OnePlus 2 price is right -- review roundup

Many backs. One phone. $330.

Wow, the OnePlus 2 price is low. That much we expected, given the company's previous market outing. But a hands-on test shows this is no mere cheap phone: Its design is gorgeous and its specs are salivatory.

"Never Settle" says the company. But it is missing a few obvious items. 

However, the price is right. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers come on down. Not to mention: Call Me Doctor...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Megan Geuss takes a wild stab in the dark: [You're fired -Ed.]

The OnePlus low-key, quietly offering improvements on the strong showing it made last year without taking any giant or unexpected turns. [It] runs on a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor with 1.8GHz “Octa-core CPUs” as well as an Adreno 430 GPU.  

It’s added an extra GB of 4GB and it retained its whopping 5.5-inch, 1080p display as well as a 13MP camera and 5MP front-facing camera. [It] supports shooting 4K video [and there's] a slight bump in battery capacity [to] 3300mAh. 

At first, OnePlus will only be selling 64GB models...for $389.99 to people with invitations. But...a 16GB model is on its way...pricing at $329.99.  MORE

Matthew Miller makes merry, moaning about the invitation system:

My major frustration [is] the inability to actually buy one. ... It's tough not to recommend that every Android fan go out and buy one. Unfortunately, OnePlus is using the same limited invite system.

The specifications look great, especially when viewed in combination with the price.  MORE

Richard Nieva also subtends that angle:

When the company last year unveiled the OnePlus was sleek and well-reviewed. It was also only sold by invitation and in limited quantities.

But this time, the company's will have as many as 50,000 phones ready at launch. ... The OnePlus One was a surprise hit, but with its follow up act, the company has to prove it's more than just a niche flash in the pan.  MORE

And an Anand-less Josh Ho jokes and laughs:

OnePlus is promising higher static contrast [than] the One. This is likely due to the use of photoalignment technology. ... The 1080p resolution is sufficient for a 5.5” smartphone, although an increase to 1440p would be noticeable.

[It] also has a significant improvement to materials, as the frame is an alloy of aluminum and magnesium. ... The other major change is the camera [with] a 13MP, 1.3 micron. ... OIS is also introduced to improve low light photo performance for longer exposures. Laser AF is also added to reduce AF speed [which] will be most effective within 10cm of the laser AF sensor.

OnePlus has also introduced some new features in the form of a notification switch, fingerprint sensor, and USB-C port. The notification switch [is] somewhat similar to the iPhone’s mute switch. The fingerprint sensor is also said to be better and faster than the iPhone 6’s [being] purely capacitive, which should make it unlikely to fail over time. ... The addition of USB-C is also great to see, as this makes OnePlus one of the first OEMs to adopt the reversible USB connector standard.  MORE

Yet Russell Holly's opinion is variegated:

Unusual is a good word to describe just about everything. ... Not necessarily bad, not necessarily good, but unusual enough to grab your attention.

The OnePlus 2 is a refinement of the original design in every way, and as a result looks and feels like a quality piece of hardware. ... A new metal frame wraps the edges...with radio strips and speaker holes. ... The polished metal helps the phone feel a little cool and smooth to the touch. [Its] girth and presence adds a sense of durability. [It] just plain feels sturdy, with no flexing or shifting.

The difference in brightness is surprisingly significant, and at no point...did the display ever feel lacking. Colors appear reasonably balanced, whites and blacks are presented with clarity. ... It may not be the best display in the industry, but it looks and feels great.

[The] fingerprint sensor...can be activated even when the screen is off. ... It is the fastest way to unlock. [And] will allow the phone to take advantage of the new fingerprint features coming in the M release of Android. ... The so-called "alert slider" is truly exceptional. It...offers a quick flip between the notifications in Android 5.1. ... You can hear it click from None to Priority to All, with a subtle vibration ... (And those of us who remember the proper mute switches of the Palm era can't wait to try this out.)  MORE

Meanwhile, Anton D. Nagy spots five features missing in action:

Here’s a list of what you won’t find on the OnePlus 2:
• Quick Charging
• Wireless Charging
• microSD card support

OnePlus said “we heard from a lot of users of the One and saw most of our users weren’t using NFC.” ... While we’re not all fans of wireless charging...a “2016 flagship killer” should offer support for it. ... It is not clear at the moment why exactly Quick Charging is not supported, [but] it might have something to do with the option of going USB Type C.

As a bonus, the OnePlus 2 has a non-removable battery.  MORE

And Finally...
Call Me Doctor (Derbyshire vs. Harry)

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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