OnePlus’ new device, the OnePlus 2 seems to be targetting a specific group of consumers much, like the Motorola devices do.
Clearly part of the ‘budget phone’ list, given it’s price tag; yet it offers a slick build and a spec sheet resembling that of much higher-priced devices.
That’s always a recipe for success, yet OnePlus’ sales might be slightly thwarted by another selling point too – that of the ‘Invite’ system. You cannot go to the company website or to Amazon or even a store and get hold of one at your personal discretion.
Apart from that, this phone makes such a case for itself that you question why you should be spending around INR 40,000 on devices from higher-priced competition. But is the spec-sheet really backed up by real-world performance? Let’s find out.
The OnePlus 2 is a large device. The screen measures 5.5 inches and uses an IPS LCD panel. What having and LCD panel translates to is that it will not be as vibrant as an AMOLED panel neither are the blacks going to be as deep. But, you do get excellent viewing angles, and colours that are far more realistic than the over-saturated hues that AMOLED sometimes produce.
The display on this device is pleasing enough and given the size of the screen, the full HD screen does a wonderful job in terms of packing the pixels uniformly across the whole screen. The screen tone is fairly pleasant and offers punchy and true colors. Also the pixel density of 401 equals that of the iPhone 6s which makes this screen enter that vaunted league of devices.
While talking about a device, when we start comparing it with or referring to devices that are much more expensive, that itself is a testament to the fact that the device offers you so much more for the price segment it currently sits in.
Keeping that in mind we can argue that a QHD screen is a bit different than a Full HD one and we may even have liked a QHD screen on the OnePlus 2; but there are some catches. Well, first – there is a minimal difference between the two screens and secondly, an HD screen is more than enough for a INR 23,000 phablet. There’s a hidden benefit too, battery life is preserved through less resource-hungry screens.
And this display is not just HD, it is good enough and sharp enough for us not have any complaints about it and all the more so after sparing a thought for the price you have to pay for it. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4 thus scratch resistance is pretty good. The screen is almost smudge free, thanks to some fairly deep-rooted oleophobic treatment.
All in all, the brightness of the screen could have been better, but even so the display is winner.
There is not a lot special about the way this phablet looks or feels. It is a large phone and quite a heavy one too. Yes, the new magnesium alloy sides do give the phone a sturdier feel than the outgoing predecessor.
Not only does the magnesium alloy feel a lot like aluminium, is even relatively light than aluminium based devices. This however, does not translate into the overall weight of the device, for at 170 grams, this phone is a little heavy.
On the overall “feel” of the phone, I’d say it feels pretty solid and is at ease when compared to other higher price devices. To help you grip the phone a little better, the back has a rough fabric-like feel to it, the roughness of which does provide you with a good grip.
Wait a minute though, did I say fabric like? Yes, indeed. But don’t worry, you do get the option of changing your back cover for as little as INR 200! They feature ‘real’ materials, including Kevlar and various kinds of wood. Kevlar and the standard grey-black rear are the best picks if you want a low-key phone.
This phone is not the super thin lightweight sexy phone you are looking for. It is a big phone and does require a little getting used to. This phone is also a little thick at 9.9mm.
On the front sits a home button below the screen which also houses a fingerprint sensor. Well, this is yet another feature that you usually see in higher priced phones. The fingerprint scanner works pretty well too. It is not as fast as the ones one the higher priced devices but then again if you give me four wheels at the cost of two I’ll hardly care how fast those wheels turn as long as they turn smoothly.
Also this phone has a USB type-C port which to me is more of a hassle than convenience right now. However, it does give you fast charging. The phone has a non-removable Lithium-Polymer 3,300 mAh battery which, with light use will give you around a day and half of juice.
The design of this phablet can be termed as “adequate” while build quality comes in at “fairly well built”.
This phablet’s spec sheet is incredibly impressive. Under the hood, it packs a Snapdragon 810 chipset which comprises an octa-core CPU, with four 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57 ‘power’ cores and four lesser Cortex-A53 cores, and an Adreno 430 graphics processor, providing ample power to the phone.
The phone performs excellently and is pretty smooth. Day to day tasks like web browsing, scrolling through pages, opening and closing pages and stuff like that do not really pose much of a challenge for the capabilities of this device. Nor do any of the currently available Android game panic this device.
Well, anything less would have been disappointing given the spec sheet of this device.
Having said all that, there does exist a pressing issue with the performance. The device seems to heat up considerably. The phone really does not require you to do a lot for it go get heated up. You can really leave the phone on for 5 minutes and the phone begins to feel warmer.
Something like this makes you start questioning the quality provided by the manufacturers. But in reality, it is more a trait of the Snapdragon 810 processor, rather than a manufacturers defect.
Barring this problem which admittedly is a difficult thing to do, this phone performs brilliantly and really the specs that this phone offers are what differentiate the OnePlus 2 from the rest and make it a very good value for money deal.
This phone runs the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with OnePlus’s Oxygen UI on top. The Oxygen UI seems a little different from HTC sense and Samsung’s Touchwiz.
What the Oxygen UI does for the phone is that it keeps the Stock Android experience pretty much intact, providing a lot of features under the surface.
In the automobiles arena, one can’t really fault Petrol Heads from wanting to check out new cars that promise thrilling performance – OnePlus 2 has features much like these performance vehicles, so don’t be surprised to find Gadget Geeks ogling or salivating over the OnePlus 2.
There is this one extra bit that sits front and center called the Shelf. This is an extra homescreen that holds your favourite app shortcuts, your favourite contacts, and any widgets you might use but don’t want to keep on a homescreen. At this stage it does seem a bit non-essential but it can certainly be worked upon by OnePlus. Well, you can still turn this off and the phone asks you the same when you boot it for the first time.
Thankfully, OnePlus’ UI is favourably customisable. You can do things like switching the menu system from a white color scheme to black, choosing between using software/hardware soft keys and even alter the icon set used for installed apps!
These little tweaks and customisations at your disposal really help you make the device your own. It is like all Ferraris are red but when you get into mine you will find a little plate that says my name, a peace of leather on the steering wheel and maybe a digital speedometer instead of the usual analog one. So, yes it is the usual red Ferrari but when you get inside you will know it is mine.
Having all these tweaks and customizations at your disposal you still can use this phone very easily if you choose to ignore all of this.
This phone has a 13 megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilisation, laser autofocus and dual-LED flash. The camera features include 1/2.6 inch sensor size, 1.3 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama and HDR.
Here again, the phablet offers so much in terms of camera specs too and hardware, that you’ll be very happy with your decision to go with the OnePlus 2. As far as output quality goes, the camera can click some good high quality snaps for you, hassle-free, in most circumstances.
Now, a lot of devices offer you a 13 megapixel rear shooter these days, and for most people, the amount of pixels is becomes the general barometer of the quality of the camera. That is not always the case however! Megapixels alone are not indicative of device capability! In fact, some slightly ropey 8 megapixel and 13 megapixel units that are made by Sony are worth avoiding, don’t trust the numbers, I would say.
The 13 megapixel sensor that the OnePlus 2 has is made by a niche player called Omnivision, which has gain quite a reputation in China, especially with Oppo.
Moving on, the peripheral features that this camera is aided by make this device as well equipped as devices that cost INR 40,000 or more! The phone clearly packs very good hardware that has a lot of promise. Lets see how that translates into actual camera experience for this device.
OnePlus seems to have put in quite some work to do away with the shutter lag that seemed so irritating with the OnePlus 1. Even so, it does still exist and it can take about 3 seconds to process a HDR shot. Normal shooting is pretty fast though.
Also the HDR mode is not as subtle as that on the higher-priced phones and it does have the tendency to oversaturate the colors taking away from the photos that feel and look of reality.
The camera app is merely an extension of the already existing Android one and you will feel that is does not take the full advantage of the hardware available. Also if you are not careful you may pull the drop down window down while shooting in landscape.
Now that we are done with what is not good about the camera let us move to what is! The standard picture quality is pretty good in general and the pictures are filled with detail. The OnePlus 2 does actually let you control the exposure level as you shoot. There’s a dial that sits around the shutter you can swizzle around to tweak exposure.
One of the best things about this camera which does come as a surprise is the night shooting capability. This is something that even the savvy-manufacturers tend to avoid working on. The optical image stabilization system comes into its own and works brilliantly in order to allow you capture some low light shots packed with a considerable amount of detail. The noise levels also seem to be pretty low and pictures captured at night with the OnePlus 2 are very usable anywhere you want to.
The front of the phone houses a secondary camera with 5 megapixels which is good enough to take some beautiful selfies. Given the right lighting conditions you really can click a selfie good enough for you profile pic or maybe even more!
The OnePlus 2 has a single speaker that sits at the bottom of the phone. The speaker quality is not the best – it does not have the beefy sound or extremely loud volume that would put it alongside the some of the better speakers. But thanks to the device’s display and otherwise amazing performance, you can still be thoroughly entertained.
Might I suggest a hack here? Try and do all your gaming and video playing with a pair of earphones jacked in. Because apart from the average speaker quality the phone really is capable of entertaining you through and through. Especially with a good 5.5 inch display and a spec sheet that will enable you to play any Android game you want.
However, there is one issue that exists and that is the issue of heating. Heating issues are so inconvenient and they often happen to affect more than one aspect of the phone. While playing games or even watching lengthy videos the phone may heat up to an extent where it may be difficult for you to hold on to it. Really wish Qualcomm hadn’t messed up on the 810! There are many many devices out there paying the price for Qualcomm’s poor execution on the 810.
Business is set up the usual way and accounts can be configured by simply punching in the username and password.
One of the best features that this phone has is the fingerprint scanner that is housed in the home button placed at the bottom of the display. The fingerprint scanner works very well and there is no issue whatsoever here.
It really is a cool addition and it may prompt other manufacturers to include the same in devices of this segment.