Don’t Smash the Past: This OnePlus One promotion is a bad idea

Samsung Galaxy S3 cracked

After unveiling their “Flagship Killer” smartphone earlier this week, Chinese start-up OnePlus has announced that you can become one of the very first 100 people to purchase their new phone. Even better – it will only run you one dollar. All you have to do is enter a contest stating that you’ll smash your current smartphone if your entry is chosen. This is a bad idea.

Sure, drop test videos and “phone durability tests” generate an insane amount of views and dumb promotional stunts generate a lot of hype for businesses. These are reasons why we love the Internet – for sometimes dark and twisted entertainment. That said, these types of stunts are done on a very small scale. Asking 100 people to destroy perfectly fine smartphones is just bad form and someone could get hurt.

OnePlus has already stated that they won’t be held liable for any damage or injury that occurs while smashing your phone. Why did they put that clause in their FAQ? Because it’s a very real possibility. Remember the Galaxy S5 hammer test that sprayed out noxious fumes and caused the viewer physical harm? I’m sure he’ll never forget it.

Here’s a few alternatives to smashing your phone:

Sell it on Swappa. OnePlus wants you to smash your phone in lieu of $298. Did you know that a lot of the phones accepted by OnePlus’s Smash promo actually sell for a lot more on Swappa? For example, the unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, Sony Xperia Z, LG G Flex, and many others are selling for $450-$550 right now. You’d actually turn a profit if you sold your current phone on Swappa and used that cash to buy a OnePlus One.

Use it as a media device. Turn your phone into a music player. This is a great idea for kids. If you don’t have kids, no problem. Having a portable music player helps save your phones precious battery life. You could also turn your spare phone as a dedicated remote control for your Chromecast devices.

Turn your phone into a security camera. There’s plenty of camera apps on Google Play that allow you to turn your phone into a home surveillance device. You’ll be able to easily check in on things while you’re away from home and you don’t need to buy an expensive system to do so thanks to your existing Android phone and just an app.

Use HTC’s Power to Give program. With the Power to Give app, you can make the world a better place by using your phones CPU cycles to crunch research data. It may not be that much, but you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing your helping out in some way or another.

Donate your old phone to a good cause. Cell Phones for Soldiers is a nonprofit organization that provides free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. If you don’t want to have to keep a phone plugged in all of the time just to a good dead, this is probably your best option – helping those that have served your country.

Will you be entering the contest for a chance to smash your phone? Let us know in the comments.

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TAGS: OnePlus One

  • James Whale

    I absolutely agree with this. Smashing phones for frivolous reasons – drop tests, promotions, etc. – is not only environmentally irresponsible considering a) the cost and increasing rarity of the rare minerals required to produce them, and b) the release of potentially harmful substances into the environment, but also inherently offensive considering how many people in the world don’t even have access to basic technology.

    • rick slick


  • Keith

    Damn, I was just going to smash an older phone. On their site to sign up for the contest there is a drop down menu and you have to select what phone you’ll smash, there are only newer phones listed.

    • robjackson81

      Which makes their idea even worse.

    • napes22

      Yeah I was thinking about smashing my Droid X.

    • timmyjoe42

      They don’t want a Nexus 4? Disappointing.

      • Keith

        Unfortunately not, I have a Nexus 4 with a cracked back that I would smash. But I’ll keep my Nexus 5 for now.

  • Dean Politis

    If you enter their stupid contest, just remember to remove the battery (if you can).

    • HowDoHound

      This contest is the best argument I can think of for removable batteries!

      That was a joke. Nyuk.Nyuk.

  • shooter50

    Everything One Plus does is amateur hour.

    • Derek Ross

      I wouldn’t go that far. I’m still going to get one. I just don’t agree with this marketing tactic.

  • Chris Chavez

    So you’re basically saying, “Instead of wasting a phone and getting a free one, don’t waste it and get nothing?” The idea of the promo is that you get something out of it, even if it doesn’t benefit mankind and all that.

    • Derek Ross

      Or sell it on Swappa, buy a OnePlus One, and turn a profit. Use the profit to go out and buy hookers and blow. Make a video, post that to YouTube instead.

      • spicymeatball

        But your not one of the first 100 people to get the phone and your likely not the first 100 johns to get that hooker.

      • toomuchgame441

        Give this man a medal!

      • Anthony McKay

        And/Or!!.. Sell the 1+1 and my nexus 7 and my PC, car and TV for even more cocaine, hookers and cocaine!!

        • Durin123

          Madness, haha.


      Word. People can do what they like with what they bought.

    • rick slick

      Um… don’t waste it, and get to keep your monies???

      Where does the “get nothing” come from? The only ones who “get nothing” are the stupid ones smashing their good phones and getting zippo out of it.

      Seems like your logic is not very logical Chris, sometimes, like the S5 whiny article you wrote?

      • Chris Chavez

        I think you misunderstood. I’m in agreement that the people smashing their phones without first receiving invites made a bad move. They get nothing for jumping the gun (unless they get lucky and get randomly chosen).

        What I was saying is if you’ve got an old Galaxy S3 collecting dust in your drawer, you have every right to destroy it for a new phone and it’s actually a smart move (providing you received an invite). It’s a pretty darn good deal.

        Of course there are more honorable alternatives like giving an old phone away to charity and paying full price for the OnePlus One. But not everyone has $300 to spend on a new phone or even wants to.

        And while my Galaxy S5 article was an opinion piece, it had many a valid points, some that even Galaxy S5 owners could agree with. Thanks.

  • h4rr4r

    Saying you’re not liable, does not make you not liable.
    Paying someone to do something, and the expectation is that someone might get hurt means you are liable.

  • h4rr4r

    Baby monitor is another good idea.
    That is what my old Galaxy Nexus will become very soon.

    • Derek Ross

      Perfect! And the Dormi app is pretty awesome too.

  • spicymeatball

    1. Non speculative attraction: I just want an invite so bad!
    $Swappa Price of current phone – Cost of OnePlus One = $price of invite.
    $500-$300=$200 cost of invite.

    2. Speculative attraction: I want the phone and the invites so I can make some money and have this awesome phone.
    Ebay $/invite * 3 + OnePlus One price $300 – Wasted swappa price = Net Profit. e.g. 450+300-500 = $250 in your pocket + and an awesome phone.

    3. Taking advantage of the deal and the pure greed attraction: I want to sell the phone and the 3 invites and replace my old phone with a brand new one. Maybe it has a broken screen on an htc 1. Or maybe I want the S5 instead of the S4.
    Ebay $/invite * 3 + OnePlus One price $300 – replace my current phone
    $450+300-600 = $150 in my pocket and my same old phone but without a broken screen..

    *Obviously wasteful, but I’m not addressing the greenness of any of this since that would require a lot of research into the general greenness of smartphones in general.

    • SuperMarino

      OnePlus has said that they would have control over the invites and how long they’d work, etc, so if they see people selling the invites they’ll just shut those down. How well that will work.. well, I guess we’ll have to see – but theoretically the invites shouldn’t cost you anything, other than sucking up to someone who has one to give!

      • spicymeatball

        It will be interesting to see how they control the invites. If the invites are plentiful then speculators will get screwed. I’m kind of concerned for OnePlus because this promotion may be incredibly bad PR and backfire on building excitement. However, it’s the controversy they are counting on to get free PR.

      • EricReichert

        How could you shut down an invite when an eBay listing wouldn’t even list the invite code?

        • SuperMarino

          Technically, selling digital codes on eBay is not allowed, as it violates some of eBay’s policies. To do so you’d have to have a physical item to ship. Again, this isn’t always enforced and I’ve bought plenty of game codes on eBay, but OnePlus could ask eBay to shut down all the auctions of such and eBay would be happy to oblige. Even a random seller could report an auction as violating the policy and it will be taken down, something to remember if you see these codes going for a joke of a high price! Selling them on Craigslist might be harder for OnePlus to control, but more people are leery of buying something on Craigslist because there is no party (like eBay) to hold the buyer & seller accountable.

          Not that this would happen, but OnePlus could even be crazy enough to do something like have the code, once issued, only be redeemable for the next 5 minutes. If the recipient doesn’t use the code, the issuer gets it back, but cannot offer it again to the same account. This would shut down a lot of online transfers and make it that you’d almost have to sit down with a friend, get the code for him/her and have it redeemed right then. Now this would be a logistical nightmare and have a bunch of customer support requests generated, but it’s still a possibility. Who knows what they’ll do until they lay out their plans.

    • Derek Ross

      I’m sure someone will do the eBay route. It’s sad, but it will happen. Personally, I’ll be sharing my invites with Phandroid readers. Greed doesn’t do me much good.

      • JBrowne1012

        Remember me when you get one lol

  • Maneck

    Sorry, but it should be “All you have to do is enter a contest stating that you’ll smash your current smartphone if your* entry is chosen.”

  • Ncrypt3d

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Hohlraum

    Slow news day?

    • Derek Ross

      Plenty of news! This is an opinion article though.

    • dreadnatty08

      This is why I miss being able to down vote.

      • Derek Ross

        I got you.

      • Dean Politis

        I really think the down vote provided a lot of value.

  • David Narada Brown

    I definitely use my old devices for a music player. Havent thought of the home security one tho! good idea. i’ll b checking into that 1.

  • Tojen1981

    I’m sure its a nice phone, but at this point there seems to be hype that what its worth.

    People whining because they were lied to about the size, invite-only to purchase, give your friends an invite, smash a perfectly good phone on the off chance to get it for free, etc……

    Got better thing to do really. Just let me know when/where I can buy it. Otherwise, I don’t care.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Stupid is as stupid does. My grandpa always says that when you are looking for stupid people you can’t find them but they are amongst us.

  • mreveryphone

    Look for a broke broken S3 on CL pay $45 for it. Apply for the smash and buy. Find a construction site, (insert a creative way to smash the phone here). Buy phone for a $1. Use it for a week. Sell it for $800+. Save that money for the G3, Nexus 6, or Note 5.

    • WhoaManWtF

      No way anyone will pay that much for those phones.

    • SuperMarino

      The phone you smash has to be functional at the beginning of the video, so that might limit the broken phones you’ll find for this.

  • PSarge

    Call it what you like but it’s certainly got people talking about the OnePlus One…
    Just look at how many post there are about it on alone….

    They got you!

    • Derek Ross

      The OnePlus marketing has always been to get their name in the headlines – releasing specs every week, competitor smear campaigns, now this. They’re doing it right in terms of keeping their name out there.

  • Anthony McKay

    I entered for the thrill of possibly winning. I’m sure I won’t win, but if I do cool. If I don’t like the phone I’ll sell it and get my Nexus 5 back. Win.. win. Except I’m a little disappointed that it’s the 16GB version. We’re smashing our phones.. Come on!! Give us the good stuff..

  • DavidB23

    “The Sun has no need to boast of it’s brightness”. Beware of vendors that go to extreems promoting something. Shows weakness.

  • William D.

    I thought about entering, but my only eligible phone is my m7. I could still sell my m7 for enough to buy a 1+1.

    • No_Nickname90

      It looked like you get some invites to buy the phone earlier, as well. I guess I can enter for those invites.

  • chris_johns

    good article…i am not a fan of any of this oneplus one nonsense

  • G2

    NO NO NO, by all means, let the internet retards smash their phones, lol,
    Get that hammer and get to smashing your cell phone (in hopes that you not only get picked, but smashing your phone before you have your replacement)

    • Derek Ross

  • Semianonymous

    My note 2 has a devastated screen and several hardware issues including a wonky charger port, broken s-pen and and a bad front speaker. All of my music is on Google music and its usually played on the phone I carry on me. If I get chosen, I’m going to drag my note behind my truck with a rope around the block, keeping me safe from any explosions. I’ll probably pull the battery too. Sure, I could do folding@home or something but it randomly reboots so I’d have to make sure its still running. After that I’m going to take it to an electronics recycling place so they can reduce it to its valuable components.

    So if I get chosen, hell yeah I’m smashing my phone.

    • Derek Ross

      There’s obviously exceptions to my thoughts. If your device is defective and you’re still using it because you can’t afford a new one, sure, it’s in your best interest. I’m more so talking about people with perfectly good and working phones.

    • pspitbull

      Same here, cracked screen and constant reboots on my note2 and its my daily phone.

      • mhmmd123

        I have the NOTE 2 since day one. I never had any issue with it and it` in perfect condition.

  • Martin Lane

    Jeez, any excuse to smash a phone..

  • KiwiBri

    Good post

  • HowDoHound

    I wonder how many people will smash their phone first, and THEN enter the contest…

    • SuperMarino

      Already have a bunch of them on the OnePlus forums, thinking they would need to be one of the first 100 to upload proof of smashing. Oops.

      • Marsg

        Feel bad for the dude who smashed his HTC one.

        • Skyver

          He’s probably having a joke. If he is not joking, then I don’t know why he do such a stupid thing!

  • Raja’ee Ameir

    Of course I will. You kidding me?

  • Da Fuq

    Who says anything about smashing current-gen flagships? I’m gonna smash my old Nokia ;)

    • Marsg

      Their rules say it lol. Galaxy s3 and newer flagship devices.

    • Jason Yuen

      You want to smash a Nokia? Good luck with that. Let me know when you break your arm trying.

  • BronzeLincolns

    i was gonna do it, then i found out they were only giving away the 16GB version.

    no one is going to smash their brand spanking new m8 s5 and 5s’s for this contest. moral and environmental issues aside, you would be an idiot of epic proportions to smash a $600-700 phone that is still worth 90% of its original value when you can sell it and buy a 1+ and put a nice chunk of change in your pocket.

    the responses to the contest prove once again that the majority of the human race is stupid.

  • TechSwagg

    I will definitely pass along my invite. Not smashing my Note 3. Unless it was for a Note 4

  • renz

    so what happen when you’re not chosen when you already smash your phones?

    • BronzeLincolns

      you’re an idiot, that’s what happen.

      • renz


  • steveb944

    I like that HTC Power to Give. I never knew it existed and I’ve been following this site for a while and hadn’t heard of it

  • pspitbull

    my note 2 has been through the ringer and is in pain, I can’t even get 150 for it. For me it makes sense to smash the past. This contest works great for people with older beaten phones that make the cut. Now if only they choose my destruction method.

    • Jason Yuen

      Not only is smashing it unsafe, it’s wasteful and would serve a much better purpose being donated to a needy families of natural disasters. Valuable resource in rescue operations.

      • Skyver

        I totally agree. Why smash a working phone that could still be put to years of good use?

  • Jason Yuen

    Here’s a great option if your old phone. Set it up as a dashcam. Just make sure you don’t use an expensive phone to do that or you risk getting your windshield broken and phone stolen.