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Technology Reviews – Part 1 was written about a real world experience of using a Windows Phone and my ultimate decision to leave the Windows ecosystem and commit to Android. As it turns out, Microsoft stayed true to their past and my one year old Windows Phone 635, just like my previous phone, will not be receiving the update during the first round (good thing I got it on sale). At one time Microsoft was leading the Windows Phone faithful to believe that all platforms would be upgraded on July 29, 2015 when they planned to release Windows 10. Microsoft then laid-off 7,500 employees with the majority being the people who “hired on” when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s cell phone unit. In my humble opinion, Satya Nadella has given away Microsoft’s 3% share of the cell phone market to other companies. Poor planning or another abandonment of customers? Either way this is not, nor ever will be, a choosing to be happy moment. But this story has a happy ending.

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The switch to the Android ecosystem was also helped along by the applications necessary to make a smart phone truly useful (keep in mind, I have been using the same Android tablet for several years). The problem I see with any smart phone, as I mentioned in Part 1, is the cost. I would rather purchase an unlocked phone and pay less each month for the services I actually use than to be locked into a contract. The cost of every “free phone” or “reduced price” is factored into the contract. There is no such thing as a free or inexpensive flagship cell phone. The only Un-Carrier that allows this option, that I know of, is T-Mobile. Until now.

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Technology Reviews – Part 1 left off with me shipping my defective OnePlus One to Great Britain (now I know why they use DHL) where it was “inspected before a new phone is shipped”. From the time I finally clicked “buy now” to when I was able to power up a functional OnePlus One was a mere twenty-one days! I’m certain there are many people out there who would not wait that long for a functioning cell phone (except for the Apple fanatics who stand in line to be the first). But for me, the frustration and wait was worth it in the end.

OnePlus markets the One, and now Two, as “The Flagship Killer”. A high-end phone without the high-end price. The design of this phone is exceptional. One very simple design feature is the position of volume switch in relation to the power switch. The volume switch is lower which allows one to grab the phone without accidentally locking the device (which is what I have this switch set to do) to adjust the volume. Attention to little details like this makes all the difference in usability (you may recall Apple’s iPhone 4 stumble with their antenna issue a few years back). Conversation clarity is as good as or better, depending on the weather, than my landline phone.

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The picture above was captured with the OnePlus One, no flash, auto settings, with minimal editing to crop and add a boarder. No other adjustments were made. The music play back is the same sound quality as my Apple iPod Nano with the n7player and easier to read.

In retrospect, OnePlus’ customer service is superior to any of the cell carriers I have used (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) as well as many companies (take note AT&T landline customer service). I have purposely waited several weeks to write Part 2 so that I could fully test various apps and see how well the One 64 GB works with WordPress and every day life. The tempered glass screen protector (accessory) makes picture editing simple with a tactile accuracy.

The cost of the OnePlus One 64 GB is less than half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge. With the optional tempered glass screen protector, high quality case from diztronic (chosen for the extra cushioning on the corner where the forces from an accidental drop are the greatest), and a USB adapter cable allowing one to connect a thumb drive still keeps the OnePlus One at half the cost of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. But it does not sacrifice quality. OnePlus has gained one of Microsoft’s 3% share.

Footnote: OnePlus did not provide any assistance beyond their normal “Never Settle” philosophy and customer service. All OnePlus products mentioned in this review were purchased and tested solely by me. Your results may differ.