OnePlus One review: When opportunity strikes

GSMArena team, 09 July 2014.

Contact management and telephony

The phonebook is the stock Android app People and mirrors what you'd find on a Nexus 5, for instance. The main view of the app has a search field at the top which searches through your contacts as well as through local businesses. So you can type pizza and instantly get Google's POI information for a local pizza restaurant.

A tap on the bottom left will bring up the call log, the middle the dialpad with smart search and the options with the right context menu. The quick contacts feature triggers on tapping a contact image to bring up a tabbed popup window. The tabs are phone and email with a list of the available numbers or addresses. These tabs can be navigated with side swipes as well.

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People app

The single contact view displays the contact's details along with various options.

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Contact options

The in-call screen is the same as default Android. Quality of the calls was excellent with the OnePlus One. The earpiece is loud and crisp. The phone also didn't have issues with holding on to a signal.

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In-call screen

We ran our traditional loudspeaker test on the OnePlus One, eager to see how its bottom-mounted dual speakers fare. While we're not fans of the placement - both on the bottom, next to each other - we do like the volume. Everything came out loud and clear with the only exception being bass. It's doesn't seem reasonable to expect deep bass from such small speakers but the HTC One series has spoiled us.

Still the OnePlus One was among the loudest devices we've ever tested, receiving the highest score possible - Excellent. It goes without saying it is way louder than the HTC One series and matches the LG G3 with its 1W speaker for loudness.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Sony Xperia Z266.7 64.675.7Average
Samsung Galaxy S566.9 66.675.7Good
HTC One (M8)65.8 64.775.7Average
Samsung Galaxy Note 370.5 66.678.0Good
LG G370.2 66.680.2Good
Oppo Find 769.8 70.375.8Good
Oppo Find 7a71.3 72.575.7Very Good
OnePlus One74.8 73.580.2Excellent

Learn more about the loudspeaker text here.

Messaging and email

Although Google Hangouts is present it isn't the default app for messaging. That is the Messenger app, which looks just like the original app from stock Android.

It divides conversations by threads but will have different threads for each of the numbers of the same contact, unlike Hangouts which unifies all conversations with the same person.

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Messenger

Moving on to email, the Gmail app and the new generic Email app are now almost identical in both looks and functionality. They feature color coded sender images, based on the first letter of the sender's name. Both apps support multiple accounts, but the Unified Inbox is available only on the default Email client.

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Gmail

There's also a standard email app that allows you to setup other email accounts, aside from Gmail. It works and looks almost exactly like Gmail and supports more than one account.

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Email

The Google keyboard has always been a pleasure to use and is one of the most preferred Android keyboards out there. On this screen the keys are comfortably large in both portrait and landscape mode.

Gesture typing is available as usual - it works in a manner very similar to Swype -- you just swipe your finger over the letters one after the other, lifting your finger after each word is complete. Naturally, the Gesture Typing feature benefits from the already existing Android word prediction, so you can just click on the words the keyboard suggests.

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Google keyboard

A tap on the text area will reveal a "handle" attached to the text cursor - it's easy and more accurate, which makes correcting mistakes easier. A double tap will bring up the select options - Select word and Select All - with two handles to adjust the start and end of the selection.

If a word has a typo, it will be underlined in red and when you tap it, the phone will offer a number of suggested corrections along with options to add the word to the phone's dictionary or just delete it.

Voice input is available as well and it works great too. It doesn't even require internet connection if you download the specific language file and make it available for offline usage.