We’re done, OnePlus One: why I’m ditching the phone I used to love

You might remember my recent review of the OnePlus One invite-only Android smartphone. I gave it 34/50, which is a decent score, and said it’s a great phone for tinkerers and early adopters, though threatened by the LG G3’s new lower price. I stand by all of that. But I’m still selling mine – and here’s why.

My OnePlus One is the buggiest phone in the history of the world. I’ve tried a lot of phones at ShinyShiny and over the years, and I’ve never had one this prone to random problems. At the point of writing the review – when I’d had the phone for four months or so – I was feeling like it was a solid phone with some annoying bugs. Since then, it’s escalated to the point that I now want to throw it against a wall several times a day. I’m often heard swearing at it. I loved it when it first arrived, and now I despise it. It’s a sad state of affairs.


Here are some of the problems I’ve had with my OnePlus One (and I reiterate – with MY OnePlus One. I know not everyone has these problems, but we’ll come on to why they’re still a big concern in a minute):

WiFi bug

The OnePlus One will lock onto a particular area, remember all the WiFi networks in that area, and refuse to believe that it’s moved. This means when I’m at home, it won’t find my home WiFi network, but will show me a whole load of networks that were in range when I was walking home. It particularly likes to lock onto the networks at the hospital about 10 minutes from my office. The only way to fix this is to go into Advanced WiFi settings, change the scanning settings, change them back, then turn WiFi off and on again. Grr.

Photo bug

Just now, I took a photo. It took three minutes before that photo appeared in the gallery and was available for editing or sharing. THREE MINUTES. That is outrageous. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it drives me nuts.

Battery bug

I heard nothing but praise for the 3000 mAh battery on this phone before I bought it. So I was pretty disappointed to find that mine doesn’t even last the day – not even close. I’ve had to buy a bigger portable battery charger specifically for this phone. It’s usually half-empty by lunchtime, and I don’t even use it that much!

Backlight bug

When using an app that scrolls (Chrome or Twitter, for instance) the backlight will randomly turn up and down as I’m scrolling. And no, I don’t have Adaptive Backlight turned on. It’s a bug. It just about blinded me last night: I had the brightness way down and suddenly it was floodlit.

Volume key bug

My volume keys sometimes randomly don’t work. There’s no rhyme or reason for this, they just sometimes work and sometimes not. Also, when I use them to switch tracks when the screen is off, sometimes the same button will skip forward and sometimes backward. Oh and the phone will occasionally just start playing music for fun, when it’s in a pocket or bag. I turned off double-tap to wake in case it was that, but it still happens.

Random reboots

My OnePlus One has crashed or suddenly rebooted three times in the past day. Yes, I’ve done a complete reset. No, it hasn’t helped. Earlier today I selected some photos in the gallery and even that caused it to crash.

OnePlus support… or lack thereof

I’ve contacted OnePlus to try and get support for these issues. The first time, the email started with “I’m sorry to hear about the problem with your XXX.” My XXX? Why is there a need for placeholder text when OnePlus only sells one product? This tells me they’re more than likely outsourcing support, which is never a good customer experience.

The support rep brushed off all my issues and said that the new software update would fix everything. I’m still waiting for said update. I sent another email this week with the more recent problems, and OnePlus replied to ask for a video of all of them. What? OK number one, most people won’t be able to film a video of their phone because their phone is the only recording equipment they have. Number two, do you know how hard it is to capture sporadic bugs on camera? ONE bug is hard to capture, never mind that huge list above. Shall I just film my phone 24/7 until OnePlus believes me? I’ve never had a phone manufacturer demand proof before they’d even look at the phone.

If these issues are just on my OnePlus One, do they matter?

Yes. I’m not by any means the only person to have bugs with my OnePlus One – there are lots of us, each with our own unique sets of issues. This gives me the impression that quality assurance at the very newly-minted OnePlus is not what it could be, and phones are sneaking through with defects. Now, it’s only fair to say that every phone by every manufacturer will have some handsets with problems, and some people will be the unlucky ones. But I’ve never seen an array of issues like this on a new handset before, nor have I had the manufacturer just blame it all on software. Software which still hasn’t arrived, I might add: apparently it’ll be the end of this month, but I’m not waiting any longer for something that might not even fix it.

With the OnePlus Two due to drop around Q3 this year (with the invite system again… sigh), I’m not sure I’d trust OnePlus with my money again. After all, as I mentioned in my review, no phone shop is going to know how to repair it, which means you’re entirely relying on the manufacturer to help you. And they haven’t helped me at all.


OnePlus’s motto is ‘never settle’, so I’m taking their advice and ditching my hyper-buggy OnePlus One. Anyone want to buy it…?

Thought not.

Holly Brockwell