Sick of Samsung, LG, Motorola, and the rest of the Android device offerings from the usual suspects? Looking for something a little more exciting, a bit more open, with an entirely different Android experience that you're used to? You'll have that chance next week when the CyanogenMod version of OPPO's N1 (shown above) officially goes on sale.
Months ago, we reported that Cyanogen had not only announced that it was going corporate, but that it partnered up with OPPO Digital to distribute its custom, "enhanced" version of Android on specific hardware.
According to the manufacturer's official Twitter account, the special version of the OPPO N1 will go on sale starting on Christmas Eve. The phone will feature specialized CyanogenMod branding on its chassis and some impressive specifications, including a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 3610 mAh battery pack, a 1080p screen, and a 360-rotating 13MP camera.
Cyanogen's Abhisek Devkota noted in the CyanogenMod-Dev Google Group that the OPPO N1 only recently received Google's official seal of approval.
"With the certification process complete, we can not only say that we built the Android OS that users (and we) want to use, but that through it all, the code, fixes, enhancementsl, and features you all have taken the time to do are solid," he wrote.
That's actually a fairly huge milestone for Cyanogen, as Google not only approved the first Android phone that comes pre-loaded with a modified ROM, but one that features Google's signature application suite--not even Amazon's seriously forked Kindle Fire OS can lay claim to that. It's also interesting to note that while users have been able to root their Android handsets on their own and install CyanogenMod for years, this is the first time that a company is selling a "finished" product directly to consumers.
The announcement of the OPPO N1 also comes hot on the heels of yesterday's news that Cyanogen raised an additional $23 million in funding. The company currently has 22 employees, but plans to hire at least 60 over the next year as it plans to go mainstream. "Because consumers are clamoring for increased personalization and customization options, the Android open-source community has been happily taking up the task of fulfilling that demand," Andreessen Horowitz, an investor, told the LA Times. "We believe that [CyanogenMod] has the opportunity to become one of the world's largest mobile operating systems."
The OPPO N1 will come in 16GB and 32GB flavors for $599 and $649, respectively, though it will be sold on a limited run.