The OnePlus One is easily one of the best Android smartphones available today, even if it’s pretty hard to come by. Not only does it ship with a top-notch set of specifications, it’s also incredibly cheap, starting at $299 for an unlocked phone. In an interview with TechRadar, OnePlus CEO, Peter Lau detailed just how the company was able to offer the CyanogenMod-toting smartphone for so cheap.
Lau divulged that the OnePlus One is actually selling at cost, and that his company focuses on keeping other costs down as much as possible. This would certainly explain why the device has no retail partners to speak of, given that it’s only available online—and if you have an invite, of course. Offering such a high-end device at such a low price is very much a Google move for the Nexus line, but lets face it—OnePlus is no Google.
Lau also explained that OnePlus is looking to stick with online advertising in favor of a large marketing campaign and the word-of-mouth approach to promote the smartphone. With little marketing for the phone, OnePlus’ community outreach remains crucial for getting the word out about the One. That’s another reason why the OnePlus One requires an invitation for purchase, whether you like the tactic or not.
As a refresher, the OnePlus One ships with a 5.5-inch 1080p HD display with Gorilla Glass 3, 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor IMX214 camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and 3,100 mAh battery. Users will also be treated to global LTE capabilities as well as a 64GB storage option for only $349. Take that, Nexus 5.