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Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Gadget of the Week - OnePlus One Smartphone

Last week, our weekly gadget was the ASUS Transformer Book T200, which is a significant improvement on the ASUS Transformer Book T100 that we looked at last year.

This week, we shine the spotlight on a brand new smartphone that is set for a global release tomorrow, January 201, 2015.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to OnePlus One!

Where is stands out

OnePlus One packs top-end features, starting with a 2.5GHzquad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. It incorporates a custom Krait CPU, integrated 4G LTE connectivity and Adreno 300 GPU graphics.

The OnePlus One is billed as fast, smooth and powerful.Both the 16GB and 64GB flavors come with 3GB-DDR3 RAM, running at 1866MHz.
The front camera is 5MP, the rear a 13MP Sony Exmor camera with 6 physical lenses and f/2.0 aperture.

The battery is a 3100mAh Li-Po that powers among other things, a 5.5inch 1080x1920 display.
In addition, the OnePlus One has 3 microphones and lets the user choose between on-screen or capacitive keys. See all specifications.

Expert Reviews

On Engadget, OnePlus One is considered inexpensive for all the features it packs.

For $300, no other phone comes close to what the OnePlus One offers. Not only does it look and feel like a premium device, but it also comes with specs similar to what you'd find in a flagship smartphone. If you're keeping costs down, look no further.

TechCrunch too, considers this phone quite amazing.

Its flaws are small things, details that fail by matters of degrees rather than huge margins, and for a smartphone that costs less than half of many of its competitors, that’s nothing short of amazing.  

Even the Android Police is seemingly impressed by this phone with top-of-the-range phone going at a rock-bottom price.

The OnePlus One is not the perfect, everything-to-everyone phone that its creators might like you to think it is. But it is an amazingly powerful and versatile device, even before you consider its staggeringly low price.

User Opinions

The global release is scheduled for January 20 (tomorrow). Those who have been fortunate to own it so far already have things to say about this phone.

Vinod D on NDTV Gadgets notes the lack of MHL and FM Radio, saying:

I feel these are the missing features where all Indians like to have, FM is definitely needed and TV-out gives advantage where no smart TV's are affordable.

Shrikrishna Shanbhag is however, quite impressed:

Its an amazing phone. I have got my OnePlus-One from US and have been using it on Airtel 4G network for last 10 days. No complaints whatsoever. Extremely impressed with performance, perfect size (can reach full keypad with one hand), great build quality, best camera (both front and rear), customisability of menus etc... all in all AWESOME phone.

them ezzilla too, is a happy user on Engadget:

I bought this phone on an impulse when a friend of mine offered me his invitation. I'm coming from an HTC One M7, which I really really liked. The phone is wicked fast, it makes my HTC feel sluggish, and it had no problems switching between apps quickly.

Responding to a user on GSMArena who feels that OnePlus One's 401 ppi is not enough, this anonymous user has this to say:

how the hell is that terrible i have had a 300 ppi screen for 3 years and up until this day i have never been able to distinguish a single pixel. 400 is more than enough i can guarantee you that.

Pricing and Availability

Since its announcement in April, 2014, the phone has been available since June 2014 but only through an invite or contest. Beginning tomorrow, the phone will be available globally sans any invite.

OnePlus One starts at $299 for the 16GB model and $349 for the 64GB model.

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January is the month we celebrate musicians from the greater African continent in every post of Connect Magazine. Today, it's the late Brenda Fassie with Vulindlela.