First Impressions: OnePlus 2 brings design finesse along with an improved camera

OnePlus 2 was launched amidst much fan fare considering it was the first virtual reality launch of a smartphone ever. The phone packs in some impressive specifications and also has prices starting from Rs 22,999 for the 16GB version. The OnePlus 2 will launch in India on August 11. So before we start talking about performance numbers, here is a quick first impressions about the latest flagship phone from OnePlus which it has already touted as ‘2016 Flagship Killer’.

Build Quality and Design

First Impressions: OnePlus 2 brings design finesse along with an improved camera
The OnePlus 2 has redesigned the edges to some extent but the rear side makes you feel at home. The sandstone black cover, which is now easily removable, has that familiar coarse feeling. The phone has a slightly curved design on the back which helps with the grip. The edges have got a metallic treatment with champfering on the edges to give it that classy look.


On the right hand side towards the top portion, you have the power/standby and volume rocker buttons. The top edge has the 3.5mm audio jack and at the base you have the USB Type-C port in the centre surrounded by two speaker grilles – which is new. On the left hand side you have notifications notch called the Alert slider, which has a nice feedback to it. It lets you control notifications by sliding it from bottom to top.


The OnePlus 2 comes with a 5.5-inch display and at the base of it you have a fingerprint scanner. It is not a button per se, but it has a clear rounded rectangular marking. This is surrounded by two soft keys which light up when the phone is on. On the rear side, the camera is placed bang in middle with a dual LED flash unit on top and the laser autofocus system below the 13MP rear camera.


OnePlus has stuck with the 5.5-inch full HD display for the OnePlus 2 instead of going for the QuadHD display. OnePlus makes use of an IPS panel and the display looks as good as the OnePlus One. The display looked sufficiently bright although glossy. We will need to watch movies on it to check for any backlight bleeding and use it in sunlight to test its legibility in bright outdoor situations.

Chipset, RAM, Storage
The OnePlus 2 comes with impressive internal specifications. It is powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 810 SoC which has a quad-core Cortex A57 and a quad-core Cortex A53 and has the Adreno 430 GPU. This is paired with 4GB of RAM for the 64GB storage variant. The 16GB storage variant OnePlus 2 will come with 3GB of RAM. These are topline specifications, and naturally when using the review unit over a day, we did not notice any lag or slow down. Of course, we will be doing the complete real world testing of the phone.

(Also read: Here's how a Canadian software engineer hacked the OnePlus invite system)

OS, Connectivity
Unlike the OnePlus One, the OnePlus 2 has no Cyanogen branding on its rear side. This is because, the phone comes with Android 5.1 with OnePlus’s own OxygenOS skin atop it. The OxygenOS skin looks quite similar to stock Android Lollipop design and has a few refinements, such as the frequently used apps and contact list on the left most swipe.


The OnePlus 2 supports a dual 4G nano SIM card slot which is accessible on removing the rear cover. Thanks to the slots located under the cover, you do not need a pin to remove the SIM card slots, you can just slide them using your nails. Apart from this, the phone supports Wi-fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS and so on. One omission on the connectivity front is NFC, which could have been easily paired with the fingerprint sensor to verify NFC payments. Although this is a niche market segment in India and not really relevant, globally that is not the case.

With the USB Type C connection, the OnePlus 2 will be the first phone to be selling with that connector in India.


OnePlus 2 has really spruced up the camera department. You now get a 13MP rear camera with a pixel size of 1.3 microns. Also the camera will come with an optical image stabiliser to help you take stutter free images and videos. We will need to see if this is as impressive as the one we had seen on the LG G4. Another impressive feature on the rear camera is the laser auto-focus mechanism. This should help improve the focus acquisition speed. However, the real test of the rear camera will lie with low light photography, which is was really not impressive at all on the OnePlus One. On the front you have a 5MP camera for your selfies. The camera user interface is quite different from the one seen on OnePlus One as well.

The OnePlus 2 comes with 3,300mAh Li-polymer non-removable battery which is a bump up from the 3,100mAh battery that was seen on the OnePlus One. Ideally, one should be able to pull of a days worth of usage on regular use, but we will need to confirm that only after reviewing the phone. Also the OnePlus 2 does not come with the Qualcomm QuickCharge feature.

The OnePlus 2 has certainly got off to a good start, after Carl Pei announced the price of Rs 24,999 for the 64GB storage variant of the phone. Considering the price of Rs 31,000 was doing the rounds of online forums before the launch date, this is a welcome change. However, we will have to see how OnePlus has tackled the apparent heating issues associated with the Snapdragon 810 SoC. There are lot of new things to try out on the OnePlus 2 such as the finger print scanner, interchangeable back and home softkeys, the improved camera and so on. You will have to check back for the full review of the OnePlus 2 which we have already started working on.

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