One of the most hyped Android phones of the year has arrived. OnePlus, the Chinese startup behind the popular OnePlus One, has finally revealed its next flagship — and it doesn’t disappoint.
With a refreshed set of flagship-worthy specs and a new operating system, the OnePlus 2 manages to build on all the best features of its predecessor while making significant hardware and software improvements for less than $400.
The company is billing the OnePlus 2 as 2016’s “flagship killer” and the specs alone certainly put the OnePlus 2 squarely at the front of the pack in terms of its Android competitors.
The 5.5-inch phone is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with options for 4GB or 3GB of RAM (for the 64GB and 16GB capacity models, respectively). Like its predecessor, it lacks a microSD option for additional storage, but has dual-SIM slots. The display is 1,920 x 1,080 resolution (full HD) and comes with a fingerprint sensor that can store up to five prints. The 13-megapixel rear-facing camera is equipped with a dual-LED flash and f/2.0 aperture; it supports 4K resolution video and a slow motion mode that shoots at 720p.
More impressive, however, is the price: The unlocked OnePlus 2 will cost $329 for the 16GB model and $389 for 64GB. By comparison, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S6, with 64GB of storage and only 3GB of RAM, runs more than $800 without a carrier subsidy.
“Our goal is to just have enough margin to keep the company running and not make a profit,” OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei tells Mashable. “When we launch a new product, we normally make nothing selling it,” he says, adding that the company expects its margins to improve over time as it sells more devices and hardware costs go down.
For its second generation flagship, Pei says OnePlus made more than 100 changes from its first release in 2013. Most notably, the polycarbonate bezel of the original OnePlus One has been swapped for an all-metal one, which give the phone a more premium look and feel.
The OnePlus 2 ships with the company’s signature “sandstone black” back cover. The textured cover manages to strike the right balance between providing a good grip and while not feeling (or looking) cheap as is often the case with textured covers employed by other manufacturers.
OnePlus is also selling four optional back covers: black kevlar, bamboo, rosewood and black apricot. Each cover is made with the actual materials on a polycarbonate casing and each feels and looks like it belongs on a premium flagship. The covers are easily removable and, unlike the OnePlus One, the new covers don’t have antennas embedded in them, which has helped bring the cost down to $26.99 each. Read more…