oneplus-oneGoogle made a big step into the mobile phone market with their cheap Nexus phones, coming at under $399 off contract with decent internals and the newest version of stock Android. OnePlus wants to achieve the same high-end phone for low-end price, but they have some differences in the formula for success.

The OnePlus One has been hyped up as one of the “best of 2014” devices, even before the new hardware startup revealed their smartphone. We are glad to finally see it in the flesh and even though it may not hit a global audience, it certainly will excite Android geeks.

Starting with the internals, the OnePlus One has a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 3100mAh battery, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, 5MP front camera and 13MP rear camera. The 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display may be a bit too big for some people, but competes heavily against the Galaxy Note.

As for the design, the OnePlus One reminds us of a mixture between the Oppo Find 7 and the Nexus 5. The team behind OnePlus is run by ex-CEO of Oppo and we can see the design influences coming from the previous company.

One of the most important parts of the OnePlus One is the operating system, Android sits underneath a new version of CyanogenMod, built specifically for the OnePlus One. Named 11 S, the custom version of CyanogenMod has a more flat UI.

The off contract price is also very appealing, considering the specs on this device match up with the new HTC One (M8) and Galaxy S5. The OnePlus One with 16GB of internal storage will only cost £229 and the 64GB version will cost £349.

It is nice to see a fresh face in the mobile world and it looks like China is becoming a real powerhouse for new hardware startups, with Xiaomi and Oppo coming out of China and web startups like Sina, Tencent and Baidu hitting the New York stock market.

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