OnePlus’ Follow-Up, OnePlus 2, Looks Like Another Promising Smartphone

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OnePlus, the China-based smartphone maker that sold more than 1.5 million units of its debut device, has finally launched its follow-up: the OnePlus 2.

The company’s first phone drew plaudits for delivering the specs and experience that compete with some of the best in the industry at a mere $300 price point. The OnePlus 2 is largely cut from the same cloth, with a slightly higher price of $329 for the 16GB version, or $389 for a more generous (and powerful) 64GB model, but more for your money. OnePlus is calling it a killer and certainly, with a new iPhone or top-end Samsung device costing $800-plus, the pricing is pretty lethal.

The device keeps the same 5.5-inch screen as the original, and this time around is powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. The camera specs remain the same, too — 13 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels on the front — but now includes autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization, and an f/2.0 aperture, which improves shots in low light among other things.

The device’s battery is bumped up to 3,300mAh, and the OnePlus 2 includes dual-SIM, a fingerprint scanner and — of course — it runs the company’s Oxygen version of Android out of the box. (The OnePlus ran Cyanogen, but — following a legal scrap — OnePlus developed its own OS, which is available as an optional download for the original device.)

One of the chief frustrations with the OnePlus was that it could be challenging to actually buy one. It required getting an invite, which could only be issued by someone who already had one. OnePlus has stuck with that process in order to manage supply, but it has said that it will refine the process to enable more would-be customers to get their hands on the OnePlus 2. It is creating physical booths in parts of the U.S. and Europe where people can try the phone and grab an invite in person.

The original device was marketed at consumers outside of China, OnePlus claimed significant growth in India, and that’ll be the same focus again with this new phone.

We’ve not had a chance to review it yet, but the improved camera, fingerprint scanner and 64GB model — which comes with 4GB RAM, as opposed to the 3GB on the 16GB version — make the OnePlus 2 appear, on paper at least, to be another promising smartphone at a reasonable price.