back to article OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

Back in April, applecart-punching OnePlus made their first entry into mobiles with a new phone and an invite-only system that was popular with 'Droid fanciers but received an upturned nose and frosty shoulder from the big boys in the space. Now the biz is back with its second handset, the OnePlus 2. It will be available from …

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  2. mfraz

    Carbon not Kevlar

    "In a nod to customizable phones like the Moto X, the OnePlus 2 comes with a choice of five removable back covers. These include real bamboo, rosewood, and black apricot wood covers, a Kevlar cover that looks suitably tough, and a rather unpleasantly gritty synthetic sandstone version."

    I think you meant carbon fibre not Kevlar as I couldn't see a Kevlar coloured cover in the photo only a fake looking black carbon.

    1. Argh

      Re: Carbon not Kevlar

      No, it's Kevlar. Actual DuPont™ Kevlar®. Likely not very much of it, though.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Carbon not Kevlar

        Kevlar - so the internals can be ground to dust but the case will be fine!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Looks very good indeed, and whoever thought of the from standby camera and light gestures is a genius.

    1. Anon5000

      The original OnePlus One also had these same features and they are actually useful. I have multiple cameras installed so the gesture brings up a list asking which one to use although you can choose a default one to load if you want. Can also double tap the screen to wake it when it's off.

      The original OPO recorded 4k video and also in high speed camera mode, so recording things like birds flying in slow motion was pretty cool. Also 3GB ram. All this stuff for about a third of the price of similar powered phones made the OPO very special. The OnePlus doesn't seem so special, just a cheap phone with similar specs to others on the market.

      I'm surprised they didn't increase the ram and screen resolution in this newer model. So lazer focus camera, better EU LTE support, usb C (over hyped in their forums), a faster cpu with known overheating problems and a fingerprint reader seems to be the main differences, not tempting enough for me to upgrade.

      Going by the certifications they have applied for, there may be different size versions of the phone. My only gripe with the original OPO was it was slightly too big to be used in one hand comfortably.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Curious why you would want more RAM? 3GB seems a bit of an overkill but possibly good future-proofing.

  4. MacroRodent Silver badge
    WTF?

    Zap

    Laser rangefinder? Somehow this makes me uneasy. Will you go blind if you take selfies?

    1. I_am_Chris

      > Will you go blind if you take selfies?

      Hopefully!

    2. TitterYeNot
      Coat

      Re: Zap

      "Will you go blind if you take selfies?"

      No. That's caused by the other kind of one-handed self abuse.

  5. Planty Bronze badge

    Nice

    But I don't buy phones that don't change wirelessly. It's an essential purchase criteria for me. Missing NFC is also questionable.

    Most people shouldn't care, iphone is equally gimped.

    1. goldcd

      can I add SD card?

      This thing is infuriating close to being perfect.

      Oh, and I'd miss my "Boom Sound" as well.. Here's hoping for the OnePlus 3

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: can I add SD card?

        Allegedly according to a leak back in last December but things could have changed since then.

        http://www.ubergizmo.com/2014/12/oneplus-promo-video-points-to-dual-sim-card-support-microsd-slot-rumor/?sa=X&ved=0CBgQ9QEwAWoVChMIn5zKqsj9xgIVibYUCh28tw1T

        I'm with you that the lack of a micro SD card slot is a deal breaker and I'd never buy a phone without one.

        I couldn't care less for NFC and I consider one more security vulnerability I could do without.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: can I add SD card?

          Update,

          according to Liliputing there's no SD slot. Come on reg hacks, do I have to do your job for you ?

          http://liliputing.com/2015/07/oneplus-2-smartphone-coming-in-august-prices-start-at-329.html

          No sale to me then.

          1. Avatar of They
            Happy

            Re: can I add SD card?

            Yeah either an SD card or 128GB, I don't mind paying a little extra for the HDD space, but I have 60GB of music and films on my phone as it goes everywhere and I can't be bothered copying to and from my PC at home.

            2 Sim card sounds nice.

            I second the genius of hand gestures for torch and camera.

            Otherwise one plus 3?

      2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: can I add SD card?

        Hardware buddy Oppo makes the high-end version with the high-end price. On those, one slot of the dual SIM tray may hold a microSD card.

    2. Peter 26

      Re: Nice

      Those features are kind of gimmicky and not really essential, so I don't mind so much. Google haven't sorted out Google Pay yet, so NFC use is marginal unless you have your own tags. From my experience using my own tags, it's not worth the hassle, anything you can do with a tag you can do with tasker and a custom button.

      I tried wireless for a year replacing every charger with wireless, after a year I had to admit to myself it was just a gimmick. It takes longer to charge the phone when doing it wireless, you have to get the phone aligned perfectly and it heats up (which won't be good with this snapdragon processor). Lets face it, it takes 2 seconds to plug it in for better results.

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Nice

        "...I tried wireless for a year replacing every charger with wireless, after a year I had to admit to myself it was just a gimmick. It takes longer to charge the phone when doing it wireless, you have to get the phone aligned perfectly and it heats up (which won't be good with this snapdragon processor). Lets face it, it takes 2 seconds to plug it in for better results...

        I agree with all of those points, but I added a third party charging inductor to my Note 3 and use it at work. Means I can have everything for my laptop plugged permanently into a USB hub and reduce the mash of connections plugged in and out every day, but also that I can just lay my phone down during the day and if I am called and need privacy, can wander easily.

        None of which is essential, I agree, but I was / am a bugger for forgetting to plug the charging lead in.

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: Nice

          Seriously? Thumbs down for this? Was your newsagent out of copies of the Daily Mail or something?

      2. Peter Galbavy

        Re: Nice

        "I tried wireless for a year replacing every charger with wireless, after a year I had to admit to myself it was just a gimmick. It takes longer to charge the phone when doing it wireless, you have to get the phone aligned perfectly and it heats up (which won't be good with this snapdragon processor). Lets face it, it takes 2 seconds to plug it in for better results."

        I had similar reservations but found this rather nice double charger that has enough (7) coils to make placement pretty arbitrary. Charge both my Note 2 and Nexus 7 next to the bed overnight, works fine - except the Nexus 7 sometimes shuts itself down: ZENS Dual Wireless Charger

        1. AndyS

          Re: Nice

          @Peter Galbavy

          Sounds interesting, sounds interesting... Wait... $80 for a charger?!

          What problem does this solve again?

      3. Planty Bronze badge

        Re: Nice

        I disagree. I use NFC for liveview and picture transfer from my DSLR camera, My QI dock in the car has one in that starts my driving playlists etc etc etc.

        Infact payment is one of the very few things I don't want to use it for. paying by mobile phone is even more dorky than Bluetooth inear headsets when you aren't driving.....

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: Nice

      Lack of NFC is a bit of a budget cut too far, I suspect that NFC is really going to (finally) take of during the life of this phone. Even the iPhone has it now!

      Even stranger omission given the original 1+ had NFC.

      The other thing I'd miss is fast charging, but then if you aren't used to it, you probably won't.

  6. TonyJ Silver badge

    UK Bands

    Can't see anywhere in the article which LTE/4G bands it uses.

    The One had limited appeal over here due to not supporting all UK bands. Particularly, if I recall, band 20 was missing. I don't know if they ever got around to making a Europe specific version.

    Although a quick look at the specs of the 2 reveals them:

    https://oneplus.net/uk/2/specs

    Connectivity:

    GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz

    WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/5/8

    FDD-LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: UK Bands

      Those are the EU bands. Important to note that these are Cat6/9.

      Here's the US bands: 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17

  7. eJ2095

    Got to ask

    y the sod would you need 8 cores.. (And dont say cux u can)

    SO playing games on it, come to make a phone call and the battery saves no....

    1. 27escape

      Re: Got to ask

      Its 4 fast cores and 4 slow ones, check out the Big.Little ARM architecture for the reasoning

  8. Bob H

    Given that the MotoX (3rd Gen) is being released tomorrow and if the leaks are to be believed I think that might be the winner for me, main reason? Dual SIM on Android 5.1.1

  9. Richard Wharram

    Can you put Ubuntu on it?

    I was looking for a new second phone since giving my Moto G to the wife but I'm mightily bored with Android :/

  10. Martin Silver badge
    FAIL

    But what about people who don't want huge great phones?

    I can't be the only person who thinks that a screen size greater than about 4.5" is too big. I've got small hands; I want to be able to use my phone one-handed. My old Nexus 4 is at the very limit that I can use.

    If I want to use something bigger than the small screen I've got in my pocket (and it's not often that it's essential), then I can use my tablet, or my chromebook.

    1. jason 7

      Re: But what about people who don't want huge great phones?

      I too have a Nexus 4 and the size is perfect. However, when I saw a OnePlus One I was surprised at the dimensions. Whilst its a taller phone its not that much wider.

      I think this will be the phone for me due to the price and at the end of the year it will be time to retire my Nexus 4. Especially since the Lollipop 5.1/5.1.1 updates bricked the mobile data on it.

    2. Andy Nugent

      Re: But what about people who don't want huge great phones?

      I got a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact for that reason. Great phone. Although you need to buy a case, as some genius thought putting a shiny / slippery glass back on it was a good idea; my first one slipped off a quite rough wooden garden table and cracked, luckily while still covered by my credit card purchase protection.

  11. Michael Habel Silver badge

    $60.00(USD) difference

    Between the 16GB.... *cough* 12.81GB after Android takes its cut! vs. the 64GB version. Me thinks they could do better....

    1. lurker

      Re: $60.00(USD) difference

      Could be worse. Apple charge $125.00(USD) for the same upgrade (16 -> 64) on the iPhone 6.

  12. Rathernicelydone

    There is also a London event taking place at the SwiftKey Offices this Friday between 4-6 pm so you can try the phone out. Register here: http://attending.io/events/oneplus2london

  13. Aoyagi Aichou
    Coffee/keyboard

    So...

    This is supposed to be the pinnacle of smartphone technology? It's missing so many features...

    Feels like the whole business is going backwards.

    1. jason 7

      Re: So...

      Well seems the world is divided.

      I've never needed NFC, never used SD cards, QHD screens just eat battery and haven't used wireless charging since I retired my Palm Pre 2 three years ago.

      Nice to have/non essentials for a good deal of us. For those that need them well there are plenty other (more expensive) options available.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: So...

        For those that need them well there are plenty other (more expensive) options available.

        None less expensive? (My guess is that there's a feature-rich but plastic-y phone out there somewhere, probably made in China. Don't know the market or care enough to find it).

        1. Preston Munchensonton
          Facepalm

          Re: So...

          Don't know the market or care enough to find it.

          Ah, but you certainly care enough to comment. Another experiment in finite improbability?

      2. Aoyagi Aichou

        Re: So...

        Hm. I see the commentards here like features being taken away. Surprising.

        1. jason 7

          Re: So...

          Never used them or had them in the first place so never miss them!

          No one is forcing you to buy the phone, so with all due respect...quit your whining and look somewhere else.

          1. Aoyagi Aichou

            Re: So...

            Where? Every device on the market is some "streamlined" rubbish. No proper flagship anywhere, just toys.

  14. Steve Hill
    Stop

    #NeverAgain

    As long as they've improved their unreasonable customer service.

    As a OPO owner, after an abominable 6 weeks of "send us a video" from their customer support for the touchscreen dead spot and ghost touches fault, 2nd level support finally open with "you need to flash Oxygen OS"... Great. 1st level could've told me that at least a month ago to let me evaluate whether the intermittent fault is actually fixed.

    #NeverAgain

    1. Martin Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: #NeverAgain

      At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, why

      #NeverAgain

      rather than

      Never again.
      ?

      I mean, really - what is the point?

      1. Steve Hill

        Re: #NeverAgain

        Simply because they use Never Settle, or #NeverSettle in hashtag speak on all of their advertising.

        They certainly settled for poor customer service with the one...

        1. Martin Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: #NeverAgain

          Ahhh.

          OK. I get it. Pretend I never spoke :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: #NeverAgain

            Well I've only ever had good experiences with OPO. I was amazed to find they're happy if you root it, to give one example.

            So, now we have a sample group of two... one happy, one not. I feel we need a larger sample group to draw any useful conclusions.

  15. Phuq Witt
    Thumb Up

    Invitation Only Sales

    Seem to be the in thing these days. And whoever thought that concept up was a spin-doctoring genius:

    [SCENE: A board meeting at 'Jolly spiffing Synergistic Solutions Inc.']

    MANAGER: We're about to launch this new phone, but we're not sure whether anyone will actually want to buy one. If only there was some way we could measure demand beforehand, so we don't over-stock.

    MARKETING GENIUS: Leave it with me sir. I have a cunning plan to require the customer to ask for permission to buy one in advance, so we'll know exactly how many we need to order.

    MANAGER: Customers asking permission to buy? You'll never get them to fall for that one!

    [A few days later on ASS.com]

    Enter your email now, for the chance to win an invitation* to buy the new 'Aweso-Phone 3'. Remember, this revolutionary new smartphone is only available to purchase through invitation!

    Joe Public: [typing furiously and waving credit card] Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!

    -----

    [* 'invitation' = what 'invites' used to be called, when we still spoke English this side of the pond]

  16. marioaieie
    Coat

    One plus 2

    3? Anyone? Is this thing on?

    I'll get my coat...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android dumpster fire encryption

    So does this phone solve Android still having shit whole phone encryption? Its maybe fast enough to ignore the performance hit for most things but that's if its fork even includes Android's garbage encryption implementation in the first place.

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