The maker of the popular OnePlus One has unveiled its successor, the OnePlus 2. Following in the footsteps of last year's "flagship killer", the new OnePlus 2 has a lot to live up to. Lets see if OnePlus has adopted the same formula of combining top-shelf hardware with an affordable price.
Priced at only $300, the SIM-free OnePlus One with 16GB of storage felt like a steal, as no other manufacturer would pack as much into their handsets for that price. The company claimed they were being sold “at cost,” which is almost unheard of in the tech industry. The one issue was the controversial invite-only system, which made it extremely difficult for a potential buyer to purchase the device.
There were two reasons for adopting this - OnePlus One was able to control inventory, so they were never left with excess stock. It also allowed the company to optimize the manufacturing process and weed out any bugs between production runs. Still this didn't mean the OnePlus One was trouble free, and did face its fair share of bugs, along with a few complaints about post-sales support for warranty or repair issues.
Still the company has had time to grow and is ready to unveil its second generation smartphone. In an aim to one again revolutionize its launch, OnePlus has opted to put together the world’s first VR product launch. If you missed it, you can still catch up with Cardboard, and the dedicated OnePlus 2 Launch app.
With the OnePlus 2, the company has taken an incremental step in terms of overall design language. The frame is a magnesium aluminum alloy, which should result in a high quality feel, while keeping it light.
Above the display you have front facing camera, while below you will find a fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button, accompanied by two configurable capacitive buttons.
Along the top of the device is a noise cancellation microphone and headphone jack. Meanwhile the speakers remain at the bottom of the device.
On its right side, you will find polished steel volume rocker and power/lock buttons. On the left is a new hardware feature called the 'alert slider.' This 3-stop sliding button will allow users to quickly switch between sound and notification profiles, making it easy to silence your phone in a hurry.
The OnePlus 2 also offers dual-SIM and features USB Type-C connectivity. OnePlus has also introduced a patented reversable USB plug to make it easier to connect to the charger or computer for charging. Switching out back plates is easier now with "StyleSwap" covers. OnePlus will have four new StyleSwap options available should you not prefer their signature Sandstone cover.
The OnePlus 2 features a 5.5 inch in-cell LCD HD display with a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. While many may wonder why OnePlus didnt opt for a higher resolution QHD display, using the 1080p panel should offer better battery life and performance on the device. Additionally OnePlus promises a high-quality experience with the display, claiming a wide 1500:1 contrast ratio. OnePlus claims this display will be very bright for outdoor use, and very dim when used without lights.
The OnePlus 2 has been outfitted with a 13 megapixel rear camera. You get a 1.3 micron pixel sensor, which is larger than commonly found and should offer better low light performance. You also get laser-assisted auto-focus, and optical image stabilization, which should all contribute to better low light photography.
In the front the OnePlus 2 has a 5 megapixel camera, which should be ample for video calls and selfies.
On the software side, OnePlus has outfitted their new smartphone with a new camera app. This app offers new features like Super-Resolution Mode, which processes photo images to 50-megapixel resolution. You also get an automatic time-lapse feature and a new slow-motion feature which captures video at up to 120 frames-per-second.
Processor, Memory and Other Hardware
The OnePlus 2 comes in two storage configurations - 16GB or 64GB. However, due to the lack of microSD, users will have to choose the option which best suits their needs when they purchase the device.
The handset also comes with a 3300mAh battery, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM.
The OnePlus 2 runs the Android based version 2.0 of OxygenOS. This new iteration of OxygenOS maintains the clean appearance and favors stable performance, but allows for wide customizations without heavy gimmicks found on other Android skins.
There are different modes and icon packs that can be used, and OxygenOS offers discrete app permissions within the OS similar to what Android M will offer later this year.
You can also select a dark UI mode, which replaces the bright white features of materials design with dark panels and accent colors you can choose. You will be able to fine-tune your LED notifications and icon grid size.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The OnePlus 2 will be priced higher than the OnePlus One, but will cost less than $450. Initial availability is still going to be through what is said to be a shorter and faster invite period. How short and fast that period will be remains to be seen.
The OnePlus 2 will be available starting August 11th for the United States, Canada, India, European Union, and China. The price was not immediately stated in the presentation, but it was later reported that the 16GB model will be available for $329, and the 64GB model will be $389. OnePlus also stated that it will be setting up "pop-up" stores in different cities around the world where people can get accessories, support, and even invitations to buy the OnePlus 2.
With what looks to be an amazing price, and top notch features, the OnePlus 2 promises to be a top choice for new smartphone buyers. However its strange to note that OnePlus has opted not to include NFC support despite the embedded fingerprint scanner. So you wont be able to use this device with contact less payment on Android Pay.
Still the OnePlus 2 will remain the go to device for many smartphone users and its manufacturer will stay committed to the vision that a smartphone could change the world.