back to article OnePlus One equals 'killer' new mobe running CyanogenMod

After months of teasing, Chinese smartphone startup OnePlus has formally launched the OnePlus One, a budget Android handset with specs so enticing that some industry watchers had suspected it of being vaporware. Described as a "2014 flagship killer," the One – not to be confused with HTC's product of the same name – has a high …

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  1. JustNiz

    No SD slot = No Thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      My Galaxy Note 1, by default, installs apps to internal memory. While most of the app data can be moved to storage (but why must it be done manually?), there is still a lot of data left behind in internal memory (why?). I am now having to delete apps to to enable other apps to update. I have an SD card installed but it is redundant when my phone installs apps in the least sensible place.

      I cannot help but notice that memory management on my ipad air is much better.

      Has memory management in Android improved since the release of the Galaxy Note 1, or is it still bad?

      1. jason 7

        My girlfriends Note 1 is doing this too. Got a class 10 16GB SD card in it but the phone seems to dump apps and data all over the place. Total mess.

        No thanks. Keep it simple.

      2. Pristine Audio

        >Has memory management in Android improved since the release of the Galaxy Note 1, or is it still bad?

        Yes, hugely. My Note 1 was the same. No such issues with my Note 3.

      3. Dynamis

        Dealing with internal memory limitations on the original Galaxy Note

        The original Galaxy Note came with Gingerbread (2.3). It subdivided its internal flash memory into two partitions (a) an applications partition which, by modern standards, was rather small, and (b) the (much larger) remainder of the memory. Apps had to install into the former. In later versions of Android (eg ICS, Jellybean, KitKat), the (low) limit of the size of that applications partition has been removed so, for newer Android phones, the problem you describe has gone away, because you can now install apps to the whole of the internal flash memory rather than some small partitioned-off part of it. Even if you upgrade the Android version on an original Galaxy Note to eg Jellybean using Samsung's stock ROM upgrade, the size of the small original applications partition remains the same (as no repartitioning takes place in the upgrade process). The only way to change that would be to repartition the flash memory yourself and then install Jellybean (quite an involved undertaking for the uninitiated). The only workaround I know of is an app called Link2SD, which you can find on Google Play. Using it requires you to root the phone, and then to create a second partition on a removable SD card which you put in the phone's SD slot. In effect, the app tricks the OS into using that removable SD card second partition as if it were the internal applications partition; since that removable SD card second partition can be pretty much any size you choose, it resolves your problem. Alternatively, you could get a new phone; the processor in the original Galaxy Note is getting rather sluggish for certain more recent versions of Android apps anyway. The Note 3 is fab, if you're interested.

        1. Anonymous Coward 101

          Re: Dealing with internal memory limitations on the original Galaxy Note

          Thank you Dynamis for that informed comment.

        2. jason 7

          Re: Dealing with internal memory limitations on the original Galaxy Note

          As per Dynamis, I can confirm we have Jelly Bean on the GF's Note 1 and its still a mess.

    2. Steve78

      With ample storage available, why do you need an SD card slot? Or are you just looking for something to whinge about?

      1. jason 7

        I've been happy with 16GB on my Nexus 4. Still have 8GB left. I don't see the need to carry my entire 'digital life' around on a phone. Plus only so many hours in a day and I do still enjoy human interaction.

      2. Phil W

        Really depends on your definition of "ample storage".

        This phone comes in 16GB and 64GB, while I agree the 64GB version will likely suit most people's needs the 16GB may not and in some cases the 64GB won't.

        Music is one of the big storage hogs, for those people who don't have a huge data allowance on their mobile tariff streaming services are not really an option so they need local storage. 64GB (minus the amount stolen by the OS and apps) doesn't go all that far when you're music is 320kbps MP3s or FLAC audio files.

        Personally I like having my entire music library available on my phone so I'd need a lot of storage just for that, though currently it's not a big problem as I have a large data allowance and use Google Play Music to stream it.

      3. Flawless101

        Having had this discussion in work a few times for me personally I like to DL my Spotify playlists, which are many. It ate through the internal memory quick. Not to mention, memory capacity is still increasing and developers are still managing to make megabytes worth of crap for simple tasks. So yeah, why not just throw in a slot? It's hardly going to break your design.

    3. BillG Silver badge
      Mushroom

      No SD slot = No Thanks.

      And if it's not rootable, No No Thanks.

  2. The BigYin

    Almost nice

    Looks good, great price, nice OS but no SD and "non-removable battery" means: FAIL.

    Shame.

    1. jgarbo
      Happy

      Re: Almost nice

      What do they mean by "non-removable"? My Nokia N8's "non-removable" battery can be replaced by unscrewing two little screws. Takes 2 minutes. And SD card, of course. Ten seconds. ;-p

    2. Paul E

      Re: Almost nice

      Given the number of phones out there without SD cards and with non-removable batteries that are successful I am assuming that your term "FAIL" refers to the fact that you do no want to purchase one rather than that you are prejudging without any supporting evidence what every other smartphone buyer with different priorities will think?

      1. Matt 21

        Re: Almost nice

        At that price, with those specs I'm in. Finally Android as it should be where I'm in charge of the phone and not Google.

        1. Moosh

          Re: Almost nice

          @Matt21 I agree completely. I am seriously considering getting this phone - I have a Note 3 and I smashed the screen in while drunk, and it will cost me £180 to have the screen fixed. I could buy this entire new phone outright for only £40 more and the specs look to be better than the Note 3 anyway.

  3. JaitcH

    Can you ...

    reprogram the IMEI from the standard menu - or do we still have to use a programmer?

    1. MrWibble

      Re: Can you ...

      Since that's illegal in most places, I assume it can't be done via standard settings!

  4. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Normal Person Here

    Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet, don't care about the lack of an SD slot; have never changed a battery in a phone, ever; and can't think of any way I'd fill up even 16 gigs.

    But I DO care about a price that's closer to $300 than $700. I'm of the firm opinion that we've been getting robbed blind when buying smartphones. Given their ubiquity the prices should be a lot, lot less than what is charged now.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

      I assume that 95% of the people on the planet agree with me, though of course I have nothing to back that statement up.

      If manufacturers have stopped supporting sd card in their phones it MUST be because people don't want them. The fact manufacturers can add a ludicrous markup to the same model with a bit more internal storage can't have anything to do with it.

      1. Def Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

        I would assume at least 40% of those 95% of people are more concerned about having enough to eat and drink than whether their smartphone's battery can be changed or not.

        Mine's the one with the glass of perspective and soda in it.</DA>

      2. bigtimehustler

        Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

        A £40 increase... to go from 16GB to 64GB is not what I call ludicrous, it is after all, this particular phone and pricing we are talking about here and what the complaints about no SD were about. If the smaller amount isn't enough, at this price just get 64GB, is that really ever going to be too small for most people?

      3. g e

        Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

        Or maybe they don't want to pay the Microsoft Tithe for FAT, keeping onboard memory formatted internally to EXTx or whatever

        1. A J Stiles

          Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

          They don't have to do that unless they want to sell their phones in the USA. Mathematical operations aren't patentable in civilised countries.

      4. Winters

        Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

        Can you point out any phones which have alternative SD models, in recent times?

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Like, oh, 95% of the people on the planet

          who needs SD when you can carry a couple of wireless T around in your pocket for the price of 64G of SD?

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Normal Person Here

      I think it's unlikely I'd fill 16GB as well, but if an upgrade to 64GB is only another £50, that's another matter.

      Although if you live in the US it's only $50 more, which is a bit of a con.

    3. garden-snail
      Flame

      Re: Normal Person Here

      Dear Normal Person,

      I, too, have never changed a battery in a phone. However, I cannot count the number of times I've yanked the battery out of one to recover from a lockup. It's not a regular occurrence with my current phone, but it's not an option I'm prepared to give up.

      1. Paul E

        Re: Normal Person Here

        "However, I cannot count the number of times I've yanked the battery out of one to recover from a lockup."

        Holding the power button in for more than a few seconds does the same job on almost all phones with fixed batteries.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Normal Person Here

        I have a three year old Asus tablet and I have never had to open it up to remove the battery to recover from a lockup. But I did have to do this yesterday to a Windows 8.1 laptop when the battery meter stopped working. It recovered after a battery pull. I also have a 2 year old BlackBerry Playbook which has never had an unrecoverable lockup.

        In short, it looks as if the battery yank problem is solved.

        The pictures suggest that the battery probably is user replaceable, it just needs simple tools. What you can't do, is just swap it in and out. The availability of those handy USB battery-stuffed charger bricks makes this a bit irrelevant, as you can keep working while the phone charges.

        I thought I needed battery swap on my present phone, but it's now a year old and the back hasn't come off since the SIM was inserted.

  5. Paul E

    Choice

    Give your average punter a choice between having this phone as is or having it heavier and/or chunkier and/or have less capacity but with a removable battery and I think I know which would be more popular. The decision in these phones to make the battery fixed in not just some arbitary descision there are real advantages in terms of weight and size by using fixed batteries. As to the lack of an SD slot I have had a number of phones with SD slots and have only had to change cards once or twice a most. Usually the call for an SD card slot related to products like the iphone 5S where there is an excessive premium ($200 or so) between the lowest and highest memory models. For the oneplus one the difference in price is a lot closer to the cost of a suitably sized SD card so the argument has less force IMO.

    1. Paul E

      Re: Choice

      For most people an SD card slot is about getting extra storage on the cheap but it does not come without its hassles. Firstly running programs of SD cards is generally slower than runnng them from main memory but from my experience the main hassle is having to maintain storage in 2 locations. I cannot be the only person who has had to go through all their installed apps and moved as many as possible to the SD card to make space for something else in main storage. Give me choice between 16gb fixed + 48gb removable SD card and 64GB fixed I would choose the 64GB fixed every time. Yes you lose some flexibility but you remove the more regular and annoying hassle of maintaining two storage locations. Expecially in this case where the premium for 64gb over 16gb is so small compared to other phones.

  6. Salts

    No Removable...

    battery, no sd card slot.

    Problem is, smart phones are white goods to all but el reg readers, the majority don't fit a new motor to their washing machine to up the spin speed from 800rpm to 1400rpm they buy a new one, the same applies to their phone.

    1. BeerTokens

      Re: No Removable...

      No because a new washing machine motor was cira £150 last time I looked and I can get a new machine for near that.

      Have replaced pumps on dishwashers as it is economically viable to do so.

      If I could up the spin on a cheaper 1400 spin washer to 2000 then I would as it would halve the initial price of the machine but I would fear for my silk undies in a machine not designed to go that fast.

  7. Paul E

    From the horses mouth about why have a fixed battery

    http://forums.oneplus.net/threads/the-oneplus-one-battery-long-lasting-compact-and-reliable.327/

    "With these two goals in mind, we ultimately decided on a 3100 mAh non-removable battery for the OnePlus One.

    The decision was clear for us. A removable battery would have meant adding a protective layer to the motherboard as well as extra circuitry, resulting in a smaller battery (2500mAh, 20% less battery juice!) or a significantly thicker phone.

    With our configuration, the battery will last long enough to get even the most active users through an entire day of use without adding bulk to the overall build and design."

    1. Craigie Bronze badge

      Re: From the horses mouth about why have a fixed battery

      " the battery will last long enough to get even the most active users through an entire day of use"

      No. Just no. Maybe if you don't actively use a GPS and have the screen on most of the time. 3100 is nice, but I can burn through an entire zero lemon (7000 MAh) in a day no bother.

      1. Alan_Peery

        Re: From the horses mouth about why have a fixed battery

        Why don't you change the settings on your phone to turn off the screen unless you touch the screen/hit a volume button? You'd still get audio announcements from the navigation software, recording of the GPS track, and most other things I can think that you really *need* for a heavy GPS usage scenario.

  8. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    WTF?

    People, People...

    If its too good to be true, it probably is. Be very careful with this one.

    1. bigtimehustler

      Re: People, People...

      There is some truth in this, but also, most of the time I think its a phrase invented by some incumbents marketing department in the past to protect their huge profit margins over some upstarts pricing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People, People...

      > If its too good to be true,

      My phone cost less than that for a comparable spec. No-name Chinese affair, working fine, except that so far I cannot seem to be able to get Cyanogen on it.

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    1. hopkinse

      Re: Qi?

      Wireless charging

  10. El Presidente

    Ok I signed up and I've smashed my phone ...

    Please, tell me it's a genuine offer.

    I has dollar ....

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    ... but will it make better phone calls or make my thumbs text faster than my nokia 1112?

  12. Andy Watt

    Lack of SD + KitKat 4.4 == good idea...?

    Given Google's lockdown of the SD card (finally) and the way it can make apps which don't play well with the new handling strategy not work too well... perhaps Android should generally face up to getting rid of removable SD cards.

    Like the other posters said - 95% of the population simply don't care if the SD card is removable. So the device manufacturers will make a reasoned decision to stop supporting them: another socket and mounting point you can lose from hardware designs, less on the BOM cost... etc.

    1. dogged

      Re: Lack of SD + KitKat 4.4 == good idea...?

      > Given Google's lockdown of the SD card (finally) and the way it can make apps which don't play well with the new handling strategy not work too well... perhaps Android should generally face up to getting rid of removable SD cards.

      It's pretty clear from the Nexus line that Google don't like the idea of SC Card storage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of SD + KitKat 4.4 == good idea...?

        Or the NSA doesn't like removable SD cards, which I consider much more likely. The micro SD card must be a recurring nightmare for the security services, now it can be bigger than the average hard drives of a decade ago.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Lack of SD + KitKat 4.4 == good idea...?

        > It's pretty clear from the Nexus line that Google don't like the idea of SC Card storage.

        Removable SD cards usually need to be compatible with other devices, such as Windows PCs or Cameras, and thus must be FAT32 formatted. Internal memory can be ext3 or some other more suitable format. So having a removable SD card slot usually means that Microsoft can extract their patent tax.

        It is not that Google does not like external storage, they don't like Microsoft making money on their products.

      3. A J Stiles

        Re: Lack of SD + KitKat 4.4 == good idea...?

        If someone whose primary business was getting rid of mice started a sideline renting out houses, it's a rather safe bet that those houses would not have cat flaps .....

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