As I have mentioned that the OnePlus One has dual bottom facing speakers but they are not true stereo as they both output the same mono signal. Then also when you listen to music through the speaker it won’t disappoint you it works really good and releases very clear sound too.
The default equaliser with the Google Play Music is Qualcomm equalizers which produce a quite punchy bass while listening to music through earphone or headphones. It can still give a hard time to many new flagship phones when it comes to the audio output via headphones (this also depends on the quality of earphones or headphones you use). Since it supports LTE you can use Jio sim or any other 4G sim but you won’t ve able to do calling since it won’t support VoLTE but calling can be done by installing HD calling app by Jio from the Google Playstore.
7. Gaming Performance: As you may be aware of the new OnePlus phones that they give one of the best experiences for playing heavy games. It can also be experienced on OnePlus One.
Beside of being a 6-year-old beast, it gives a lag-free gaming experience to the user. I played Call of Duty mobile on this phone which was running flawless and it was butter smooth. This was the most unexpected thing for me that a 6-year-old device can run such a heavy game this way, for some time I was stunned when the game was going on.
8. Heating Issues: This is a problem which can be seen in many phones. But I have not seen any such issues yet, it may feel warm while playing the heavy games like Call of Duty on the OnePlus One.
When I was playing Call Of Duty on OPO, I felt this issue, it was minor. And it also gets cooled when you close the application. This can also be felt if you run any other heavy application on the phone.
This can also be felt while charging the phone for a long while. This heating won’t be there if you detach the charger when the phone is fully charged and try to get an original OnePlus adapter and USB cable for charging the device which is nowadays quite difficult to find in the market.
Now talking about it is worth in 2020 or not? According to my experience and observations after using it in 2020 for two months as my primary device I will say it does not perform that good when compared to the latest phones available in the price segment of 22k but I will also say that if you use it it won’t disappoint you at all.
I have also used other phones in the price range of OnePlus One (21,999 release price) such as Realme X2 and Redmi k20 I observed that it is a little bit slower than those mobile phones which is due its age and usage since it was launched i.e. 6 years and no other reason. I will also make you aware you about a thing that if you buy this phone from your friend or online doesn’t matter always assure the quality of the phone mainly the hardware part very carefully.
If you are a fan of OnePlus mobile phones then you should definitely run the real flagship killer at least once and moreover OnePlus One still can be used as a daily driver or as a secondary phone. You might still get it for 5k – 6k price range. You can buy the OnePlus One from Flipkart’s 2GUD (try to get the phones with superb or like-new ratings).