OnePlus One price change hopefully heralds something new

Last year's flagship killer just got a killer price cut. That is, if you're willing to live with 2013 or 2014 high end specs. OnePlus One, which took the Android market by surprise, has just announced another price change, but this one promised to be for good. Or at least until the next permanent price cut. It is now $50 cheaper than it was yesterday. But if you pay the original $349 price for the 64 GB model, you also get a year's subscription of Dropbox Premium.

Part of what made the OnePlus One so enticing was that it came at only half the price of high-end Android smartphones back then but still managed to sport specs that matched the likes of the Nexus 5, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G2, and the Moto X (both generations). It was like the Xiaomi effect, but not confined to China. Plus, it ran on a CyanogenMod-based ROM that appealed to power users, bloatware haters, and modders.

Not that the OnePlus was perfect. It had its fair share or scandals, ranging from hardware problems with the display and touch panels to availability issues with its invite-only system. The latest problem that beset the Chinese startup was its nasty and messy breakup with Cyanogen, Inc. over business issues in India.

Given its age, it's really not surprising that OnePlus would put a permanently lower price tag on it now. The 32 GB model, which is the lowest you'll be able to get, now goes for $249 down from $299. The 64 GB model goes from $349 now to $299. But if you pay that extra $50 for the 64 GB model, you get a year of Dropbox to go along with it, though that limited time offer only starts with purchases made starting June 10.

Permanent price cuts are also sometimes signs of upcoming successors that will vie for more buyer's money. Details on the OnePlus 2 are still slim at this point, though there is already talk that it will use the controversially hot (literally) Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and might have a price tag that is almost double the OnePlus One right now. Suffice it to say, the Android faithful will be keeping an eye out for it to see if OnePlus can repeat its success and if it avoid repeating its failures.