When I started to look at the specs for the article I was astonished that there was no mention of NFC. I haven't seen any mid-range to high-end Android smartphone without NFC in the past two years.
The OnePlus One uses one of the best NFC controllers in the market, NXP's PN65T, and NXP ships a OnePlus One with its developing kit for smartcard and payment applications.
But keeping NFC adds another component, and weight, to the phone. And it could mean breaking the $400 price barrier.
The company claim that few people use NFC might be true, but applications such as Apple Pay cannot exist without it.