OnePlus 2: The Rockstar Flagship

“Here’s why the OnePlus 2 rocks our boat”

The OnePlus One (review) was one of the most popular devices in India last year, so it’s no wonder that the company decided to launch the second iteration of its flagship, the OnePlus 2, in the country in the first phase. The new smartphone significantly ramps up on the capabilities of its predecessor, and has received positive reviews all around. So what exactly makes the OnePlus 2 so special? Is it the design, the hardware, the price, or simply a combination of all three? Here are the highlights of all that the OnePlus 2 has to offer. 


The OnePlus One raised eyebrows with its unique Sandstone finish, and the OnePlus 2 follows suit, adding more premium refinements to the mix. The device features a sturdy aluminium magnesium alloy frame that improves antenna reception and heat dissipation. 


The Sandstone Black finish is rougher and more durable than before, and makes for a more secure grip as well. OnePlus has also made available its StyleSwap covers in gorgeous finishes like Bamboo, Kevlar, Rosewood and Black Apricot, letting you change the look of your smartphone to suit your style quotient. The façade of the smartphone is devoid of any distracting logos, letting you focus completely on the crisp, vivid 5.5-inch display. 


With a resolution of 1080p, the display reproduces natural colours and offers stellar viewing angles, with the layer of Gorilla Glass ensuring protection from scratches and minor knocks. Around the frame, you’ll find the various ports and buttons highlighted in a metal finish. Among them, there are two new additions that are among the first on Android smartphones. 


The first, and more significant of the two, is the USB Type-C port. The OnePlus 2 was the first mainstream smartphone to ship with USB Type-C, the new interface standard which features a reversible connector. Interestingly, the charging cable has a reversible Type-A side as well, made using OnePlus’ patented technology. In true OnePlus style, the included trademark red cable is flat and tangle free, and comes with a rubber tie that makes storage easy. Given that USB Type-C cables are still a rarity, you can also purchase an optional OnePlus USB Type-C adapter that lets you charge the device with a regular micro-USB cable. 


The second addition is the new three-way slider key on the left spine of the smartphone, which OnePlus is calling the Alert Slider. This slider lets you switch between three different notification alert profiles ­– all notifications, priority interruptions only and no interruptions. While these controls are baked into the Android interface, having a physical control for them makes it very convenient to enable an appropriate profile in a jiffy. For example, if you’re going into a meeting, putting your OnePlus 2 on silent mode becomes as easy as the flick of a switch. 


Another new hardware feature on the OnePlus 2 is the fingerprint sensor we mentioned earlier. Integrated into the home button, the sensor adds an additional layer of security and convenience to your smartphone. You can add up to five fingerprints, and rename them for convenience. Registering a fingerprint requires placing your finger on the sensor multiple times until your prints are recorded, a process that takes only a few seconds. The fingerprint sensor is extremely fast and responsive, and as a plus can unlock the smartphone even when it’s on standby. 


While the design and special features of the OnePlus 2 make it extremely attractive, we know from experience that these alone don’t make a smartphone. In order to ensure that the device doesn’t fall short on performance, OnePlus has loaded its flagship with top-of-the-line specs, which include the powerful 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Whether it’s playing intensive games or running multiple apps, the OnePlus 2 is able to handle everything you throw at it without breaking a sweat… all thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon engine purring inside. And the extra memory means lags or freezes are a thing of the past. Complementing the processor is a generous 64GB of storage, which is more than adequate for all your storage needs. Did we mention the OnePlus 2 supports USB OTG too?


No smartphone today is complete without a great camera, and the OnePlus 2 doesn’t disappoint here either. The primary 13MP camera with six physical lenses, powerful dual LED flash, and f/2.0 aperture is a versatile shooter that takes great shots across conditions, and is capable of recording video in 4K too. And before you ask, the 5MP front shooter is great for selfies. Battery life is always a concern for smartphone users, and OnePlus has taken care of this aspect by packing in a meaty 3,300mAh unit that can last through an entire day’s worth of usage. On the software front, the smartphone runs OnePlus’ own Oxygen OS which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, brings in a refreshing take on the near-stock Android interface with support for plenty of customisations. Connectivity options are up to par too, with most industry standards like dual-SIM, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and A-GPS being supported.


Normally, flagship-level features like these cost a bomb, but OnePlus has managed to wow us here too. At its price of Rs 24,999, the OnePlus 2 is one of the most affordable flagships you can currently buy. And, with its advanced features like the fingerprint sensor and USB Type-C port, you can be assured that the smartphone is future proof for a couple of years at the very least. No wonder OnePlus is calling it the 2016 flagship killer. 

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