The OnePlus 2 is finally here in all its glory — but just how much better is it than the original OnePlus One? And is it worth the price that its manufacturer has given it? Here's your blow-by-blow comparison of how the first phone and its new successor measure up.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: release date and price
The OnePlus One caused a minor sensation when it was released in April 2014, so the OnePlus 2 has a tough job trying to follow it. The new phone, like the original, is initially going to be made available through a special invite system — so you're going to have to queue up or get an invitation from someone else.
The OnePlus 2 was finally unveiled on July 27 via a special event streamed live in virtual reality. It doesn't quite hit the lows of the OnePlus One in terms of price, but at US$329 for the 16 GB model and US$389 for the 64 GB model, it's still cheaper than a lot of comparable flagships on the market, and represents impressive value for money.
It's worth noting that the 16 GB model won't be available until after the 64 GB launches on August 11, and will only include 3 GB of RAM.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: design
The OnePlus 2 doesn't deviate too much from the template laid down by the OnePlus One, and you can definitely tell the two phones are related. It has the same multi-material back and metal trim, and uses StyleSwap covers that you can swap in and out.
The OnePlus 2 is slightly smaller than the phone it's replacing, at 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm, although the size of the actual screen has remained the same. OnePlus has found room to include a dual SIM slot for managing two numbers on the go, and the position of the camera has been shifted to be slightly lower on the back.
The OnePlus 2 also has a physical home button, which doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, and an 'alert slider' on the side, similar to what can be found on the iPhone. This allows you to easily flip between three different notification profiles.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: display
The OnePlus One came into the world rocking a 5.5-inch, 1,080 x 1,920 pixel display, and the OnePlus 2 keeps the same dimensions and screen resolution. This might come as a disappointment to some, but a number of 2015 flagships have the same resolution as their predecessors, and it means that OnePlus is able to keep the cost low.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: camera
The rear-facing camera on OnePlus 2 has the same 13 MP resolution as the OnePlus One's, and the front-facing 'selfie' camera also stays the same, at 5 MP. But cameras are about more than just raw specs of course and OnePlus is keen to play up the laser autofocus on the new model — it should help you get a better focus fix on your subject in a quicker time. The OnePlus One camera wasn't the most brilliant, so let's hope the OnePlus 2 model fares better.
You can read more about what we know so far about the OnePlus 2 camera at the link.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: performance
With a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 under the hood and 4 GB of super-fast RAM to work with, the OnePlus 2 is going to be no slouch in the performance stakes (though we'll have to wait to get our hands on it to be sure). It's a significant jump up from the Snapdragon 801 and 3 GB sitting inside the OnePlus One.
The OnePlus 2 features the aforementioned OxygenOS which offers a greater level of customization and a deeper level of file access than stock Android. Specs-wise, the new phone should be able to hold its own in terms of performance against the other 2015 flagships, making this a worthy upgrade.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: features
The OnePlus 2 has some very forward-looking features to tempt you into a purchase: there's that USB Type-C connector, for example, which means faster data transfer, a more versatile range of accessories and, of course, no more putting the cable in the wrong way up in the dark.
On top of that there's a fingerprint sensor — which OnePlus is promising works a lot faster than the one on the iPhone — and its inclusion should make logging into websites and buying apps a breeze. OnePlus' own OxygenOS takes over the Android mod duties from CyanogenMod.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: battery
Battery life continues to be the bane of many a smartphone user's life, but the OnePlus 2 wants to put an end to power socket anxiety: the new phone comes with an impressively beefy 3300 mAh battery, which is a small but welcome step up from the 3100 mAh cell that came inside the OnePlus One.
Does that mean battery life on the OnePlus 2 is going to be better than the OnePlus One? We would certainly like to hope so but we won't know for sure until we run some tests: various different factors can influence battery life, including the power drain from your smartphone's colorful display.
OnePlus One vs OnePlus 2: early verdict
On paper at least, the OnePlus 2 is an eye-catching upgrade on the original OnePlus One. In all of the key areas — processor, camera, battery — OnePlus has made small but significant improvements, so it should be able to hold its own against rivals from Samsung and HTC et al.
It's too early to say whether the OnePlus 2 is going to be a success or a failure, but it stands a good chance of selling well, even with that invite system in place. Stay tuned for our full review.