December 25, 2013, 8:59 PM — For a cool $600, the CyanogenMod Edition Oppo N1 smartphone aims to be a hacker's delight.
The first phone preloaded with the CyanogenMod Android ROM is shipping now, though Oppo notes that deliveries will take longer than usual due to the holiday season.
The CyanogenMod Edition Oppo N1 follows the trend of "developer edition" phones from larger vendors such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola. It is carrier unlocked, and has an unlocked bootloader that makes it easier to install custom firmware. CyanogenMod has also released factory images for the phone, so hackers can easily undo any major missteps.
While the idea of developer-friendly phones isn't new, until now there hasn't been a phone that shipped with CyanogenMod out of the box. The firmware maintains the look and feel of stock Android, but is known for increased reliability and performance and is a favorite among hackers and tinkerers. Users can dig into CyanogenMod settings to tweak performance and adjust privacy permissions for individual apps.
The Oppo N1 hardware also has some noteworthy features, including a rear touch panel and a 13-megapixel camera that swivels from front to back, allowing for high-quality selfies and video chats. Other specs include a 5.9-inch 1080p display, a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a 3610 mAh battery. On the downside, the phone doesn't support 4G LTE.
This isn't CyanogenMod's only attempt to get into more users' hands. Last month, the group released an installer in the Google Play Store that quickly and easily switches users over to the custom firmware. The group behind the Mod recently raised $7 million in venture capital to build a better Android and try to unseat Windows Phone as the third most-popular smartphone operating system.