OnePlus 2 is now offical

After a plethora of leaks and anticipation, OnePlus has finally made its 2015 flagship killer — the OnePlus 2 — official, and it’s looking very promising. OnePlus 2 is an upgrade over the OnePlus One in every aspect, even though it might not look that way on paper. The OnePlus 2 is built from the same winning formula as its predecessor, however, this time around, a key element is missing — Cyanogen OS.

 

Cyanogen played a vital role in driving initial OnePlus One sales, the device was a dream smartphone for every CyanogenMod user and android community member. Back in April, both companies announced they were parting ways, and OnePlus decided to create its own home-brewed Android skin, OxygenOS. The company made its new operating system available to existing OnePlus One owners as well, so they could make the switch.

OnePlus 2 ships with OxygenOS 2.0, based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, out of the box. The main concept behind OxygenOS is to deliver a pure Android experience with a few enhancements and no gimmicks. It includes features like Shelf, off-screen gestures, MaxxAudio® sound improvements, App Permissions, Dark mode, custom icon pack support, Swiftkey keyboard, and more. Moreover, by sticking with the stock Android user interface, the company will be able to port newer versions of Android to OxygenOS much, much quicker than other OEMs, resulting in faster software updates.

So, that’s a plus right there.

In terms of design, the OnePlus 2 looks very similar to the original One, and has the same exact footprint as well. However, this time we are dealing with a beautifully machined metal frame, instead of a plastic one. The front of the device is covered with Gorilla Glass 3, while the back is removable and can be customised with 5 different StyleSwap back covers: Sandstone Black (default), Bamboo, Rosewood, Black Apricot and Kevlar.

Each back plate gives an entirely different look and feel to the device. Now, even though the back is removable, the battery isn’t user-replaceable, there’s no Qi wireless charging support, and there’s no NFC. Yes, the smartphone doesn’t have NFC support because the company says its users don’t use it. The device is 9.85mm thick and weighs in at 175g.

Just like the One, you have an option between on-screen navigation buttons and physical capacitive buttons, you can enable either one of them. Also, there’s a new capacitive pad underneath the display which hosts the fingerprint sensor, which OnePlus claims is faster than the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor, and acts as a home button at the same time. It’s also programable, so you can assign different apps to different taps. For example, you can assign the camera app to open with a double tap of the pad. 

OnePlus has also introduced an Alert Slider, it’s located on the left side of the device, which integrates with Android’s notification settings and allows the user to switch between three sound profiles: All, Priority, and Silent. It’s very similar to the mute switch found on the iPhones, but OnePlus’ implementation gives you an additional sound profile.

Hardware-wise, the device boasts a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920x1080) In-cell IPS LCD display panel, which is exactly the same size as its predecessor, with a pixel density of 401 ppi. While every other OEM is fitting its flagship device with a Quad HD (2560x1440) display, OnePlus decided to stick with Full HD as the display resolution of choice. In combination with a 3,300mAh lithium-polymer battery, the 1080p display panel should result in an impressive battery performance.

The device is also packing the infamous eight-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC (revision 2.1) with an Adreno 430 GPU. The company claims that it has worked closely with Qualcomm in optimising its software for the S810 chip, and version 2.1 shouldn’t overheat or throttle like previous variations of the processor.

However, I’ll be the judge of that, once I get a review unit in hand. The smartphone will be available in two storage and RAM configurations: 16GB with 3GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, with no microSD card slot for expandability.

In the camera department, the device packs a 13-megapixel (1.3um) camera sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, which is capable of shooting 4K and SlowMo (720p at 120FPS) videos. OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), Laser Focus, and Dual-LED flash are on board as well. And, for all your epic selfies, the company has thrown in a 5-megapixel front facing camera, which can capture Full HD 1080p video.

The OnePlus 2 is one of the first devices to sport a USB Type-C port, and that was mainly to future-proof the device. Due to the rushed implementation, there’s no QuickCharge support, so no more 50% charge in 30 minutes. The company has also made the Type-A connector reversible, and it has a patent on it. You now no longer have to worry about the direction of the cable, while inserting the cable into your device or your computer.

The OnePlus 2 comes carrier-unlocked with 4G LTE support, features dual SIM capabilities, and is priced at $329 for the 16GB variant and $389 for the 64GB variant. You’ll be able to buy the 64GB configuration in the US and EU from August 11, but you would need an invite first. Yes, just like with the One, you would need to obtain an invite for the 2 as well. However, the company would be giving them out 4-5 times faster than the OnePlus One's case, because it has secured more inventory for its latest flagship. As far as the 16GB variation goes, it will become available “later”.

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