OnePlus 2 Review

OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
The 3-step switch on the left side - OnePlus 2 Review

The 3-step switch on the left side

Introduction


*  Review based on the Chinese model of the OnePlus 2 running the global OxygenOS software

In many ways, the story of smartphone entrant OnePlus is one of success mixed with quite some controversy. In our review of the company's first product, the One, a little over a year ago, we noted that we were part of the cheering crowd when OnePlus unveiled its debut smartphone. And how could we not be? A full-blown flagship that seemed to have all the details down, sold for a measly $299? A revolution!

Of course, as hype died down, and reality took the wheel, us and many of OnePlus' earliest fans discovered that there's a catch: The _phone_ could only be purchased with an invitation, and getting one was anything but easy. And while most of us understood the business side of that decision, it didn't make for a less unpleasant realization.

The invitation system didn't go away with the new OnePlus 2, nor did pricing remain the same. At $389, the 2 needs to offer an even better bang for your buck to be labeled as a success, and now we're going in deep with it to discover if it does.

In the box:

  • OnePlus 2
  • Wall charger
  • Flat USB to microUSB Type C cable (reversible)

Design

The OnePlus One may not have been the most beautiful device ever made, but it looked and felt good in our hands. The OnePlus 2 appears rougher, and we've lost our love for the Sandstone cover.

While OnePlus didn't exactly blow our minds with the design of the One — especially seeing as it looked like a variant of the Oppo Find 7 — we've got to admit that the Sandstone cover of the original was completely unique. In fact, by now it's something of a OnePlus signature move, so we weren't surprised to see that it made its way to the OnePlus 2.

Unfortunately, no matter from what angle you look at the 2, you'll probably like what you see less than with its predecessor. The distinct, protruding display up front is gone, replaced with a conventional solution, while the Sandstone cover on the rear is rougher and feels cheaper. This was likely a move intended to improve the cover's resistance to the elements, but the net result is negative in terms of the handling experience.

Still, the OnePlus 2 feels right at home in our hand, and we appreciate the effort with the solid metal frame encasing the device. It's also worth pointing out that OnePlus has kept the all-capacitive navigational keys up front, though the Home button now looks and feels like a regular, physical key. Incorporating a touch fingerprint scanner, it reminds of what you get with Samsung handsets, but you can't actually press it down — only tap — which is a bit weird. The 2 also features a dedicated, 3-step switch on the left side, allowing you to toggle between Do Not Disturb mode, priority-only notifications, and normal. On the right, you'll find the power key and the volume rocker, both of which are pretty flush with the surface, but offer a distinct 'click!' when pressed.

 

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Тhe all-capacitive navigational keys up front

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3-step switch on the left side

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Front view | Side view
OnePlus 2
OnePlus 2
5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39 inches
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

OnePlus 2

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
6.11 x 3.06 x 0.27 inches
155.1 x 77.6 x 6.95 mm
5.68 oz (161 g)

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy Note5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note5

Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Apple iPhone 6s Plus
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus


OnePlus 2 Review

Display

The OnePlus 2 has a quality display, but definitely not one without issues.

Covered by Gorilla Glass 3, the 5.5-incher of the OnePlus 2 is of an IPS LCD make with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 401 ppi — more than sufficient to keep our eyes perfectly happy and oblivious to pixelization.

In terms of color accuracy, there are some notable problems with the display worth pointing out, though on the whole it's a quality unit.

Starting with the good, we've got an acceptable color temperature of 7500K (6500K is optimal) — giving the screen a colder look than ideal — and relatively low overall level of color errors at dE 2.18 and dE 4.7 for grayscale (bluish grays). Peak brightness is also excellent, reaching 564 nits, which is more than sufficient for use even outside.

What we definitely didn't like were the severely under-saturated reds across the intensity spectrum, nor the overly high average gamma of 2.46 (2.2 is ideal), which tends to darken highlights, though mid-tones are similarly affected too.

Again, a quality display overall, but not without its weaknesses.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
OnePlus 2 564
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:2091
(Excellent)
7554
(Average)
2.46
2.18
(Good)
4.7
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note5 470
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6722
(Excellent)
2.09
1.32
(Excellent)
1.94
(Excellent)
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 424
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1412
(Excellent)
7585
(Average)
2.01
2.64
(Good)
5.93
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 60.4%
50%
unmeasurable
5.7%
2.4%
281.1%
128.9%
OnePlus 2 79.3%
85%
80.4%
11.1%
5.3%
58.7%
50.9%
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 81.6%
66.7%
82.6%
11.3%
9.5%
45.8%
40.1%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


OnePlus 2 Review

OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
OnePlus 2 Review
The 3-step switch on the left side - OnePlus 2 Review

The 3-step switch on the left side

Introduction


*  Review based on the Chinese model of the OnePlus 2 running the global OxygenOS software

In many ways, the story of smartphone entrant OnePlus is one of success mixed with quite some controversy. In our review of the company's first product, the One, a little over a year ago, we noted that we were part of the cheering crowd when OnePlus unveiled its debut smartphone. And how could we not be? A full-blown flagship that seemed to have all the details down, sold for a measly $299? A revolution!

Of course, as hype died down, and reality took the wheel, us and many of OnePlus' earliest fans discovered that there's a catch: The _phone_ could only be purchased with an invitation, and getting one was anything but easy. And while most of us understood the business side of that decision, it didn't make for a less unpleasant realization.

The invitation system didn't go away with the new OnePlus 2, nor did pricing remain the same. At $389, the 2 needs to offer an even better bang for your buck to be labeled as a success, and now we're going in deep with it to discover if it does.

In the box:

  • OnePlus 2
  • Wall charger
  • Flat USB to microUSB Type C cable (reversible)

Design

The OnePlus One may not have been the most beautiful device ever made, but it looked and felt good in our hands. The OnePlus 2 appears rougher, and we've lost our love for the Sandstone cover.

While OnePlus didn't exactly blow our minds with the design of the One — especially seeing as it looked like a variant of the Oppo Find 7 — we've got to admit that the Sandstone cover of the original was completely unique. In fact, by now it's something of a OnePlus signature move, so we weren't surprised to see that it made its way to the OnePlus 2.

Unfortunately, no matter from what angle you look at the 2, you'll probably like what you see less than with its predecessor. The distinct, protruding display up front is gone, replaced with a conventional solution, while the Sandstone cover on the rear is rougher and feels cheaper. This was likely a move intended to improve the cover's resistance to the elements, but the net result is negative in terms of the handling experience.

Still, the OnePlus 2 feels right at home in our hand, and we appreciate the effort with the solid metal frame encasing the device. It's also worth pointing out that OnePlus has kept the all-capacitive navigational keys up front, though the Home button now looks and feels like a regular, physical key. Incorporating a touch fingerprint scanner, it reminds of what you get with Samsung handsets, but you can't actually press it down — only tap — which is a bit weird. The 2 also features a dedicated, 3-step switch on the left side, allowing you to toggle between Do Not Disturb mode, priority-only notifications, and normal. On the right, you'll find the power key and the volume rocker, both of which are pretty flush with the surface, but offer a distinct 'click!' when pressed.


Front view | Side view
OnePlus 2
OnePlus 2
5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39 inches
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

OnePlus 2

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
6.11 x 3.06 x 0.27 inches
155.1 x 77.6 x 6.95 mm
5.68 oz (161 g)

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy Note5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note5

Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Apple iPhone 6s Plus
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus


OnePlus 2 Review

Display

The OnePlus 2 has a quality display, but definitely not one without issues.

Covered by Gorilla Glass 3, the 5.5-incher of the OnePlus 2 is of an IPS LCD make with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 401 ppi — more than sufficient to keep our eyes perfectly happy and oblivious to pixelization.

In terms of color accuracy, there are some notable problems with the display worth pointing out, though on the whole it's a quality unit.

Starting with the good, we've got an acceptable color temperature of 7500K (6500K is optimal) — giving the screen a colder look than ideal — and relatively low overall level of color errors at dE 2.18 and dE 4.7 for grayscale (bluish grays). Peak brightness is also excellent, reaching 564 nits, which is more than sufficient for use even outside.

What we definitely didn't like were the severely under-saturated reds across the intensity spectrum, nor the overly high average gamma of 2.46 (2.2 is ideal), which tends to darken highlights, though mid-tones are similarly affected too.

Again, a quality display overall, but not without its weaknesses.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
OnePlus 2 564
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:2091
(Excellent)
7554
(Average)
2.46
2.18
(Good)
4.7
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note5 470
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6722
(Excellent)
2.09
1.32
(Excellent)
1.94
(Excellent)
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 424
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1412
(Excellent)
7585
(Average)
2.01
2.64
(Good)
5.93
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 60.4%
50%
unmeasurable
5.7%
2.4%
281.1%
128.9%
OnePlus 2 79.3%
85%
80.4%
11.1%
5.3%
58.7%
50.9%
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 81.6%
66.7%
82.6%
11.3%
9.5%
45.8%
40.1%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and functionality

No CyanogenMod OS to be seen here, and that's unfortunate, for OxygenOS strikes us as under-cooked.

Following a fall-out with the CyanogenMod team, OnePlus was forced to either adopt stock Android for the OnePlus 2 or go the route of proprietary software. It went for the latter option, and the result is called OxygenOS, though in China you get HydrogenOS.

Like CyanogenMod OS, OxygenOS, based on 5.1.1 Lollipop, is also defined by a distinctive layer of extra functionality on top of what feels, looks, and functions almost identically to vanilla Android. It's not as feature rich as its predecessor, but we appreciate goodies such as the ability to customize the capacitive keys on the bottom bezel and assign shortcuts to them. Other highlights include gesture support, so you can wake up the screen by tapping on it twice, jump into the camera directly by drawing an 'O', and activate the flashlight with a 'V'.

Despite all of this, the highlight of the OnePlus 2 is its touch fingerprint scanner, embedded into the Home key up front. In our tests, both sensitivity and accuracy were excellent, and we're definitely happy to see that it's possible to directly unlock the device by simply placing our finger on the scanner — no power key needed.

What we definitely didn't love about the OnePlus 2 we've got at hand is the abundance of crappy bloatware apps, most of which we wouldn't touch with a ten feet pole — like ShareIt or ImiWallpaper, which look like something developed back in the Android Ice Cream Sandwich era. The obtrusive Baidu Browser also simply had to be deleted. Only one problem: You can't! They're system apps, and as such are protected unless you root the OnePlus 2, so the best you can do is to disable them. Still, it should be pointed out that we've got a Chinese model, and as far as we know, units for Western markets aren't marred by this issue.

Finally, there's a dedicated, HTC BlinkFeed-like screen on the leftmost of the homescreee called Shelf, which can be removed if you don't like it. It offers to list your most frequently used apps and a list of your frequent contacts. That's pretty much it, though you can add widgets if you like.

Processor and memory

The good: the OnePlus 2 doesn't overheat. The bad: the phone's interface lags.

On paper, the OnePlus 2 is every bit the 2015 flagship it should be. It packs a 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor by Qualcomm, coupled with a potent Adreno 430 GPU and 3 or 4 gigs of RAM. In-app performance is good, but navigational fluidity throughout Android is not okay, with recurrent hiccups and slowdowns rearing their ugly head, making an ideal frame rate of 60 a pipe dream. In fact, swiping through the home screen and app drawer is characterized with small, but noticeable latency for the most part, and extremely choppy response every now and then. This seems to be a software issue and is very worrying.

Apart from this, most of you will be wondering about two things: one, does this thing have a microSD card slot, and two, does it overheat? On the first count, the answer is no, though there is a secondary SIM slot if you want to make use of that one. That's not too much of a big deal, as there's a OnePlus 2 model with 64GB of internal storage (and 4GB of RAM), which ought to suffice for the vast majority of users. Ours, unfortunately, only has 16 gigs, along with 3GB of RAM.

As for the temperamental Snapdragon 810, we've got some good news: the OnePlus 2 handles itself just fine. Indeed, even after keeping the processor on its toes for over 20 minutes, the temperature raise was not disconcerting, and mostly isolated towards the top portion of the device, helping comfort.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 67207
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 53798
OnePlus 2 50188
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 2532
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 2494
OnePlus 2 2258
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 5476
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4737
OnePlus 2 3479
Sunspider
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 677.7
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 663.9
OnePlus 2 1236.9
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 37
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 35
OnePlus 2 45
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 15
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 17
OnePlus 2 15
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1765
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 1614
OnePlus 2 1068
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1431
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 1176
OnePlus 2 876
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 4717
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4256
OnePlus 2 3673
View all

Internet and connectivity

MicroUSB Type C may be more than you bargained for. Be careful not to forget it when traveling.

OnePlus has bundled two browsers with the 2: Chrome and Browser. While most will be familiar with the first, the latter is a new, custom solution, a lot alike to Baidu Browser in terms of looks and feel (we suspect the team behind Baidu Browser developed it). Creatures of habit as we all are, however, we didn't think twice about replacing the native browser with Chrome, if only because the former feels like something developed back in 2010 and performs worse. Thankfully, it's not available on the global version of the phone.

On the connectivity front, the OnePlus 2 has most bases covered: 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS plus Glonass, and LTE with support for a number of bands, including US ones. As mentioned, the reversible microUSB Type C cable included in the box can be plugged either way, though we quickly realized that for the time being, Type C is a liability. For example, we wanted to bring the OnePlus 2 to IFA 2015 in order to snap some snazzy photos, but forgot the cable and had no spare. Since we couldn't use an older microUSB cable in case of emergency (or any other accessory without Type C plug, like external batteries), the phone sat useless in our luggage.

Finally, it's worth pointing out that OnePlus also decided not to include NFC this time around, citing low adoption rates. Still, with Android Marshmallow on the horizon with Android Pay in hand, this may be something that you want to consider before committing.

Camera

The camera on the OnePlus 2 just loves extremes. Very good image quality, bad video quality. Very disappointing execution of special modes like HDR and Clear Image.

The OnePlus 2 comes packing a 1/2.6” sensor with 13 megapixels and wide, f/2.0 lens. Pixel size sits at the decent 1.3μm, and the phablet offers optical image stabilization to compensate for shake during video recording, and to allow for lower shutter speeds in tricky, low-light situations without contributing blur. The unit has an effective resolution of 12.4 megapixels and shoots in a 4:3 aspect ratio, which we like. The selfie camera has 5 megapixels.

Moving onto interface, OnePlus has gone for a near stock Google Camera look and feel, without much in the way of extra features. There's a grid option to help you align your snaps, a Beauty mode for both selfies and portraits, HDR, and a Clear Image mode, the latter two being kind of problematic, but more on that in a bit.


Starting with image quality outdoors when light is strong, we're kind of impressed with the results. Detail is quite abundant, if a bit soft, noise is nearly non-existent, and dynamic range is great. Exposition is chosen adequately, and we didn't have any issues with white balance. With HDR, however, we found that the OnePlus 2 is more about embellishing picture instead of bringing out the shadows, with the end result being overly warm photos that look as if a filter was slapped on them. Considering the aforementioned great dynamic range, you might want to think twice before choosing the mode. As for Clear Image, the phone supposedly takes 10 photos to deliver better image quality, but what you really get is an extremely over-sharpened image that looks terrible from up close, despite the miniscule improvement in clarity. Not worth the hassle whatsoever.

We also had quite some trouble getting Panoramas to work, mostly because it never entered our mind that OnePlus would limit you to always have to move the phone from left to right and never the opposite. In landscape, Panorama only works if you move the phone towards the sky, which is also weird. Perhaps most disappointing, however, is the fact that resulting panos are capped at about 12 megapixels, which is pretty low for today's standards. Stitching, at least, is fine.

As for in-door shots, we're plenty happy with what we get most of the time, though white balance errors are something that proved to be impossible to avoid altogether. This problem is only compounded by the fact that you get absolutely no manual control over it. Salvaging the situation is the OnePlus 2's low-light performance, which is impressive. The dual LED flash is quite strong, illuminating your immediate surroundings, and we get a sufficiently bright image that doesn't look completely dead in terms of color reproduction. Even more impressively, noise is suppressed surprisingly well.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 2.1
2.7
842
No data
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 2.8
4.3
551
522
OnePlus 2 3.7
4.3
No data
No data
View all

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If the above hasn't been enough to convince you that the camera of the OnePlus 2 is one of extremes, video quality ought to settle it for you. On paper, the specs sheet sounds promising: 1080p and 4K video at 30 FPS, time-lapse mode, and 120 FPS slow motion video at 720p. Add in that optical stabilization gizmo, and we ought to have a winner on our hands, right? Well, not really.

The biggest issue with the camcorder is the infuriatingly insecure laser auto focus, which is constantly fidgeting — so much so that any video where you pan around will be a mess. Again, this issue is only compounded by the rather unimpressive clips the OnePlus 2 delivers, with over-sharpened detail that leaves something to desire. On a more positive note, color reproduction is good, exposure is correctly set even when panning around, and continuous auto focus works quickly. Unfortunately, the above profile is true of both 1080p and 4K video.


Multimedia

A loudspeaker that is really, really... loud! You'll block it when gaming in landscape, though.

Don't be fooled by the two speaker grills on the bottom of the OnePlus 2 — there's only one speaker. Whether the second was added for symmetry, we can't know, but that's that.

The loudspeaker is actually... well, pretty darn loud! This does come at the expense of clarity of course, but it's an acceptable trade-off when wanting to blast at the top of the phone's abilities. Thankfully, since the speaker is so loud, you can lower it down to 50% and still hear comfortably, as this will lower that boxy sound effect that OnePlus 2 seems to be troubled with. Unfortunately, when gaming in landscape (say, Asphalt 8), you'll find that you're covering the speaker constantly, muffling the sound.

Moving on, multimedia reproduction on the OnePlus 2 is done without a hitch. Music playback is relayed to the Google Play Music app, which is perfectly fine, while videos are kind of homeless — there are three whole apps that offer to play them back at first. Again, this is likely limited to our Chinese model, but it's still annoying to have three whole apps volunteer to help.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
OnePlus 2 0.91
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 0.814
Samsung Galaxy Note5 0.609
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
OnePlus 2 76
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 75.6
Samsung Galaxy Note5 70.7
View all


Call quality

Unacceptable.

OnePlus 2 Review
Seeing as our review has so far been rather negative, we were kind of hoping that the OnePlus 2 would surprise us with its call quality. Alas, that's depressingly far from the truth.

The earpiece on the OnePlus 2 is seriously problematic, with sufficient volume but abhorrent quality. Voices come in as if the other side talks through a thick towel and has a worrying cold, with overly nasal sounds being the norm. Things are slightly better on the other end, with the microphone having a better showing, though quality is still under the average for the industry, and definitely disappointing when compared to the best in the business.

Battery life

Meh.

All things considered, battery life on the OnePlus 2 leaves quite a bit to be desired.

OnePlus 2 Review
Packing a non-removable (even if you can lift the cover) battery with a capacitiy of 3,300 mAh, you'd think that the OnePlus 2 would do real well in terms of battery life, specifically as it only has to drive a 1080p screen. Unfortunately, that's just not the case, and we logged just 6 hours and 38 minutes on our custom endurance test, which is, frankly, disappointing. Even more so if you consider the OnePlus One's excellent 8 hours and 5 minutes on that same test.

It doesn't get better, either, for charging times aren't great: 150 minutes to get from 0% to 100%. Competing models from Samsung — like the Galaxy Note5 — are ready for action in almost half that time.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 9h 11 min (Excellent)
OnePlus 2 6h 38 min (Average)
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 5h 22 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 81
OnePlus 2 150
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 93
View all

Conclusion


We can't help but feel disappointed with OnePlus over their new flagship, which honestly feels like an inferior product when compared with its predecessor. Sure, the OnePlus One also had its problems, but at the time of its release it proved a respectable choice, if only because of its dirt cheap asking price.

With the 2, however, OnePlus raised the price, and though we're treated to supposedly better specs, the user experience overall is just not up to snuff. The software is filled with tiny bugs and is just slow, and we're not big fans of the new design of the phone, with its cheapo Sandstone cover. Thankfully, you can exchange it, and we suspect some of you will, especially if you're used to the OnePlus One's excellent one.

If the above was the end of our troubles with the OnePlus 2, we'd call it a day and rate it better than the average. Unfortunately, we were also troubled by the camera's extreme tendencies — nice still photos, bad video quality. Mostly good camera algorithms, disappointing special shooting modes. A lot of work here. And to top it off, battery life proved just average — average relative to our entire database.

If we had to identify the single biggest reason OnePlus failed to deliver with the 2, it would probably include the now-gone CyanogenMod OS team, which had finally managed to get a stable, smooth-running software for the OnePlus One out. The new OxygenOS is seriously undercooked in comparison, and will require some hard work to match what was available to buyers of the previous model. The OnePlus 2's only saving grace is its price. But in this case, you really get what you paid for.

Software versions of the review unit:
Android version: 5.1.1
Oxygen version: 2.0.0
Baseband version: MPS.BO.2.5.c9-00006-M8994FAAAANAZM-1
Kernel version: 3.10.49-perf-g5cd66f1
Build number: ONE A2001_14_150725


OnePlus 2 review unit provided by PandaWill.com. Apply coupon 'oneplus2' to get $11 off.

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