What features is the OnePlus 2 missing?

by: NiraveJuly 28, 2015
1.5K

oneplus 2 launch aa (38 of 93)

After months of leaks and rumours, Chinese manufacturer OnePlus unveiled its new OnePlus 2 flagship smartphone just last night, and from our first impressions, the handset certainly has a lot of impressive things to shout about. From 4GB RAM on the premium 64GB model to a Snapdragon 810 processor and 13MP camera equipped with f/2.0 aperture, 1.3µm pixel size, optical image stabilisation and laser autofocus, there’s a lot to like about the OnePlus 2.

By the same token however, the handset does seem to have missed out a few features that some might consider important in a flagship device and with OnePlus aiming for the handset to challenge flagships this year and next, let’s take a look at some of the flagship features that are potentially missing from the OnePlus 2.

NFC

One trend that looks set to rise in the next eighteen months is mobile payments and NFC (Near Field Communications) plays a crucial part in making this a reality. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 2 doesn’t come with NFC built-in to the handset meaning if mobile payments do become a major feature, the OnePlus 2 could be left aside.

The other element of NFC is that it allows you to establish quick connections with both accessories and other handsets. Latest Android smartphones come with the ability to beam content between handsets and even transferring data between handsets as part of the initial setup relies on NFC. Without an NFC chip, none of these are possible and if you consider NFC important, you may find the OnePlus 2 lacking.

Wireless / Quick Charging

This is a dual-feature that we’re seeing many companies adopt instead of a removable battery; while wireless charging is less widely adopted, it is becoming a standard in several premium flagship devices and quick charging is proving to be essential in handsets that do not have a removable battery.

In the case of Quick Charge 2.0 enabled handsets like the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the feature lets you charge your phone up to 50 percent from empty in 30 – 40 minutes, which can be very useful when your battery is low but you have a limited amount of time to actually charge it. The OnePlus 2 doesn’t have both wireless charging and quick charging and while the former may not be crucial, I personally find quick charging essential to my daily usage.

Removable battery

The case of removable versus non-removable batteries has been contested for many years and Samsung’s decision to avoid a removable battery in its flagship handsets earlier this year saw the feature become even more contested. Personally, I’ve found that while a removable battery is certainly useful, the ability to charge my phone rapidly does negate the need for a removable battery, especially as you need to remember to keep the battery charged and ready.

In the case of the OnePlus 2, the non-removable battery is unsurprising (given that the OnePlus One battery was also non-removable) but despite the slightly increased capacity – the OnePlus 2 is 200mAh larger than the OnePlus One – the lack of quick charging or the ability to swap out your battery may be a running concern.

Certainly the handset doesn’t have a Quad HD display like other flagships (which we’ll touch on below) which should mean better battery life and for most users it won’t be a concern. On the other hand if you’re a power user (like me), you may find the non-removable battery and lack of quick charging a tad too limiting.

 Quad HD resolution

One of the biggest rumours about the OnePlus 2 before yesterday’s launch was that it would have a Quad HD display but the official launch nulled that rumour, with OnePlus instead opting for Full HD resolution on a panel that it claims is the brightest on any smartphone to-date. Should they have gone for Quad HD resolution at the cost of battery life however?

With the OnePlus 2 aiming to challenge future flagships, the lack of Quad HD resolution may yet prove to be the difference maker; the better resolution would have delivered a more dense experience (534 ppi vs 401 ppi) that would have prevented a challenge from other handsets in the same price bracket. Instead, the OnePlus 2 may equal current flagships but next year we’re likely to see Quad HD resolution come to slightly lower priced handsets and Full HD become the norm and while the OnePlus 2 should be okay for now, it is likely to come under increased pressure next year.

It’s worth noting that the OnePlus 2 was definitely designed with an overall price tag of under $400 in mind and it’s likely that a bump up in resolution could have resulted in the price tag increasing quite sharply. In turn, that may have reduced the appeal of the handset but what do you think? Would you pay an extra $50-$70 to get a OnePlus 2 as it is now with a Quad HD display?

Expandable storage

The case for expandable storage only really applies to the entry-level OnePlus 2, which costs $329 and has 16GB storage as well as 3GB RAM. While users of the premium version (with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage) should find the capacity plenty, users of the lower version may find the 16GB too limiting for daily usage.

As with most Android smartphones, the available internal storage varies but we’d expect the handset to launch with around 11GB available storage (although we will confirm once we have our review unit). For users of the lower-spec version, this could be a deal breaker, especially as the OnePlus 2 is hindered by both the lack of microSD card slot and the lack of USB On-The-Go support, meaning you won’t be able to plug any external storage into the handset.

OnePlus in video:

Wrap Up

There’s no denying that the OnePlus 2 is certainly an impressive smartphone but can it live up to its claims of being a 2016 flagship killer? While Quad HD may not be a requirement (especially given the price of the handset), the lack of expandable storage, removable battery and wireless and/or quick charging could prove to be too much for users looking for the flagship experience. To top it off, the arrival of the new Moto X Style could give OnePlus 2 some very real competition.

How much does the lack of these features affect the overall experience? That remains to be seen and we’ll of course bring you our full review in the coming weeks. In the meantime, do you agree with our list of features missing from the OnePlus 2? What other features would you have liked to have seen included in the smartphone? Let us know your views in the comments below!

  • Jack Parker

    When talking about lower end headsets getting quad hd shouldn’t it be the other way around ?

  • ksavai

    No one seeing whats important. I will give up QHD screen for extra couple of hour any day. All sacrifice are perfect. who ever did not get their invite check it out https://oneplus.net/invites?kid=NTTVCT

  • Sami Generico

    My oneplus one has NFC so how come they left it out this time? For the style swap covers? Anyways I was really hoping for front facing speakers cause it’s a pain in the ass when you’re trying to game with my fingers always covering the bottom speakers. Don’t feel the need to upgrade on one or two new features (Fingerprint, priority slider). I’ll wait for OP3

  • Hans Pedersen

    There is something quite important missing. I just can’t put my pen on what it is at the moment…

    • OrionBeast

      Agree. its a bit underwhelming update.

  • Armand Bernard

    Are you sure it doesn’t have quick charging? I thought it was included as standard in 808 and 810 processors. Also I think it might have been mentioned in the VR launch.

    • Tony T.

      I think someone said it’s because of the USB type-C port. Could be wrong, though. I honestly am not up to date on the type-C capabilities and limitations.

  • V-Phuc

    Removable battery and microSD! How many times should we say this? Leave the choice to us, the consumers, to do whatever we feel necessary. Don’t force the choice(s) on us. Don’t hide behind stupid gimmicky excuses such as microSD is too slow to store images. Yeah? Well, what do you think the DSLR cameras that all professional photographs use to capture in-action pics? Thin air?!!! As for fast-charging, I have one thing to ask you, “Have you ever seen the wall-hugger add by Samsung? Well, you’re becoming one of them now with the non-removable battery. Me, I’m not interested…

  • Garry Iman

    My one plus one charges to full in 50 minutes. I’m sure the OPT will do the same.

  • rickneworleansla

    No NFC is a deal breaker. I’ll keep my oneplus one for a while longer which also happens to charge fast enough for me.

  • Xiang Zhou

    actually, according to the chinese version introduction. oneplus 2 does support quick charging(5V/2A). don’t know where they get the wrong infomation

  • Perry Kahai, Ph.D.

    No NFC, no OnePlus Two! A very strange omission.

  • MD

    Android Authority been sipping on that haterade a bit lately.

  • Sfa

    NFC? -> Didn’t use it at least once with my OPO so, I don’t think I’m gonna miss this feature.
    Wireless/Quick charge -> How efficient are these charging methods compare to standard USB one making it an absolute requirement?
    Removable battery -> I’m use to not having that. And in top of having a thin and compact phone, this give a premium and solide feel.
    Quad HD -> Is that really necessary? I want a premium phone but I also want a longer battery life. (OnePlus 2 now have a 3300mAh !)
    Expandable storage -> As we all have differents needs and use, I’m pretty comfortable with 64 Go (~20 Go still remaining with my OPO)

    The only feature I sometime miss is FM Radio.

    This phone is an improvement (better battery, better RAM, fingerprint scanner, better camera, better design, etc. It looks beautiful with his metal border and covers. Love it and I’m definitly buying one as soon as available.

    • SsrmRhl

      If you haven’t used google wallet payment through NFC with OPO , then you missed a lot !!!

  • Pavan

    All the things above are just for show off..,
    I just miss flashing windows 8.1 on my Oneplus one…

  • MarkL

    Maybe it’s just that I live in a different part of the world to most other readers but hey, noone is talking about the limited set of LTE frequencies that this supports.

    For me, I don’t care that it only has a 1080p screen, no wireless charging isn’t an issue for me, and only “slow charge” I can live with. If I’m being generous, I could even deal with the lack of NFC. But where I live (New Zealand) EVERY carrier uses either band 3 or band 28 LTE, and these are not supported by the Two… Ok, I get that they don’t even sell into NZ directly, but there are many Oneplus One fans and users here, myself included, but they just killed that market dead.

  • Me

    nfc- dont care. quad hd display- not worth it. expandable storage and removable battery- the oneplus one never had it, sure it would be nice but it is not a deal breaker. as for wireless charging – too gimmicky.quick charge 2.0 is buggy, besides the phone charges fast so it does not need quick charge. how about reporters that know what they fuck they are talking about?

  • mrjayviper

    you forgot true USB-C with USB 3.1

  • Dewi Tobing

    I’m satisfied with what OP is offering. At that price, seriously.
    Making it above $400 with the additional NFC / Micro SD isn’t worth it for me. 64 GB should be more than enough.

  • Otto Andersson

    I’ve never met one person that utilizes nfc (including myself). I understand how it could be useful but the mobile payment thing hasn’t caught on, and won’t catch on for awhile for a multitude of reasons.

    1080p on a phone is more than enough. Sony and one plus have the smart idea of choosing battery life over a pissing contest.

    I will miss quick charge though!

  • Technobro

    They made it worse than the last one :c And what about the antutu score? It only gets 49,000!

  • Andrea Verocio

    I will only purchase a M8*s* now because other devices lack all its features.

  • Neil

    – Why no NFC – Well, OnePlus is smart. It is made for Asia as much as it is made for US and Europe. In Asia, payments via Credit Cards and NFC-based payments are extremely limited. So no NFC is not a deal breaker in most for Asia.
    – No quick charging – this might most likely be sorted with Android M. Right now Android L versions do not support Quick Charge on USB C ports. It has been confirmed that the Android M will. Hopefully, this will come to the OnePlus 2.
    – No Wireless Charging – It’s slow and not a deal breaker for most people.
    – No Removable battery – Well a 3300 mah need not be removable if it lasts long and charges quickly.
    – No 2K/UHD, just a 1080p screen – 2K would be a drain on the battery. 1080p is fine for a handheld.
    – No Micro SC card slot – Its 64 GB guys why do you need an additional slot?

    The Other problem people have- Available via invite only – Remember they stories you heard about the all those unsold Samsung Galaxy S5s, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2014/11/24/unloved-unwanted-unsold-samsungs-failed-gamble-with-the-galaxy-s5/. Well, OnePlus is a small company. (certainly much smaller than Samsung). They make one product at a ridiculously low price and they spend nothing on marketing. If that does not sell and 40% of those are in some warehouse somewhere the company will shut down. The invite system might be a problem but would help the company predict demand better, compete and survive.

    The real risks are the 3 areas that might be potentially worse than the OnePlus One. These could make or break the phone and seriously impact the companies future.

    1. Snapdragon 810 – Does it overheat? Has it been throttled? Will it be slow as some benchmarks videos claim? Also is it a battery hog? Many new flagships, such as the Samsung lineup, the LG G4 the new Moto X phones have steered clear of using it. Did OnePlus make a deal with the devil and “Settle” for the 810 in exchange a better financial deal with Qualcomm?

    2. Battery life – Reliable benchmarks such as MKBHDs claim, despite the larger capacity, the battery drain as much as 20% faster than OnePlus One. That can be a major bummer. We can’t tell for sure till the embargos are lifted and we can get some real reviews. I would expect these sometime after 11th August.

    3. Camera – It may have been improved on the hardware side, but the frontend software on the Cyanogen mod version was kick ass with tons of manual options. These are missing on the OnePlus 2, can be sorted with 3rd party apps and hopefully future updates by OnePlus. Unlike the 1st 2, this problem can be easily solved.

    Overall the OnePlus 2 is a little disappointing, not because it’s a bad device, but more because of the expectations set with the OnePlus One and with a tagline like “2016 Flagship Killer”.

    If this was a new device with the same specs and price we would be going gaga over it. Just like we did with the OnePlus One. Remember for under $400, this phone is still great, but with new Moto X at about the same price, they have their work cut out.

  • doode

    Don’t care about NFC, don’t care about SD, don’t care about removable battery, don’t care about Quad HD. What took it off my possible to purchase list is no QI charging. I don’t really mind that it takes longer than wired charging because it is so convenient and lessens wear on the USB port.

  • Alvin Robles Terible

    can anyone confirm this? it says in the ff: link that it supports OTG. but this blog post says it’s not.

    https://forums.oneplus.net/threads/closed-oneplus-2-otg-support.331721/

  • Alvin Robles Terible

    can anyone confirm this? it says in the ff: link that it supports OTG. but this blog post says it’s not.

    https://forums.oneplus.net/threads/closed-oneplus-2-otg-support.331721/