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Here we have a smartphone that seems too good to be true. It’s a phone that can take on the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One (M8), and it sells for half the price. 180GBP for the 16GB version and 210GBP for the 64GB version. It really is amazing value for the price, and it has most of the goodies of the other flagship models too…
It has 4G LTE, which is nice, and a 5.5” IPS, 401ppi, 1920x1080 pixel HD display. In addition, it has Gorilla Glass 3. That’s very similar to the Galaxy Note 3. In fact, it’s slightly bigger, and weighs 160g. The back is slightly curved, so it sits well in the palm of your hand and has a powerhouse 3100mAh battery that unfortunately cannot be removed. The battery will easily get you through the day though.
There is no microSD slot, so you have to choose between the 16GB or 64GB version when you buy, but at 30GBP extra, it’s worth going for the 64GB option. The engine driving all of this is a top of the range 2.5GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with a 578MHz Adreno GPU, so it’s no slouch. It has 3GB of RAM as well.
The operating system is a clever marriage of Android KitKat and Cyanogen’s modded version of Android, which lets you customise just about everything on the phone. The display’s colours are natural, and they can be customised as well.
The phone has an expanded desktop mode, themes, gestures to turn the camera or LED light on, and voice-activated wake-up, although you should want to set up a passcode as well. You can also double-tap the phone to wake it up. The phone is very simple to use, as it’s almost stock Android. As a bonus from a Chinese manufacturer, the smartphone comes with Google Play and all the rest of Google’s suite of services, including Gmail and Maps.
A Small Letdown
The phone does have a bit of a letdown in terms of the softness of the voice heard while making a call. OnePlus has assured that this will be fixed by the time the phone is in full production, or via an over-the-air update.
The camera is a 13MP number with dual LED flash and a range of modes that can be accessed by swiping your finger on the screen. On the front side of the phone is a 5MP camera for selfies and video calling. There are three capacitive “hard” buttons on the phone, but these can be switched off in favour of “soft” buttons on the screen.
The phone also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4, USB OTG, GPS/GLONASS and NFC. Video is up to 4K resolution, and can take up to 120fps at 720p for slow motion.
Is this the phone for you? At the price, an unqualified yes. In fact, you could add an additional 100-150GBP and it would still be a good price. Please check out this phone when it lands – it’s worth it.