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Steve Kondik

OnePlus One vs Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One (M8) – Specs comparison

Once Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG threw down their proverbial gauntlets earlier this year, everybody assumed the coast would be clear for the four to duke it out amongst themselves for the Android crown through the summer at the very least.

OnePlus-One-Vs-Galaxy-S5

But boy, were we wrong. Up-and-coming Oppo was the first to try to crack the elite, which they may well succeed if distribution isn’t a problem, and absolute rookie OnePlus is on the verge of remodeling conventional tech business models with a unique blend of affordability, cutting-edge performance and cheap, shrewd, untraditional marketing.

Sure, they’re noobs, automatically making them untrustworthy for the day-to-day mobile user. On top of that, the HQ is set in China, and shoddy build quality-centric myths and preconceptions still galore vis-à-vis Middle Kingdom-based OEMs.

OnePlus-One-Vs-HTC-One-M8

Last but not least, OnePlus’ resources (or lack thereof) is likely to prevent them from achieving their mighty world domination goals, as OnePlus One orders are at this time conditioned by a controversial invite system.

Then again, it’s not all doom and gloom for Pete Lau & co., or else we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place. Their dependability is validated by not only Lau’s name and reputation as a former Oppo higher-up, but also by CyanogenMod and Steve Kondik’s involvement. I mean, come on, do you really think Mr. Cyanogen himself would endorse a cheapo, shabby piece of China-produced plastic?

OnePlus One

No way, so stop worrying. Instead, let’s pit the OnePlus One against the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) in a numbers war to see who prevails. No marketing mumbo-jumbo, no brand awareness BS, no supply and demand crap. Just three spectacular Android handhelds in a cold, objective numbers duel:

One Plus One vs Galaxy S5 vs HTC One (M8) – design comparison

Okay, so evaluating designs 100 percent objectively is virtually impossible. But impartially comparing product dimensions isn’t. Let’s see. The OnePlus One offers by far the largest screen real estate, so naturally, it’s the tallest and widest phone too.

Specifically, it’s 152.9 mm tall and 75.9 wide, compared with 142 x 72.5 (Galaxy S5) and 146.4 x 70.6 (One M8). Meanwhile, it’s slightly thicker than the S5 (8.9 vs 8.1 mm), yet thinner than the M8 (9.4 mm). Finally, heavier than both its rivals, at 162 grams (vs 145 and 160 respectively).

Galaxy S5 vs OnePlus One

Wait, only two grams bulkier than HTC’s latest One? That’s incredible. And mind you, it’s no fluffy piece of plastic, with a chassis wrapped in smooth, sturdy magnesium. As far as overall design language goes, the OnePlus One is definitely unique in its simplicity and minimalism, featuring absolutely no embellishments.

It’s rectangular, it’s nearly curve-free, somewhat elegant and very low-key… in a good sense. All in all, you’re more likely to pick the GS5 out of a lineup, and M8’s all-aluminum build is unrivaled, but the OnePlus One is not far behind in aesthetical grandeur.

Display comparison

Full HD vs Full HD vs Full HD. How to set these vibrant devices apart? Well, once again, the OnePlus One has the biggest usable glass, which is an upside for some and downside for many. Pixel density-wise, the underdog is overpowered by the two front-runners: 401 ppi vs 432 and 441 respectively.

OnePlus_One_HTC_One_M8

But that’s way too little to establish beyond the shadow of a doubt GS5 and M8’s panels are superior to OnePlus One’s screen. And sure, the S5 was recently named the smartphone with the best performing display around, however in all honesty most everyday users can’t tell any difference between its image reproduction, contrast and viewing angles and those delivered by the One M8.

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

It’s mind-boggling how OnePlus can trounce HTC and Samsung’s hardware configurations and ask half of what the two charge for their newest flagships. I get it, the noobs don’t care about profits… right now, but don’t they need to eat?

oneplus-one-black

Probably not, as they found enough resources to pack a state-of-the-art quad-core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB RAM inside a $300 handheld. The CPU/GPU combo is the same that Samsung uses, but the S5 comes 1 gig short in the RAM department. Meanwhile, the M8 also carries 2 GB random-access memory, plus a Snapdragon 801 chip clocked a little lower – 2.3 GHz.

The cameras are a touchy subject until OnePlus One reviews and tests start to pile up, but on paper, everything looks good for Pete Lau’s outfit. The rear snapper touts 13 megapixels, dual LED, autofocus and f2.0 aperture and the front cam is ideal for selfies, with a 5 MP sensor.

OnePlus-One-2

The secondary shooter is at worst tied with M8’s and better than S5’s, whereas the rear camera should perform more or less the same as HTC’s system and slightly worse than Samsung’s. Slightly.

Software and battery life comparison

Look, I dig what Samsung’s been up to with TouchWiz lately as much as the next guy, and even HTC’s Sense has come a long way. But no skin is always better than any skin. Even better, no skin with a caboodle of customization options.

Enter OnePlus One’s Android 4.4 KitKat-based CyanogenMod 11S, guaranteed for timely updates until the end of time, tinkerer-friendly and just all-around awesome.

CyanogenMod

Battery life? Like camera performance, it’s really hard to rate with no real-life evaluations to rely on. Sure, in theory, a 3,100 mAh juicer should be enough to keep the lights on a good continuous 16 hours or so regardless of how power-demanding the S801 is.

However, both the S5 and M8 have shown tremendous stamina in reviews and battery tests, despite their ticker capacities coming in at 2,800 and 2,600 mAh respectively. So yeah, I’m pretty sure the OnePlus One will impress in autonomy, but won’t stick my neck out to predict better endurance than its competition.

Storage, connectivity, pricing and others

Before getting to the final chapters of this epic battle, let’s do a quick recap. The OnePlus One is unmistakably the stronger contender of the three in processing speed and RAM, it features a top-shelf front-facing camera, massive battery, smooth, highly customizable software, minimalistic, elegant design, five-star display and, at worst, decent rear snapper.

OnePlus-One-back

Add in a starting price of $300 outright, which is literally half of S5 and M8’s market value, and the buying decision is a no-brainer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you get no water or dust protection, fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor or microSD card slot.

But there’s 4G LTE support and everything else you need connectivity-wise. Plus, JBL-designed stereo speakers. And in case you need north of 16 GB storage (which you probably do), the 64 GB variant costs $350. Contract and SIM-free. Where do I get an invite again?

Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership teased in video?

Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership

A new video teasing the upcoming Oppo N1 smartphone could be hinting at an Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership. The video, which lasts for only 20 seconds, surprisingly features CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik. Kondik, wearing Google Glass, says that he is looking forward to attending the Oppo launch in Beiijing China. He also says that some exciting news will be revealed during the event on September 23. The video ends with a promise that “possibilities unfold” on said date.

Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership
Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership

What is still unclear at this point is whether the Oppo N1 would have a build of CyanogenMod that Oppo approved, or whether there would be special variants of the device with CyanogenMod.

The video teaser follows CyanogenMod’s announcement earlier this week that it was incorporated into Cyanogen, Inc.. Supposedly, to get CyanogenMod on as many devices as possible, it would be needing a hardware partner. HTC was earlier rumored to be CyanogenMod‘s official hardware partner, as Valerie detailed in this post. However, Oppo’s teaser may be suggesting otherwise.
Prior to this video, Oppo has released a number of teasers promoting the N1, but it appears that none of them hinted about an Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership.

Based on the leaks and teasers, the Oppo N1 is expected to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, a 3,500 mAh battery, a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display panel, a 12 or 16 MP camera, a rear touch panel, and an almost bezel-less exterior. Pricing is estimated to be around $650.

We won’t have to wait too long to know what Oppo and Kondik’s big revelation is, as September 23 is only a couple of days away. In the meantime, let us know what your take is on the rumored Oppo-CyanogenMod partnership. Would you have preferred HTC to have been the hardware partner? Or do you think Oppo is more suited for it?

Here’s the video on Youtube.

via androidpolice

CyanogenMod Will Get Incognito Mode To Protect User Data

One of the best aftermarket firmware for Android devices is CyanogenMod. A lot of people use this in their devices since it doesn’t come with bloatware and offers features not found in a stock ROM. Some of the great features available are lockscreen gestures, phone goggles, OpenVPN, incognito mode, themes support, and a DSP equalizer.

incognito mode

The current Incognito Mode on CyanogenMod works when you are browsing a website. When activated the pages that you visited and files that you downloaded are not recorded in the browsing or download history. Cookies are also deleted as soon as you close an incognito window.

Steve Kondik, founder of CyanogenMod, wants to offer a new kind of incognito mode for Android devices. The new feature works by returning an empty response to a querying app. This means that if an app installed in your device asks for information such as contacts, messages, and browser history just to name a few it will only get an empty list. The only way an app will get the information is if you give it permission to do so.

A sample scenario is if you have the Facebook app installed in your smartphone. The app will be told that you have zero contacts, no calendar entries, and no message and browser history. It won’t be able to pinpoint your exact location since it will be told that your GPS is turned off. This feature can of course be easily toggled on and off through a panel.

In Kondik’s Google+ post he said that “I’m working on a new feature that will hopefully make it’s way into CM. It’s called “Run in Incognito Mode”. It’s a simple privacy feature designed to help you keep your personal data under control.”

“I’ve added a per-application flag which is exposed via a simple API. This flag can be used by content providers to decide if they should return a full or limited dataset. In the implementation I’m working on, I am using the flag to provide these privacy features in the base system:

  • Return empty lists for contacts, calendar, browser history, and messages.
  • GPS will appear to always be disabled to the running application.
  • When an app is running incognito, a quick panel item is displayed in order to turn it off easily.
  • No fine-grained permissions controls as you saw in CM7. It’s a single option available under application details.”

There’s no exact date as to when this feature will be arriving on CyanogenMod but it’s definitely something we are looking forward to.

via google+

Could Be Bigger Than Motorola: Cyanogen Joins Samsung Mobile As Software Engineer

Steve Kondik aka Cyanogen, the namesake and one of the founders, creators, and collaborators on the most popular Android ROM, CyanogenMod, is apparently relocating to Seattle to join Samsung Telecommunications USA (Samsung Mobile) at their Bellvue offices.

Samsung has offices in the Seattle area that deal with both Android and Windows Phone 7.  They also have liasons in Seattle which work closely with Bellevue based T-Mobile. Kondik’s most recent Facebook status updates have said he would be traveling to Dallas and Seattle in the coming days. Samsung Mobile’s corporate offices for the United States are located in Dallas.

Cyanogen has added Samsung Mobile, Software Engineer, to his employment on his Facebook page.  He hasn’t said exactly what he’ll be doing but it will probably have to do with Android. He does however say that his side project, CyanogenMod, has nothing to do with his new employer.  Since the first release of Cyanogenmod though, we’ve seen little trinkets here and there in the official builds of Android that have come from features that were in a version of Cyanogenmod.

More after the break
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