I loaded up a fresh build of Lollipop from XDA for the OnePlus One. It is running well overall but I do miss some of the CM options that were on CM 11S. Android 5.0 feels so light and so smooth and switching between applications feels great. Watch the video below for an idea of how setting it up looks and the general UI afterwards.
OnePlus has been doing a great job with CyanogenMod, updating it frequently to address the bugs in the system. The downside is that their software was far from perfect when the phone was released, but every update brings the phone closer to greatness. You can wait for the OTA or manually update using an incremental update zip from the recovery. Be careful though as this is only incremental and should only be installed over 38R.
Here are the list of changes according to OnePlus:
Fixed issues with memory causing screen artifacts
Fixed issues with random reboots and instability
Fixed issues with WiFi and modem crashes
Fixed issues with Filesystem
Fixed issues with “black bar”
Fixed issues with persist partition corruption
Fixed issues with AT&T VoLTE
The update zip can be found here.
I have switched from the stock kernel to the Franco kernel which implements Synaptics’ new firmware for the touchscreen and the difference is huge. No longer are there any issues when typing fast or scrolling and the phone finally feels like a finished product. It is amazing how a bad firmware for the touchscreen can make the whole experience of using a phone horrible.
Until the official update comes you can use Franco’s kernel on either Cm 11s or AOSP Roms. I am using it with a CM Nightly and it is running flawlessly.
The app isn’t necessary but it has some great features: Play Store
No holding back, here they are:
- Typing fast is impossible and even typing slow the keyboard jumps every few words due to touch issues
- The new updates have destroyed the amazing battery life that it originally shipped with (especially standby)
- The touchscreen randomly decides to stop working in most or all areas and doesn’t work until I force a reboot (happens frequently)
- Inconsistent speaker volume between different OPO on the new update
- The new screen color default isn’t my most preferred and isn’t nearly as accurate as it was before
- The audio recording is the worst I have ever heard on a smartphone when used for PTT such as in Whatsapp
- Using Snapchat and flipping from front to back camera more than once per fresh boot freezes the phone and gives a camera error with the only fix being a reboot.
I didn’t mind the touch issues in the beginning, but it is making the phone very unreliable and at times when I need the phone, I am completely unable to use it. I think I would have been better off with a Nexus 5 and a cheap point and shoot camera by its side, this phone is getting on my nerves.
Also, the battery went from 7 hours of screen on time and 40+ hours of standby to 2 hours of screen on time and 16 hours of standby, that is a pretty intense change for what was a battery bug fix in the last update.
Finally, the update has arrived, but not for everyone…including me. So if you go here over at Android Police, you can find the zip file that you can manually install. You can put it on the root of your device and just go to the stock recovery and apply update since it is an official update. I did it this way and it worked fine for me. Overall, the update is great so I will list the nice new things and I will also list the bad new things.
- New Dialer
- Search Feature in Settings
- Clear Image Feature
- Performance Improvements
- App Drawer Grid is Now 6 Rows
- Gestures Won’t Activate While in Pocket
- Camera Features/Settings Tightened Up
- Audio Recording Issues Fixed (Quality Is Still Bad Though)
- Heads Up Notifications (If you like them)
- New Launcher (Transition Settings and more!)
- Update 8/17/2014: Much worse battery life, getting around half the usage compared to before. A fix was promised to come soon though.
- Screen is Now Too Blue (Let us choose the warmth please)
- Back Removed From Settings Top Nav Bar
- Clear Image Requires a Stable Hand/Tripod (Fine with me :D)
Enjoy the video below showing everything I just wrote about:
Update 8/23/2014: Update XNPH33R Incremental
This update is supposed to address the battery life issues and have security fixes. So far I have not noticed any real difference, but I will make a video after testing it for a few days to see how it is after it settles.
Update 9/18/2014: The update did not help much and the battery drain is still present as are the serious touch issues.
Update 10/7/2014: CM 11S 38R Update is out. It is supposed to fix the many things that were wrong. Check here for the changelog.
I went to Best Buy yesterday to check out the LG G3 screen and directly compared it to my OnePlus One and an HTC One M8 that they had on display. The LG G3 had a horrible display, the colors were off and the whole thing had such a strong yellow tint that the whites were dim. I haven’t read much online about the display actually being this bad and to top it off, all of the phones on display had a very noticeable grid pattern. This reminded me of some of their Nexus 4 units that had a heavy grid pattern along the screen. The grid was so noticeable that even as the screen was on full brightness, I could see very clearly the whole pattern overlaying the LCD. This was quite sad to see considering the LG G2 had such a fantastic display. Compared to the G3, the OnePlus One display seemed like heaven and the M8 display was even better than the OnePlus One. So today I confirmed my belief that the M8 has the best LCD display, and I was surprised to see that the G3 had such a bad display.
We are all wondering…which gets better battery and which performs better? Watch the video to find out. I show two usual cases of standby and screen on time for each. Comparing the same usage on them both with several days of use on each after giving them time to settle in first, I have come to a definite conclusion. ART destroys Dalvik on the OnePlus One. Not only are things more responsive but it feels just lighter as if it is having an easier time running Android. This really showed in the battery life tests as I reached up to 7 hours of screen on time! If you have a OnePlus One, switch it to ART and see what I am talking about.
Here is the video review showing some screencasts and screenshots:
I have finally fixed my audio/mic recording issues and I will share how I did that soon.
Most of my videos have been quite shaky unless I found a good spot to place my phone during recording. Now if I plan on doing more videos, I can’t have a shaky camera anymore. Luckily, there is something for everything these days and I instantly found what I needed. eBay had a mini tripod with a phone mount for less than $10. The OnePlus One barely fits in it with the case on and I don’t think anything wider would fit in it. Overall, it may be small and cheap but it gets the job done. It is stable and holds the phone at many different angles which is great.
Here is my first video review and my last slightly shaky recording: