On Monday, July 27, OnePlus took to the stage to unveil its eagerly-awaited flagship smartphone of 2015, the OnePlus 2. At first, the handset looked very promising with its Snapdragon 810 chipset, 4GB of RAM and $389 price tag. However, once the event had finished and we had time to mull over what we’d just witnessed, it instantly became apparent that the device isn’t a “flagship killer” after all.
The OnePlus 2’s most noticeable downfall is its specifications. There are set to be two variants up for grabs when the handset launches on August 13 — one with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage and the other with 64GB of space and 4GB of RAM. They both pack a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon 810 processor and an Adreno 430 GPU.
Now whilst these internals may prove to be somewhat impressive today, they certainly won’t be in two weeks time when Samsung takes the wraps off the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ — leaving the OnePlus 2 to strive for the “ 2016 flagship killer” slot it so fervently boasted, but has no real possibility of ascertaining. In actual fact, I’d go as far as to say that the OnePlus 2 will be overtaken before the year is out and almost definitely won’t be able to compete with any of next year’s flagships.
To be completely honest, the over-exaggerated internals weren’t that much of a big deal for me as OnePlus smartphones do deliver one of the smoothest Android experiences on the market. However, something that is a big deal for me, is the lack of support for NFC, which I’m pretty sure will drive potential OnePlus 2 customers in their droves towards the hordes of competitors offerings that are sure to be out there.
Apple and Samsung have only just recently launched their respective mobile payment platforms (with Google’s Android Pay coming soon) and it’s fairly safe to say that they’ve been a huge success, but these services depend on the Near Field Communication chips that have been integrated into smartphones to operate, and from what we’ve seen so far from a collection of teardown images, the OnePlus 2 does not carry this specific piece of hardware.
So how can a smartphone aimed at the 2016 market be expected to compete with devices that feature better specifications and support for an emerging technology that’s already taking the world by storm? The simple answer is it can’t.
It’s not as if the OnePlus 2 excels in the display department, either. Although it features a Full HD screen, it’s hugely disappointing to see that the company didn’t opt for a 2K panel, which would enable it at least to compete with the likes of the LG G4 which features one of the best monitors available to date with its 1440 x 2560 resolution and 538 ppi pixel density.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the OnePlus 2 isn’t a good device. It’s a fantastic smartphone, but it’s not the “2016 flagship killer” I expected it to be. For that reason, I won’t be picking one up. I’d rather invest my money in a device that will see me through the next two years and be able to compete with the latest flagships as opposed to lagging behind before 2015 expires. That’s why I’ll be bagging myself the brand new Moto X Style when it hits the shelves. In my eyes, it’s much more bang for your buck.