Say hello to the newly announced OnePlus Two!

Chinese manufacturer has been making waves in the smartphone industry for about a year and a half now. With the motto of #NeverSettle, OnePlus markets its devices as the “Flagship Killer”.

The OnePlus One (last year) was well-received by the community as a great product with top-notch specs, at a relatively low price. However, it had distributions issues, and had an invite system that made it really difficult for you to get your hands on one.

This year, OnePlus has released the OnePlus 2. And surprisingly, it has termed it to be the “2016 Flagship Killer.” It is notable that we still live in 2015, by the way.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 8.11.08 am

To start with, The OnePlus 2 does look quite similar to the OnePlus One in terms of design. The camera and flash module has moved to a lower point on the back of the phone. It is still 5.5 inches, and fits well into the same body footprint as the OnePlus 2. Most of the frame is now aluminium, and the back keeps the textured, grippy material from last year. The back is still replaceable, and they have wooden and even kevlar options.

More importantly, it has a USB-C connecter. That makes the OnePlus 2 one of the first few phones to have the new standard for USB. It is nice to see companies make the jump to the new reversible and much faster USB-C Connector. Especially since Android M has been announced to have USB-C support.

The OnePlus 2 has a reversible USB-C Connector at the bottom.
The OnePlus 2 has a reversible USB-C Connector at the bottom.

There’s also a three-position switch on the side of the phone that lets you cycle through the three default notification settings in Android Lollipop (all, priority, and none) which I found very interesting. Hopefully it might make it into other devices as a standard as well.

(All, Priority and None)
The thoughtful 3-position notification settings slider on the side of the OnePlus 2.

As OnePlus has been telling us for a few weeks, the OnePlus 2 does have a fingerprint sensor. It is on the front, on a button-like rectangle on the front of the phone just like the one on the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6. However, it is notable that this not an actually button that you press into – it is a fingerprint sensor as well as a capacitive home button.

The fingerprint reader on the OnePlus 2. Looks like a home button, but it's actually just a capacitive button.
The fingerprint reader on the OnePlus 2. Looks like a home button, but it’s actually just a capacitive button.

For the internals, the OnePlus 2 features at 5.5 inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM for the 16GB version or 4GB of RAM for the 64GB version. It has a 13MP camera with optical image stabilisation on the back, and a front-camera of 5MP. It is notable that the back-camera, along with the now-standard 2-tone flash, also has laser autofocus.

The camera module on the back of the OnePlus 2. 13MP with OIS, two-tone flash, and laser autofocus.
The camera module on the back of the OnePlus 2. 13MP with OIS, two-tone flash, and laser autofocus.

The OnePlus 2 comes with OxygenOS this time round, unlike the OnePlus One which came with CyanogenMod. It is a very clean and lightweight skin which is very close to stock android, with some minimal extra hardware-specific features from OnePlus. For example, just like the OnePlus One, you’d be able to choose between on-screen navigation buttons or the off-screen capacitive buttons.

Overall, the OnePlus 2 is definitely an improvement from the OnePlus One. The specs are top-of-the-line as of now, and the pricing is competitive at US$329 for the 16GB Version and US$389 for the 32GB Version. You’ll have to sign-up for an invite from here in order to purchase the device – though the invite process is much easier this time round.

“2016 Flagship Killer”? Well, we’ll find out.

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