When OnePlus opened its door in 2014 and let the sunlight dawn on its aesthetic flagship killer, it set the mobile industry on fire. From being a company that few in the next street heard of, it hacked its way to the top. The OnePlus One was perhaps unarguably the most talked newbie on the stand.
And the masterstroke still continues with OnePlus Two now up on sale. The only problem for you is getting hold of one. The peculiar “invite-only” marketing strategy seemed to drive people mad last year has returned with all the prowess.
Instead of partnering with online retailers and selling it easily, the company set on writing on its own saga and it was an absolute blockbuster of a rush. Invites were gold-dust, as you either had to know someone who’d accomplished the task of getting one or you had to participate in an invite contest to win one for yourself. Or you had to steal someone’s. Such is the cutthroat madness this time round.
That is marketing aggression at its very best.
Not the thinnest, nor the lightest, nor even the best-looking smartphone you can take home. But hang on, it’s one of the cheapest flagship phones that come with eyebrow raising specs.
If you are into martial arts and run into times when you wish you could use your phone as a weapon, this is where your search ends. Yeah that was an exaggeration. None could beat the Nokia’s Pagers that were sold on the pretext of being mobiles.
OnePlus Two all feels robust, tough, and well built — like a mobile that’s going to last.
The scratchy back although is going to have a love-hate-relationship with the end-user. A lot of the guys are gonna like this due to the grip on offer with a sandstone covering. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is that what they say!
For those whom looks do matter, this is a matter of concern as in the politest of words you must either not buy this phone or not overturn it to see the backside. It is not soft, not flashy and certainly not the one to earn you bragging rights among your friends.
The company has a solution ready by already rolling out tons of trendy covers which are going to bat in substitution for the aesthetic beauty it original lacked.
Hardware and build quality
Coming over to the keys, the soft buttons are fairly easy to touch. The handy volume slider key resides on the left side along with the typical volume rocker inspired heavily from Apple’s iPhone. You have the freedom to rapidly toggle between three sound profiles: alarms only, One single Gorilla Glass 4 covers the 5.5-inch Screen. AND if you place the phone face down on the table, it touches the surface — “so do look out for possible scratches and damages”.
Thinness is the point where the OnePlus 2 is clearly challenged about. Many geeks and business class users won’t roll their eyes, but then again those who love super-thin phones are going to feel that this handset is quite generous in size.
- 3300 mAh li-poly battery
- OxygenOS (Android 5.1)
- 5” IPS LCD display (178 degrees view-angle)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM
- 16Gb to 64GB of storage (no microSD slot)
- 13 Megapixel camera with 1.3 micron pixels
- Optical Image Stabilization(OIS)
- Laser-focus (focus time of 0.33 ms)
- Dual nano-SIM, 4G LTE
- USB Type-C port
- Fingerprint reader
- 8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm, 175g
Well, this a tough ground to tread on.
The OnePlus 2 boats of a 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) LCD display placed behind Gorilla Glass 4.
The display is something flagship killers MUST be very particular about but OnePlus seemed to move over it. It is not very bright in real world although it is powered by 600 nits. But that’s a blessing in disguise any way as a lot brightness affects the battery performance. Smart Move.
The OnePlus team has chosen an IPS display with great color rendering capacity, which is arguably more important than the raw sharpness. With the price you just paid, you must really not complain. It is hard to point out flaws with that good a price, my friend.
Software and UI
There is a lot of thinking going around in R&D, we suppose. Earlier OnePlus One worked on Cynogen but now the company started its very own version of Android branch called OxygenOS.
The approach is clear in UI : To make it more open.
There is a customizable LED notification indicator, off-screen gestures to instantly access apps and features
And sections for dealing with your capacitive and on-screen button options.
The highlighting thins about this UI is SHELF that is like a baby Google Now; and can get you basic things done like setting up alarm and weather widgets as for now.
It is still in beta test so not much to say about its ability.
Not all is well down here.
Though smooth in phases, this is something to knit your eyebrows. When it works it works like a gem. But there are considerable issues that users of the initial round have complained : Some third-party apps like Relay for Reddit, among others , don’t show up properly because of a bug related to the way OxygenOS invokes Material Design’s Light theme. There is a pattern of random restarts that only the Robert Langdon could decipher.
Camera and Battery
Phew! Finally some air of positivity.
The camera took crisp and clear photos of objects in both day light and even in lowly lighted ambiance.
A good 5 MP front camera to supplement the lucid 13 MP rear camera that snaps 4128 x 3096 pixels, and has features like optical image stabilization, laser autofocus and dual-LED flash. There is more for the shutterbugs: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, and HDR.
With OnePlus 2 you can capture videos in 720P, 1080P and also 4K. The quality of 4K videos is also superb and there is no sign of any detectable noise. There might be 99 problems to point out but a exhilarating camera is not one of them.
The OnePlus 2’s battery stand ground firmly for an entire day with at least 10% left over.
We might be asking too much at this price but wish the phone included the wireless- and fast-charging features found in other Android devices. And demand a built-in washing machine too, you might say. Ok, so the battery performance issue is settled with the new update and gets our nod.
Price to value ratio
The OnePlus 2 once again promised to turn the price-to-value ratio on its head. And it passed it tests with some chinks in the armor. You can be assured that it is the best blend of price and performance you’ll find in an unlocked phone on date.
Is it value for money credited from your bank account, Yes.
If you have good money (and live your daily course like Wolf-of-Wall-Street) or can afford to live with a single kidney, go for higher end of the spectrum, kid.
The most eye-catching addition to OnePlus One is the fingerprint sensor that tags up as a home button too. Not as sensitive as it should be but good nevertheless.
We advocate that it must be de facto for all android phones which the Apple fanboys will love to have on their device as well.
If you are not into the cutting edge technomania and you don’t use strangle your mobile’s neck with a lot of parallel tasks, the OnePlus 2 is a phenomenal bargain. Just be sure that this company has a promising future and you might want to wait until the next edition before you see awesomeness starting to unfold.
It was billed highly on the charts as the blockbuster but our verdict is that it is certainly not a boom! But great to have with a pocket friendly price tag.
The ticks and tocks
- ✓ Solid build quality and design
- ✓ Low price
- ✓ Reliable fingerprint scanner
- ✓ Decent screen and performance
- ✓ Did we mention the price?
- ✕ Lack of battery options
- ✕ Still no expandable storage
- ✕ Immature OS and features
- ✕ Doesn’t live up to the hype
- ✕ Random Restarts and crashes