The OnePlus Two: Flagship Killer?

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From the creator of the infamous OnePlus One comes the latest entrant, aptly titled the OnePlus Two. Touted to be “the flagship killer of 2016”, the new OnePlus Two certainly does seem to offer specs that are really good for the price tag.

Currently available at Dialcom for Rs. 77,000 for the 64 GB model, the OnePlus Two comes with a dual-SIM design, a 5.5 inch 1080*1920 screen and OnePlus’s own custom Android OS, Oxygen OS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop which works in tandem with the Snapdragon 810 CPU. Backing it all up is 3 GB of RAM for the 16GB model and 4 GB of RAM for the 64 GB model, sadly there is no expandable storage.

The packaging is similar to its predecessor with a red box with the OnePlus logo on it. Opening the box reveals the device, paperwork, power brick and the red USB Type-C charging cable.

Booting up the phone, you are greeted by a “Powered by Android” screen followed by an OnePlus boot-up screen with different white shapes in the center on top of a black screen. The initial boot is rather quirky as it takes a considerable amount of time to boot up (around 45 seconds). Once the device is powered on and ready, you can unlock the phone with standard unlocking security features such as the pattern or the device’s very own fingerprint scanner built right in to the home button.

The OnePlus Two has a rather different approach for the home button. It’s not a button per se but rather a touch trigger that once pressed will do what a normal button would do except for being pressed like a regular button. Speaking more on the buttons, the other 2 on the left and right would be the back button and the recents button. If required, you can disable these built-in buttons and switch to the on-screen navigation bar to display the buttons on screen.

image3The device feels solid and has a premium aluminum finish that is wrapped around the edges and standard sandstone back which gives you that extra grip to make sure it doesn’t slip off your hands. Similar to the OnePlus One, the back is removable and is swappable with covers that can be purchased online.

Once the device is unlocked you can swipe right to get to the shelf which you can customize to your liking. It usually shows a custom background, recent apps and contacts which can be replaced or changed with other widgets.

If you are a person who has a passion for gaming, be it on mobile or PC, the OnePlus Two handles all of your gaming needs without breaking a sweat. Watching a movie? No biggie. Although the device tends to heat up after a while, we suspect this is the infamous snapdragon overheating issue.

richmond-circuit-noon_15-10-07_113529_1920x1080The 13 megapixel camera does indeed take some very good quality shots, even in low light mode. Granted it’s not the fastest snapper in the market but with software refinements that all may change. For those selfie addicts, the 5 mega pixel front facing camera manages to take decent snaps and selfies.

As for performance, well a simple benchmark using AnTuTu should reveal how OnePlus’s new entrant fares up against the competition, and it does so rather nicely too, if I may add.

Screenshot_2015-10-07-21-24-51Despite claims by OnePlus’s founder/CEO that the OnePlus 2 is future proof, it doesn’t actually bring a whole lot more to the table. Yes it does have a USB Type-C charging port but it will take some time for that to become the future standard of smartphone charging. Plus if you forget or misplace your cable, you’re up the creek without a charging cable.

Similar to the OnePlus One, the OnePlus Two also has features such as the small LED notification light next to the front-facing camera, the gestures such as DT2W or double tap to wake where you basically double tap the screen to wake-up, draw a circle to bring up the camera, draw a ‘V’ for the flashlight and pause gesture to play or pause music. Even the charging cable, which no one really takes notice of, stands out, built from high quality material and the design itself makes it stand-out from regular smartphone cables.

Screenshot_2015-10-07-21-45-12With regard to it being the Flagship killer, it seems to have much to be desired. For example, battery life is not as great as its’ predecessor, so running intensive applications would result in you scrabbling for the nearest USB type-C cable because after all, that’s all it supports. But wait, it doesn’t come with fast charging which means it would take a while for the phone to be fully charged. Swap out the battery? No can do as the phone has a non-swappable battery which is a huge let down.

Speaking of non-swappable batteries, the non-expandable storage issue has to be mentioned as well. It would’ve been great to have the capability to expand the storage of the device like regular phones. The other most discussed issue among the community was the removal of NFC. I am not a big user of NFC but I would love to have it in the device I use since Android is all about sharing.

In the end though, the OnePlus 2 is indeed a device worth for it’s relatively low price stand point where it incorporates features from high-end smartphones in the market. The sense of customizability and useful features add to make the experience even better. The materials used to build and design gives you the feeling that you’re using a premium device. The software although is okay at the moment, could use some upgrades in the future. Not having a removable battery, expandable memory card slot and NFC is a huge let down for the users who are coming from using the OnePlus 1 and other similar devices.

 

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