5 reasons to buy the OnePlus One over the S5, HTC One, LG G3 and Sony Z2

OnePlus is a relatively unknown smartphone manufacturer, but its One smartphone truly is a fantastic deal - if you can get hold of it. Here we list five things that make the OnePlus One an infinitely better deal than any other 2014 flagship smartphone. Also see: OnePlus One review

1. It's cheap 

Buy the OnePlus One and you'll be getting a £600 smartphone for less than half the price. Available in 16- and 64GB models, the OnePlus One starts at a tiny £229. And that makes it a better deal than even the Nexus 5. Also see: OnePlus One release date, price and specs 

2. It's very, very good 

Consider the spec of the average 2014 flagship: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip (check); 3GB of RAM (check); Adreno 330 graphics (check); large full-HD display (check); 4K video recording (check); high-capacity battery (check); and the latest connectivity features including dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0 (check). We could go on, but you probably get the point. In fact, the only thing on which the OnePlus One can't compete is expandable storage - so just get the 64GB version and you'll still save £300. Also see: Inside the OnePlus One, what the specs don't tell you  

3. It's great for tweakers 

One of the reasons Android is now the most popular mobile OS in the world is that it allows greater customisation than do iOS and Windows Phone. OnePlus One runs CyanogenMod 11S, which is based on Android KitKat (and will be updated to Android L later this year), but takes things one step further, allowing even more customisation than does standard Android. There are thousands of themes, icons, fonts, wallpapers and more to get your OnePlus One looking exactly the way you want it. Also see: 35 best smartphones 2014  

5 reasons to buy the OnePlus One

4. Secure messaging and privacy guard 

Our data is incredibly valuable, so another benefit of the CyanogenMod 11S operating system is Secure Messaging and Privacy Guard. The former admittedly requires your recipient to also be running a CyanogenMod device, but the latter is great for letting you keep a check on app permissions - ideal if you're keen on running third-party apps not vetted by Google Play. Also see: 34 best Android phones 2014  

5. No-one else has one 

And this is possibly the key reason to buy the OnePlus One. Take a look at the phones owned by your friends or colleagues sitting near to you. Is there a Samsung Galaxy? A cheap one from Tesco? I'll bet you anything that there's an iPhone. There's not a OnePlus One. And there probably never will be, because as far as most people are concerned the OnePlus One can be bought by invitation only, and obtaining an invitation is enough of a hassle to make them look elsewhere. But don't copy them: you can buy a OnePlus One without an invitation right now.  

What's next for OnePlus? Find out more about the OnePlus One mini, OnePlus tablet, and OnePlus Two.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.