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The successor to the “flagship killer” is finally here, boasting an improved design, high-end specifications and a very appealing price tag. But does the OnePlus 2 have what it takes to challenge the very best smartphones on the market right now? Until we get our hands on an OnePlus 2 review unit for deeper analysis, it’s hard to accurately answer this question, but we can at least dive in and take a look at how it compares to the competition on paper.

The OnePlus One was a rather large smartphone and the OnePlus 2 is an equally hefty beast, featuring a large 5.5-inch display like its predecessor. Despite rumors suggesting the OnePlus 2 would make the jump to QHD, it turns out that the phone packs the same Full HD resolution as the original OPO. This means that the display here won’t quite live up to the standards of the LG G4 or the Samsung Galaxy S6, but should be on equal footing to devices like the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z3+.

While the size and resolution of the display remain unchanged, just about every other aspect of the phone has been significantly upgraded. Even the battery gets a nice jump up to 3,300 mAh, which bests the sizes offered by most other flagships.

 OnePlus 2Galaxy S6One M9Xperia Z3+LG G4
Display5.5-inch LCD
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
5.1-inch AMOLED
QHD (2560x1440)
5-inch LCD
FullHD (1920x1080)
5.2-inch LCD
FullHD (1920x1080)
5.5-inch LCD
QHD (2560x1440)
SoCSnapdragon 810Exynos 7420Snapdragon 810Snapdragon 810Snapdragon 808
CPU4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.1GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
2x 1.8GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.4GHz Cortex-A53
GPUAdreno 430Mali-T760 MP8Adreno 430Adreno 430Adreno 418
RAM4GB (64GB model), 3GB (16GB model)3GB3GB3GB3GB
Storage16/64GB32/64/128GB32GB32GB32GB
MicroSDNoNoYes, up to 128GBYes, up to 128GBYes, up to 128GB
Unlocked Price$329 (16GB), $389 (64GB)$700$650$650$540

On the processing side of things, we see the familiar Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC that is powering the latest flagships from HTC and Sony. LG’s G4 offers a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 package rather than an octa-core 810 and Samsung has its own 14nm Exynos chip in its Galaxy S6. The v2.1 Snapdragon 810 apparently addresses the overheating issues, but other handsets featuring the updated chip, such as the Xperia Z3+ and One M9, still tend to get a little warm for our liking. The OnePlus 2 will match other smartphones in terms of performance, but some heat issues may still be present.

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One area that the OnePlus 2 does go above any beyond the competition is the choice to go with 4GB of LPDDR4 memory. While the performance differences between 3GB and 4GB are unlikely to manifest in anything other than heavy multitasking scenarios, the higher bandwidth of LPDDR4 should bring performance improvements when recording and processing very high resolution media files and when gaming, as well as helping to reduce battery drain. LPDDR4 RAM can also be found in the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9, while a growing range of mid-range handsets are now including 4GB of RAM, including the ZTE Axon phone and the Asus ZenFone 2. It must be mentioned that this extra RAM is only to be found on the 64GB storage model, with the base unit opting for just 3GB of RAM.

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Camera technology is a big talking point with this generation of smartphones and the OnePlus 2 remains competitive in this segment too, at least on paper. The handset comes with the same 13 megapixel resolution as last year but with an f/2.0 aperture and some new lenses. The OnePlus 2’s camera doesn’t quite match the raw resolution of handsets like the One M9, G4 or Galaxy S6, but the improved aperture should result in some decent low light performance. There’s also optical image stabilization and laser auto focus this time around, which are welcome extras.

We’ll have to go hands-on with the OnePlus 2 in more detail before making any final decisions. The 5 megapixel “selfie” camera is pretty standard compared with what’s out there right now, and some other handsets may provide slightly clearer looking shots.

 OnePlus 2Galaxy S6One M9Xperia Z3+LG G4
Camera13MP rear
5MP front
16MP rear
5MP front
20MP rear
4MP front
20.7MP rear
5MP front
16MP rear
8MP front
Battery3,300mAh2,500mAh2,840mAh2,930mAh3,000mAh
LTECategory 6Category 6Category 6Category 6Category 6
Dual-SIMYesNoNoNoNo
Fingerprint ScannerYesYesNoNoNo
Wireless ChargingNoPMA and QiNoNoQi (optional cases)
Unlocked Price$339 (base), $389 (64GB model)$700$650$650$540

Usually, lower-cost flagship smartphones undercut their premium tier competitors by omitting some unnecessary extras, but the OnePlus 2 isn’t holding back here either. The smartphone features a fingerprint scanner this time around, which is located in the physical home button. The Snapdragon 810 also supports QuickCharge 2.0 technology for faster recharging, and there’s a USB Type-C connection, so that you won’t have to fumble around with plugging in cables in the future. The smartphone’s camera has also picked up a laser autofocus module, something which we first saw with the LG G3.

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However, the OnePlus 2 doesn’t feature everything that some might put on their flagship list. There’s still no microSD card slot for extra storage, although the smartphone does come with up to 64GB of storage. There’s also no built-in wireless charging technology and the battery cannot be removed, which was a common complaint made about the handset last time around. These features may make a difference to some consumers, while others might may not care them.

 OnePlus 2ZTE AxonHonor 7Meizu MX5
Display5.5-inch LCD
FullHD (1920x1080)
5.5-inch LCD
QHD (2560x1440)
5.2-inch LCD
FullHD (1920x1080)
5.5-inch LCD
FullHD (1920x1080)
SoCSnapdragon 810Snapdragon 810Kirin 935Mediatek MT6795
CPU4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.2GHz Cortex-A53
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.2GHz Cortex-A53
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
GPUAdreno 430Adreno 430Mali-T628PowerVR G6200 MP4
RAM3 or 4GB RAM4GB3GB3GB
Storage16/64GB32GB16/64GB16/32/64GB
MicroSDNoNoYes, up to 128GBNo
Camera13MP rear
5MP front
13MP + 2MP dual rear
8MP front
20MP rear
8MP front
20.7MP rear
5MP front
Battery3,300mAh3,000mAh3,100mAh3,150mAh
LTECategory 6Category 6Cateogy 6Category 4
Dual-SIMYesYesYesYes
Fingerprint ScanYesNoYesYes
Wireless ChargingNoNoNoNo
Unlocked Price$329 starting$499$322$290

Overall, the OnePlus 2 builds on the solid foundation of its predecessor and offers up some serious competition to the more expensive market leaders, barring any hit-and-miss hardware issues like last time. However, there is also increasing choice in the $300 – $400 price bracket, with the ZTE Axon, Honor 7 and Meizu MX5 all offering competitive specifications at prices around $100 either side. The OnePlus 2 has some advantages, especially when it comes to processing hardware, but other cheaper Chinese smartphones are similarly feature rich these days.

The OnePlus 2 goes the extra mile with regards to performance and nicely bridges the gap between the plethora of Chinese mid-tier phones and the premium flagships, but whether or not the extra performance is worth the higher price tag will be up to individual consumers.

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