The OnePlus 2 was finally announced at a unique launch event streamed around the world in virtual reality on Monday night.
The long-awaited sequel to the OnePlus One promises to be one of the most powerful and popular smartphones around when it goes on sale on August 11. Here are 11 features we're pretty doggone excited about.
The price is still super, super affordable
OnePlus had played down fears the sequel would cost over $500, but a potential bump up to around $450 had been floated. There was even better news shortly after the launch event when the firm announced the flagship 64GB handset will be just $389/£289, while the 16GB (with 3GB RAM) will be $329/£239.
It's a little more expensive than the original (which is now as low as $249/£211), but with bleeding edge specs and a new metallic design it could have been a darn sight more expensive.
New premium design
One of the reasons for the slight price bump is the improved design, which eschews the all-plastic casing for a magnesium alloy frame, augmented by polished steel buttons and stainless steel accents.
The device will ship with the standard Sandstone Black colouring. However, just like the original device there’ll be StyleSwap covers with kevlar, bamboo, rosewood and black apricot designs to choose from.
Beyond the new metallic design, the OnePlus 2 also keeps the company’s branding off the face of the device, which is a rather refreshing trait for an Android device maker.
OnePlus 2 camera: More than just megapixels
As expected, the OnePlus 2 keeps the original’s 13-megapixel sensor, but there’s plenty of improvements on the way too. 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.
This time around there’s also Optical Image Stabilisation Tech as well as a new Laser Focus feature that promises to pick out the perfect focal point in under 0.2 seconds. “When you prepare to take a picture, lasers automatically scan the scene, finding the ideal focus point,” OnePlus explains.
Within Oxygen OS, there’s also a new camera app that’ll bring time lapse photos, 120fps slow motion video and super resolution photos as well as a host of new shooting modes.
The Alert Slider is a fun and useful innovation
A nice little touch from OnePlus is the addition of the new Alert Slider. OnePlus 2 users will be able to toggle a slider between All Notifications, Priority Interruptions and No Interruptions while the phone sits in their pocket. “Perfect for meetings, movie theaters, or just a bit of peace and quiet,” OnePlus says.
A Qualcomm 810 processor able to live up to its potential
The Snapdragon 810 product cycle has been marred by constant reports of overheating, which means we haven’t really talked that much about how powerful this 64-bit beast really is.
Both Qualcomm and OnePlus are convinced v2.1 of the chip is free of the temperature issues, which have caused slowdowns, shutdowns and app crashes on some devices.
Combine this 1.8GHz octa-core behemoth with the 4GB RAM and the slightly larger 3300mAh battery pack and we could be looking at perhaps the speediest, most capable Android device on the market.
With the tagline “2016 flagship killer,” OnePlus is obviously convinced the device put next year’s top devices from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Apple and LG to shame.
The super-fast fingerprint sensor.
OnePlus had already confirmed the second-gen device would bring a fingerprint sensor into play. It also promised its solution, which sits within the home button, would be faster than Apple’s Touch ID.
The company says users can ”save time and store up to five unique fingerprints to unlock your device with a simple press, in less than half a second. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it’s safe.”
A USB cable that’s reversible at both ends
Hallelujah! Praise the mobile gods! The OnePlus 2 will be the first mass market, mainstream phone to offer Type-C USB connectivity. By its very nature the new tech is reversible at the business end. However, OnePlus has developed a new, patented cable that’s reversible at both ends. The end of struggling to plug the cable into the power adapter and the laptop means this phone is even more deserving of our consideration.
A better screen that won’t affect battery life
OnePlus says it has resisted the temptation to throw a bunch of “meaningless numbers” into the spec sheet in order to keep up with the smartphone ‘it’ crowd. The OnePlus 2 keeps the 5.5-inch 1080p (401ppi) display as the original in order to optimise performance and battery life.
However, the lack of a QHD resolution doesn’t mean the display isn’t better. There’s a new 15000:1 contrast ratio, meaning deeper blacks than before. OnePlus said its new device boasts the “world’s most advanced in-cell IPS LCD and ultra-bright LED technologies,” for unrivaled performance in sunlight.
The Dark Mode UI tool means it’ll also get “incredibly dim,” so it won’t burn your retinas out when you pick the device up to see which of your mates is drunkenly texting you at 4am.
Customisable navigation keys
Here’s a novel feature: The ability to customise the ‘back’ and ‘recent apps’ hardware buttons depending on the user’s preference. “Hardware or on-screen buttons. Swappable recent apps and back buttons. The choice is yours,” the company said. It’s a little thing, but a nice thing nonetheless.
Dual SIM functionality to take your phone anywhere in the world
Travel a lot? Well the OnePlus 2 could be the phone for you. The new device will boast Dual SIM 4G LTE functionality, meaning you’ll be able to pop 2 nano SIMs in at a time and access the fastest mobile internet speeds wherever you roam.
More stock, better availability and pop up stores around the world
The OnePlus One was pretty darn hard to get a hold of due to the high demand, low price and even lower inventory. Things will be different when the OnePlus 2 goes on sale in the US, Canada, the EU, India and China on August 11, according to the company.
Sales will still be based on an invite-system, but OnePlus says it has the inventory to get through waiting lists much more quickly than before. Email registrations are already being taken at OnePlus.net with longtime fans and community members getting first dibs.
Interested parties will also be able to go hands on with the device in 9 cities around the world from July 31. Those cities are New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Jakarta.