OnePlus officially unveiled the OnePlus 2 Monday evening during a unique virtual reality press conference. After months and months of waiting, plenty of teasers and more, we finally know most of what there is to know about the smartphone. In fact, we already had a chance to go hands-on with the OnePlus 2, and we’re excited about what it brings to the table. Let’s take a look at the top 5 features that make this device so great, and such a contender against smartphones that — in some cases — might cost you twice as much.
1. The price
How can we possibly ignore this fact? The price is what made the original OnePlus One so exceptional and the OnePlus 2 follows suit. You’ll be able to grab the 64GB model with 4GB of RAM for just $389 or the 16GB model with 3GB of RAM for just $329. That’s pretty amazing considering other flagships cost almost three times as much. Better yet, it’s unlocked, so you won’t need to worry about any sort of contract or monthly payment fees. You buy it once and that’s it, and you can travel to other countries and slap in another SIM card at will.
2. The design
OnePlus learned from last year and built upon that, keeping things that consumers liked while iterating on other parts. We get the Sandstone back here, but we also get a much more premium feeling and looking handset. You’ll find chamfered metal edges and a removable back cover that can be swapped out for several other premium plates made of wood and other unique materials. This clearly wasn’t crafted overnight and that first-class look paired with the price is what’s going to make this a highly desirable smartphone.
3. The camera
OnePlus already showed us some sample images snapped with the 13-megapixel camera during its teaser period, so we went into this with high expectations.
Now that the phone is official, it looks like the camera is indeed going to be a highlight, and one that can snap photos as well as the Galaxy S6, LG G4 and Galaxy S6, at least in theory.
We’ll need to hold our final judgement until we really get to give it a whirl in our final review, but we really think the camera is one of the best features of the OnePlus 2.
USB tech might seem boring on the surface, but it really isn’t. USB-C is the next-generation version of USB and it will allow for much faster data transfers — provided you’re working with other USB-C device, and even has a reversible plug so that you don’t need to worry if you’re plugging it in properly.
That means less fumbling in the dark. You’re basically future-proofing yourself with this standard and, if you buy the OnePlus 2, you’ll be one of the first people on the block with a USB-C smartphone.
Hey, don’t underestimate those bragging rights.
5. A Large battery
The OnePlus 2 packs a big ol’ 3,300mAh battery.
That’s just a number to most people, sure, but given the power under the hood and how much enthusiasts like ourselves are going to use the device, that’s a really important figure. It should mean much longer battery life, especially if the Snapdragon 810 is whizzing through music, games, e-mail and more all day long.
We’re looking forward to putting it through its paces now but, like the camera, this should be a big part of the smartphone.
6. A fingerprint reader
The OnePlus 2 one-ups last year’s model with another key feature: a fingerprint reader. OnePlus originally said that it should work much quicker than Touch ID, so we’ll be testing that out in the future.
In any case, it’ll allow you to ditch pins and long passwords and dive right into your phone. Keep in mind that this is much more about usability rather than security for features like mobile payments like Samsung offers.
Still, fans should love the promised 0.5-second response time and support for up to 5 unique fingerprint profiles.
7. Oxygen OS
It’s a pro or a con, depending on how big of a fan of CyanogenMod you were.
CyanogenMod isn’t included this year and instead you’ll get OnePlus’ Oxygen OS, a gesture-friendly version of Android that the company should update rapidly with new features. You’ll get built-in features like the OnePlus 2 Audio Tuner for tweaking music to sound just right, SwiftKey as the default keyboard and more. A new OxygenOS:Shelf feature, in beta, is an optional feature that shows you your most used apps and widgets, and can be accessed with a quick swipe from the home screen.
We’ll be digging through OxygenOS for more.
And so much more
We could have made this a top 10 list, probably. There’s a lot more to love about the OnePlus 2, including custom LED notifications, new Style Swap covers that let you change the back panel out for a black apricot, kevlar, bamboo or rosewood cover, a dedicated Alert Slider for switching notification modes manually, a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display and more.