Let’s get this out of the way first. The original OnePlus One from 2014 was a game changer. No one can deny that. Originally at $299 off-contract, it was cheaper than a lot of other flagships at the time, being the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5, both $649 when they launched in 2014.
While people may debate how successful OnePlus was with its marketing problems, invite system, and allegations they were owned by Oppo, they were successful enough to create the OnePlus Two, which now has an invite system of its own. The OnePlus 2 was highly anticipated and OnePlus definitely hyped up the phone just as last year, posting most of the specs online early for all to see. They even live-streamed their launch announcement in VR.
Once it came down to the announcement however, OnePlus, in my opinion, blew away their good hype. The OnePlus was rumored to have a 4K display, it has a resolution just under that at 1080 x 1920 pixels. While the OnePlus 2 has a fingerprint scanner, it does not include NFC, which is becoming more widespread since the release of Apple Pay last year and will no doubt increase when Android M brings Android Pay to the table as well this fall. The OnePlus 2 starts at $329, just $30 more than its predecessor. This was all well and good until Motorola brought their 2015 offerings to the table.
The clear flagship this year from Motorola is the Moto X Style (called the Moto X Pure Edition in the US). Motorola placed in its phone a screen with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. While it may not have a fingerprint scanner, it does have NFC, and Android Pay already does work in the Android M preview builds with just a passcode. The Moto X Style also has the Snapdragon 808, a minor step down from the 810 inside the OnePlus 2, but the latter chip has seen its fair share of problems, including overheating. While it may not have 4 GB of RAM, 3 GB is more than enough to run a nearly bare-bones version of Android, which it does.
Motorola also allows for full customization of the device, while OnePlus is only going to offer a few colors. On the Moto X Style, you will be able to use Moto Maker, allowing you to customize the front, back, and even the accent colors. With the OnePlus two, it will be at least two or three different colors, but they will be the same for the front and the back, with no accent customization.
The Moto X Style also offers other perks the OnePlus 2 does not. The Style allows for expandable storage, up to 128 GB extra on top of a maximum internal storage of 64 GB. The OnePlus 2 also has a maximum of 64 GB of internal storage, but once you hit that limit, you’re out of luck. The Moto X Style is also water-repellant, with a rating of IP52. The OnePlus 2 is not. The Moto X Style also has support for LTE on all 4 major US carriers. The OnePlus 2 does not. The OnePlus 2 does not have Turbo Charging support, while the Moto X Style does.
And here’s the kicker. The Moto X Style will launch in September at just $399. It will also not have an invite system, allowing people to order the device right away and get it shortly after. While $70 more expensive, it’s also the better buy, with lots of additional features that the OnePlus 2 lacks, such as customizability, NFC, water resistance, and more. Sorry OnePlus, but your OnePlus 2 isn’t a 2016 flagship killer, it’s a 2014 flagship killer.