OnePlus came out of nowhere, broke all the rules and established itself — with very little budget — as one of THE primo Android handset makers on the planet. The OnePlus One was widely regarded as a smash-hit by consumers and reviewers alike. Like the Nexus 5 it launched alongside, the OnePlus One featured awesome specs and design and a very, VERY low price tag.
It wasn’t perfect, as noted in our OnePlus One Review, but it was pretty damn close. And for half the price of an iPhone, you get A LOT of phone. So who cares if its LTE support was a bit too narrow for the UK? OK — we did. But we like 4G, and not having our network’s bandwidth supported was tres annoying.
OnePlus will unveil its brand new flagship very soon as well. Called the OnePlus 3, the handset is perhaps one of the most talked about upcoming Android releases. And rightly so, too: OnePlus has consistently shown that it can compete with the big boys and it has done so in a completely original and cost-effective manner.
The OnePlus 2 — now the OnePlus 3 is official — is now priced at just £249 SIM-free, making it an EXCELLENT deal for anyone looking for a great quality phone without too much of an outlay.
The OnePlus 2 still looks as sharp as it did when it debuted last year and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The specs and hardware are great too, so no worries there. In fact, at this price point you’d be hard pressed to find a better and more capable handset.
Well — that’s not technically true, as we’ve shown here: Awesome Android Phones That Are Stupidly Cheap!
For the first time in the company’s history, the OnePlus 3 will not be an invite-based release; no, users that want the device simply have to order one and it will come. No masonic undertones. No fuss, apparently. I for one am really looking forward to this handset. I can’t wait to see where OnePlus goes next and how they plan on taking down bigger brands’ releases like the LG G5 and Galaxy S7.
One of the big downsides of the OnePlus Two, well, at least in some people’s eyes, is its lack of NFC. Without NFC you will not be able to make mobile payments using Android Pay, so while it is true the OnePlus Two has a fingerprint scanner, using it for mobile payments with Android Pay is going to be tricky. Another thing missing that a lot of people were hoping for is a QHD display; the OnePlus Two features a 1080p setup similar to the iPhone 6 Plus.
Thing is — this sort of thing has to happen for the handset to retain its frankly insane price point. OnePlus is in business and businesses like to make money. In order to do this it needs to make a margin on each phone it produces; it cannot just give away a handset with incredible specs for next to nothing — it wouldn’t be economically viable. So, for what it is (an excellent handset with great specs and features) it still is very much a steal. Even if it doesn’t have NFC!
OnePlus stayed committed to a very compelling price cut for the OnePlus 2 as well — the handset, the 64GB version now costs just £249, which is frankly insane for a phone this good! The device is brilliant, packing in the type of specs and hardware you see aboard phones with RRP’s of around £450-£500. This is and hopefully always will be OnePlus’ BIG USP: showing the world that you can make awesome hardware without charging the earth.
I mean, just LOOK at these specs:
- Processor: Octa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810,
- Screen Size: 5.5in
- Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080
- Rear camera: 13 megapixels
- Storage (free): 64GB (54GB)
- Wireless data: 3G, 4G
- Size: 152x75x9.9mm
- Weight: 175g
- Operating system: Oxygen OS (Android 5.1)
Now, here’s what OnePlus said about THAT price cut in a statement on its blog:
“We learned a lot from our first flagship phone. The invite system helped get the OnePlus 2 off the ground, and now thanks to both timing and scale, our operations have sized up to the Goldilocks principle of just right. So, why not let our fans join us in celebrating the fruits of our labor? The OnePlus 2 now has a price modification of $349, forever. If you’ve ever needed to give a friend another reason to join Team OnePlus, here you go.”
Here are 10 quick points on why you might want to consider the OnePlus 2 as your next blower.
Better LTE Support
Our major beef with the OnePlus One, as noted above, was its god-awful LTE support. This meant that if you were on the wrong network you could not get 4G on the phone — and that is something no one should have to experience. Not in 2014/15.
OnePlus has confirmed, however, that its next-generation handset will support a whole lot more, meaning regardless of what network you’re on, you WILL be able to get a 4G connection on the OnePlus Two.
“Never be tied down. The OnePlus 2 comes carrier-unlocked with wide range band support for service providers worldwide. And, with dual SIM capabilities, you can connect to two networks simultaneously to travel with ease. Manage your work life and personal life without the need to carry around two phones. It’s one device, for everything,” said OnePlus at launch.
Like A LOT of Android phones these days, the OnePlus Two features one of Qualcomm’s excellent Snapdragon 810 CPUs. Expect a HUGE performance uplift on last year’s model and significantly better power management, which should translate into increased battery life.
More RAM — A HELL of A Lot More, In fact
2GB used to be the standard for memory in Android phones. Then 3GB. But now we’re starting to see handsets launched with 4GB of memory, a truly staggering amount for a mobile phone. The OnePlus Two is one such phone and this is a very good thing indeed.
“What we are unveiling on July 27 is so much more than specs.” said OnePlus. “It’s about seeing more than what’s right in front of you, chasing more than just benchmarks, and doing more than just competing. We’ve combined hardware, software, and design into a total, forward-thinking package with features that matter to our users.”
The OnePlus Two has a 16MP main camera and a front-facing 5MP for video-calling or for morons to take selfies with. Below is the official line via OnePlus:
“Our camera sensor’s large pixels collect more light for less noise and exceptional performance in dark conditions. Advanced laser autofocus and optical image stabilization systems ensure that you never miss that perfect shot, while 6 lens elements prevent distortion and improve clarity.”
The Price is Still VERY Low
Prices start at £249 for the 64GB model!
USB Type-C, as seen on the Chromebook Pixel and new MacBook Air, will fast become the go-to standard for connectivity, powering devices and sharing data in 2015/16. And as you’d expect from a company that likes to live on the bleeding edge, the OnePlus Two will of course feature it.
It’ll Have A Fingerprint Scanner
The handset also has a fingerprint scanner as well. Here’s what OnePlus had to say on the matter:
“With the OnePlus 2, the fingerprint sensor is done right. It’s refined and lightning quick, unlocking your device faster than TouchID. The average person checks their phone over 200 times per day. If you spend just three seconds inputting a PIN number or pattern, that’s over an hour of your time gone each week.
“On the OnePlus 2, one quick tap takes you right to your homescreen. With the ability to store up to five fingerprint profiles, it’s fast, it’s safe, and it’s secure. Your smartphone is your most personal device, and its security should be personal, too.”
A New Invite System
Yep. OnePlus isn’t getting rid of its invite system. Look on the bright side, though: by keeping control over its production OnePlus can better protect its margins and pass on the savings to you, the customer. In my mind, this can be the only reason the company operates in such a manner. There’s less waste and everything is almost done to order, so to speak — that has to save them some cash.
Here’s OnePlus’ official line on the new invitation system — you can check out the OnePlus Two invite page here:
“You can get an invite from friends who have purchased a OnePlus 2 already, or by participating in our contests and promotions,” says OnePlus. “For notifications about our contests and invites, subscribe to our newsletter, join our community on the forums, or follow us on social media.”
The Design Isn’t That Different, Sadly
The ACTUAL OnePlus Two leaked online this week. The images aren’t the best, though, as you can see below. The handset does look rather similar to last year’s model, but that’s no crime really as the OnePlus One was definitely a looker.
Finger’s crossed it looks a bit more, err, dynamic in real life.
It’s Coming VERY Soon
The OnePlus Two will launch on July 27 and will be available for purchase — with an invite — from August 11.