So, it was time for a new phone again! After having had both a Samsung S2 and a Samsung Note 2, I was getting increasingly agitated over the lockdowns, restrictions and excessive bloatware that those phones had. Which means I wanted either a Nexus phone with the Google experience, or something completely different. When the OnePlus One came out I was amazed at the price, and specs of the device, and the fact that it was shipped with CyanogenMOD as default. After seeing about a dozen reviews I finally decided to get one.
Unfortunately it was not that easy… You see Oneplus requires an invite by another person that has bought the Oneplus. This is really a quite clever marketing ploy, unfortunately this creates a couple of problems. One: People get very upset because they can’t buy the phone they want, which in turn makes people grow bored of waiting for invites and buy something else. Two: This creates a huge black market for the sale of actual invites. I’ve seen invites being sold on eBay for up to $100, and that’s just for the INVITE to buy a phone.
So after a while I figured out that there was actually a Chinese version of Oneplus one being freely available to buy in China. No invites, no black market scams and no waiting. I managed to track down a page called SpeMALL that had the phones in stock, and that were able to ship outside China.
Difference between Chinese and International edition
There are basically two “major” differences:
- The phone is not branded with the letters CYANOGEN on the back.
- The phone runs ColorOS instead of Cyanogenmod. ColorOS is just Android with a shell on top like any other phone out there. Touchwiz for Samsung phones and Sense for HTC phones.
This was not an issue for me though, as I couldn’t care less about the branding (and it actually makes the phone look even cleaner), and I had no issues finding articles about flashing Cyanogen (or any other rom for that matter) onto a Chinese Oneplus and get a phone that is exactly like the International one.
The specs on the phones are exactly the same as well, so no worry there.
The following is a photo shoot of my unboxing of the Oneplus One