Okay, guys so I have to admit that I wrote the whole script for the OnePlus Two two weeks back but since I got the Moto X Pure and a bunch of new phones came out, it got delayed plus my thoughts on this phone changed drastically due to lots more phones coming at near the same price as the OnePlus Two. When I first got the OnePlus Two few weeks back, it was undeniably the best smartphone you could buy under $400. Well, fast forward a few weeks and the smartphone world has changed a LOT.
First, let me talk about the screen. The OnePlus Two comes with a 5.5-inch 1080P LTPS LCD screen, which puts it in the same class as the LG G4 and other phablets. This is certainly a phablet type of smartphone for people who enjoy big phones. The biggest disappointment this year is the 1080P resolution on the OnePlus Two. While I wasn’t too disappointed when I got the phone, with Motorola launching Moto X Pure for under $400 with 1440P screen, OnePlus Two simply had its ass whooped. But not all is lost if you absolutely don’t mind having a 1080P screen as it may get you much longer battery life.
Second, the OnePlus Two comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM for 16GB version and 4GB of RAM for 64GB version. Performance is snappy when playing games and switching between apps is fast. I haven’t had any issues with performance with this phone yet and it should be on par with most flagships running Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 or 810.
Third, the OnePlus Two has a 13MP F2.0 camera with 4K and OIS. The camera isn’t bad at all and 4K recording is decent. It’s nowhere good as the Note 5 or LG G4 but it does better than many others. Stills are great indoors and video recording is also not bad. Its auto focus likes to wander off at times but other than that, it does a great job, it’s a decent camera for the price you pay.
Fourth, OnePlus Two comes with a fingerprint sensor on the home button. This works quite well for unlocking your phone. Now, the fingerprint sensor also doubles as a home button while it’s not actually a button but rather a capacitive button. The home button sometimes doesn’t register and requires multiple presses to get it working. This isn’t a huge issue since OnePlus Two also comes with option to use softkeys but it is clearly a bug and OnePlus should have used a real button like on the Note 5.
Fifth, OnePlus Two does come with option for hardware buttons or softkeys just like its predecessor OnePlus One. This is certainly one of the major features of OnePlus in general and there’s no other smartphone that offers option for both hardware and softkeys like the OnePlus Two.
Sixth, OnePlus Two comes volume buttons and power button on the right and an additional notification button on the left. I find the additional notification button super useful as you can easily silence your phone or set it to Priority/All without turning your phone on. Especially on stock pure Android OS like the Oxygen OS that it is running on, this button comes in handy, no need to fiddle with your on-screen buttons.
Seventh, OnePlus Two is a dual-SIM phone that’s capable of using both voice/data on both SIM cards. In fact, you can even swap out your SIM cards while using the phone, no need to reboot the phone. You will be able to receive voice and SMS on two numbers simultaneously while it allows you to choose one SIM for calls and data as priority preference. For example, if you are using AT&T and T-Mobile simultaneously and you choose T-Mobile for both voice and priority data, it will try to use T-Mobile first. I tested this out in the real world and found that it will stay on T-Mobile until it drops to edge then it will switch to AT&T if AT&T has HSPA+ or 4G LTE signals in that area. If your T-Mobile signal drops out completely, it will also auto switch back to AT&T so you can make calls in T-Mobile dead spots. Dual-SIM feature is one of the best I’ve tried on the OnePlus Two. If you need dual-SIM with flawless voice/data support, this is one of the best dual-SIM smartphones you can buy under $400 right now as you will be able to make use of two networks.
Eighth, OnePlus Two runs Oxygen OS, which is a derivative of Android OS without much bloatware and you can easily root to install your favorite custom ROMs. As far as custom ROM support, OnePlus Two offers versatility of pure Android OS just like Nexus devices.
Ninth, OnePlus Two comes with USB Type C, one of the first smartphones to launch with it. I am not a big fan of USB Type C yet as you will need to buy new cables for your chargers but it certainly is nice being able to insert it in and out in any way.
What’s missing with OnePlus Two?
The speakers are not loud. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to use the OnePlus Two as speaker phone as you can barely hear anything. OnePlus Two has one of the worst speakers I have ever tried on a smartphone, like really bad. If you don’t ever plan on using the speakers, this shouldn’t be a big deal though or just use some earbuds or bluetooth headsets.
Pricing on the OnePlus Two is $329 for 16GB and $389 for the 64GB version. In comparison to its closest competitor Moto X Pure which sells for $399 for 16GB, I feel like having a 1080P screen vs. 1440P is its real disadvantage. My personal choice is the Moto X Pure since you get 1440P, micro SD card slot, stereo speakers, and customizable colors. Plus, OnePlus Two is hard to buy, you can’t even buy it unless you have an invite. What a joke, you can’t buy this phone because it’s so awesome! No, just buy the Moto X Pure or Style.
With so many new budget-friendly Android smartphones out today, the OnePlus Two has its work cut out but for right now, I think it’s the second best smartphone you can buy under $400 behind the Moto X Pure. However, if you need dual-SIM support, this may be the best dual-SIM smartphone you can buy under $400 with latest Qualcomm processor, fingerprint sensor, and excellent pure Google OS. When I first got the phone, it was like boomshakalaka baby. But then Moto X Pure came out then Google announced the Nexus 5X and 6P? Well, now it’s more like “meh”.
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