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OnePlus One finally available without an invite

At last you can order the much-sought-after smartphone, and even get it in time for Christmas.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
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For months now I've been referring to the OnePlus One as "the best smartphone you can't buy."

Now, you can buy one: as part of special holiday "offer," the company is selling the One without the need for invitation. Golly, thanks, OnePlus!

If it sounds like I'm poking a little fun, it's because I am. The One debuted back in May to widespread acclaim , with the company rolling out the phone in limited quantities by invitation only. Fair enough; new company, wants to start slow, ramp up production, etc.

The promise was that within a few months, anybody would be able to buy a One. But it never happened. Save for a 24-hour Black Friday promotion last month, the phone remained frustratingly by-invitation-only.

As of yesterday, however, anyone with $299 (or $349) can order a One. And OnePlus is promising delivery in time for Christmas, just in case you're considering it as a gift item.

Why the sudden "generosity"? One of my CNET colleagues speculates the company is clearing inventory to make way for a forthcoming new model.

Whatever the case, the current One is well worth your consideration. It's sold unlocked, so you can take it to the GSM carrier of your choice. It has a gorgeous 5.5-inch display and blazing-fast processor. And the $349 model nets you 64GB of storage. (Here's my full review if you want to hear more gushing, and here's CNET's .)

What are your thoughts? Is this the -- sorry -- One for you? Or did OnePlus burn through any goodwill you might have had by making you wait so long?