OnePlus 2, the 2016 Flagship Killer?

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OnePlus raised the curtain on its new smartphone for 2016, the Flagship Killer OnePlus 2 is the handset in question and matches the previous model in being a very appealing product that comes with an interesting price considering the specs. So with the device now launched, here are all the important details in our OnePlus 2 Ultimate Guide:

Design

OnePlus has performed a balancing act, on the one had the design of the OnePlus 2 is merely incremental, but on the other the device looks different to its predecessor. The handset looks like a fresh product even if it is not a radical overhaul of what came before. The chassis is made from magnesium alloy, giving the device a premium touch, although the overall build is still plastic or another material. That because StyleSwap makes a return, allowing you to swap the rear plate for a variety of different materials and designs

New Features

OnePlus really has added a host of new features to help the OnePlus 2 live up to the company’s boast of being a flagship killer for 2015 and 2016. We are glad the company has avoided an incremental update, something that plagues the industry, in favor of trying to overhaul and really offer a new experience.

The OnePlus 2 ships with USB Type-C, which works like Apple’s Lightning Connector and lets you plug in the mini USB cable either way, ending unnecessary fiddling to plug it in correctly. It is worth noting that this is still USB 2.0 and not super-fast USB 3.0.

Probably not important for US and European consumers, some global customers will be pleased to see that OnePlus included dual-SIM capabilities on its new smartphone. Arriving for the first time on the new handset is optical image stabilization (OIS), making the 13MP rear camera lens closer to the OnePlus 2's flagship rivals in terms of image stability. The camera module also gets other high end touches such as a laser autofocus that offers touch free auto focus in 0.2 seconds.

Another new feature is a fingerprint scanner, which OnePlus has wisely planted into the home button, something we always prefer as opposed to a rear mounted scanner. As I mentioned, StyleSwap makes a comeback and hopefully is not a mess this time like it was on the OnePlus One, mainly because the company could not get its inventory and production to work properly. OnePlus says it has resolved any issues, meaning you can now swap your rear cover, with Sandstone Black, Bamboo, Rosewood, Black Apricot, and Kevlar the options so far.

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Specs

Reports hinted that the OnePlus 2 would come a Quad HD screen, but the Chinese did not bump screen res and stuck with a 1080p Full HD panel again, while also carrying over the 5.5-inch size for the One. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor sits under the hood and is helped by a sizeable amount of RAM, 4GB to be exact. Yes, the Snapdragon 810 and while we are always wary of the 810, OnePlus is using the under clocked version that does not (apparently) produce overheating issues.

Other specs include 16GB or 64GB internal storage options (sadly there is no micro SD slot), a 3,300 mAh battery, and Android Lollipop.

The cameras have been changed from a software perspective, but the rear shooter stays with 13 megapixel resolution. It has undergone some changes though, such as Super-Resolution Mode. This new addition processes images up to 50 megapixel quality, just like the Oppo 7 which employed the same software. Around the front there is a 5 megapixel lens that will appease selfie fans.

Software

The OnePlus 2 arrives with the company's own OxygenOS, which was created when OnePlus ended its relationship with Cyanogen. The device comes with build 2.0 of the software, which is fairly middle of the road as far as Android skins go. It is nice to see that OnePlus has kept it near stock Android, although we would add that this is a forked version of Android.

Price and Availability

It is no surprise to see that the OnePlus 2 arrives slightly more expensive than its predecessor, the company already confirmed it would pre-launch. It is still a real bargain of a smartphone though and possibly the best value for money on the market (we’ll let you fight that point). The entry level 16GB/3GB RAM variant of this genuine flagship contender will cost just $329, while the 64GB/4GB RAM entry will still be an extremely affordable $389. The OnePlus 2 will start shipping August 11th in Canada, India, China, and the European Union.

Availability really hampered the original OnePlus One, while the company’s marketing strategy was often left wanting. OnePlus says it is more prepared this time, but the frustrating invite system is still being used and we can’t see nothing but annoyance in trying to buy this smartphone. It is a very good device, but not one we think is worth jumping through a myriad of hoops for, only to have to wait months to get it anyway

Author: Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a qualified tech writer who graduated from Glamorgan University in the United Kingdom four years ago. He has since written tech for numerous websites while also freelanching on a range of other subjects.

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