Review: OnePlus 2

February 2016 | Dios Kurniawan

It raised eyebrows whenever I told friends what phone I had bought; a OnePlus Two. No one has ever heard of OnePlus, let alone the ‘Two’ model (there is OnePlus One which came before it). The company/brand name is new, and their products are not sold in stores in Jakarta, so it is quite normal to see that OnePlus is still far away from stardom and fame. Because many have asked why I had chosen this never-heard-of phone, so I guess it is good to write a short review of it.

Few months ago, I started to feel the need to get a dual-SIM phone because I began to dislike the idea of carrying two phones everyday. I needed a one powerful phone to replace both my trustworthy Samsung S5 and my 3-year-old BlackBerry Q10. I usually keep two phone numbers with me, one for business and the other one for personal contacts. Therefore, carrying one phone instead of two while keeping my both SIM cards active in a dual-SIM device sounds like a promising move.

So I went to the market to check what’s available, and OnePlus 2 came to the top of my list. OnePlus 2 (or OPT, as some users call it) offers a slick build and strong specs that only expensive ‘flagship phones’ carry.

OnePlus 2 is a 5.5-incher smartphone equipped with a powerful processor, large RAM and a decent camera. It has dual SIM slots, which is the main reason why I chose this phone. It is a feature something the other flagship contender such as Samsung S6 or Sony Z3 simply do not possess. The metal frame and the iconic sandpaper back cover help the look.

What I Like About OPT:

  • Strong top-notch Snapdragon 810 processor and the whopping amount of 4GB RAM – never again I have experienced lags or sluggishness. It handles everything I throw at it very well.
  • The fingerprint scanner; it’s very fast and accurate. It is way much better than the swipe fingerprint scanner of my old Samsung S5, which most of the time is a hit-and-miss action. With OPT, I can unlock my phone with fingerprint almost 100% of the time.
  • The physical ‘Alert Slider’ which allows me to put the phone into silent mode instantly without even looking at the screen. A simple idea which helps a lot.
  • Multi-user This feature is actually part of Android 5 release, but somehow not all device manufacturers have enabled this capability in their products. OPT with its own Oxygen OS, is very close to stock Android and lets me use this multi-user feature with no restriction. This feature comes up very handy as now I can have multiple WhatsApp account, Google account etc. on a single phone. Very neat!
  • The reversible USB Type-C Being able to plug the cable without looking at the orientation is really a convenience. The connectors are stronger that ordinary USB, too.

What I Don’t Like:

  • The LCD screen. I have the impression that its 5.5-inch display could have been better. It does not deliver any real pop, and colors look less striking compared to Super AMOLED screen of my Samsung S5. AMOLED technology allows displays to produce deeper and richer blacks, making the pictures look more dynamic, which is not the case with OPT’s screen.
  • It’s heavy. OPT is, in my opinion, very heavy and feels bulky. Perhaps because I used to use Samsung S5, a much lighter, plasticky device.  I just wish OPT could be lighter.
  • Does not support LTE / 4G. I was unlucky to get a Chinese version (A2001) that did not support LTE/4G bands in Indonesia. Learning from the online forums, there is another version which does supports 4G bands, it is called A2003. So readers who are interested to buy OPT, I strongly recommend you to get the A2003 version.
  • No infrared I used to have fun with infrared remote control apps in my Samsung S5, allowing me to control TV sets, airconditioners and other home appliances. Too bad, I lost this when I migrated to OPT.
  • The battery does not last very long. A single charge can only last 7-8 hours, even after I removed all power-hungry apps. This is still a mystery to me to understand what is causing the power drain.
  • The metal frame needs a protective cover.
  • It’s not cheap. At S$580, I cannot say this is a cheap phone.

Overall, OPT is a good buy and I enjoy every moment using it.