PDQ Library:  OnePlus One Smartphone

It's one great phone - the best value in smart phones as of May 2015. But the website is hard to order from and the phone doesn't come with instructions.  Here's some notes to help you get started. (Some instructions are aimed at Canadians.)

Buying the OnePlus One

1) Go to http://oneplus.net and choose the correct country by clicking on the US flag at the bottom of the page and selecting Canada (or whatever)! Then create an account by clicking the person icon at the top of the page. I know it's not intuitive at all, but you can't order from the wrong country!

2) Buy 32gb white or 64gb black (2 choices for now), add a screen protector and protective case. Your order is totalled in Canadian dollars and includes shipping (only choice is express shipping) and Canadian taxes.

3) Pay online . I recommend Paypal, because the seller never sees your personal information. Paypal offers the option of "payment after delivery" if your payment is from a bank account instead of a credit card.  

4) If you have a DHL agent in your area it will arrive at your door in 3-7 days. (There are no additional fees at the door even though it ships from China through the United States to Canada. Maybe that comes later.)

Unboxing the OnePlus One

Everything is enclosed in lovely red boxes that slide into white boxes, with red pull tabs. Very impressive design just for boxes but it's up to the level of the rest. The phone box contains the phone on top. It has a temporary printed plastic sheet on the screen indicating the location of the external buttons, speakers, USB plug, phone plug. Resist the temptation to pull off this sheet if you intent to install a screen protector! (more below)

Look below the phone tray for the red flat-ribbon cable (USB to microUSB), a nanoSIM card tray in a bag, and a cute little red silicone bar (it looks like a minature bottle opener). It's actually a SIM ejector tool. (more below)

In a second box is a white power adapter for use with the USB cable to charge the phone battery. Additional boxes contain options screen protector, case, etc.

Where are the Instructions?

When you open the boxes (phone, charging adapter, options), it seems very user friendly, but where are the instructions? There aren't any!  These should get you started - charging the battery, applying a screen protector, and installing a SIM card. For more, search Youtube for videos about unboxing a OnePlus One.

Charging the Battery

Out of the box, the battery appeared to be almost charged - charge it to full unless you are in a hurry. The supplied USB cable is non-standard, but it works the same way. Plug the microUSB connector into the bottom of the phone and the USB end into the charge adapter (white plug facing the same way way as the 1+ logo), then into a wall plug. Tap the phone power button allows you to check the battery image level. It's fully charged when it's green right to the top.

Screen Protector application

Put all the pieces provided (screen protector in a sleeve, cleaning cloth, 2 stickers, scraper) on a clean table with good light.

Pull the protector out of its "sleeve" and identify front and back **. Position the protector on the screen with the printed plastic sheet still in place with the front (tab 2) facing you. Tape in place using the 2 stickers by taping them to the left side of the protector in 2 places, then around the edge and back of the phone.

Now lift the protector off the screen to the left, resting it on the table - it still has clear protective film on both surfaces at this point. NOW peel off the temporary printed plastic sheet from the phone's screen using tweezers. Use cleaning cloth here is optional as screen should be spotless.

Pull off the "inside" protective film of the screen protector by pulling tab "1" gently down and away. Use tweezers or hold the edge with the cleaning cloth (not fingers). Lower the protector into position on the screen. It will instantly stick and air will start to bleed out. Use the plastic squeegie to gently push all air bubbles towards the edge. Finally, remove the outside film from the screen protector by pulling tab "2". (search youtube.com if you need a video to show you how)

** Tab numbers are used for the screen protector I bought from OnePlus One so yours may be different. Just determine which side is applied to the screen. If you position the screen protector with the wrong side facing down, it simply won't stick to the screen. Start over - this time you'll probably have to clean the screen before applying it to the screen.

Installing a MicroSIM Card

The phone needs either a microSIM or nanoSIM card from your mobile provider to connect to their services. If your old phone has an older (large) SIM card, it won't fit. Ask your mobile provider to give you a new microSIM and tranfer your old number to your new phone. If you are a current customer, your carrier should do this at no cost. If you need a new phone number from a mobile provider, a microSIM card should cost a nominal amount to buy and set up ($10).

Trays to insert both microSIM and nanoSIM cards into the phone are supplied (one tray is in the phone, one is packaged with the phone). You just use the ejector tool to eject the tray, insert a SIM card and push it back in. First remove the ejector pin from the red silicone bar by pulling the edge of the silocone away from the metal handle and pull it out, exposing a long pin. Turn the phone over with the back facing you. Push the pin into the tiny hole on the right side of the phone just above the volume buttons. The microSIM card tray will pop out a little way. Pull it the rest of the way out. Insert a microSIM card from your mobile provider into the tray with the (gold) SIM contacts facing up. Push the tray back into the phone until it clicks into place.

Power up First Time

To save time, press and hold the power button for a few seconds to start the phone and complete a basic setup so the phone is ready to use before you go to the carrier's store to install your SIM card. If the battery is completely drained, it won't start. If the phone gets stuck, swipe the screen with your finger. If the screen turns off, tap the power button.

The first time the phone starts, you will be asked some setup questions. Skip the stuff about accounts for Google and Wi-Fi routers, etc. and it should be setup in a couple of minutes. Note that the 3 buttons along the bottom are not visible until you tap (you can change this). From left to right: MENU, HOME, BACK. The icons for PHONE is at the bottom of the screen. Enjoy your new phone.

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