There has been a lot of discussion online to where you should buy your OnePlus One from. Basically it comes down to either getting and invite and buying from OnePlus or buying from a Chinese reseller. Here are my views based on personal experience.
If you have been following the news, hype, reviews and scandals, you are probably chomping at the bit to get your hands on the OnePlus One, and as you all already know it isn’t as simple as just ordering the phone online.
For those of you outside of China the OnePlus One can only be bought officially from OnePlus after receiving an invitation. Just getting an invite takes months so it is not surprising to see fans order directly from China.
For your information I have been fortunate enough to order the OnePlus One with an invitation and also from a Chinese reseller. My views, opinions and experience of both are below.
Buying the OnePlus One from OnePlus with invitation
First step to buying the OnePlus One officially through OnePlus was to get an invitation. I was lucky enough to receive an invite from a fan of GizChina.it.
With the invite all I had to do was log in to my OnePlus Account and buy the phone. For me the step was a little simpler as I already had an account. Once logged in I wanted to order the OPO from within the UK but have it sent to Spain (as I was traveling). This caused a problem as the OnePlus system checks which IP you are signed in from and will only allow you to set up payment and shipping to that same country. To get around this I simply logged out, turned on my VPN and logged back in with Spanish IP.
Once the order was complete and all paid for all I had to do was wait. Wait I did until I, and many other customers, received the email saying that due to design choices on the rear of the Oneplus One the phone would be delayed for 2 weeks as customs wouldn’t release them. To apologise for the delay OnePlus offered us a free case, this still hasn’t arrived.
The customs issue was fixed and I had a message saying my OPO was on the way to be delivered! Great! I also received another email from OnePlus warning me that DHL were asking customers to pay customs tax on their orders even though the customs had already been paid. The advice given was to tell DHL this and hope they wouldn’t want the tax, or pay the tax and receive a refund.
Not wanting to wait any longer I paid the 50 Euros tax and sent the receipts to OnePlus who said they would refund me soon. That was 2 weeks ago and still nothing.
At least I had my phone right? Yes, but why was my OnePlus set up in French Canadian when it arrived? Why didn’t I get the normal set up screen on first boot? This suggests to me I am not the only person to have receive this phone….
OnePlus One Global version unboxing
Buying the OnePlus One from a Chinese reseller
No invitation was needed to buy from Lenteen, and once I added the phone to my shopping basket I paid for the phone and shipping and waited. The next day I received an email with order confirmation and the tracking number, again using DHL.
One week passed and an SMS to my phone indicated I had to pay customs on my phone. I was still in the UK and the customs cost was just £3. The next day I had the Chinese version of the OnePlus One in my hands.
Lenteen even offered to install CM11S for me at no extra charge, and were kind enough to send instructions to me on how to do it when I told them I would install the ROM myself.
Buying a OnePlus One from a reseller vs. officially my experience – Conclusion
In my own personal experience, ordering the OnePlus One directly from China was simpler, faster, cheaper and generally a more enjoyable experience. On the other hand I am still waiting for my free cover from OnePlus Global and also my customs refund. Not to mention the mystery as to why my phone seemed to have already been used.
Perhaps I was extremely unlucky and this was a random one off. I will be very interested to hear from OnePlus owners who have bought their phones officially with invitation and through Chinese resellers to hear your views and opinions on the process. Your comments could help future OnePlus buyers with a difficult choice to make.