The flagship killer?
The OnePlus One was a game changer when it was released last year. It’s a high-end smartphone with top of the line specifications but comes at a very affordable price. More than a year after its release, we now have the OnePlus 2 that gains new hardware but still retains the excellent price point – but will it be worth it? Let us have a look.
Design and Specifications
Amazing might be the first thing to describe the OnePlus 2. The unit I got for review is the Sandstone Black version that comes with a truly premium looking rear case that mirrors the surface so sandpaper.
The OnePlus 2 now comes with a stainless steel rim (compared to the polycarbonate material found on the OnePlus One) that feels very solid on the hand. The curved back also means that the smartphone can be easily held despite the 5.5-inch screen size.
Matching the screen size of the iPhone 6S Plus, the OnePlus 2 also comes with a full HD 1080 x 1920 pixel screen resolution. The screen is bright, and is easily one of the best looking displays we have seen on a smartphone.
Volume rockers are located on the right side along with the power button. On the left side you will find another switch that enables profiles – this helps you turn on silent or normal mode on the smartphone without having to go through the settings panel. A headphone jack is located on top next to the microphone while the speaker grills are located at the bottom just surrounding the USB Type-C port.
The home button located below also comes with a built-in fingerprint sensor also surrounded by touch sensitive navigation buttons. A 13 megapixel camera with dual LED flash along with a 5 megapixel front facing camera is also included.
The OnePlus 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, which was the literally the hot topic in the past few months thanks to its overheating issues. It is the same CPU found on the HTC One M9 and the Sony Xperia Z3+.
The smartphone still gets warm when used for intensive tasks, but thanks for better handling of the CPU process, it isn’t a uncomfortable as it was on other smartphones.
The OnePlus 2 comes in two flavors: a 16 GB variant with 3 GB of RAM and a 64 GB version that comes with a massive 4 GB of RAM (tested here). It supports dual SIM, and while the battery isn’t removable you can swap the back panel for other official OnePlus back covers made from Bamboo or Rosewood.
As mentioned, the OnePlus 2 uses USB Type-C as it primary form of connection used for data transfer and charging. It also comes bundled with a flat-type USB Type-C cable in the package. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, though surprisingly they’ve eliminated NFC.
Since OnePlus’ partnership with CyanogenMod has ended, the company quickly developed OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop that is running on the OnePlus 2. It retains a near-stock Android experience, with a few interface tweaks here and there. OnePlus has always been active with releasing updates for its smartphones, and has even announced an update that will be based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
I couldn’t find any faults with the OnePlus 2’s performance. Apps launch without any problems and it even handled high-end games with ease. I also found the fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 2 to be very responsive. It also automatically unlocks the smartphone even when it is on sleep mode as soon as it detects your fingerprint.
The camera on the OnePlus 2 also produces decent images. It supports various modes, including Slow Motion, Time Lapse and Panorama. While the camera modes are mostly simple, it works for the normal user who simply wants to take some shots. I was told that an update for the camera adding manual controls is already in the works.
I got about a full day’s worth of battery life on the OnePlus 2 after a full charge – which is somehow at par with some of the higher-spec’d smartphones in the category. You can also utilize the Battery saver mode so you can have more juice to use the smartphone for a couple more hours.
The OnePlus 2 currently retails for 1399 AED exclusively at Souq.com, which is already a great price for a smartphone with this type of specification.
The OnePlus 2 improves upon the already great OnePlus One. While it is not a total flagship killer, it still a perfect alternative to more expensive smartphones currently available.