The Math Behind the Machine

Last year the OnePlus One knocked socks off with its high-end specifications and relatively cheap price tag. Due to its success, questions were being raised regarding whether the fledgling Chinese brand would be able to deliver again with its successor phone, the OnePlus 2. With their second instalment OnePlus still provides the phone at too-good-to-be-true reasonable price with tempting specs however, the question still remains. Does the phone have enough to justify the “Flagship Killer” tagline?
When you see the specifications on paper you’d definitely think it has the chops to justify its bold slogan. The 2 houses a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM on the 64GB storage version and 3GB of RAM on the 16GB version which makes it smooth and lag-free. However, this does not mean that it’s going to be as fast or as efficient as the Exynos chipset used by the Galaxy S6. Both models of the phone pack an embedded, irremovable 3,300 mAh battery which lets the phone last you a full day from moderate usage.
The OnePlus 2 is also the first flagship smartphone to adopt the new reversible USB Type-C charging port, which allows you to plug the cable in either way. This will slowly replace microUSBs and become more common with 2016 flagships as Google builds in USB Type-C support into the upcoming Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, due to this feature you won’t be able to use microUSB cables of other phones for emergency charging options, however this shouldn’t be an issue because of the phone’s beefed up battery pack.
Eyebrows were raised when the company opted to go for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor as it has a bad history of causing heating problems in the Sony Xperia Z3+ and the HTC One M9. The OnePlus 2 does get a bit warm without too much provocation, such as heating up around the top and back of the phone just from some light browsing. Since the sides of the phone are metal the phone can be a tad uncomfortable to hold when playing games as the metal conducts the heat. However, OnePlus has stated that their OxygenOS has been optimised to work with the hardware, so it won’t overheat which is somewhat true. It never gets flat-out hot from regular usage but if you’re using it outdoors in the Dhaka sun it might throttle like a firecracker.
The first OnePlus phone launched with a CyanogenMod which is a custom Android build that isn’t issued by Google. With the ‘2’, the company introduces their own OxygenOS which is a custom skin that’s eerily close to the stock Android, and is based on Android Lollipop 5.1. What this OS does is that it simply adds to the existing Android experience, rather than making radical changes. It comes with a few nifty features such as customisable icons, a double-tap to wake it up option, and a brand new feature called Shelf which allows you to access your most used apps and contacts with just one swipe.
One of the strongest features of the handset is its camera. The OnePlus 2’s camera app is an enhanced version of the default Google camera app only with more accurate colours and details, with objects easily snapping into focus. The front 5-megapixel camera can take full-HD shots while the rear one has the ability to record 4K videos. It easily adjusts to lighting conditions and focuses when you’re shooting videos, saving a lot of trouble. The camera’s depths of field effects are quite astounding and while it won’t hold up with a proper DSLR, the OnePlus 2 gets the job done.
On the outside, the OnePlus 2 sports a sleek metal frame around its circumference giving it a premium feel. The rear side retains a removable plastic back plate which has the dual SIM slot. All the capacitive keys have been kept upfront though the home button now looks and feels like a regular key. Interestingly though it isn’t really a button at all. It’s more of a shallow depression which doubles as a fingerprint sensor that you can use to wake the phone. On the left side you’ll find a dedicated, 3-step switch which allows you to toggle between an “Alarm Only” mode, a “Priority-only notifications” mode, and a normal mode. On the right, you have your power key and the volume buttons, both of which offer a distinct ‘click’ when pressed.
OnePlus, regardless of their initial success have stuck with their previous invite system which might make acquiring the phone quite bothersome. The invite system means that you can only get the phone if you receive an invite from a OnePlus One user. The company claims that over two million people have already registered for the Two so you could still be in for a long wait. However, vendors in Bangladesh have already started bringing in the phone and pricing it around Tk 40,000 (though the actual market value is a much lower $389) which removes the invite hassle for us, making it easier to get.
In conclusion, the OnePlus 2 is a great phone which packs an amazing camera, a superfast octa-core processor and metal construction in a deal that costs way less than what you’d expect. However, it lacks certain features like NFC, a microSD card slot, a removable battery, and quick/wireless charging which means it’s not a flagship killer. In truth, it is simply another high-powered phone that stands out among high-end phones because of its price advantage. It’s still an excellent purchase and will give 2015 handsets a run for their money.