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OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: What's changed?

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One Plus 2 USB C

After much hype and a flurry of teasers, OnePlus has finally taken the wraps off the sequel to the surprise phone hit of 2014.

The OnePlus 2 looks like a great update over the OnePlus One, yet it still comes in a tantalising price-point. Here's what's new.

The OnePlus Two is a considerable improvement over the OnePlus One, but how exactly? And how will that affect the famously low price?

Let's take a closer look at what we know about the OnePlus 2, and how it differs from the OnePlus One.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Design

Even Samsung has given in and gone metal now, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that OnePlus has followed suit.

While the OnePlus One had a solid polycarbonate body, with a couple of funky finishes – we're thinking of the rough 'sandpaper' version in particular – the sequel goes instead for a magnesium alloy frame, finished off with polished steel buttons and stainless steel accents.

See also: OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6

OnePlus 2

The Sandstone black colour and feel is sticking around, something we were big fans of, though you'll be able to add a bit of personality through StyleSwap covers. These include kevlar, bamboo, rosewood and the fantastically named black apricot.

On the back you'll find the OnePlus logo, which, thankfully, hasn't been moved to the front like you normally see on Android devices. No one likes a massive brand stamp breaking up the clean design on the front.

The OnePlus 2 should prove to be a much classier phone than the OnePlus One – though this change in material has had a knock-on effect for the new phone's weight. The OnePlus One tipped the scales at a not-inconsiderable 160g, but the OnePlus 2 weighs in at 175g.

OnePlus

The OnePlus 2 has a couple of interesting extras that the OnePlus One didn't have. One is a fingerprint sensor. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 5S/6/6 , the fingerprint tech sits in a brand-new home button. Well, it's not so much a button, rather a touch pad that unlocks the devices when you tap your digit on it. Will it be as fast as the competition? We'll have to wait and see.

Another new design feature for the OnePlus 2 is USB Type-C, the reversible wonder-connection that acts as both a charging port and super-fast data connection. The OnePlus One is stuck on the Micro USB standard, just like every other Android phone to date.

OnePlus_2_Alert

A surprising new addition is the Alert Slide, a profile switching button that sits on the side of the device. You'll be able to quickly toggle between All Notifications, Priority Interruptions and No Interruptions without taking the device out of your pocket. It sounds a small feature, but it's something we've wanted for a long time.

In terms of dimensions, the OnePlus 2 measures 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.9mm, giving it a smaller footprint than its predecessor though it is slightly thicker. The OnePlus One was a mere 8.9mm thin, and 152.9 x 75.9mm.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Screen

The OnePlus One has a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD screen, which was pretty decent in its day, but which can't hold a candle to those on modern flagship phones that pack Quad-HD panels. But, to keep the price down we assume, OnePlus has decided to stick with the Full HD resolution, instead altering the display in other ways.

OnePlus 2 official

There's a new 15000:1 contrast ratio that gives off deeper blacks than before, plus a Dark Mode UI tool that should be great for checking your phone first thing in the morning. OnePlus claims its latest blower boasts "the word's most advanced in-cell IPS LCD and ultra-bright LED technologies" so performance in direct sunlight should be dramatically improved.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Power & Operating System

We've known this for a while, but the OnePlus 2 will run on the Snapdragon 810 CPU, and upgrade from the 801 chipset that sat in the OnePlus One, which is a bit of a controversial choice.

It's not that the latest Qualcomm CPU doesn't have the power. It does. It's octa-core, 64-bit, very fast. But it also runs a little warm, to put it mildly. This has led to some serious overheating and throttling issues in phones like the HTC One M9 and, more prominently, the Sony Xperia Z3 .

Related: OnePlus 2 - Things to get excited about

OnePlus CPU

However OnePlus says the chip tucked inside the OnePlus 2 is the Snapdragon 810 v2.1 and that it's free of the temperature issues. We won't know this for sure until we get a device in for review.

OnePlus is also making sure multitasking will be a breeze here, as the OnePlus 2 will sport 4GB RAM. That's up from the 3GB tucked inside the previous version. Well, the 64GB version will boast 4GB, the cheaper 16GB model will have to make do with 3GB.

The OnePlus One first shipped with CyanogenMod 12, a custom ROM based then on Android KitKat. That would be updated to Lollipop, but a disagreement between the two parties ended the relationship. So, the OnePlus 2 now comes running Oxygen 2.0 which is again based upon Android Lollipop. There are a few new tweaks and some, like more granular control over permissions, that come straight from the upcoming Android M.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Camera

As rumoured, the OnePlus 2 keeps the original’s 13-megapixel sensor, instead deciding to improve it in other areas. The pixels are now 35 per cent larger at 1.3 microns, meaning more light will be allowed in for better performance in low light conditions.

OnePlus

Optical Image Stabilisation is another welcome addition, again making your videos less shaky and low light snaps less blurry, as is the new Laser Focus. LG used some similar tech in the G4 and OnePlus claims it can focus in under 0.2 seconds.

The OnePlus One was in no means a bad camera, but these improvements should help make it much better. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Price

Arguably the biggest thing about the OnePlus One was its price. At £179, it was half the cost of other phones with similar specs. If you wanted more storage, the 64GB went for £219.

See also: Which smartphone has the best battery life?

OnePlus Prices

There were rumblings that the OnePlus 2 would eschew the bargain price, but that's far from the case. At a starting price of £239 for the 16GB version and rising to £289 for a 64GB, it's still one of the best bang-for-the-buck smartphones out there.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Battery

Battery life was always fantastic on the OnePlus One and if the specs are to be believed, it should be even better on the new model. Gone is the 3,100 mAh battery, replaced by an even beefier 3,300 mAh version. That's a nice little increase that, when combined with the more efficient chip, should help us easily go a day without having to reach for the USB-C cable.

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One: Early Verdict

It's safe to say that we're very impressed with the OnePlus 2 so far. Going on specs alone, and of course the low price, it sounds like an awesome combination of power, looks and unique features. Whether or not it can really battle the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC remains to be seen, but things are looking good so far.

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