OnePlus, the startup founded by former Oppo VP Pete Lau, has unveiled its first smartphone, the OnePlus One. It's a powerful effort, with a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel f/2 camera unit, and bottom-facing stereo speakers designed with assistance from JBL. It runs a minimalist custom UI atop CyanogenMod, the modified version of Android breaking out as an operating system in its own right.
More interesting than the phone's components is the case that houses them — the One's white back cover finish is made of cashew, and you can swap this out for back plates using other materials including bamboo, wood, kevlar, and denim. Since the phone is constructed from magnesium, it weighs in at a relatively light 162g, and the 8.9mm-thick frame tapers to 4.6mm at the edges.
So Android and sexy form factor can go together, because previously I had assumed this was impossible? Ok, but seriously the One spec's as well as any Android flagship phone, but checks in at half the price of said flagships, $300 for a 16GB unlocked phone, $350 for 64GB, like…wow. Thus far previews of preview units are universally positive, but I'll be keen to hear specifics when shipping units hit reviewers' hands.