Newcomer OnePlus One Goes Under the Knife

“Beautiful, inside and out. We take pride in every detail of our product, even parts that are never seen.” O RLY? Challenge accepted, OnePlus. On the teardown table today is the $350, top-of-the line, 64 GB One-chilada.

While we’re at it, we’ll see how the OnePlus One’s guts—priced at 50% (or less!) of other smartphones’ guts—stacks up to the competition.

OnePlus One smartphone teardown

The OnePlus One scored a mid-pack 5 out of 10 on repairability. There’s definitely some finagling that has to occur in order to get the repair must-haves—the battery and the display—out of the phone. Thankfully the battery isn’t terribly difficult to remove (although harder than necessary), and if the display glass ever meets its concrete-laden demise, the repair is still not insurmountable.

Teardown highlights:

• Compared to the current top-selling smartphone, the iPhone 5s, the One is slightly thicker at 8.9 mm (vs. 7.6 mm) and significantly taller at 152.9 mm (vs. 123.8 mm). While it isn’t quite a phablet, reviewers are saying the One’s a tad big for single-hand use. Unless, of course, you’re the Hulk.

• The One presents no obvious point of entry, but to our delight, the back plate comes off readily—with just a bit of resistance from a few clips around the edge.

• The battery is immediately revealed, but it’s not over yet! The One deals us a one-two punch with some hidden screws. We don’t take kindly to hidden screws around here, especially since one of them is covered with a white sticker—proving that we’ve been inside…tampering. The device hasn’t proven especially difficult to enter, but small deterrents like hidden and tamper-evident screws never sit well with us.

• The 3.8 V, 3100 mAh LiPo battery fares well when compared to its 2800 mAh (Galaxy S5) and 2600 mAh (HTC One M8) rivals.

• Both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras are designed by Sunny Optical Technology. The rear-facing camera is labeled P13N05A, while the front-facing camera is identified as P5V35A. According to the details on the OnePlus One specifications page, the 13 megapixel rear-facing camera features a Sony Exmor IMX 214 CMOS image sensor.

• The One features a set of stereo speakers that connect to the motherboard via spring contacts. In the bottom center of the speaker assembly enclosure, we find a sticker that changes colors when orcs are near—and also acts as a water damage indicator.

• The midframe bears the designation PC+GF, indicating it was made of polycarbonate infused with glass fibers. We’re a bit disappointed—we can’t file it away and light it on fire, like we’ve done in the past. Sadness.

• Chippity-doodahs:

  • Samsung K3QF7F70DM-QGCF 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 likely layered beneath
  • Qualcomm WCD9320 Audio Codec
  • AGD2 2402 WX9DR (likely gyroscope)
  • Toshiba THGBMBG9D8KBAIG eMMC 5.0 64 GB Onboard Storage
  • Skyworks SKY77629-21 Power Amplifier Module
  • Qualcomm WCN3680 802.11ac/FM/BT 4.0 Combo Chip
  • Qualcomm WTR1625L RF Transceiver
  • Skyworks SKY85709 WLAN Front-End Module
  • Synaptics S3508A Touchscreen Controller