Somewhere in the Xiaomi offices, Lei Jun is starting to sweat.
China’s newest smartphone maker, OnePlus, unveiled its first-ever flagship phone in Beijing today at a price equal to Xiaomi’s flagship Mi3 in China, RMB 2,000 (US$330) for the 16GB version and RMB 2,300 (US$368) for the 64GB. The phone officially goes on sale in China on May 28 on JD and Yixun.
The international version of the OnePlus will be even cheaper, retailing at just $299. Moreover, it’s shipping to Western markets that Xiaomi hasn’t dared touch yet. OnePlus plans to sell the phone directly to global buyers via its website starting sometime around late May in 15 countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. Unfortunately, they will only be available in those markets via invite for the foreseeable future.
We already knew most of the phone’s specifications prior to launch, but today Tech in Asia got to actually see it for the first time. The device is just short of 9mm thick with a 4.6mm bevel around the screen. the screen doesn’t extend to the bottom of the phone, which is a bit odd. Swappable back covers – bamboo, kevlar, denim, and so on – will be made available for customization. Weighing in at 162 grams, the gently curved phone feels sturdy and light in hand. Overall, it bears a resemblance to its godfather, the Oppo Find 7.
The phone comes with CyanogenMod as the default OS, but users need not root it if they want to use other Android ROMs.
The first 100 international OnePlus Ones will be given out through a “phone smash” campaign, wherein fans send in videos of themselves stomping, hammering, or otherwise destroying their old phones to win a new one for just one US dollar.
Xiaomi clearly sees OnePlus as a potential threat, conveniently choosing today to reveal its new smart router.