Let’s take a look at our detailed review for the OnePlus 2 – a newly launched smartphone with elite performance and very attractive price.
Pros: high-end performance, affordable price, nice design. Good quality rear cam.
Cons: wireless and fast charging is not available, unhelpful USB Type-C port. Software bugs that bother the phone users.
Bottom line: the phone packs the attractive design with strong performance at a very budget-friendly price. However, it’s not really easy to acquire as it only available via invite system of OnePlus.
The newly launched OnePlus 2 is now being surrounded by a lot of compliment as it’s the complete package of good camera, powerful processor, eye-catching design at a very attractive price tag. Thus, it’s no surprise that phone users are now paying great attention on this smartphone.
However, there are still some features not available on this product such as: wireless charging, fast charging and NFC, which are skipped to cut down the cost.
Overall, the design of the OnePlus 2 impressed me a lot as it has greatly improved in comparision with the predecessor OnePlus One. Since the out-look construction is more expensive, the OnePlus 2 costs more than the original OnePlus 1: USD 330 and USD 390 for 16GB and 64GB version respectively. Still, such price tags are way cheaper than most of the high-end handsets currently available on the market. (for example: the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 64 GB version shall have full retail price at around USD 800)
But getting this product is not really easy as users shall need an invitation (which is available on social media such as Google +, Twitter and Facebook or OnePlus forum’s contest) to make a purchase as the OnePlus 2 is not distributed via retail stores or carriers. This is surely quite a burden for interested buyers.
Design and build
The phone comes with a dimension of 5.9 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches, 6.2 ounces in weight and a full-HD 5.5-inch screen display at 1920 x 1080 resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. There are also 4 cover designs being offered. Thus, while the size of the screen display remains the same, the OnePlus 2 is a little bit smaller than the original OnePlus 1. The frame of OnePlus 2 is made of metal, which shall bring premium feeling to users instead of plastic rim. The rear covers also come in 5 different designs for users to choose. For me, I chosed the black sandstone version and the sandpaper feeling makes me worry-free about slipping. If you want smoother covers, options for you are: bamboo, black apricot, rosewood and Kevlar and they are all available at USD 27.
Back to the original OnePlus 1, the raised screen is among the key design elements. This element stays still in the OnePlus 2 and actually I think this element is better on the OnePlus 2 due to the metal frame. Such raised screen also brings a distintive flair to the OnePlus 2, which cannot be found on other phones.
The fingerprint sensor is located below the screen and this shall be used for waking up the devices. What makes it interesting is this sensor is not a button, it’s actually a shallow depression. By placing the finger over, the phone shall be turned on even when the screen is not on.
Unlike other handsets, the SIM card slot of the OnePlus 2 is neatly hiden behind rear cover instead of being placed along the phone’s edge. However, these slots are only for nano-SIM, which means users shall have to purchase a new nano SIM card or trim down the normal SIM card.
In order to reserve the left place for Alert Slider, the volume keys are now moved next to power button on the right. There are 3 settings for the slider: mute all notifications, receive only prior alerts or receive all notifications. Actually, this is truly a helpful way to manage the device’s usage, however, users still have to manually set the priority applications.
The reversible port of USB Type-C is on the bottom of the device, which is now very new among smartphones. Though, this is not a USB 3.0 port, it’s still the USB 2.0 one and thus, the transfer speeds cannot reach 5 gigabits/ sec and still stay the same as on other current devices.
Next to the USB Type-C port are the speakers, actuall they are just single speaker, not the dual one.
Of course, the main camera is located on the back of the phone, this is a 13 MP rear cam with laser-assist focus. The front-cam is a 5 MP one.
Unfortunately, there’s no slot for micro SD card, which means the memory is not expandable (it’s fine for 64 GB ver but not for 16 GB ver). Also, the battery is not removable.
The processor being shipped with the OnePlus 2 is the Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 810 with 1.8GHz speed. As mentioned before, there are 2 options for internal memory: 16GB and 64GB. There are also 2 versions of RAM: 3GB (for 16GB memory model) and 4GB (for 64GB memory model). The battery is embedded and powered at 3,300mAh.
Someone may say that the 810 processor shall make the device overheat but OnePlus did claim that this situation shall not happen on their OnePlus 2 as the Oxygen OS is optimized to well handle the hardware.
In comparision with other top-end devices, there are 3 noticeable features that the OnePlus 2 lacks are: NFC, quick & wireless charging. Another less noticeable thing is the disappearance of microSD card but actually this shall be the trend as the recent Galaxy Note 5 also comes without it.
In the US, the OnePlus 2 shall work on 2 carrirer networks: T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon and Sprint networks are not compatible for this device.
The operating system being shipped with this OnePlus 2 is the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There is also a feature named Shelf available to help users quickly access their frequent apps, themes are customizable on the phone.
OxygenOS – an Android Lollipop 5.1-based custom skin – comes with the OnePlus 2 this year. Thus, users can get familiar with the OxygenOS very quickly if they are used to the Android. This is also not problem even for iOS users.
However, there’s one thing I hate is the big size of the app icons. In my opinion, the manufacturer should give users option to down-size the icons and the gaps between icons.
Since the Oxygen OS is still new, bugs are unavoidable (for instance: the palm detection). But they can be fixed by software update.
Camera and video
Talking more about the 13 MP rear cam, this one is shipped with optical image stabilization, added with laser-assit focus, dual-LED flash and featured with f/2.0 aperture. The camera sensor is also larger in order to take higher quality shots under low-light conditions. This rear cam can record video at 4K quality. As mentioned before, the front-cam is 5MP one.
There are several basic modes to be listed here are: real-time filter, HDR and paranoma. Exposure can also be locked by holding finger on 1 spot. However, HDR is not auto though this feature is auto in other top-end devices such as iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6.
Generally, the camera quality has greatly improved in the OnePlus 2 and it does not disappoint the users. Colors are true to life with sharp and in-focus objects. In order to review the recently captured photos, users have to swipe to the left, though this gesture, in landscape mode, does not work well.
The quality of video recording is also very high: up to 4K with rear cam and up to full-HD with front cam. The camera also adjusts quickly when lighting conditions change, and so does the focus when the camera is moving.
Another thing that impressed me is the DOF effects, this works pretty good in the OnePlus 2 though it way far can compare to a DSLR. Clear Image mode is also quite helpful as it will combine multiple photos to make a final clearer-looking shot.
As the processor is really powerfull, it’s no surprise that the OnePlus 2’s performance is lag-free and very smooth. Quickly start camera, smooth game streaming even with intensive game like the Asphalt 8.
In comparision with other phones that also use Snapdragon 810 processor like the ZTE Axon Pro and HTC One M9, the OnePlus 2 performs noticebly well.
The 3,300mAh unremovable battery shall make users expect the device to last quite long, especially when the power-draining 4K screen display is not available on the OnePlus 2.
In real experiment, the results of video streaming is not as good as we expect: the OnePlus 2 just lasted for 9 hours and 46 mis while the Galaxy Note 5 can last up to 15 hours. Luckily, in moderate use, this device can easily last for 1 full day.
Call quality and data speeds
The OnePlus 2 works both on GSM and LTE networks, 2.4 GHz & 5GHz Wifi dual-band is also featured on the device.
Regarding the call quality, it’s pretty satisfactory as there’s nearly no distortion or buzzing occur when making calls. Voice from both 2 sides are clear and loud. Audio speaker’s volume is also proper without any issue.
Overall, the OnePlus 2 is a smartphone aiming in high-end market that choose price advantage as a competitive feature. This device can bring you excellent performance that you can find in another handsets with almost twice the price.
If you want to find other simliar options, Xiaomi Mi Note and ZTE’s Axon Pro are also worth-considering.
In conclusion, if you don’t mind the “invitation only” purchasing method, the OnePlus 2 surely will satisfy you with its performance, its design and its price tag.