OnePlus One is a Bit Too Big for a Phone

OnePlus One

A device which became famous earlier this year for a controversial marketing campaign is a bit too big to be considered a standard smartphone, says one reviewer. With a 5.5″ display, the OnePlus One is a bit too large to use comfortably without two hands.

And this puts the device more firmly in phablet territory, writes Joshua Ho of AnandTech.

Ho explains:

“If the LG G3 was at the very edge between a phone and phablet, the OnePlus One firmly steps into phablet territory. At some point a line in the sand has to be drawn, and it only makes sense to do so here.”

Reviewer Marques Brownlee does note some software glitches as well in this video, however, adds that these may be cleared up with future updates:

But in his review, Ho has no other major complaints about the internal and external specs on the OnePlus One.

The OnePlus One’s features a 1080p IPS LCD display, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Inside, the device has a 3GB 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 801 processor. The 16GB version starts at $299 and the 64GB version sells for $349. This makes the OnePlus One very affordable for an unlocked unsubsidized device with this level of features.

The OnePlus One’s display looks like a piece of black glass with subdued buttons and logos. And the phone can be customized to fit a user’s preferences, reviewers say.

One reviewer who was lucky enough to get that exclusive invite to buy a OnePlus One believes that the device is a bit too big to be considered a smartphone. Though Ho does say the glass on the display has what feels like a bit more friction than other similar devices.

The back of the device has a textured feel and provides good grip when handling the device.

While the price seems competitive, the challenge for consumers may be getting the phone. OnePlus One is only available to people who receive a formal invitation to buy one. Those typically must come from the company or someone who owns the phone already.

The company has run some promotions to make more invitations available. But one of these launched in August proved so controversial with some of the company’s fan base that it may have done the OnePlus One brand more harm than good.

The OnePlus One was thrust into the spotlight when a Ladies First contest drew complaints. Through its community forums, OnePlus encouraged female fans to post pictures of themselves with the company logo placed somewhere in the shot.

The idea was for other members of the OnePlus online community to vote for their favorite photos with the women in the shots then being eligible for special invites to buy the new phone.

But the campaign quickly backfired when photos of women drew inappropriate comments from other members of the community. And some called the campaign sexist causing OnePlus to eventually rescind the promotion and issue an apology.

UPDATE: Thanks to the observations of loyal readers, it has come to our attention that there’s an updated video that addresses some of the original concerns. You can view the updated video below:

Image: OnePlus


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

12 Reactions
  1. I think the concept is not that new. There are so many brands releasing a cross between a smartphone and a tablet. I think it works because people need bigger phones and smaller tablets.

    • it works because smartphone functionality benefits from big screens. That’s also the reason smartwatches feel so clumsy today. They lack screen size.

  2. OnePlus one is big but iPhone 6 is classy. good looking and good for viewing videos.
    Come one media stop using double standards.

    • The OnePlus One isn’t *just* big. It’s a very attractive device, very comfortable with its curved back, and very powerful. Running Cyanogenmod on top-of-the-line hardware including one of the highest capacity batteries in any smartphone provides the most flexibility and customization possible for the user. And with a price tag so low, it provides the most bang for your buck of any smartphone.

    • It’s funny because the screen is the same size but iPhone is actually bigger because of bezels.

  3. This is outdated. “Reviewer Marques Brownlee does note some software glitches as well in this video, however, adds that these may be cleared up with future updates”

    The OnePlus one has actually been the fastest phone to fix their bugs in their software (because they work directly with the software developers), and it has been credited in many honorable mentions, as well as being community voted as #1 phone of the year in several campaigns.

    I own a OnePlus One (invites actually aren’t that hard to get), but I can say that the availability may be a turnoff to some people. If spending more money is better than spending a day or two trying to get an invite, that is understandable.

    But I really do like the iPhone 6+ also. The iPhone 6 by itself isn’t half as good as the plus.

  4. The OnePlus One is not firmly in any category for all users. I am gesture typing with mine, in a case, with one hand right now. It will depend on the individual’s biology, and the case they use. (Before this, I used a Nexus 4 in a three-piece case which made its handling similar.)

    Place your outstretched hand on a piece of paper and mark off the distance between the tip of your thumb and pinkie fingertip. If that distance is eight inches (just barely above average) or more, this will be a one-handed phone for you. Get a slim but protective case like the Diztronic and you’re set.

    The Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are each larger phones, but even they are one-handed phones… if you’re an NFL quarterback.

  5. I like the size of the phone, and the build quality is way above iPhone 6+ especially when you consider that it doesn’t bend!

    • No point comparing it with iPhones really. Bottom line is that in 2014 and at this price range the Oneplus One simply had no rival.

  6. Perfect size phone for me light easy to handle great screen real estate

  7. A rose smells as sweet by any other name.
    A bit too big for a phone?
    Come on, we use One Plus for other uses such as video viewing and reading ebooks in the pdf format.
    Besides when messaging, no more fumbling over the correct letters or getting stressed over mistyped alphabeths.
    It’s comfortable in the pocket of the pants. And it’s light-weighted too.
    And we have not marvelled at the software features yet.

  8. Any Oneplus One invites?