Tuesday, 6 October 2015

OnePlus 2

One Plus recently launched their much awaited sequel to the One Plus One, so let's see how it stands against competition.

Hardware -

The familiar Sandstone back phone is available in only one option as of now with 4GB RAM & 64GB ROM (53 GB usable),  with the lighter 3GB RAM & 16GB ROM (no 32GB variant, which sucks!) version is due later this year.

The back cover is removable and  you can choose from Bamboo, Black Apricot, Kevlar, and Rosewood official back covers online. There's no expandable memory in either, which could be a deal breaker for some. This sequel to the OnePlus One has the Snapdragon 810 Octa-core behemoth CPU with Adreno 430 GPU. Beneath the 5.5" Gorilla Glass 4 screen  is the full HD LCD panel with a 401 ppi & the phone is 9.85mm thick @ 175gms & dual nano SIM 4G support. 

The body is made of Polycarbonate with a magnesium plus aluminium band around it's sides making up the edges. At the bottom is the speaker grill and the unique USB Type - C charging port. The right edge has the volume rocker and lock button. The left Edge has the unique Alert Slider toggle. This noteworthy feature basically toggles your audio profiles. Bottom most is General for all notifications, middle is Audio alert for Priority notifications (customisable) and move the toggle to the top for no disturbance though all alerts will be on the screen. I don't really fancy this button since it's not of much use for someone like me who always wants all alerts and hardly put my phone in Vibration mode.

The OnePlus 2 also has a notification LED, with customisable light colours depending upon the kind of notification it's displaying. Just below the screen is the fingerprint scanner which works seamlessly for unlocking the device, and is different from the Samsung Series or the iPhones which are actual buttons. The 2 soft keys on either side of the fingerprint scanner are just small hyphen symbols (no feedback) and can be customised to work as back and menu/recent apps buttons.

Camera -

The OnePlus 2 comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 & lens with Laser auto-focus  that captures excellent detail in well-lit conditions. It has the tap-to-focus feature and swiping right lets you jump into video, panorama, slow-motion and time-lapse modes. There's also  a Clear Image mode that stitches together multiple shots into a single high quality photo. The front camera at 5MP is pretty basic in terms of the options it offers, though you do get support for slow motion video. They are only average at best and not as good as the one you see on the iPhone 6. The phone also heats up if you shoot 1080p videos for any decent length of time & supports 4K video capture, limited to 10 minutes per clip.

Software -

The OnePlus 2 comes with the company's Oxygen OS 2.0 (no more Cyanogen Mod, alas!) which is essentially stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with minor tweaks. You can enable a  feature called Shelf, which then becomes your left-most home screen that has a weather display, frequently accessed apps, and frequent contacts but no widgets or Google Now screen etc as of now .

There were 2 s/w updates that were available when the phone was first booted, a sign that the OnePlus team has detected bugs early since very few phones have been dished out of the many (still in queue customers) available. Possibly the updates are for camera & bugs fixing the random restarts the phone has had a couple of times. 

The Smartphone also features  "app permissions manager" which lets you toggle the resource permissions of each app, something we've also seen in Xiaomi phones giving the user full control of the phone. You might not want to try it for some apps though, it may cause them to crash randomly. You can also let your friends use the phone in Guest mode while the phone also supports multiple user profiles. 

There's a dark theme if you want a change from the regular material design White. Then you've got the on-screen gestures like drawing a V to launch the flashlight and another popular feature is the double tap to lock / unlock copied obviously from the LG G series of phones.

Gaming & Multimedia - 



Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8 and FIFA 15, worked great with flawless multitasking even when all 3 apps were open. Just that phone does get heated up during this but it’s expected. At a point some apps were crashing randomly but on a factory reset all was sorted.

The loudspeaker on the OnePlus 2 is loud enough for pretty much anything you'd want although it's only a mono speaker, the overall audio is taken care of by the Maxx Audio equalizer but noticeable only with a good pair of earphones.

Heavy usage gave me just over  9 hours of usage on 4G .There's no Quick Charge so it takes just over 2 hours to charge up to 100%. Nothing radical in the Type C charging port except the fact that you can plug it in the port with no particular side to be Up or down.

Conclusion :

With competition against upcoming Moto X Pure , stay without the OnePlus 2 if you're not a sucker for the 4GB RAM. Don't worry about the invites , check out your nearest CeX stores to see if  it's in stock now !  As of now, it's the best Value for Money phone. If you can live without NFC (Android Pay), fast charging & expandable memory, go for it!

My rating of 4/5 stars for this beauty!


Pritesh Khilnani

OnePlus 2 at CeX

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