One of the breakout devices of last year was definitely the OnePlus One and the Chinese company behind it, OnePlus, came out of nowhere with a limited budget to become a widely recognised manufacturer.
The handset certainly wasn’t perfect but now, 15 months later, the company is set to launch its successor and based on some leaks and teasers, it’s certainly fixed a few of the flaws with its predecessor. We’ve already been treated to some of the hardware and camera information, but what else should we expect from what could be this year’s flagship killer?
Here are 5 things we want (or hope) to see from the OnePlus Two:
Although the OnePlus One had fantastic specs at an affordable price for most users, the handset wasn’t readily available to buy. OnePlus introduced the concept of the invite system to buy its handset but its mis-calculation on the expected demand for the handset meant its inventory was considerably smaller than the number of people wanting to buy it.
As a result, invites were in limited supply with an entire after-market trade set up for people desperately wanting to buy the handset. Folks were paying more for an invite than the phone was actually worth, and the company even announced a marketing blunder requiring ladies to send in photos of themselves to skip the invite process. Even with that said, the demand from consumers was still there.
The company has already confirmed that they’ve learnt from their mistakes and the OnePlus Two supply will be considerably larger; 30 to 50 times larger at launch than the OnePlus One was in fact. At the same time, we’d like to see the handset have wider shipping options and if the company can make the handset more available in the US and Europe, it may live up to its billing as 2015’s flagship killer.
More Software Features
One of the biggest decisions in the OnePlus One was the choice to partner with Cyanogen for the software, although this partnership ended in a rather messy divorce. Although its partnership with Cyanogen did deliver a fully functional software experience, the public falling out resulting in OnePlus hiring its own team to develop its own version of Android.
Based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, the new Oxygen OS was in stark contrast to Cyanogen Mod (and the CM12 update based on the same version of Android) as it was essentially stock Android with a few UX tweaks and feature additions. While the switch from CM to OxygenOS did result in a lot of customisation options being removed, it delivered impressive speed, performance and a clean experience that appeals to most power users.
Many of the developers behind the popular Paranoid Android custom ROM were hired by OnePlus to deliver its software experience and while the initial feature set was certainly barebones, we’re expecting the company to deliver many more software features in its latest OS. The company has teased that Oxygen OS on the OnePlus Two will deliver plenty of new features – including some that won’t be available on other Android phones until Android M – and given the developers behind OxygenOS, we can’t wait to see what they have in store.
Like other affordable devices, the OnePlus One didn’t have the outstanding design you might see from a much more expensive design but the handset was definitely unique and had a certain appeal. The Sandstone Black version of the handset had a lovely two-tone finish while the white version looked stylish and appealing to boot.
Alongside the handset itself, OnePlus teased us with its unique StyleSwap covers, allowing you to add finishes like Bamboo to your handset after you’d already bought them. One of its other issues (which we’ll touch on below) reared its head however as just a few months later, the covers were cancelled due to Quality Assurance issues.
In its blog post announcing the cancellation however, the company did confirm that it had recognised some of the flaws in both the handset release mechanism and the cover design and as a result, the StyleSwap covers would be back with the OnePlus Two. With so much demand for the StyleSwap covers but so little supply, we hope that OnePlus will make the covers available at launch with enough supply to satisfy likely demand.
On paper, the OnePlus One camera was certainly impressive as it offered a 13MP fully capable snapper but while images were fine, they were often soft and noisy when used in less than ideal lighting conditions. The phone maker then rolled out an update that bought the new Clear Image feature, which captured a burst of 10 photos and stitched them together for a cleaner, higher-resolution image.
With the OnePlus Two we want to see OnePlus make improvements in both the hardware and the software. With the less than perfect images captured in low light, the addition of Optical Image Stabilisation should help improve handling of light. Improved post-processing of images would also mean richer, less noisy images that deliver the overall picture quality found on the big flagships; the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge and the LG G4.
Better Quality Assurance
Being a Chinese manufacturer, OnePlus has done exceptionally well to sell millions of handsets despite the stigma that is commonly attributed to Chinese OEMs but it has run into one large issue; Quality Assurance. From reports of DOA (Defective/Dead on Arrival) units to a tint issue with the display on early handsets and the handset overheating, the reliability of its first smartphone certainly left a little to be desired.
With the OnePlus Two, its crucial that the company manages to nail the reliability so even early units do not have defects and the initial online feedback is positive. As its first device, customers tolerated any issues with the OnePlus One but a failure to deliver better reliability of the OnePlus Two could see customers lose faith in the company.
The OnePlus Two will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 processor, which has been the subject of much speculation about whether it overheats or not, a claim that Qualcomm has vehemently denied. With the original OnePlus One overheating, the company certainly needs to ensure that its power and resource management handles the temperature of the handset to prevent it overheating and applications force closing.
With any mass produced device, there will inevitably be units that may have slight defects but dealing with these is where a company can truly earn its customer loyalty. When people have had issues with their OnePlus One handsets, many have reported that OnePlus wasn’t fast in its willingness to help resolve the issue and this is where the company needs to work.
Every product will have problems – these are intricate pieces of complex technology at the end of the day – and as long as OnePlus is quick and helpful in resolving any issues that do arise, it will still have a stellar handset in the OnePlus Two.
OnePlus Two – What do we know so far?
That’s what we hope to see from the OnePlus Two but what do we know so far? There have been plenty of rumours – both unofficial leaks and confirmed details from OnePlus itself – and we’ve even been treated to a render of what is purportedly the handset.
Ahead of the launch on July 27th, our very own Jayce recapped all the rumours and information we’ve got up to date in our OnePlus Two rumour roundup, which you can see below.
Remember, we’ll be going hands on with the OnePlus Two in less than 48 hours to deliver you the very best hands on videos and coverage of all things OnePlus Two! What do you think of the OnePlus Two and the information we have so far? What do you want to see in the OnePlus Two? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!