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article imageThe '2016 flagship killer' smartphone is here: The OnePlus 2

By James Walker     Jul 28, 2015 in Technology
Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus has finally revealed the full details of its second device, the OnePlus 2. Billed as the "2016 flagship killer", the phone starts at $329 but still features true flagship hardware, making it a handset worth considering.
The OnePlus 2 aims to offer the same performance as premium Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and LG G4 while undercutting them all on price. It looks as though OnePlus has achieved that once again as the 2 will set you back just $329 or £289 for the base model.
Despite the low cost, you still get impressive specifications including an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 13MP camera and a fingerprint sensor mounted beneath the display. The fingerprint sensor — apparently faster than Apple's Touch ID — also acts as a capacitive home key and is joined by capacitive back and recent apps keys to its left and right respectively. These can be reversed if you want, or abandoned entirely in favour of onscreen keys.
The display is a 5.5-inch 1080p panel. Although this is a significantly lower resolution than the 2K screens of other phones this year, using an older 1080p unit has helped to keep costs down and increase battery life because there are fewer pixels to light up. 1080p is still a sufficiently high resolution that you'll never see individual pixels.
Early reports say the display remains clear and bright outdoors. The OnePlus 2 uses a revised version of the Snapdragon 810 processor which solves the thermal issues that are widely associated with this chip. The Snapdragon has a little less work to do than in other phones though, again because it has less pixels to push here.
The 13MP camera has a laser auto-focus system similar to that used by LG on the G3 and G4. In video mode it can shoot slow-motion at 120 frames per second, an iPhone-rivalling quality.
It isn't just hardware that has been changed over the OnePlus One. The OnePlus 2 has got a design upgrade over its predecessor too. It sports a metal frame and stylish polished steel buttons, coming in at 175g in weight and 9.85mm thick. A 3,300mAh battery should be enough to get it through the day.
The OnePlus 2 uses Oxygen OS, a modified version of Android Lollipop 5.1. It includes some features that won't make it to official Android until the next major release, Android M, including an optional dark theme and an app permissions editor in the settings menu.
Like with the OnePlus One, you'll need an invite to buy the OnePlus 2. Invites will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and you can request one by registering your interest on the OnePlus website.
OnePlus claims to have solved one of the major issues of the OnePlus One: the extremely low stock supplies which plagued it for most of its life. There are said to be as many as 50 times more OnePlus 2 units waiting to be shipped out on its August 11 launch date than there were with last year's model.
The OnePlus 2 is undoubtedly good value, as long as it isn't mired by the same issues as its predecessor. They include yellow tainted displays, unresponsive touchscreens and awful Wi-Fi performance — all things that could easily derail even something claiming to be the "2016 flagship killer."
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