Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

OnePlus One Revealed: a CyanogenMod Smartphone

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the new-kit-on-the-block dept.

Android 196

An anonymous reader writes "Spec-wise, OnePlus One will go toe-to-toe with the latest flagship phones like the Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8), and Sony Xperia Z2. In some areas, it even surpasses them, and at a price point of $300. The One has the same 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC SoC as the Samsung Galaxy S5, build quality similar to the HTC One (M8), and the large 3000+ mAh battery and Sony camera of the Xperia Z2. It also runs CyanogenMod 11S, which is based on Android 4.4."

cancel ×

196 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

One plus One revealed? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826317)

42 I guess?

Re:One plus One revealed? (5, Funny)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 4 months ago | (#46826565)

I see you've dealt with Verizon billing before too.

Re:One plus One revealed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827909)

Obligatory link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2isSJKntbg [youtube.com]

Too good to be true? (3, Interesting)

schnell (163007) | about 4 months ago | (#46826331)

$300 for the 16 GB model and $350 for a 64 GB model? Knowing what Samsung charges for comparable devices, and knowing how much better economies of scale it has, this sounds exciting but just a little too good to be true.

Re:Too good to be true? (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46826405)

If we can buy a single 32GB Micro SDHC card for under 20$USD and 64GB for 40$USD at Amazon.com, I'd say that almost all companies are totally ripping us off when it comes to built-in device storage.

I'm guessing it costs them around 6$USD for 32GB and 12$USD for 64GB flash storage ICs since they buy millions of them.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#46826455)

MicroSD uses a cheap n-wire serial interface. Embedded FLASH, especially that which is used for XIF, is parallel and much much faster, and more expensive owing to the larger packages with higher numbers of pins for parallel interfaces.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46826567)

Maybe that's a problem waiting to be fixed? Not everything needs extremely fast storage and I'm guessing the biggest storage capacities demanded by some people are caused by audio, video and photos. Since digital cameras can now record full HD video and use Micro SDXC cards, I'd say that one way to lower the cost and increase the capacity at the same time would be to include both "slow" and "fast" storage.

Something like Project ARA could give the choice to users. Add a cheaper unit that contains 256GB of slow storage and 16GB of fast storage or add a more expensive unit with 64GB of fast storage only. The OS would be able to decide for itself if a storage is fast enough for a given task (JPEGs and AACs go to the slow storage, the apps go in the fast storage, etc).

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#46826699)

For accessing sequential data, serial interfaces do pretty well. You send an address once, and just keep on clocking out (or in) high speed serial data and the flash controller in the card increments the address automagically.

The problem comes with XIF implementations that are highly random, and change access addresses often. That is not fast on a serial flash where address setups take a long time.

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#46827241)

For accessing sequential data, serial interfaces do pretty well. You send an address once, and just keep on clocking out (or in) high speed serial data and the flash controller in the card increments the address automagically.

true but why did they rip off the HTC One name? best case it makes them look unoriginal, and worst case they get shut down in the courts.

The problem comes with XIF implementations that are highly random, and change access addresses often. That is not fast on a serial flash where address setups take a long time.

agreed but I think this can be solved in software.

Re:Too good to be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826999)

Maybe that's a problem waiting to be fixed?

Maybe so, but that doesn't make your original comment any less ignorant.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 4 months ago | (#46827069)

"MicroSD uses a cheap n-wire serial interface."

Uh, no. While it's true that SD cards offer backwards compatibility with MMC, modern cards transfer using a 4 bit wide parallel bus, and it's not nearly as simple as the SPI mode. With regard to your argument, have you ever looked at the flash chips in an SD card? Last I checked, they use the same memory dies as the "embedded" packages, and add the cost of an SD controller and more complex packaging. On the host side, there's the cost of an SD controller (although that's probably "free" with the SoC) and socket.

More specific to the original point, if a phone already has 16G of flash, the cost of upping it to 64G is minor - the parallel interface you mention is already there, and the difference in packaging costs between 16G and 64G chips is likely zero.

Re:Too good to be true? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#46827585)

and the difference in packaging costs between 16G and 64G chips is likely zero.

I never would have pegged the price difference between 16GB and 64GB as $50.
That means every other phone out there is practicing enormous and arbitrary price discrimination by jacking up the cost of storage.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#46827625)

I never would have pegged the price difference between 16GB and 64GB as $50.
That means every other phone out there is practicing enormous and arbitrary price discrimination by jacking up the cost of storage.

Well Duh! Why do you think Apple for instance doesn't allow SD cards in their phones?

Re:Too good to be true? (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#46827647)

MicroSD exists in many different speeds. They use the same microcontroller as the embedded flash, and can be just as fast if using similar chips (can in fact be faster if your phone has cheap internal flash).

Re:Too good to be true? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#46826585)

I certainly wouldn't doubt the use of non-upgradable internal storage as an effective price discrimination and margin padding tactic; but there is the issue of flash and controller quality.

If you are running something nearly the weight of a full OS (and a RAM constrained one that spends a lot of time killing processes and trying to reload them before anybody notices), you want good performance from your flash and controller (consider the user happiness that the first gen Nexus 7 created before it gained TRIM support and the flash was fragmenting and I/O going to hell). That costs more per gigabyte, more in line with what a decent SSD would (which still isn't all that much, these days; but it's a bit steeper than a basic SD/SDHC card).

If you just want bulk mostly-read storage, lousy flash doesn't matter nearly as much.

Unfortunately, there really isn't a terribly elegant way, and mobile OSes tend to adopt the 'the filesystem doesn't exist if we don't show it to you' theory of UI design, in any case (unless you have onboard/SD to serve as an obvious boundary) to present multiple flash subsystems of nonuniform performance to the user, even if some of them really would be better off with 16GB of bat-out-of-hell flash and 128 or 256 of cheap as chips stuff for their media storage and playback.

Maybe we'll see some of the stuff designed for server and SAN use, with the assorted designs for using faster devices to increase the overall performance of a larger pool of cheaper storage, make it down to phones at some point; but until that happens, non-uniformity is unlikely to be a crowd pleaser.

Re:Too good to be true? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46826785)

As I said in another of my comments, I think "slow storage / fast storage" would be simple enough, with the OS able to know that it must store apps in fast storage and media in the slow storage.

Call it "Apps storage capacity" and "Media storage capacity" if it helps, the typical user doesn't need to know or even care why there's two kinds of capacities if the end result is more media storage for a lower price tag.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#46826423)

It's being sold direct by the Chinese manufacturer:

OnePlus
Unit B 9/F. Lockhart Centre
301-307 Lockhart Road Wanchai
Hong Kong Central
Hong Kong

Cutting out markups by US retailers can only lower the final consumer price. Units will ship directly from China most likely, and most US consumers will be surprised when they receive bills from the shipper for US Customs clearance. It's unlikely they will be able to get away with checking the "Gift" box on the customs forms for 10 million phones.

Re:Too good to be true? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826803)

It's being sold direct by the Chinese manufacturer:

OnePlus
Unit B 9/F. Lockhart Centre
301-307 Lockhart Road Wanchai
Hong Kong Central
Hong Kong

Cutting out markups by US retailers can only lower the final consumer price. Units will ship directly from China most likely, and most US consumers will be surprised when they receive bills from the shipper for US Customs clearance. It's unlikely they will be able to get away with checking the "Gift" box on the customs forms for 10 million phones.

I've bought plenty of merchandise from Chinese manufacturers ($1000+ per shipment) and never had to pay any unexpected customs charges, everything was paid in the shipping/handling fees.

Re:Too good to be true? (2)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46826897)

Doubtful, according to the FAQ [oneplus.net] . At least, I'm hoping the warehouses mentioned are, based on the initial countries of availability [oneplus.net] , in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Re:Too good to be true? (5, Informative)

drachensun (2766139) | about 4 months ago | (#46827515)

In the USA customs on phones and similar mobile computing devices is 0%. Unless they come from Japan and have a 16 bit or larger CPU, then its something outrageous like 200% which I assume is some ancient 1980s calculator tariff thats still hanging around. If you do not require a formal entry, typically there are no customs duties or charges at all. Formal entry is not required for packages sent by mail carrier with a value $1500, unless they are in a special category like munitions, produce, etc, etc. Even with a formal entry this category doesn't have any duty but your customs agent will typically charge a % for handling the paperwork. DHL used to charge me 0.25% I think, its been more than I year though so I can't remember exactly. This isn't true for most western countries, the EU has VAT and local sales tax, Canada has a national sales tax, many other countries have crippling duties. In short, drop shipping to the USA is not a problem and won't add duties. I used to do a formal entries of this kind of merchandise about once a month when I had this going www.pengpod.com .

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 4 months ago | (#46827553)

Chinese spying?

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 4 months ago | (#46826491)

Usually the markup on things we buy can be pretty high. Sometimes it can be as bad as 200%-400% no joke.

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 4 months ago | (#46826529)

It is.

That's why they have their ridiculous invite system to deal with the lack of availability.

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

bberens (965711) | about 4 months ago | (#46826639)

Bear in mind that the LG Nexus 5 is only $350. I'd assume the Nexus 6 is coming soon (about the time this phone might get wide-spread availability) and will come in at about the same price point.

Re:Too good to be true? (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 4 months ago | (#46826895)

The Nexus 5 is subsidized by Google so that it's sold nearly at cost or possibly even below it.

Google's business model here is that it gets people into the Play Store ecosystem, which is where Google really makes their money on Android.

OnePlus has no such business model, which is why they're limiting access to the device via their invite system.

One additional worry bead about this price point is that it means they're likely not funneling much money to Cyngn (Cyanogen, Inc) to support this device. For various reasons (mainly, the Cyngn guys being notoriously difficult to work with), Cyngn-backed devices get little to no community input on CyanogenMod builds.

As an example of what happens when you don't pay Cyngn much for a device, see the Oppo N1. Once Cyngn got what they wanted (experience with taking a device through the GMS certification process), they deallocated most engineering resources for the N1, which has since then received minimal level of support effort from Cyngn. The end result is stuff like location services being broken for 2 months straight in CM11 nightlies. Nearly everyone who bought the CM edition of the N1 switched to Omni, which is maintained on that particular device by three guys (disclaimer: I'm one of them) in their spare time. That's how badly Cyngn deprioritized the device - three guys in their spare time are investing more into suppporting the device than cyngn is. (Admittedly, we're making better use of our time too - see below.)

I expect users of the OnePlus One will see the same with the next Android version beyond 4.4 on the OnePlus - the team at Cyngn take the "no bug reports against nightlies" rule VERY seriously, and the results of that show in the quality of nightly builds that are maintained by them. (Many of the community-supported devices are supported by maintainers who have a thread on XDA, where they'll hear if a device has a major issue. The end result is that most people have a high expectation of quality even from nightlies due to the "community maintainer pays attention to what's going on" workaround, but you won't see that from Cyngn-backed devices.)

Re:Too good to be true? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827201)

Seriously?

So broken builds, publicly acknowledged as broken by Cyanogen, who've told us all many times that nightly builds are not for public consumption, are the entire basis for your argument here as to why people should use Omni over Cyanogen?

Really?

So...I gotta ask: Do you have any idea how incredibly stupid that is and how bad that makes you look?

Cyanogen: Hey guys, this code is auto-built and it generally doesn't work. Don't use it on devices you need to use daily.

Random Omni moron: See!!! Their codez are br0ken! People who've used their broken code for months haven't had proper functionality! Don't use them!!

Yeah...those N1 folks are sure lucky to have you...

Re:Too good to be true? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827057)

The Nexus 5 is a complete piece of shit. Kit Kat is the worst phone OS ever, the plastic cases are flimsy, and the portrait/landscape sensor is WAY to sensitive.

Re:Too good to be true? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#46827089)

$300 for the 16 GB model and $350 for a 64 GB model? Knowing what Samsung charges for comparable devices

Yes, but the recent build estimate based on tear-down for the S5 was $255 or so.
    That gives these guys in China almost a hundred bucks, which is a good margin for any business. Samsung is just making money hand-over-fist, but there's plenty of long-tail to profit in.

Re:Too good to be true? (2)

richtopia (924742) | about 4 months ago | (#46827263)

Keep in mind that teardowns of the S5 put the manufacturing cost ~256USD. While this does not take into account a lot of costs like design, if the OnePlus One is selling at zero profit to gain market share they could with similar specs to the S5.

http://www.gadgetcluster.com/2014/04/it-takes-only-256-for-samsung-to-produce-a-galaxy-s5-handset/

Re:Too good to be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827377)

$300 for the 16 GB model and $350 for a 64 GB model? Knowing what Samsung charges for comparable devices, and knowing how much better economies of scale it has, this sounds exciting but just a little too good to be true.

All Samsung has to do is charge less than Apple....

impressive specs (1)

etash (1907284) | about 4 months ago | (#46826335)

Does anyone know what's the name of the company or who's behind it ? I have this feeling there must be some giant behind this new face.

Re:impressive specs (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#46826401)

OnePlus
Unit B 9/F. Lockhart Centre
301-307 Lockhart Road Wanchai
Hong Kong Central
Hong Kong

Re:impressive specs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826447)

Does it matter? All of them are equally fucking crap. Give me one with open source software (including firmware in all radios) and we can start talking.

Re:impressive specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826945)

So no smartphone for you, then. Good riddance.

Re:impressive specs (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 4 months ago | (#46827539)

Who do you expect to write radio firmware for free?

Re:impressive specs (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about 4 months ago | (#46826651)

They have a "careers" page on their website and all the jobs are in Shenzhen. They have two caucasian looking guys on their employee website, but they could be from Hong Kong for all I know.

Re:impressive specs (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#46827163)

They have two caucasian looking guys on their employee website, but they could be from STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY for all I know.

There we go...

Nice toy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826353)

I'll keep getting real work done on my Windows Phone.

Re:Nice toy (3, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 months ago | (#46826613)

What kind of "work" do you do on a phone?

Re:Nice toy (5, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#46826859)

Astroturfing Microsoft on websites, duh...

Re:Nice toy (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 4 months ago | (#46827039)

What kind of "work" do you do on a phone?

Probably Bing searches

Re:Nice toy (1)

Cley Faye (1123605) | about 4 months ago | (#46827361)

What kind of "work" do you do on a phone?

Probably Bing searches

But Bing is only for porn... oh.

Re:Nice toy (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 4 months ago | (#46827389)

Tether my laptop

Critical work. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#46827439)

But only when I'm not at home or at work, and only when I've forgotten to bring both my laptop and my tablet (with bluetooth keyboard) with me. In short - times when I've cracked a duh-lithium crystal by exceeding duh-factor eight.

Incidentally, my phone and tablet both run Android - and the tablet is only marginally better than the phone at actually doing anything productive. Even with BusyBox and a decent SSH client, the OS and interface just aren't optimized for much beyond gaming, entertainment and basic connectivity (at least, to me).

LAtest flagship phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826367)

Wasn't one missing? Or is it not equipped to take on the iphone, much like other android phones?

Oh Em Gee! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826383)

*drool* I used CyanogenMod to get hotspot capabilities with my last carrier, since I PAY FOR THE CELLULAR CONNECTION and I should be able to use it when I want it. I also used to to get rid of CRAP I didn't want like nascar and football apps.

This is awesome!

*drools some more*

Now if we could only get a carrier that let you buy a phone and just pay them for service....

easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826459)

move to europe...

Re:easy (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 months ago | (#46826485)

Or Canada. Even Bull and Robbers offer BYOD plans.

Re:easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826787)

Bull and Robbers

Actual company, or more accurate rebranding for AT&T and Verizon?

Re:easy (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 months ago | (#46826871)

No. Accurate rebranding for Bell and Rogers.

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46826759)

Closest I can come in the US is T-Mobile pre-paid plans. My wife and I switched our phones to it after "test driving" the service with our Nexus 7 (2013) tablets for a few months. Even with double the devices that we had on AT&T, we cut the monthly cost in half...

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | about 4 months ago | (#46827811)

You can bring your own phone on all T-Mobile plans. Where have you been for the past year?

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#46827923)

Use SimpleMobile, H2O Wireless etc. They have better plans and no stench of pink lock-in.

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46828151)

Lock-in is difficult on unlocked Nexus devices in a pre-paid situation.

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#46828201)

Yeah that's why I use SimpleMobile (TMO Network) and H20 Wireless (AT&T) and unlocked and rooted phones. No more contracts for me and it's been that way for nearly 3 years now.

Re:Oh Em Gee! (1)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46828147)

Right here. Why? Did I not make it clear that we were testing the coverage of the T-Mobile network with our tablets before we switched our phones over?

...and you can't buy one (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 4 months ago | (#46826431)

At least not yet. Still unknown as to when it is going on sale, I believe. Also you will not be able to buy one from Verizon in the US. Not sure about other carriers but I sorta doubt it. Cool to see a phone ship with Cyanogenmod, though.

Ooh! Pick Me! (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | about 4 months ago | (#46826443)

The answer is two.

Project Ara? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46826457)

Is Project Ara [projectara.com] too new, that's why they're not using it?

Gotta hand it to them (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 4 months ago | (#46826465)

The video is simply stunning, really grabbed my attention and filled the information void inside of me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

A clean phone with Cyanogen mod straight from purchase, yes please!

Cheapskates buy directly from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826477)

Others pay double price.

I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826493)

but why are all these nice Android phones so bloody big. What about those of us who want a 4" or smaller phone? I don't personally wear giant or baggy pants and do not want to carry a phone in a bag or dreaded belt clip.

Re:I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 4 months ago | (#46826583)

Furthermore, what about those of us who want--nay, require--a hardware keyboard? I don't give a rat's ass about gestures or voice recognition, but I do want to type on real buttons while my entire screen is visible. Such things are no longer being developed, which is why I still have my Epic 4G. In the 3 years I've had it, it has has been connected to WiMax (yeah, it's a Sprint pre-LTE device) for a total of about 4 minutes, because there never was WiMax coverage where I live, but I still have to pay a stupid $10/month data surcharge.

Re:I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826799)

Furthermore, what about those of us who want--nay, require--a hardware keyboard? I don't give a rat's ass about gestures or voice recognition, but I do want to type on real buttons while my entire screen is visible. Such things are no longer being developed, which is why I still have my Epic 4G. In the 3 years I've had it, it has has been connected to WiMax (yeah, it's a Sprint pre-LTE device) for a total of about 4 minutes, because there never was WiMax coverage where I live, but I still have to pay a stupid $10/month data surcharge.

I've yet to meet someone who really thinks sucky cramped keyboards are really that preferable to the lost screen space or the cumbersome slide out keyboards.

Perhaps the blackberries had awesome keyboards, but the Nokia E61 was pretty sucky, and even the slideouts I've used suffered from the same suckiness except to a lesser degree. The virtual keyboards do lack the texture, but the feel on phone buttons are just awful anyway.

That said, the worst ever keyboard I've used was on a tablet form factor prototype (Like the Amazon kindles with keyboard) I had the misfortune to develop for that had very soft rubber buttons that required you to push them past the plastic holes they were in to get contact. Compared to that the Nokia N900 or E61 had a fantastic keyboard.

Re:I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826827)

Just get something like the S3 & an aftermarket keyboard case?

Re:I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 4 months ago | (#46826937)

Not sure if you got the memo, but iPhones will also be bigger soon.

Re:I'd dump my iPhone for one of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827113)

Yes, all the more reason to stick with the current iPhone.

And As Usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826553)

...No card slot, no keyboard, no daylight readable screen, and therefore no sale.

Why do companies insist on copying the same lack of features of the big-name manufacturers while still calling themselves "revolutionary?" It's just another clone phone, the Toyota Camry of boring copycat "me too" featureless blank slates that already flood the marketplace.

Yawn.

Re:And As Usual... (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 4 months ago | (#46826677)

...No card slot, no keyboard, no daylight readable screen, and therefore no sale.

Why do companies insist on copying the same lack of features of the big-name manufacturers while still calling themselves "revolutionary?" It's just another clone phone, the Toyota Camry of boring copycat "me too" featureless blank slates that already flood the marketplace.

Yawn.

No microSD card slot? A non-removable battery? Into the trash it goes.

I was a little disappointed when I found out that you had to be invited to have the option of buying one but I wasn't aware they had gotten rid of the microSD slot and removable battery so I guess I'll be looking at the Galaxy S5 instead even if I had an invite. For the life of me I don't understand why people consider a non-removable battery (and batteries are very prone to failures) to be a feature; I like to have spares in case I go somewhere charging is not possible or convenient or in the more likely case the original battery loses its ability to keep a charge like I've experienced with two different Li-Ion batteries.

Re:And As Usual... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#46826915)

...No card slot, no keyboard, no daylight readable screen, and therefore no sale.

Why do companies insist on copying the same lack of features of the big-name manufacturers while still calling themselves "revolutionary?" It's just another clone phone, the Toyota Camry of boring copycat "me too" featureless blank slates that already flood the marketplace.

Yawn.

No microSD card slot? A non-removable battery? Into the trash it goes.

I was a little disappointed when I found out that you had to be invited to have the option of buying one but I wasn't aware they had gotten rid of the microSD slot and removable battery so I guess I'll be looking at the Galaxy S5 instead even if I had an invite. For the life of me I don't understand why people consider a non-removable battery (and batteries are very prone to failures) to be a feature; I like to have spares in case I go somewhere charging is not possible or convenient or in the more likely case the original battery loses its ability to keep a charge like I've experienced with two different Li-Ion batteries.

While I don't necessarily consider a non-removable battery to be a "feature" (though maybe it is if manufacturer claims that it lets them create a thinner phone are true), I never removed the battery in my Galaxy Nexus after almost 2 years of use, and while the Nexus 5 battery is "non-removable", that only means that it'll take 20 minutes to change the battery if it fails, it's really not that hard to open the phone. I already carry a USB battery pack for recharging other USB devices, so I don't really need to be able to change batteries on the fly.

Given the choice between a MicroSD card slot and a removable battery, I'd opt for the MicroSD, since I like to load up movies for long trips and would love to be able to just pop in a 64GB MicroSD card with dozens of movies rather than downloading them on the phone.

Re:And As Usual... (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 4 months ago | (#46827433)

I used to think that reliability was also a reason for the non-removable battery, however the new Samsung S5 claims to be certified for dust resistance and water to 1m.

For the daylight readable screen I've never seen any phone with one (or ebook reader or tablet for that matter), so I suspect there is just a lack of technology. We've seen prototypes and demos, but there may just not be high volume manufacturing in place for these screens.

Re:And As Usual... (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 4 months ago | (#46827081)

...No card slot, no keyboard, no daylight readable screen, and therefore no sale.

Why do companies insist on copying the same lack of features of the big-name manufacturers while still calling themselves "revolutionary?" It's just another clone phone, the Toyota Camry of boring copycat "me too" featureless blank slates that already flood the marketplace.

Yawn.

No microSD card slot? A non-removable battery? Into the trash it goes.

I was a little disappointed when I found out that you had to be invited to have the option of buying one but I wasn't aware they had gotten rid of the microSD slot and removable battery so I guess I'll be looking at the Galaxy S5 instead even if I had an invite. For the life of me I don't understand why people consider a non-removable battery (and batteries are very prone to failures) to be a feature; I like to have spares in case I go somewhere charging is not possible or convenient or in the more likely case the original battery loses its ability to keep a charge like I've experienced with two different Li-Ion batteries.

Is there a real need for an SD slot when you have 64GB of storage available?

Re:And As Usual... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 months ago | (#46827449)

Is there a real need for an SD slot when you have 64GB of storage available?

3 words : 4K video recording.

It's an excellent way to watch your storage fill up at about 7 megabytes per second.

Re:And As Usual... (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 4 months ago | (#46827461)

Is there a real need for an SD slot when you have 64GB of storage available?

Now this is purely speculation but your comment made the thought cross my mind; perhaps some manufacturers omit SD card slots to give people incentive to upgrade to more expensive models rather than doing something like buying a 128GB microSD card and putting it into a smaller GB or 16GB model.

Re:And As Usual... (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 4 months ago | (#46827711)

Is there a real need for an SD slot when you have 64GB of storage available?

Yes - it is about exchangeable/removable storage. Fill a card with stuff somewhere else and put it in your phone. Fill a card with stuff on your phone and take it out - perhaps you don't want your home photos at work or your client's photos at your other client (or your porn ...). Some people have been known to leave mum's basement.

As for you iPhone suckers - you can keep your damn fool metal cases. We like removeable backs and don't give a toss if they are plastic - no one sees them cos the phone is never out of its case - and the phone might get hit by a baseball bat/yacht boom/dropped down the fire escape/shut in the lift/train/car door - yes its true some people actually move about physically in their lives! Really! Its true! And we want to come home and change the battery before going out again. The only advantage of a metal back is that the phone signal can't penetrate it (???)

Re:And As Usual... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#46827191)

For the life of me I don't understand why people consider a non-removable battery (and batteries are very prone to failures) to be a feature; I like to have spares in case I go somewhere charging is not possible or convenient or in the more likely case the original battery loses its ability to keep a charge like I've experienced with two different Li-Ion batteries.

Well, I can't speak for the failure rate but my iPhone 4 is now 3.5 years old and during Easter I used it a lot, even after a day of heavy use I still had 20% battery left. Today it's at 67% after a 2 hours of GPS tracking. For daily use it's still fine and I'm guessing will be fine for years to come. For weekends and vacations away from a charger I'm considering getting a battery pack - compared to the original 1420 mAh battery you can get a 7000-10000 mAh external charger for cheap. You put it in your backpack or luggage, plug it in where you sleep at night even if that's a remote cabin or a tent in the wilds. Or for that matter just turn off the "smart", if I kill data traffic it'll last very long as a dumb phone as I've done that abroad due to cost. Basically as long as the battery works it's not really a problem.

Give me a physical keyboard, and I'm sold (2)

barlevg (2111272) | about 4 months ago | (#46826603)

Hell, considering no flagship phone has sported a physical keyboard in years, I'm likely sold anyway. I was seriously debating getting a Nexus 5, but I actually prefer Cyanogenmod over stock Android.

Re:Give me a physical keyboard, and I'm sold (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#46827355)

Stuff like this has existed for a while for various flagship phones.

http://ca.mobilefun.com/38058-... [mobilefun.com]

Here's the problem (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46826641)

This is starting to change with just a couple exceptions but for the most part, here's the situation in my city. I can choose from the CDMA carrier Verizon, CDMA carrier US Cellular, CDMA carrier Airfire, CDMA carrier Cellcom, CDMA carrier Sprint, or several other CDMA carriers. Oh and then there's the GSM carrier, AT&T but who's stupid enough to go with that pile of shit that they call a company. CDMA phones have to be built for a carrier and that's the end of it. So for buying just "a phone" your choices are GSM or GSM. That means 100% AT&T, which is never going to happen. So basically nobody in this town can buy this phone unless they're stupid enough to be an AT&T customer.

That said, somehow we just got an HTC One M8 from Cellcom with a SIM card. No idea how they did that but apparently agreements are being made. So except for the fact that there goes any remote hope of getting coverage more than 2 miles from a major highway (in Wisconsin), that's a step in the right direction. But basically if you bring in a "blank" phone and say activate it and any CDMA carrier, the answer is no.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 4 months ago | (#46826723)

I'm thinking of switching off Verizon for similar reasons after this phone announcement; CDMA phones are usually fucked with by Verizon because they're custom. I've never had reason enough to leave until now. It looks like it'll support T-Mobile networks and their LTE is passable where I live. Verizon's LTE is spotty at best anyway most places I go so why the hell not? Great phone, no bloatware, I'm intrigued.

Re:Here's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46826745)

That sucks. T-Mobile is also GSM, and they have no contracts. I'm quite happy with them.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 4 months ago | (#46827373)

Have you investigated the virtual network operators? Cricket was just bought by ATT and will remain relatively independent, but borrow their towers.

But yes, I agree, whenever a new phone comes out that looks exciting I think how it does not help me, although the Samsung S5 is coming to Virgin Mobile so I may move to that depending on price.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 4 months ago | (#46827405)

Came here to say this.

"Nice phone. Good luck in the US of A getting any carrier to activate it and let you use it. But hey, at least it's a small wifi-only tablet with theoretically access to cell data."

I suppose it'll work out OK in the more communications-civilized* regions of the world.

*In other words, places where regulatory capture hasn't occurred and customers have more rights than livestock.

Re:Here's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827787)

I don't know what you are smoking but any GSM based carrier will activate it - T-Mobile, AT&T or any MVNO based on the big 2.

No Qi? (1)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46826797)

Wireless charging (preferably via Qi, as I have several Qi chargers between home & work) seem to be the only thing I'm not seeing listed in the specs.

Still, it's been a while since I got excited about a phone, and I told myself that if something cool came out, November would be a good time to upgrade my N4.

Re:No Qi? (1)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | about 4 months ago | (#46827725)

I don't see it listed in the specs but I also don't see it listed as not being there. I agree, I have an N5 and use wireless charging at my desk, and especially in my car ($40 Qi-charging vent-mounted dock is a godsend) -- so while the rest of this phone seems pretty awesome, I'd lament the loss of Qi.

Re:No Qi? (1)

emag (4640) | about 4 months ago | (#46828141)

Absolutely. I'm back and forth from my desk all day, and like to keep my phone & tablet batteries topped up, just in case I need them. I started to worry about the usable lifetime of the micro-USB jack, so switched over to Qi at work exclusively.

Sounds like the Techdy Basic Bear (1)

Paco103 (758133) | about 4 months ago | (#46826801)

Remember the $200 Android phone? Seems like they took pre-orders, but as far as I can tell never delivered. What are the odds this is the same kind of vaporware?

No SD card? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 4 months ago | (#46826911)

No SD card? That won't kill my flagship phone.

4-inches to freedom (2)

nowsharing (2732637) | about 4 months ago | (#46826913)

After having owned a Galaxy S3 for a year, I'm ready for the return of smaller phones. I've been waiting for prices to come down on used GS4 Minis. However, if they released a OnePlus with a 4" screen, I'd order it immediately.

A phone configured specifically for CyanogenMod is a killer feature in my book. My next phone will have to be much smaller, lighter, and thinner than 5.5" unfortunately. Any suggestions?

Re:4-inches to freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827327)

I cheaped out last year and bought two S3 mini's (one for me, one for my wife), and I have been very happy with mine after loading it with CyanogenMod. I would say the S4 mini is a good choice as far as reasonably sized phones go. That's what I would have gone for if I wanted to spend an extra $150 per phone, but the updated specs just didn't justify the price difference for me.

Re:4-inches to freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827885)

the best phone I ever had was a Nokia 700. Belive it or not. Checkout the size and weight - features are superior to almost all android / iphone offerings especially navigation, maps, voice commands, connectivity, multimedia.

Just further proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827483)

...that there is absolutely no justification for an $800 smartphone. This gouge-based pricing needs to end. Samsung and *especially* HTC need to rethink how they compete.

No SD slot == No thanks. (2)

JustNiz (692889) | about 4 months ago | (#46827489)

No SD slot == No Thanks.

I'm frankly surprised not many other people here seem to be all over the lack of an SD slot.

I like having my entire music collection, my entire photo library and 1 or 2 movies with me just in case. I also like being able to use my phone as a USB stick if I need to. ...and in case anyone suggests it, storing it all in the cloud just doesn't cut it.

Re:No SD slot == No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46827803)

Exactly. No SD Slot = leave it on the shelf. No replaceable battery = keep it for yourself.

Furthermore: No OTG - Thanksalot. There are a quite few very nice USB/OTG Sticks (by LG, Transcend and maybe others) which are _SO_ useful - and that's why I'm never going to buy a phone made by Apple, Samsung and others that have no idea how to make a cool phone for everyday usage! only one more thing that would make me consider a purchase: WATERPROOF! but this one is out of consideration anyway.

Re:No SD slot == No thanks. (1)

dark_requiem (806308) | about 4 months ago | (#46828003)

Wow, I actually didn't notice that until I saw your post. Total deal breaker, which is tragic, I was all about this phone up until the moment of realization. I constantly walk around with at least 2 64GB cards in my wallet, Get a phone with large internal storage, keep all my apps on the internal, have bulk data and media on the cards. Without a slot, my entire mobile storage strategy goes right out the window. This seems like an incredibly foolish design decision, and one that will turn away a large part of the phone's potential market, namely people like me who actually store lots of data (video, mostly, people always trip when you connect your phone to their TV and start playing quality HD movies instead of the trifling low-bitrate shit they're used to from Netflix and the like). The ones most likely to miss this feature are probably the same kind of folks who've been playing with Cyanogenmod for years, too (again, me). And seriously, what would a slot have done to the price of the phone? I'd happily pay the extra to have an SD slot.

Re:No SD slot == No thanks. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 4 months ago | (#46828137)

Just to let you know, no Google/Nexus phones have SD slots either. That's another range of phone models to avoid.

I did read somewhere that it was actually a (very retarded) conscious decision by Google to not have SD slots on their phones, the intent being to force you to store everything in the cloud and stream it as-needed instead. I guess the moron who thought of that one didn't even consider how people would watch a DVD or do anything else while in-flight or anywhere out of cell range, or the added load/cost that would put on your data plan.

I guess they also didn't consider many people were smart enough to think about that ahead of time.

MicroSD and Replacable battery are killer features (1)

t20alex (1542015) | about 4 months ago | (#46827507)

Last year went backpacking through Europe. Brought nothing but my Sony RX100 and my GS4 plus some clothing and a wad of cash. Using a MicroSD in RX100 (with adapter) and being able to put the same SD into GS4 to edit the photos I like and upload to Gdrive or equivalent was an amazing feature. I first also notice that battery used easily last me entire day of fairly heavy use (for my purposes). Now it dies at 6pm. Bought another battery on amazon for 15 bucks, and bam now lasts like it used to again. You charge the battery daily, how many charge cycles does it have before it shows signs of wear? The formula is simple. 5" phone, minimum bazel (this is not 1960s FFS), MicroSD, user replacable battery, 3/4GB ram, vinila android, plus some nice bells and whistles like nice camera, fast proc/GPU, and you have yourself a solid phone. Yet all these companies are like retarded midgets doing stupid shit. sony is trying to make the biggest possible bazels on the planet (WTG Champs), HTC thinks key to success not only huge bazels but also the shittiest android incarnation ever, etc.

It's shown with Google Apps, no thank you. (0)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#46827903)

Sorry, I thought the basis for Cyanogen was to get away from all the bloat and privacy concerns. Now they're displaying a phone with Google Apps onboard? Unless it comes Pre-rooted or with a "remove this shit" button no thanks...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>