OnePlus came out of nowhere, broke all the rules and established itself -- with very little budget -- as one of THE primo Android handset makers on the planet.
The OnePlus One was widely regarded as a smash-hit by consumers and reviewers alike. Like the Nexus 5 it launched alongside, the OnePlus One featured awesome specs and design and a very, VERY low price tag.
It wasn’t perfect, as noted in our OnePlus One Review, but it was pretty damn close. And for half the price of an iPhone, you get A LOT of phone. So who cares if its LTE support was a bit too narrow for the UK? OK -- we did. But we like 4G, and not having our network’s bandwidth supported was tres annoying.
Still, all of these “little” issues and more will be fixed (we hope) inside the OnePlus 2, which is set to launch later on this month -- July 27, to be precise. Ahead of the big day, though, we thought we’d put together a little refresher to bring you quickly up to speed about what this handset represents and how it will differ from last year’s model.
Better LTE Support
Our major beef with the OnePlus One, as noted above, was its god-awful LTE support. This meant that if you were on the wrong network you could not get 4G on the phone -- and that is something no one should have to experience. Not in 2014/15.
OnePlus has confirmed, however, that its next-generation handset will support a whole lot more, meaning regardless of what network you’re on, you WILL be able to get a 4G connection on the OnePlus Two.
Like A LOT of Android phones these days, the OnePlus Two will feature one of Qualcomm’s excellent Snapdragon 810 CPUs. Expect a HUGE performance uplift on last year’s model and significantly better power management, which should translate into increased battery life.
More RAM -- A HELL of A Lot More, In fact
2GB used to be the standard for memory in Android phones. Then 3GB. But now we’re starting to see handsets launched with 4GB of memory, a truly staggering amount for a mobile phone. The OnePlus Two is one such phone and this is a very good thing indeed.
The OnePlus Two is rumoured to feature a 16MP main camera and a front-facing 5MP for video-calling or for morons to take selfies with. Nothing about the camera has been confirmed yet, however, so do take this with a pinch of salt.
The Cost Will Still Be VERY Low
OnePlus has confirmed the handset will retail in the US for less than $399, meaning it’ll likely be available in the UK for under £300. At present it’s not clear how many models OnePlus will release or how they will differ in price. A 16GB model could well retail for a lot cheaper than £300, for instance.
USB Type-C, as seen on the Chromebook Pixel and new MacBook Air, will fast become the go-to standard for connectivity, powering devices and sharing data in 2015/16. And as you’d expect from a company that likes to live on the bleeding edge, the OnePlus Two will of course feature it.
It’ll Have A Fingerprint Scanner
The handset will also feature a fingerprint scanner as well. Here's what OnePlus had to say on the matter:
“With the OnePlus 2, the fingerprint sensor is done right. It’s refined and lightning quick, unlocking your device faster than TouchID. The average person checks their phone over 200 times per day. If you spend just three seconds inputting a PIN number or pattern, that’s over an hour of your time gone each week.
“On the OnePlus 2, one quick tap takes you right to your homescreen. With the ability to store up to five fingerprint profiles, it’s fast, it’s safe, and it’s secure. Your smartphone is your most personal device, and its security should be personal, too."
A New Invite System
Yep. OnePlus isn’t getting rid of its invite system. Look on the bright side, though: by keeping control over its production OnePlus can better protect its margins and pass on the savings to you, the customer. In my mind, this can be the only reason the company operates in such a manner. There’s less waste and everything is almost done to order, so to speak -- that has to save them some cash.
The Design Isn’t That Different, Sadly
The ACTUAL OnePlus Two leaked online this week. The images aren’t the best, though, as you can see below. The handset does look rather similar to last year’s model, but that’s no crime really as the OnePlus One was definitely a looker.
Finger’s crossed it looks a bit more, err, dynamic in real life.
It’s Coming VERY Soon
The OnePlus Two will launch on July 27 and we’re expecting a release to follow shortly thereafter.