2014 was a breakthrough year for smartphones all across the industry. It was all about finding the fabled “killer phones.” First, it was the “iPhone killer.” Then, it was the “flagship killer.” The market is realizing more and more that the smartphone realm is not solely dominated by giants like Apple and Samsung. 2014 saw the rise of new global players, Xiaomi and Oppo. But the most fabled one of all is the elusive OnePlus.
Owning a OnePlus One meant being part of a secret club because it was just that hard to find. Purchases are made in only two ways: officially through an exclusive invite system arbitrated by OnePlus itself or a reseller who managed to purchase through the former method. It was THE flagship killer as it offered flagship specs for an incredibly affordable price.
Since then, Android users have been loathing the exclusive invite system. Yet the hype for OnePlus’ next “flagship killer” has fans speculating on what the OnePlus Two has to offer.
Today, the wait is finally over. OnePlus has announced its sequel to the popular OnePlus One phone. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer claims that the OnePlus Two will be the “2016 flagship killer,” boasting its confidence that the phone’s specs will outlast next year’s slew of flagships from the usual industry giants. Only time will tell if the usual suspects find chinks in the OnePlus Two’s armor. But onwards to the specs!
The OnePlus Two enjoys a redesign that puts it head to head with the top flagships in the industry. Design-wise, the OnePlus Two is similar in feel to its predecessor, offering its popular stylized back cover Sandstone Black. Other variants will also be available including genuine wood and Kevlar, sourced from DuPont themselves.
The OnePlus Two also follows the industry trend of including a fingerprint scanner located on the home button. But rather than having an actual button, the Two has a capacitive touchscreen. You won’t be able to click it, but it’s tap-able as with a screen. This button’s function can also be customized according to short, long, and double presses.
The Two retains the 5.5-inch screen with 1080p resolution of its predecessor. While the resolution may be a bit lacking since the industry is getting accustomed to 2K resolution, it’s wide screen is still apt in usage.
The Two’s power button and volume rocker combination welcomes a third to form a trio, the Alert Slider. This is similar in function to the iPhone’s mute slider with the exception that it has three settings: normal, alert, and no interruptions. This setting is usually found within Android’s UI. Having it on the hardware is an ergonomic decision in design.
The Two adds a RAW (DNG) mode to its 13MP camera. It currently matches the industry standard in resolution. However, the Two sports Laser Focus which hopes to capture light more precisely even in low light conditions.
Talking about hard details, the Two will be armed with a Snapdragon 810 processor and 4GB of RAM. This may raise some speculation as Android users have complained of the 810 chip’s overheating issues. But initial impressions from early users have not encountered such issues.
The Two will be one of the first phones to have a USB Type-C connector. There are no claims that the USB Type-C technology also applies to the phone, i.e. quick charging and fast data transfer. The biggest implication is that it’s reversible or that there’s no “this side up” to the connector.
The Two will also come with a much bigger 3,300mAh non-removable battery. Since the screen retains the 1080p resolution of its predecessor, expect the Two’s power efficiency to be on par, if not above, with the industry. The only drawback is that the battery is non-removable.
A non-removable battery often comes with another drawback: it can’t be expanded via a microUSB. Unfortunately. On the bright side, the Two is dual-SIM with 4G capabilities. The Two will come in two variants: the 16GB and the 64GB, which will cost $329 and $389, respectively. Again, OnePlus will be implementing an invite system for the Two, which will be available starting August 11.
Sales of the #OnePlus2 start in the US, Canada, India, EU, and China on August 11! It will roll out in Southeast Asia in Q4 of 2015.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) July 28, 2015
Saving the juiciest tidbit for last, OnePlus announced that pop-ups will appear across the globe in nine cities. Unfortunately, Metro Manila isn’t part of that exclusive list. Although, this indicates some effort to introduce the OnePlus to an expanded audience. That, and a tweet that says OnePlus is coming to Southeast Asia later this year.