Why I won’t be picking up the OnePlus 2

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On Monday, July 27, OnePlus took to the stage to unveil its eagerly-awaited flagship smartphone of 2015, the OnePlus 2. At first, the handset looked very promising with its Snapdragon 810 chipset, 4GB of RAM and $389 price tag. However, once the event had finished and we had time to mull over what we’d just witnessed, it instantly became apparent that the device isn’t a “flagship killer” after all.

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The OnePlus 2’s most noticeable downfall is its specifications. There are set to be two variants up for grabs when the handset launches on August 13 — one with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage and the other with 64GB of space and 4GB of RAM. They both pack a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon 810 processor and an Adreno 430 GPU.

Now whilst these internals may prove to be somewhat impressive today, they certainly won’t be in two weeks time when Samsung takes the wraps off the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ — leaving the OnePlus 2 to strive for the “ 2016 flagship killer” slot it so fervently boasted, but has no real possibility of ascertaining. In actual fact, I’d go as far as to say that the OnePlus 2 will be overtaken before the year is out and almost definitely won’t be able to compete with any of next year’s flagships.

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To be completely honest, the over-exaggerated internals weren’t that much of a big deal for me as OnePlus smartphones do deliver one of the smoothest Android experiences on the market. However, something that is a big deal for me, is the lack of support for NFC, which I’m pretty sure will drive potential OnePlus 2 customers in their droves towards the hordes of competitors offerings that are sure to be out there.

Apple and Samsung have only just recently launched their respective mobile payment platforms (with Google’s Android Pay coming soon) and it’s fairly safe to say that they’ve been a huge success, but these services depend on the Near Field Communication chips that have been integrated into smartphones to operate, and from what we’ve seen so far from a collection of teardown images, the OnePlus 2 does not carry this specific piece of hardware.

So how can a smartphone aimed at the 2016 market be expected to compete with devices that feature better specifications and support for an emerging technology that’s already taking the world by storm? The simple answer is it can’t.

It’s not as if the OnePlus 2 excels in the display department, either. Although it features a Full HD screen, it’s hugely disappointing to see that the company didn’t opt for a 2K panel, which would enable it at least to compete with the likes of the LG G4 which features one of the best monitors available to date with its 1440 x 2560 resolution and 538 ppi pixel density.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the OnePlus 2 isn’t a good device. It’s a fantastic smartphone, but it’s not the “2016 flagship killer” I expected it to be. For that reason, I won’t be picking one up. I’d rather invest my money in a device that will see me through the next two years and be able to compete with the latest flagships as opposed to lagging behind before 2015 expires. That’s why I’ll be bagging myself the brand new Moto X Style when it hits the shelves. In my eyes, it’s much more bang for your buck.


About the Author: Josh Levenson

Josh is an avid Android enthusiast who writes news, reviews and the occasional how-to articles. He lives in the UK and is fascinated by anything technical. He enjoys stripping and rebuilding vintage Macs and is a keen amateur photographer. Currently, his smartphone of choice is the HTC One (M8), but he has a sneaky suspicion that’s going to change when the Galaxy Note 4 finally hits the shelves.


  • Eric Chen

    Moto and op2 seem tied to me in terms of value. Comparing 399 moto to 389 op2. Moto gets 2k panel, NFC, sd slot, and quick charge. Op2 gets 48 GB more storage, 1 GB more ram, fingerprint, USB c, more powerful soc, alert slider, larger battery. I don’t really see more bang for buck with moto but its definitely more future proof than oneplus.

    • Bonedatt

      I beg to differ. Alert slider isn’t a deal breaker, NFC is. 1GB more ram isn’t a deal breaker, lollipop is optimized to work with 512MB. USB type C isn’t a deal breaker, fast charging is. Personally, OIS could be a deal breaker for the Moto X. I skipped the M8 and M9 in part because of lack of it.

      • Eric Chen

        Well I was comparing the value, but if we’re talking personal preferences, I’d choose the op2.
        I don’t use NFC, quick charge, or SD card. Quick charge is useless for me because I don’t charge in between nor do I carry chargers with me. I would like the larger capacity of the op2 to last me the whole day and charge over night. USB-c seems almost useless here and most likely the reason why there’s no quick charge as its not compatible. But I feel like USB-c is innovation long overdue. And 512 MB is minimum. You wouldnt really feel the performance difference between 3 and 4 GB because of the system ram management, but you can actually take advantage of all 4gb if you’re a power user. And its a 64bit processor so why not? But that’s just me, as a system builder, I’d like to have the top hardware

  • Se7eNMONK3YS

    Just ordered the xiaomi mi note pro…… Not bothering with anything else.

    • Eric Chen

      Good choice!

  • wumps13

    I like the moto but I think I am going to wait the next nexus and sony before I choose to buy something…

    • Jarl

      yup, waiting for the new Nexus phones as well, as Oneplus says, never settle :)

  • Nila

    Can you reviewers PLEASE STOP COMPLAINING THAT PHONE SCREENS ARE ONLY HD quality and ‘not 2k+’. Your monitor is ONLY HD quality and is absolutely fine. Pushing the higher resolutions onto phones with 5″ screens just makes the batteries, the one thing EVERYONE complains about, die faster while giving an almost non existent difference in viewing experience. Definitely not one you are really noticing on ‘normal’ day to day use.
    If there is one thing that they have done RIGHT on this phone, it is to give the phone a great, awesome, non battery sucking, HD/1080 screen.
    Well done on not swaying to stupid pressure for the highest resolution screens available without any thought of the consequences!!

  • Jessica Berger (HNA)

    Who cares what phone you are buying? I dont evn fking know you….douchebag

  • jack

    Lack of NFC and 2K screen is completely ok in my book, but I agree its definitely not a 2016 killer phone and might struggle to compete with this year’s phones.

  • lesiena

    OK,your review is 1 month old, we have seen it long ENOUGH, let’s find a new article to post. LOL