Ok, so the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak. The OnePlus 2 – made by the same guys who made the OnePlus One (haha) – is out in the open, the pricing is out in the open as well, and we had a short time to go hands on with it. It is by far, the most ridiculous piece of smartphone hardware you can get for a price range that starts at around USD$329. But that for that price, you will have to let go of some creature comforts – like NFC, a fast charging feature, and a wireless charging feature. Is that going to be ok for you?


China-based device manufacturer OnePlusenfant terrible of the smartphone industry last year – is growing up, and so is its flagship smartphone. The company got some wide coverage and acceptance last year because it was able to put out a smartphone with flagship level specs at a price nearer to USD$300, something unheard of in the industry. This year, they are trying for a repeat of that in the OnePlus 2 – a monster phone with great pricing. It seems reasonable that they try to find things to forego so that they can keep the pricing down.

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First up, the phone doesn’t have NFC – which means you can’t use it for wireless or contact-based payments, and surely not when Android Pay launches. OnePlus says that in their survey of OnePlus One users, NFC was rarely used. Sure, this is a calculated risk for the company – as most people will expect NFC as a given on any smartphone. But OnePlus is not Samsung or LG – it is trying to keep the price down while still giving you great specs. We need to remember that.

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Secondly, no wireless charging. This is expected, because wireless charging – while convenient when available – is still not a standard. It would have been cool to have it, but to keep the price down, this is no biggie. Fast charging, on the other hand, is a big issue. Even the USD$200-priced ASUS ZenFone 2 has it, so it is curious why this feature isn’t available. The Snapdragon 810 chipset inside the OnePlus 2 is certainly capable of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 feature, so it must boil down to either the USB Type-C port not being compatible with it, or the phone’s software is just not there yet. Best hope is that the feature will be part of a software update, quite like the LG G4.

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Ultimately, you have to look at what you do have. For less than USD$400 (crazy, we know), you get Qualcomm’s best chipset in the SD810 – barring any overheating issues, fingers crossed. You get 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM – I mean, everyone and anyone can have 4GB of RAM, but that’s LPDDR3 at best. You are getting the speediest RAM in the market to date. Then you have a 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p screen, and a spanking new OxygenOS that is as close to stock AOSP 5.1 Lollipop as you can get. For all of these things, at this price point, I will be willing to start paying out of my pocket with cash or with plastic, and forego wireless charging in the meantime.