After marinating the indian customers for more than half a year with the promise of offering the best smartphone last year, the youngest Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus launched its very first device on 2014 called ÓnePlus One.
The device, sold on invite-basis, was an instant hit.Now, taking the journey to the next level, OnePlus has launched the new device - OnePlus 2, which the company refers to as "the flagship killer."
The company which managed to sell over 1.5 million handsets globally last year, has priced the flagship killer at Rs 24,999. However, there are quite a lot of changes in the device this time around. Before passing out any judgements on the device, read the entire review first as we used the device for a couple of weeks now.
Build & Design
Design-wise, the OnePlus 2 has not much developed. The company has still retained the sandstone back, however, it's on a thinner plastic panel this time compared to the last year's flagship device. Talking about the sturdy nature of the device, despite the plastic rear panel, the OnePlus 2 employs a magnesium-aluminium alloy which makes up the metallic frame of the OnePlus 2. This definitely gives a very solid looks to the phone.
The removable back panel is something that you will not find in a lot of flagship devices. But OnePlus 2 has evidently become an exception this time. May be that's why the plastic used in the back panel is thin, to make it more flexible (which makes it not easily breakable while removing). Moreover, this time around you will also get the option of a wooden back which will have to be bought separately.
As far as the placement of the buttons are concerned, on the right side, you will see the power/standby and volume rocker buttons. The top edge hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack and at the bottom edge you will get to see the USB Type-C port in around which there is are speaker grilles, which is a new addition in the phone.
On the left hand side you have a sliding button, which will help users to customize notification alerts. The company calls it Alert slider and offers three options to prioritize the notification alerts. If you slide towards bottom, it will show all notifications, at middle it will reveal priority interruptions and the top will set your phone for no interruptions.
The 5.5-inch OnePlus 2 has a bit larger scree-to-body ratio as compared to the OnePlus One. However, there are several other things that you will notice is new in the device.
Right below the display, at the center, is a new fingerprint scanner. It is not a button, although it looks like one and it is a touch button which also has a function other than scanning your fingerprint. Anyway, you will also get two soft keys on either side of the fingerprint sensor. On rotating the phone, you will see the 13MP camera, which is placed in the middle with a dual LED flash above it and the laser autofocus below it.
One of the annoying thing in the device is the use of the Type-C USB port, which means that you will have to carry your charger all the time. The phone isn't really light, but it isn't heavy enough to dislike. By numbers it measures 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm in dimension and weighs about 175 grams.
Nothing much of a change even in this department. However, it is a bit better this time. Not that the display is great in itself but in comparison with its predecessor, it has improved in quality. The 5.5 inch FHD display is sharp enough. Moreover, the display is also slightly warmer than the previous model.
The contrast ratio doesn't beat the numbers offered by the SuperAMOLED displays we have seen, but it is quite well balanced. One of the impressive things that I liked in the device is that it is capable of offering a great sunlight readability. The Full HD panel is also protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which makes it pretty safe from scratches and breaks as well.
Power and Performance
First of all, OnePlus 2 is spec-wise the best smartphone that Rs. 24,000 can buy. However, unfortunately, it's not just the specs that matter to the performance evaluation of the phone. Those who are not aware, this device is powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor coupled with Adreno 430 GPU. Moreover, the device is further enhanced performance-wise with the usage of the 3GB LPPDR4 RAM (16GB internal storage) and 4GB DDR4 RAM (64GB internal memory). This is much of an ease to the mind if you are a looking for the perfect specs.
Talking about the performance, the OnePlus 2 does heat up like its predecessor. However, even with the new update, the device didn't show much improvement in this particular problem. But it doesn't heat up to the extent that it effects the phone's functioning.
Multiple apps ran pretty well without showing any lags and glitches. We played the Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 2 with ease in this device and we actually enjoyed it, despite a minor increase in the temperature of the phone. MOreover, the decrease in the heating issue might also be the reduced clock speed of the processor. Also, the cooling paste that OnePlus has added allows the temperature to be reduced by 5-10% more.
However, it could be because of the reduced clock speed that OnePlus 2 doesn't have a staggering points in AnTuTu benchmark tool. It received 57836 points on the benchmark, which is quite better than Meizu MX4 and also Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Unfortunately, you will miss the Cyanogen OS on this device. The phone comes with Android 5.1 OS with OnePlus's OxygenOS skin layered on top of it. Unlike some of the other skins we have seen in the past, the OxygenOS stays quite close to the design philosophy of the stock Android OS.
Inclusion of the gestures are more delightful in the device. You can still use gestures to launch the camera (make an O on the lock screen), turn on the torch light (make a V on the lock screen) and so on. Also the soft buttons can be interchanged, you can select quick actions on long pressing of the soft buttons.
One of the things that you might not like in the device is that the new Oxygen OS doesn't allow as much customization as Cyanogen offered in the OnePlus One. This might be embarrassing to the users who are already accustomed to using the Cyanogen OS. But, since the OS is built on Android 5.0 Lollipop, it comes with all the goodness of Android V5.0 Lollipop.
Connectivity and Storage
On the connectivity front, you get a dual-nano SIM card slot which is 4G compatible as well, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, GLONASS, Digital Compass. OnePlus 2 is a globetrotter when it comes to offering network connectivity. The device supports quad-band GSM, penta-band HSPA and hexa-band LTE. OnePlus 2 comes with a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi standards on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
However, the notable absence that you will find in the connectivity segment are IR blaster and NFC.
Camera is quite efficient in the OnePlus 2 device. It features a 13 megapixel camera on the back coupled with a dual-LED flash and laser auto focus. On the front there's a 5 megapixel snapper that can take care of the selfies. Although, the camera in the Oneplus Two is the same as the one which was used in the first OnePlus device, it does come with some improvements.
Firstly, the OnePlus 2's laser autofocus system locks focus in under 0.2 seconds, which is a great thing. Moreover, the lasers are also capable of automatically scanning the scene and finding a focus point. Enabled with the optical image stabilization system, the device manages to offer the best of the pictures with sharp tone. The rear camera has a 6-element lens with an f/2.0 aperture, which can please you in a lot of ways.
Speaking precisely about the camera quality, the white balance is quite up to the mark and the colors are slightly saturated than in real life. As far as the contrast is concerned, it's impressive and can make the images look really sharp. The dynamic range is good, but seldom leaves the shadows underexposed.
The front facing shooter is not one of the best ones, but it is definitely better than a lot of its competitors.
OnePlus 2's Omnivision's sensor offers you to record videos at 2160p@30fps as well as the DCI 2160p (4096 x 2160 pixels), which has a wider aspect and runs at 24 fps. Furthermore, you can also shoot videos at 1080p@30fps or slow motion video at either 1080p@60fps or 720p@120fps.
Overall camera experience will not disappoint you in any ways. The OnePlus 2 is obviously, not the best smartphone with the best camera but it does offer a great imaging experience and the pictures that we took came out really well and fascinating.
Of all the things that we have seen so far in the device, the battery present n the OnePlus 2 is one of the most saddening thing. It is the weakest part of the phone. With 3,300mAh battery the phone struggles to last for a full day with advanced usage and what makes it even worse is the fact that it uses the USB-Type C charger, which means you will have to carry your charger all the time. With about 50% battery, the OnePlus 2 drops to 10% within an hour. Even the QuickCharge feature of the Qualcomm SoCs is not present on the OnePlus 2.
After using the device for quite sometime, I believe that it can manage to be your primary device. It is recommendable and you can fall in love with it. With the price tag as low as Rs. 24,000, you are actually getting a Full HD 5.5-Inch device with a great camera and awesome specs.
But when you think of the new Moto G 2015 and other device, with waterproof build, if feels like OnePlus 2 is not a great deal. The company could have offered a QHD display or a waterproof build. Moreover, even IR blaster, NFC and quick charging, should have been the part of the package along with a regular USB charger.
Some people might as well vote for the Cyanogen rather than the Android or even the proprietary OxygenOS.