OnePlus One Quick Impressions review

So as of Saturday night I plopped my SIM card into my new OnePlus One... until then I had been playing around with the settings and getting acquainted with the form factor and all things Cyanogen, which I hadn't used in quite some time.

After a weekend of my use what do I have to report?  Here's my quick impressions after a couple days.

And if you're looking for something more in depth; sit tight - as +Sylvain Le Bourhis will be getting his device this week too, we'll do a tandem review soon.

TL;DR - phone is pretty 'meh', nothing wowing to me.

What I did like

  • 64GB - nothing like loading up all your apps, pinning some Google Play Music and still having about 40GB free!
  • Snappy - aside from the odd 'snag' in rendering or 'something' that just causes the system to just stall for a second or so (rare as it is) this device just flies and 3GB RAM really helps you keep your place in games and apps so that when you come back you don't have to reload it.
  • The packaging - I can't emphasize how it really added to the experience.  Very nice boxing and... well thought really went into it.  When I went to a training session on selling iPhones one of the things they hyped up was the 'boxing' and how it's akin to unwrapping a present (seriously, I'm not making that up).  Unboxing the 1+1 was more like getting hte keys to a brand new luxury car.
    • Sure, the packaging isn't something I get to use every day, but it's a feeling that does stick with you!
  • Battery life has been pretty good.  The first day was pretty terrible, but there was so much to set up and get going, after that was complete it's been great.  Keep in mind with a big battery that the charging time is also longer (I would put it on charge and a few minutes later be surprised that the % didn't increase like it would on my N4... then I'd smarten up and realize why).
  • Price - $350 for all the specs is still a good deal
    • Sure, you'll have heard me complain that $350+27 shipping + conversion to CDN was about $420 or so.  Add in the $60 duty that DHL collected (I mean we didn't pay tax on it) and it's almost at the price point of some of the flagship phones.  But for current flagships, you don't get even 32GB, let alone 64!
  • Some of the CM features - like ScreenCast (sure, I just buy Screen Recorder Pro and then this phone has it built in)

What I didn't like

  • It's big.  5.5" is quite large, and aside from screen size (which I don't mind) is the fact that it's quite tall.  There's the edging piece they have on top and bottom that stick out, making it look svelte, but it's tall.  It's having a hard time fitting into some of my pockets.
  • It didn't come pre-rooted... which I get, but now that I have just realized it I have to "fastboot oem unlock" to set it up with SuperSU/recovery etc... and after I have it all set up the way I wanted.
  • Cyanogenmod - sacrilege, I know... but you start to realize that there's still some issues with it.  I don't know if all of it is CM or what.  I miss the 'maturity' of stock Android
    • I do notice issues with my WiFi shutting off, then turning back on.  Briefly, but I'll notice it a few times a day at home, something I'd never seen with any other device.
    • No casting my screen via Chromecast.
    • It has a hard time recognizing my "Ok Google"
    • There is a literal crap-ton of ringtone / notification sounds to go through.  Really, we don't need that many.  And I mainly go to Zedge for my sounds, so it just means having to go through so many options to find the one I downloaded
    • Definitely too used to the Google Camera options, so I found the CM version 'clunky'.
    • For some reason I can't include one of my Exchange email accounts which has worked on EVERY device I've ever used.  On this device it just can't validate.
  • No Qi
    • The USB charging port is upside down (small detail, I know, but I'm OCD like that... all my cables and chargers are set up for the other way around)
  • I'm noticing the yellowing (it's not terrible... and it's hardly 'yellow').  It's nothing terrible as usually the bottom is where I keep things I don't use often, so it's rarely a BRIGHT WHITE in that area.  But once an opportunity for it to 'showcase', it's all I see.
    • Apparently the fix is to put it under a UV light for 10-20 minutes (the UV camping light I had I guess wasn't strong enough) or leave it out in the hot sun for a few hours (which I haven't had the chance to do quite yet)
    • The yellowing comes from some of the adhesive used to affix the display, which hasn't had time to 'cure' quite yet.
  • I don't get why we're given the option of the soft buttons or the on screen.  I can't decide which to use.  I want 'full screen' (i.e. soft buttons, but they're backwards), but I'm too used to on screen ones.  Argh, choices!!
  • When I plug it in via USB and use it in Media Storage mode, sometimes I'm having trouble copying files over to the device.  No rhyme or reason as to why.

Yeah, the phone hasn't really 'stood out' from the crowd.  It hasn't 'wow'd me, and I'm coming from the Nexus 4.  Sure, I've used a lot of the flagships out there, so I know what to expect.

That being said, for the price it's a fantastic deal, and it shipped quickly.  I ordered mine on the evening of July 14th and it was in my hand on the morning of the 18th.  That's pretty fast.