The OnePlus Two, like its predecessor, is quite a proposition. It has high-end specs, it looks very tasty indeed and it is packed with a bunch of next-generation technology as well as the latest build of Android Lollipop, which will be fully updated to Android M later on this year.
Is the OnePlus Two the best Android phone right now? No. Not by a long shot, but like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 before it when you’re talking about insanely low prices and high-end specs and hardware, the definition of “what’s best” undergoes a few changes. This is what Google seemed to missed last year when it altered its Nexus handset program, making it more premium and more costly.
In this context — and without Xiaomi having any presence in the West — OnePlus has something of a clear run at the mobile space. No one else is offering hardware of this quality for such a low price. Yes, you can get cheap phones like the Moto G but they are not like the OnePlus Two — they are NOT flagship-grade handsets. And they certainly aren’t comparable to Apple’s iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6.
All of this could change should Google return to form in 2015 and make a Nexus 5-style handset, which a lot of sources suggest it will. But nothing regarding this handset is official yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out during late-Q3, early-Q4.
The OnePlus Two will be up for sale on August 11, but in order to get one you’ll first need to sign up for an invitation. A lot of punters aren’t keen on this process and have voiced their issues quite a bit online during the past 12 months. Still, it hasn’t stopped more than one million people registering with OnePlus for a OnePlus Two.
“Owners of the OnePlus One will also get priority dibs on these invites and get their own invites to distribute to friends and family, so first time owners are looking at an even longer wait unless they know someone who owns one (or are willing to hit up the secondary markets). How long is the wait list for invites, though? One million deep as of the time of writing, despite the lack of Quick Charge and NFC. Although, one million people reserving an invite does not mean one million people will buy the phone,” notes 9to5Google.
I predominantly use iPhones, mainly because of work commitments. But I do like to have an Android handset in my bag too, and for the longest time I’ve used Google’s Nexus phones. But ever since the Nexus 6 this hasn’t been the case. And this year, despite the claims a cheaper Nexus is on the cards for 2015, I’m kind of irritated that Google nixed its old model and tried to adopt something akin to what LG, Sony and HTC do in order to make a bit more cash in the process, so, yeah, I’ll be picking up a OnePlus Two for my Android fix in 2015.
The only thing I am slightly concerned with is OnePlus’ move away from CyanoGenMod OS to its own in-house setup. I haven’t tested the OnePlus One with its new software and I’ve yet to get my hands on a OnePlus Two, though I do know there were plenty of “issues” with the first iteration of OxygenOS.
A lot has been made about the handset not having NFC, and, as someone who uses NFC quite a bit, I get the grumble about this. Having said that, I DO NOT see it as quite the deal breaker some are making out –– how often do you actually use NFC, anyway? I get that Android Pay is coming and more people will want to use their phones to pay for things. Still, I’d be more annoyed about it having two SIM-slots and no microSD support or, while we’re having a moan, no Quick Charge.
Why doesn’t have it have NFC? Simple: here’s what OnePlus had to say on the matter – “We heard from a lot of users of the One and saw most of our users weren’t using NFC”. I’d argue you could say the same thing about Bluetooth… but it is still nice to have it laying around for the odd time you’ll actually want to use it.
Beyond this I have zero complaints with what OnePlus unveiled this week; all the specs are there, it has a fingerprint scanner, hardly a deal-breaker, a decent sized display (I’m happy with 1080p), 4GB of RAM and the option to expand the storage, should you wish, to 64GB. For the cost of a high-end handset — £450-£500 — this wouldn’t be perfect, but for almost £200 less it makes for a seriously compelling proposition.
And unless Google comes back with a traditional Nexus handset in 2015, the OnePlus Two is basically the only option for those of us looking for high-end specs and hardware for the cost of a mid-range phone.