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Google greenlights first CyanogenMod phone, the Oppo N1

Google has given the green light to CyanogenMod by officially certifying the Oppo N1 for the night before Christmas.

Google has given a festive thumbs-up to CyanogenMod. A special edition of the Oppo N1 is the first officially-sanctioned CyanogenMod phone, and it's on sale on Christmas Eve.

The price is yet to be confirmed, but the current N1 -- pictured above running Oppo's Color interface on top of Android -- costs £444. It's a 5.9-inch full HD phone powered by a Quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage, with an interesting 13-megapixel camera that swivels around.

This is the first time CyanogenMod has been officially certified by Google on any device, marking the first step in a journey that could see the software in TVs, wearable devices and even cars.

CyanogenMod is a fan-built spin-off of Android, originally designed to root Android phones and now raising capital to become a full-fledged alternative operating system. A proper company that's raised £18m in venture capital, Cyanogen is in the running to build on the open source Android in smart phones and other devices.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing: Google recently banned the CyanogenMod Installer app from the Google Play Store. But in giving the green light to the N1 to load official Google apps and access the Google Play store, the Big G has legitimised Cyanogen and put it on a level playing field with the big boys. Speaking to Engadget, Cyanogen says it plans to launch a device to the mass market in late 2014 or early 2015, under a new brand.

That means CyanogenMod is one of the upstart operating systems set to challenge Apple and Android over the next year, such as Ubuntu, Firefox OS and Tizen.

Do any of these upstart operating systems have a chance? Is Cyanogen the one to challenge Android's dominance? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.

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