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OnePlus 2 hands-on: It’s everything you’ve dreamt of… and so much more

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:03PM EST
OnePlus 2 Review
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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When OnePlus made its next-generation OnePlus 2 official last month, Android fans couldn’t believe their eyes. Everyone knew that the phone was coming thanks to a run of leaks and rumors, and everyone knew that they should expect some pretty impressive specs at a pretty impressive price point.

But no one really expected this.

On paper, the OnePlus 2 truly is a flagship killer. The phone sports specs that match or even beat everything else on the market. And with a starting price of just $329, the new phone offers a mind-boggling value that is seemingly unmatched.

Now, it’s time to see if the OnePlus 2 really is as impressive as it appears on paper.

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Last week, I penned a quick piece where I wondered why I still carry an Android phone. The iPhone has been my main handset since it first launched in 2007, but I also always have a second smartphone with me. It’s almost always an Android phone, of course, but iOS 9 has grown so capable that there really isn’t much of a reason for me to carry an Android device anymore.

Then a OnePlus 2 arrived at my office. Suffice it to say I certainly won’t stop carrying an Android phone with me anytime soon.

I’ve already begun working on my full in-depth OnePlus 2 review, but some first impressions are absolutely in order — and they begin with the phone’s hardware.

The fact that the OnePlus 2 starts at $329 is simply incredible. Inside and out, this handset screams “premium,” and it all starts with the remarkably solid housing. The metal around the outer edge of the phone looks and feels fantastic, and the interchangeable backs feel far more sold than most phones with swappable covers. My review unit cam with a Sandstone Black cover that provides terrific texture and grip, and there are five other options to choose from when you order the phone.

OnePlus’ second-generation flagship phone also has some impressive weight to it, thanks in no small part to the massive 3,300 mAh battery. I haven’t yet had enough time to really put the battery through its paces, but I can already tell you that the OnePlus 2 outlasts other flagship phones like the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6.

Inside, the OnePlus 2 is powered by the latest version of OxygenOS. It’s based on Android Lollipop and it’s instantly recognizable — Android purists are going to love it. Beyond all the basics included in Lollipop, however, OxygenOS sports a host of features that let you customize your phone without the need for any third-party apps.

OxygenOS also includes some very useful additions such as unique gestures and a special “Shelf” that can be accessed by swiping right from the left-most home screen. Here, users will find quick access to frequently used apps and popular contacts, all organized neatly in a great interface.

The OnePlus 2 is lightning-fast thanks to its octa-core Snapdragon processor and up to 4GB of RAM, the large 5.5-inch full HD display is nice and clear, and OxygenOS really is a breath of fresh air in a market where Android vendors still feel the need to overpower Android with their own interface layers and apps.

I’ll have plenty more on the OnePlus 2 in the days to come but in the meantime, here are the phone’s key specs:

  • Dimensions: 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
  • Weight: 175g
  • 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display with 401 pixel-per-inch density and Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3/4GB of LPDDR4 RAM
  • 16/64GB of eMMC 5.0 storage
  • 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and 5GHz 802.11a/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • LTE
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Oxygen OS based on Android 5.1
  • Fingerprint button
  • Alert slider
  • USB Type-C connector
  • 3,300 mAh battery

To learn more or register for an invitation, which is needed to purchase a OnePlus 2 since supply is so limited, visit the OnePlus website. The phone is expected to begin shipping to the U.S. sometime next month.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.