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OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 review: The £249 flagship killer is a fantastic smartphone, if you can still find it!

OnePlus Two
Our Rating :
£99.95 from
Price when reviewed : £249
inc VAT (SIM-free, 64GB model)

Now invite-free and cheaper than ever, the OnePlus 2 is yet another fantastic flagship smartphone that's great value for money


Processor: Octa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Screen Size: 5.5in, Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080, Rear camera: 13 megapixels, Storage (free): 64GB (54GB), Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 152x75x9.9mm, Weight: 175g, Operating system: Oxygen OS (Android 5.1)

In July 2015, the OnePlus 2 was launched to the market at a flagship killer price of £249, half the price of every other flagship that was currently available at the time. But has it held the test of time?

The OnePlus 2 is now hard to source, where you’ll find it either new or used on eBay. The smartphone comes with 64GB of storage, a 5.5in 1,920 x 1,080 display, a 13-megapixel rear camera, an octa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM, making it as powerful as the Sony Xperia Z5 and HTC One M9.

At its price point, it makes the similarly priced Motorola Moto X Play look sluggish; it also gives the Nexus 5X and Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo a run for their money. Not everyone might want a 5.5in smartphone, but when given the speed and extra space offered by the OnePlus 2, it’s certainly a compelling proposition, especially if you’re on a budget.

OnePlus Two rear


With such a high-powered specification, the OnePlus 2 is one of the fastest phones around, regardless of price. In Geekbench 3’s multicore test, for instance, the OnePlus 2 scored a massive 4,744, which is streets ahead of other flagships with the same processor but only 3GB of RAM, including the Xperia Z5, which only managed 3,943.

In fact, it’s second only to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and S6 Edge+, as the ordinary Galaxy S6 only managed 4,501. The S6 closed the gap in Geekbench 3’s single core test, beating the OnePlus 2’s score of 1,210 with 1,427, but this is still highly impressive given the OnePlus 2 is almost half the price. Needless to say, the OnePlus 2’s Oxygen OS, which is based off Android 5.1, ran beautifully, with no signs of slowdown even when jumping in and out of apps at speed.

OnePlus Two USB Type C port

Unsurprisingly, the OnePlus 2 is a superb gaming device as well, as it managed to produce an impressive 1,396 frames in the offscreen GFX Bench GL Manhattan test, which equates to roughly 23fps. Again, only Samsung’s Galaxy S6 family has managed to best this so far, putting the OnePlus Two’s graphics capabilities miles ahead of any other smartphone in its price range.

The only area where the OnePlus 2 lets itself down is its web browsing performance, as it only managed a Peacekeeper score of 827, which is barely 100 points in front of the 3rd Gen Moto G. It showed in daily use, too, as scrolling up and down news articles with embedded videos on the Guardian, for instance, was often quite jerky. Performance improved slightly when browsing in Firefox, but both the Chrome and Dolphin browsers proved more troublesome. Still, it’s perfectly fast enough given its price, even if it is somewhat below average for this particular chipset.

Battery Life

One thing you needn’t worry about is battery life, as the 3,330mAh battery lasted a respectable 11h 13m in our continuous video playback test with the screen set to 170cd/m2. While not as impressive as the 13 hours I got from the Galaxy S6 and Moto X Play, it still beats the HTC One M9 and is just 45 minutes behind the LG G4, so its stamina levels are certainly competitive compared to this year’s other top handsets. There’s even a reversible USB Type-C port for charging, so you can finally bid farewell to fiddly Micro USB ports.


Of course, 5.5in handsets aren’t for everyone, but it’s actually one of the more compact big screen phones I’ve seen; being just a few millimetres taller than the LG G4, one of the smallest 5.5in handsets available. The curved back fits well in the hand, and its metal frame is easy to grip. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the standard sandpaper-esque texture on the rear panel, but you can always switch it out for one of OnePlus’ £20 removable wooden swap covers if you prefer.

OnePlus Two fingerprint scanner^ The fingerprint scanner is built straight into the home button and can open the phone in around a second from sleep mode

The handy volume slider button on the left side in addition to the standard volume rocker borrows heavily from Apple’s iPhone, letting you quickly switch between three sound profiles: alarms only, priority notification mode and all notifications. There’s also a fingerprint scanner built into the flush home button, which supports up to five fingerprints and takes little more than a second to unlock the phone straight from sleep mode. While not quite as quick as the Honor 7, it still worked very well when I tried it out for myself and is certainly as good as the scanner on the iPhone 6.


The OnePlus 2’s 5.5in, 1,920×1,080 screen picks up fingerprints more quickly than normal, which meant I was constantly having to clean it to keep it looking pristine. An sRGB colour gamut score of 89.6% is a little below average, even for a mid-range smartphone, with reds and magentas being the weakest coverage areas by far. This can mean colours aren’t quite as deep as other smartphone displays, and I could see the difference when I compared it side by side with the Moto X Play.

Admittedly, the OnePlus 2 has a much brighter screen than the Moto X Play, hitting a massive 599.41cd/m2 when set to maximum brightness, which takes away some of its vibrancy. Still, it does mean that whites are much cleaner – the Moto X Play’s look positively blue by comparison – and the screen’s black levels are surprisingly low for such a bright phone, measuring just 0.29cd/m2. Likewise, its high contrast ratio of 2,039:1 provides plenty of detail and illuminates dark shadow areas much more effectively than the Moto X Play.

OnePlus Two display


The 13-megapixel sensor on the back may not sound particularly large, considering even budget smartphones are now starting to use 13-megapixel snappers, but the OnePlus 2 definitely has one of the better cameras I’ve seen at this resolution. Colours were rich and vibrant in my outdoor shots and there was plenty of detail present across the frame. Even better, I barely saw any signs of noise, keeping photos looking crisp and natural throughout. There aren’t many modes available, but HDR did help capture details in darker areas as you’d expect.

OnePlus Two camera test ^ With its bright, vibrant colours and crisp detail, the OnePlus Two’s 13-megapixel camera is one of the best I’ve seen

Indoor performance was even more impressive, as colours still had plenty of punch, even in low lighting conditions and noise was once again kept to a minimum. There was plenty of contrast available, too, and it coped extremely well with the plant stems in our still life arrangement. Smartphone cameras often struggle in this area, but the OnePlus 2 managed to capture each one with only a minimal number of artefacts around the edges. The fur of our teddy bear was admittedly a little smudged in places, but turning on the flash soon helped to rectify this.

OnePlus Two camera test indoors^ Indoor performance was particularly impressive, as colours were rich and noise was kept to a minimum

OnePlus has also just announced that it will be rolling out a new software update (Oxygen OS 2.1.0) starting from 21st September which includes a new manual camera mode. I’ll be testing this out as soon as it becomes available on my handset, but OnePlus has said that it will introduce RAW support for third party camera apps, which will be good news for anyone who likes to tweak their pictures in photo-editing software on their PC or laptop.

Oxygen OS

Ultimately, though, a large part of the OnePlus 2’s appeal rests on its choice of its Oxygen OS rather than standard Android. It still looks a lot like vanilla Android, but it adds several handy features, such as customisable navigation buttons, gesture controls (including double tap to wake), a dark colour scheme that’s slightly easier on your eyes, and the ability to have full control over your app permissions (something that is getting a big overhaul in Android 6.0 Marshmallow as well).

This is particularly useful for those who like to keep their data private, as it means you can disable individual apps from accessing certain pieces of information rather than simply having to agree to everything in order to use it. For instance, if you don’t want Dropbox accessing your Contacts, you can disable it in the App Permissions menu and still have full use of the service.

The Oxygen OS 2.1.0 software update mentioned above will also include a new colour balance slider in the Display options for adjusting the colour tone of your screen, allowing you to switch instantly between warm and cool colour casts, as well as telephony service improvements so there’s no longer any lag when turning Airplane mode on and off.


With so much going for it at such a great price, there’s no denying that the OnePlus 2 is a fantastic handset that’s great value for money. Its battery life and display may not be as good as the Moto X Play, but its excellent camera and super-fast processor put the OnePlus 2 in a class of its own. It wins a Best Buy award.

ProcessorOcta-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Screen size5.5in
Screen resolution1,920×1,080
Screen typeLCD
Front camera5 megapixels
Rear camera13 megapixels
FlashDual LED
Storage (free)64GB (54GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)None
BluetoothBluetooth 4.1
Wireless data3G, 4G
Operating systemOxygen OS (Android 5.1)
Battery size3,300mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£289
Price on contract (inc VAT)N/A
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
SIM-free (by invite only)
Contract/prepay supplierN/A
Part codeOnePlus 2

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OnePlus Two
OnePlus 2 review: The £249 flagship killer
Mobile phones

Now invite-free and cheaper than ever, the OnePlus 2 is yet another fantastic flagship smartphone that's great value for money

£249 inc VAT (SIM-free, 64GB model)