OnePlus 2 — First Impressions

Last Tuesday, late in the afternoon, I managed to grab an invite for the OnePlus 2. I immediately ordered the device and opted for express delivery (which only was €5 more expensive than standard, at €24.99). My order started processing on Thursday morning and I had my tracking number by the end of the day. My new phone was delivered at work the next morning around 10 AM. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the time it took for this phone to reach me.

After a few days with the device, it seems like a good time to give my first impressions.

Table of Contents

  1. What's in the box?
  2. Camera
  3. Oxygen OS
  4. Snapdragon 810
  5. Fingerprint reader
  6. Conclusion

What's in the box?

The contents of the box are pretty standard:

  • The OnePlus 2
  • A charging brick
  • A 1-meter USB-C cable (reversible on both ends)
  • A warranty booklet
  • A quick start guide

The phone has a plastic screen protector pre-applied, which was a really pleasant surprise. It seems to be a bit of a fingerprint magnet, though, but it's still better than having none and having to wait for yours to arrive. Shipping phones with screen protectors should seriously be an industry standard.

Build quality

The first thing I noticed when getting the phone out of the box was the build quality, which is really excellent. The phone has a very premium feel to it. The magnesium frame looks really great and the buttons are nice and clicky. Just like with the OnePlus One, the sandstone cover gives that signature feel to the back of the phone. Speaking of the back, the StyleSwap covers are really easy to change, which really wasn't the case with the OnePlus One. As you saw in the pictures above, I went with rosewood, which really gives a nice personal touch to the phone.

Regarding the backlight of the capacitive buttons, they are brighter than they used to be on the OnePlus One, which many people have found to be too dim.

Camera

The 13 MP camera on the OnePlus 2 is really great. It's the same resolution as the OnePlus One, but it has a bigger sensor, which makes for better low-light performance. The addition of optical image stabilisation is also quite welcome. Last but not least is laser focus, which makes the phone focus a lot faster and easier, especially in low-light situations. The camera app in itself is pretty basic for now, but it gets the job done. I'd like to see RAW support in particular (which I believe is planned), as well as tweaks to HDR, which I find overly aggressive.

Anyway, enough talking; I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Oxygen OS

Oxygen OS is where the OnePlus 2 really leaves me wanting more. Even though this is version 2.0, it still feels like it can be improved quite a bit. I've observed a couple of speed issues from time to time, such as apps taking longer than usual to open (around 1-2 seconds). There are also some really annoying problems with the theme: It makes the detailed weather view of Weather Timeline crash (it's the only crash I've noticed), and makes the theme of some other apps buggy (see examples for AquaMail and Textra below) I'm happy to report this was fixed in the OTA that rolled out on August 21.

Textra in dark mode (which is completely white) and the black navigation drawer in AquaMail.

The developers are already aware of the issues, so I'm hoping the coming update will fix all these problems. One last quirk I had was with MaxxAudio. The first time my alarm went off, I found the sound quality of the speakers really terrible. I went to take a look in the Audio Tuner app and found out the default settings put way too much bass. I ended up just turning MaxxAudio off and audio quality is now great, which is a bit ironic.

In addition to these issues, there are also some quite handy features missing, namely:

  • Profiles (with location awareness via Wi-Fi, like on CyanogenMod)
  • Better location quick settings (the current setting is either on or off, instead of being able to choose between battery saving and high accuracy)
  • A quick setting for the performance profile, so I can activate battery saving mode easily if needed
  • A quick setting to enable/disable LTE
  • A setting to change the DPI, since the default one makes everything look ridiculously huge

Snapdragon 810

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 has had a lot of bad press due to overheating. I haven't found the phone to become exceptionally hot during my time with it. Even after running AnTuTu twice (which by the way scored just under 60k — 58,188 to be precise), my phone was only at 40 °C, which is really decent.

Fingerprint reader

The fingerprint reader on the OnePlus 2 is a really nice addition. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I do. It really makes the process of unlocking your phone significantly easier. However, they said it was quicker than the iPhone, which it isn't, at least if we're speaking strictly about the sensors. From the user experience, you do get to your homescreen quicker, since the iPhone needs to do all its fancy animations.

The sensor is a bit hit and miss, though. Sometimes it just fails to recognize my print, so I end up having to draw my pattern in order to unlock my phone. This is a bit annoying, especially since this is supposed to speed up the process of unlocking your phone, but I'm hoping this will be fixed in a future update.

Conclusion

Based on the first few days of use, I'll say the OnePlus 2 is an amazing device with pretty basic software. OnePlus really needs to improve in the software department, but I'm confident they will. This phone really has the potential to be amazing; the current software is just failing to do justice to the device. As things are right now, I'm flashing CyanogenMod the second the nightlies are out. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

I will post a more elaborate review of the phone once I will have spent some more time with it, so be sure to subscribe below if you want to be notified as soon as it's online.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you liked it, perhaps share it with people you know?

You may also support the writing of these posts using the Flattr button below or by offering me a beer.

You may also subscribe or follow me on social media using the buttons below.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe

If you want to receive an email every time I publish something new, leave your email below. I will never disclose it to third parties.