OnePlus is anything but shy, and it’s brand-new flagship phone is anything but secret. OnePlus’ CEO Carl Pei has been teasing the OnePlus 2 since September of last year. Now, the bargain flagship phone is finally official, and it’s built to impress.
Here’s everything we learned about the OnePlus 2 during its official virtual reality launch event.
The OnePlus One wowed with high-end specs at an impressively low price point, and its successor, the OnePlus 2, does the same. The OnePlus 2 sports 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen with a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, which while lower than some flagships, is exactly the same as the iPhone 6 Plus’ resolution. The Chinese startup also claims that the screen offers 178-degree viewing angles, and is easy to read in the sun.
OnePlus earlier confirmed that a new version of the troubled 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor powers the device, but without any of the overheating problems experienced by earlier models. We’ll reserve judgement on that claim until after we’ve tested the OnePlus 2 ourselves. To complement the powerful processor, OnePlus offers two different RAM options: 3GB or 4GB. Both variants pack a lot of RAM for a smartphone and should allow for great gameplay. Most phones are still using 2 or 3GB of RAM, but much like the Asus ZenFone 2, the OnePlus 2 has bumped up the amount of RAM to show off the power of that 64-bit processor.
Buyers will also get to choose between 16 or 64GB of storage, but most will want to spring for the extra space. To sweeten the deal even further, the OnePlus 2 has a fingerprint scanner on the oval home button that can be used to wake and unlock the device. The company says its sensor is very fast to respond and supports 5 different fingerprints. In addition, users can use the alert slider button on the side for quick access to custom notification settings, including one-click silencing for when you need to quiet your phone in a hurry. The iPhone has its own silencing switch, but it’s something that most Android phones don’t have.
A 3,300mAh battery powers the device, and should last through at least one day of use. When the battery conks out, you can charge the OnePlus 2 up via the USB Type-C port, which is reversible. The phone comes with two Nano SIM card slots and 4G LTE capability. It should work on most networks in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Further details on availability are included in this post.
As always, OnePlus’ Oxygen OS, which is based off on Android 5.1 Lollipop, will run on the phablet. Luckily for those who prefer stock Android, Oxygen OS isn’t too heavy handed. The OS does let you customize off-screen gestures, enable dark mode, switch between hardware and capacitive buttons, and access special quick settings. OnePlus’ own Camera, Audio Tuner, and File Manager apps will be included, as will SwiftKey’s keyboard.
Users can also try out Shelf, OnePlus’ new organizer. Shelf is a new feature of Oxygen that’s in beta testing. You can enable it in the startup wizard and access it by swiping right in the home screen. Then, two widgets will appear showing most frequently used apps and contacts. You can enable both or just one of the widgets, depending on your needs.
Just like the first OnePlus phone, the 2 sports a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The new sensor packs 6 lenses inside and sits next to a dual LED flash. A laser on the back of the phone focuses in on your subject in a mere 0.33 milliseconds, so that you don’t miss the perfect shot.
The camera has a f/2.0 aperture and large 1.3 µm light-collecting pixels, which OnePlus says will make low-light shots look amazing. Optical Image Stabilization should also help on that front, and make videos appear less shaky. The back camera can record 4K-resolution video or slow-motion video at 720p and 120fps.
Selfie takers will be pleased to hear that the OnePlus 2 has a wide-angle 5-megapixel front-facing camera to go along with its rear camera.
Now that we’ve got a clear picture of what’s inside the OnePlus 2, it’s time to consider its looks. The OnePlus 2 now sports an aluminum-magnesium alloy frame along with “jewelry-grade” stainless steel accents. The display floats in the chamfered metal edges, making it look truly stunning. The design seems to take some inspiration from both the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6, especially when you look at the device from the sides.
In addition to making the OnePlus 2 more attractive, the metal frame and accents ensure that the phone is more sturdy and hopefully, more durable. OnePlus is also offering more cool back covers in its StyleSwap program, so you can personalize your device. The traditional Sandstone Black cover is back, but now there are actual wooden Bamboo, Black Apricot, and Rosewood covers, as well as one made of Kevlar. OnePlus could very well include more covers and color options in the future.
Pricing and availability
Sadly, you’re still going to need an invite to get the OnePlus 2. However, once you get one, you should get your hands on the device pretty quickly, considering.
As promised, the OnePlus 2 is much cheaper than most flagship phones, even though it has all the specs you’d expect on a $600+ phone. The 64GB OnePlus 2 will be available to anyone in the United States and the European Union on August 11 for $390. The 16GB OnePlus 2 with 3GB of RAM will be available at an unspecified date for $330. China and India will also get access to the OnePlus 2. The phone will be available in Asian countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and others at a later date in the fourth quarter.
There are several paths to get an invite, though none are particularly easy. Fans can visit the 9 pop-up experience centers that will open around the globe on July 31 to sign up for an invite and see the OnePlus 2. On August 1, OnePlus will start offering invites on social media — one can only guess what the contests will be this time around. Invite info is available on the company’s website.
We’ll be getting a hands-on with the device very soon, so stay tuned!