As a successor of OnePlus One, the newly released OnePlus 2 is really invite people curiosity. Since first announced in July 2015, a lot of people waiting for the emergence of OnePlus 2 with the expectation that it would create new surprises. Will it be as successful as its predecessor, or actually even less successful in attracting interest for potential buyers ? Let’s find out in this review.
A first look at the device, you will notice a metal frame all around the sides of the phone. The existence of the metal frame will certainly give the appearance of more classy and premium compared with its predecessor. The size of the display still looks the same as it is owned by OnePlus One, but the new OnePlus 2 feels slightly smaller in size and it can be felt when you held it, a little bit better than previous model.
On the left side of the phone there is Alert Slider, which is basically a notification toggle. With this button, you can easily switch the notification priority modes which are exist in Android Lollipop, there are three modes to choose : Allow all notifications, Allow only priority notifications or completely no notifications/ silence mode. The button layout has been taken off, volume buttons moved to the right side of the phone just above the power button.
As we said before, the OnePlus 2 display size is still the same as OnePlus One which is a 5.5-inch. Below the display there is a capacitive home button which is also functioning as a fingerprint scanner. On the left and right of the home button there are back and recent apps keys realized with small lines appearance. The OnePlus 2 also support for USB Type-C and you will find the connector at the bottom flanked by speakers.
The OnePlus 2 back case is still made of sandstone black material, just the same as previous model. Apparently it’s now become a unique design, which is characteristic of OnePlus. With this design you can feel a good grip on it, however if you are not very much like it, you can easily remove the back case and change it with your own taste of cover. Overall the build quality is good and solid, there are no problems when handling this device. Users can feel the classy design of the phone compared to OnePlus One.
Equipped with 5.5 inch LTPS LCD display with 1080 p resolution, OnePlus 2 able to produce 401 ppi pixels density. Although it only has a resolution that is somewhat less, where the most current flagship phones have Quad HD resolution, OnePlus 2 still can generate great display experience for your multimedia.
The brightness is little bit too much but really match with color saturation though some times the colors are defeated by the brightness, very good visibility at outdoor. And certainly you can set it all in settings. So, the display works good as good as other FHD displays available in the market or some might consider it as better. However, if OnePlus 2 has QHD resolution, that will be much better.
Talking about performance, we must take a look at available hardware inside the phone. To run the phone, a 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip is ready complete with 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM options based on internal storage sizes of the phone which are 16 GB or 64 GB. And for graphic performances, the Adreno 430 GPU is ready to help. This combination of hardware should makes Oxygen OS running smoother and faster, but still we can find a few crashes and bugs, it could be because of the OS.
Performance results from browsing to playing games overall are very good, though there is a bit slow down when playing heavy graphic games. The processor is little bit warm on heavy usages, but not too warm or even overheated. Few crashes are happened somehow and this is most probably because of the Oxygen OS, like for example when open the camera from lock screen in locked condition. The speed on daily apps is fast no problems, hopefully Oxygen OS will receive updates in the future so that the apps can run more stable and faster.
A new feature in this phone is a fingerprint scanner, just put a finger to the scanner even when the phone is locked and it will unlock the phone, you can use it as home button also. However, need patience when placing your finger on top of it correctly, because it’s not always work easily as well as when you use it as home button, the solution is to cover the all hole scanner reader area with your finger. To silence the device, just slide the Alert Slider available on the left side of the phone to the top max. The dual nano SIM cards can be seen when you open the back case, its dual on. The USB Type-C charging port is available at the bottom, however it is not supported with fast charging technology nor wireless charging, charging time from 0% to 100% needs 2 hours, though not very slow but it is slower if we compare it to devices with fast charging technology available today. Actually the Snapdragon 810 is already support for fast charging tech but don’t no why OnePlus did not use this advantage. The battery is a non-removable 3300 mAh and it has a great battery life.
NFC is not available, so there is no NFC based payment services in the future and actually a lot of people did not regard it as a “must” available feature in their phones either.
Audio speaker available at the bottom of the phone. Audio quality is good and you can enhance the audio quality with any audio enhancements apps. It is better to feel the enhancement results via headphone and the results will be different for Movie, Game, and Music. The audio quality is also depend on settings.
OnePlus 2 has 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front-facing camera just the same as OnePlus One, but the primary camera now is equipped with better OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and laser auto focus system. Application for camera is very simple, but it will receive updates for more manual controls and additional control at the settings. Modes that are available include 4K video recording, panorama, 720p slow motion video recording at 120 fps, and there is also Time Lapse function. Changing modes is working fine, but when in panorama mode the orientation is always portrait and as a result you have to change its position. The speed of the camera app is in average, you can take a shot very quick but little bit slow to create the JPEG file.
The picture quality is basically a decent one, but to create good quality photos, you need to give more efforts. For example you won’t get the proper focus at launch time and you need to trigger the laser autofocus in the app. Don’t expect autofocus on an object that is clearly in the center of the screen, you still need to manually spot focusing. The OIS is a good addition but not quiet good with very slow shutter speeds, you still need a calm and steady hands.
Overall, pictures quality are at good level of saturation, the details are well captured. The HDR is also working well on making photos pop. But as mentioned above you have to deal with manual spot focusing and metering to actually have good quality pictures, and again we hope the camera will receive updates in the near future to improve its functions. If we compare it with today’s flagship phones, the OnePlus 2 camera is still in below standard, mainly because of the app.
As we know the OnePlus 2 is using Oxygen OS, which is based on Android 5.1. So, on the surface you should already familiar with the user interface, because it is more like Google Now launcher plus customization built-in. However, when you go deeper you will find new features in the settings, like the Dark Mode that makes all bright parts of the UI become dark, App Permissions that you can use to see what apps have access to what and possibility to turn them off. The other features like the ability to switch between capacitive keys and nav keys on screen, gestures that can be used to quick access the camera, flashlight or the phone when the screen is off, all are still available in OnePlus 2. There is also a shelf by the way, that can be used to place any widgets to make more space on the home-screens. The Oxygen OS itself run smooth and snappy, without so much bloat-wares.
As always, if you want to purchase OnePlus 2 then you will need an invite, a very disappointing system for everyone indeed, but at least the company can control between stocks and demands. The prices are quiet competitive with all available features in OnePlus 2, the 16 GB model priced at $329 and the 64GB priced at $389.
Judging from its specs, OnePlus 2 is a flagship phone no doubt, but not as a flagship killer. Standard camera resolution for a flagship phone, no microSD card slots, no remove-able battery, no fast charging technology, no NFC, bugs in the Oxygen OS and Camera app are all that make this phone so standard. Perhaps, this could be the reason why the prices are quiet low.
However, OnePlus 2 has a nice design and solid build quality, better display quality compared to OnePlus One and we can say one of the best 1080p screens, many new features in Oxygen OS, good hardware performance, Alert Slider is simple and functional, Fingerprint Scanner works good, the battery life is quiet awesome, and the prices are affordable.