It has been easily the most awaited – and most thoroughly leaked – Android device of recent times. The rumor mills had been buzzing about its specs and its design in the weeks leading up to the launch of the OnePlus 2, and well, so many and so varied had been the “leaks” surrounding the device, that surprise was definitely ruled out when it did make an official appearance yesterday.
Which does not make its appearance any less pleasant. The OnePlus 2 is cut from a different design cloth than its predecessor. It is tad less curvy than the OnePlus One, and its top and base do not curve out the way its predecessors’ did. Even though it too has a 5.5 inch full HD display (cue complaints of ‘how can it kill flagships if it ain’t quad HD’?), it is actually shorter and less wide than the OnePlus One, which many with smaller hands had found a tad unweildy – the OnePlus 2 is 151.8 mm long and 74.9 mm wide, as compared to the 152.9 mm length and 75.9 mm width of the One. It, however, is significantly thicker and heavier than the One – it is 9.9 mm thick as compared to the 8.9 mm of the One and tips the scales at a very healthy 175 grammes as compared to the 162 grammes of the OnePlus. Yes, it does seem a trifle heavy, especially when you compare it with some of the lighter Android flagships (the LG G4 weighs 155 grammes, for instance), but it will fit most hands more easily than the One did and has a nice solid, feel to it.
Part of the reason for this increase in weight and solidity is the increased accent on metal – unlike the One, which had just a metal rim, the OnePlus Two rests on a metallic frame. The back has the same sandstone-like texture to it but it seems to be of a richer, darker hue. Definitely more pleasing to the eye. The back curves out gently and also features the 13.0-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and laser focus. People are either going to love or hate the slightly rough feel of the back – we are not huge fans, but prefer it to the glossy slippery glass backs that we are seeing in so many devices these days. Incidentally, the back is removable – you will have to rip it off to access the dual SIM card slots.
The front, of course, is all about the full HD display – and the bezels are narrow on the sides, although there is space above and below the display. It is the area below the display that features one of the most notable changes in the device – it is there that the oval-shaped fingerprint scanner-cum-home buttons rests, with the back touch button on the left and the recent apps touch button on the right. Both these touch buttons appear as dots, so you will need a bit of trial and error to figure out which does what. Above the display is a speaker and the 5.0-megapixel front facing camera. The sides are metallic as are the buttons on it, and on the left is another design tweak OnePlus has brought to the device – the Alert Slider, which allows you to control notifications: you can opt between “no interruptions,” “priority interruptions only” and “all notifications.” The right has the volume rocker and the power/display button, the top the 3.5 mm audio jack and the base has the final design tweak – the USB C port, flanked by speakers.
We would not call it the sleekest phone in tech town, but the OnePlus 2 certainly is built on very solid lines and we like the fact that the company ditched slimness on the alter of length and width, making it more handy to use, even as the metal component makes it a more hardy customer than its predecessor. A word about the packaging – OnePlus have gone for a shoebox style of box this time rather than the flat pizza box model of the OnePlus One but it remains a bright red affair, as is the USB cable that is in the box (it remains flat and tangle-free too!).
Of course, we have not touched upon the hardware (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, the improved camera, 4 GB RAM, et al) and software (Oxygen OS, courtesy the fall out with Cyanogen) and how they perform yet. We are in the process of putting both through their paces. Stay tuned for a more detail review. As of now, all we can tell you is that it feels very different from its predecessor. It does carry more weight – literally and in spec terms – but it is very easy on the eye indeed. We are not too sure it will stand out in a crowd the way the S6 Edge or an iPhone do, but it cuts a far nattier figure than its predecessor did.