Smartphone newcomer OnePlus is working hard on the OnePlus 2, its 2015 flagship phone due to be revealed at the end of July. First discussed in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) Reddit session last year, the OnePlus 2 is likely to remain good value for money while still offering high-end specifications. In addition to the new phone, there have also been hints about the possibility of a wearable device being released in the near future, and talk about a OnePlus One Lite smartphone.
We’ve put together everything we know so far about OnePlus’ plans into this handy roundup post.
Updated on 07-22-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in images of what may be the OnePlus 2, taken from Chinese regulator TENAA’s website.
OnePlus 2 will feature a Type C USB port and the Snapdragon 810 v2.1 chip
After leaked benchmarks caused concern that OnePlus may throttle the Snapdragon 810 processor inside the phone, a second set of benchmarks show this may not happen. OnePlus will use v2.1 of the Snapdragon 810 inside the OnePlus 2, which is supposedly unlikely to overheat. However, these AnTuTu benchmarks, supposedly taken using a OnePlus 2, show a 51,000 final score, similar to the current OnePlus One, which sports the older Snapdragon 801. A possible explanation for this is OnePlus has throttled or underclocked the 810 to make sure that it never overheats.
The day after these benchmarks were circulated, a second AnTuTu result was made public, supposedly showing the OnePlus 2 outperforming the competition with a final score in excess of 63,000.
What’s the explanation? It’s possible the first benchmarks were from an earlier prototype, plus it’s not hard to fake benchmark results. However, exactly the same could be said for the second set, so so we can’t be sure either of these figures accurately portray the OnePlus 2’s final processing power and performance.
The OnePlus 2 will be using an updated 810 chip known as v2.1, an important distinction because the previous version of the chip could cause phones to overheat and slowdown.
The updated version of the 810 shouldn’t overheat,and therefore shouldn’t need throttling, according to OnePlus. “We worked very closely with Qualcomm’s engineers to integrate an improved version of the chipset (v2.1) in the OnePlus 2, and fine-tuned both hardware and software,” the company said. “The 2 will be ‘cooler than ever.'”
OnePlus isn’t one to keep quiet about its upcoming device. The unorthodox smartphone maker revealed yet another spec of its highly-anticipated OnePlus 2 on Twitter in late June. Apparently, the OnePlus 2 will feature a reversible Type C USB port instead of the standard Micro USB port that most Android phones have onboard.
What we learned from two AMA Reddit chats
A few weeks before the official launch of the OnePlus 2, the company held another AMA Reddit to discuss a few details about the upcoming phone. Here’s a rundown of what we learned from the chat:
- Screen size: The OnePlus 2 is smaller than the original One.
- Battery: It will have a larger 3,300mAh battery inside.
- Launch event: You can still see the launch event without VR, though no specifics have been given.
- Colors: “This year StyleSwaps are gonna be much much better,” OnePlus said, evading questions about Sandstone Black.
- Wireless Bands: U.S. GSM model (GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) (WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8 FDD-LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17) and Europe GSM model (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) (WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/5/8 FDD-LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20)
- Invite system: Early supporters will be prioritized in the invite system.
You can read the entire AMA here to see the rest of the hints that dropped.
Much earlier on, the first AMA was hosted by OnePlus’ Carl Pei and David S. on Reddit. The two answered questions on several topics, including preorders, the limited supply of OnePlus One smartphones, and future products. The company agreed that it underestimated demand for its first smartphone, but added that it remains committed to its motto of “Never Settle.” Initially, preorders for the OnePlus will only be open for a limited amount of time, due to production limitations.
“Things definitely haven’t gone as planned,” Pei said. “Looking back, we probably misjudged demand by 30x, and are scrambling to catch up. Our team wasn’t built to handle this growth. We’re hiring like crazy, and things should be under control in a few months.”
In the meantime, OnePlus said it’s focused on creating the OnePlus 2, so that sufficient numbers of the device will be available ahead of the projected 2015 launch. The company didn’t reveal much about the device’s specs or price, but it did hint that the OnePlus 2 may be smaller than the original.
“We’ve seen a lot of people asking for a smaller device, and want to let everyone know that we hear you,” OnePlus said. “We’re thinking about it.”
Unfortunately, OnePlus said that it will probably use the invite system for its next smartphone too, before moving on to limited preorders again. “It will probably be invite-only for a short period of time, after which pre-orders are rolled out,” OnePlus wrote, much to the chagrin of every fan who’s been slighted by the highly selective system.
OnePlus 2 will be less than $450
OnePlus CEO Peter Lau offered us another hint at what the OnePlus 2 will cost via Twitter. Although Lau made a promise, he was a little vague, as one would expect. He said, “I can promise that the OnePlus 2 will be priced under 450 USD.”
The obvious assumption here is $449, but for which model? Now that we know there will be multiple variants with different storage capacities (see Launch Date section), it’s not clear if Lau is referring to the entry-level model or the high-end model.
The original OnePlus One started at $300 for 16GB, and $350 for 64GB. It’s a given that the OnePlus 2 will be priced higher, but if $450 refers to the entry-level model, it would mean that the high-end model could wind up costing $500 or even higher. However, if it’s the other way around, the entry-level model could still come in below $400, which sounds more like it.
A report from June said the OnePlus 2 would be priced at 2,000 Yuan ($322), which is slightly more than the OnePlus One’s original launch price of $300. We are taking this one with a grain of salt, since OnePlus CEO Pete Lau posted on the social network Weibo that 2,500 Yaun or $400 would be a “reasonable” price for the phone. Of course, there is a chance that Lau was aiming high in order to shock us when the phone does get announced.
The main attraction of the OnePlus One was its incredibly low price paired with high-end hardware. The Chinese company priced its phone so low that it barely made any profit off the sales. A source told Business Insider that OnePlus will sell the 2 for much less than the standard $500-and-up price tag of your average high-end smartphone. No specific number was mentioned. Although the specifications have yet to be officially announced, those familiar with OnePlus’ plans say the hardware on the 2 will be high-end and powerful.
OnePlus announces virtual reality launch event for OnePlus 2
The OnePlus 2 is all set to launch on July 27, and now three models of the OnePlus 2 passed through Bluetooth SIG certification. The model numbers include the A2001, A2003, and A2005, and each variant comes with different storage capacities and/or radios.
OnePlus certainly knows how to create a little buzz. The company announced July 27 for the OnePlus 2 launch event, which normally isn’t a big deal. However, OnePlus wants its fans to be right there front and center. That doesn’t mean that you will get a free ticket to be there in person, but you will get the next best thing — the entire event will be streamed in virtual reality. There will be options for those who don’t have a VR headset, though, an AMA Reddit revealed.
OnePlus’ Carl Pei said, “In our industry, product launches tend to be the same. An auditorium, a keynote, and a seated audience. For the OnePlus 2 launch, we didn’t want that barrier between us and you; we want to invite you into our world, because you’re a major part of it.”
Witnessing the event in VR means that you will be right there next to the OnePlus team, and you will be able “check out the phone in a new way and maybe even find a few hidden Easter eggs.”
OnePlus recently hosted a pair of contests giving two fans a chance to go to the event, and it has been revealed that those fans will actually help present the event in VR.
You can’t view VR unless you have a special headset, and OnePlus has created their own version of Google Cardboard. Just like Google Cardboard, it will work with most Android phones, and you will be able to order one soon. It’s not clear, but we are under the assumption that Google Cardboard will work as well.
Be sure to mark your calendar for July 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
Earlier reports out of China indicated that OnePlus would host a press event in July, and they were right.
In late May, OnePlus invited its fans to check out its upcoming June 1 event in a Google+ post. The invite said, “We’re always looking for ways to shake up the tech industry. And we think it’s time for a change. Find out more June 1.”
We expected OnePlus to announce the OnePlus 2 on June 1 based on the above image, but what we got instead was a series of OnePlus One flash sales from June 1 through June 7, in which the starting price dropped to $250.
Earlier on, OnePlus held a special event on April 20 2015, but didn’t reveal the OnePlus 2, or the OnePlus One Lite there either. Instead, the invitation system to buy the OnePlus One was dropped entirely. However, the company took the opportunity to inform us it would be back for the OnePlus 2.
When OnePlus first confirmed the existence of the OnePlus 2, the company stated that the 2 will launch between April and September of 2015. Since then, OnePlus’ Carl Pei has continued to place the release date in that large timeframe, without specifying an exact date. In early December 2014, Pei told BGR India the handset will launch in either the second quarter or the third quarter of 2015, reiterating the vague window mentioned before. Now, we’ve finally got the official July 27 date.
Camera test images are revealed
The week before the OnePlus 2 is due to launch, OnePlus has revealed a series of sample images taken with the OnePlus 2’s camera. Posted on an official message board, and attributed to CEO Pete Lau, the pictures are all compared to either the Apple iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6.
OnePlus hasn’t confirmed the camera’s specification yet, but it’s expected to have 16-megapixels on the rear, with an f/2.0 aperture. It’s difficult to judge the camera performance from these images, and the differences between them — and whether they’re considered better or worse — may come down to personal preference.
The daylight, zoomed-in images are all compared to the Galaxy S6 — with the OnePlus 2’s images on the left — while the lowlight, nighttime pictures are compared to the iPhone 6, again with the OnePlus 2’s efforts on the left.
OnePlus 2 will feature the “most advanced” fingerprint sensor
Previously leaked images of the OnePlus 2 revealed the possibility of a fingerprint sensor being fitted, and now OnePlus has confirmed it in a forum post.
Fingerprint sensors are becoming more desirable as people look for better ways to secure their smartphones, and as mobile payments begin to gain international appeal. Inputting a PIN, pattern code, or password to unlock a phone is viewed as an inconvenience, and many people leave their phones entirely unprotected because of it, an issue solved by biometric security.
OnePlus is touting its fingerprint sensor as being “refined and lightning quick” and says it will outperform Apple’s TouchID. Unfortunately the company didn’t offer any information as to why its sensor will be so advanced, and we’re wondering if it has anything to do with Qualcomm’s Sense ID technology that was revealed back in March. Interestingly, the OnePlus 2 will store five different fingerprint profiles, letting you secure the phone for different family members.
Leaked pictures show the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the OnePlus 2, which if true, is a deviation from the front-mounted sensors favored by the majority of other Android manufacturers.
Just how high-end will the specs be?
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told followers on the Weibo social network the OnePlus 2 will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, just like the LG G Flex2 and the HTC One M9. In late May, a benchmark test was discovered showing a phone called the OnePlus One A2001 running exactly that chip. The octa-core processor was accompanied by 3GB of RAM, and the device used Android 5.1 as its operating system. The test was dated May 20. Prior to this, a rumor from reseller Coolicool claimed the 2 would come with a Snapdragon 805, which seemed unlikely at the time.
Other specs revealed by Coolicool — so take them as you will — include a a 5.5-inch screen with an unspecified pixel resolution, 32GB of storage, a 3300mAh battery, as well as 16 and 5-megapixel cameras. It pegged the OnePlus 2’s release for the third quarter of 2015, which is in line with OnePlus’ own enigmatic predictions, and had put a high $552 price estimate on the device.
Anonymous sources speaking to GizChina.com in January 2015 agree with the 5.5-inch screen size, and put the screen resolution at 2560 x 1440 pixels. The Snapdragon 810 may be joined by 4GB of RAM — which will see it compete with Xiaomi’s Mi Note Pro — and be powered by a 3300mAh battery. The January report suggested the price would be 2700 yuan, or about $435.
In an AMA Reddit, OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus 2 will be smaller than the original, but didn’t say a specific size. The company did post a picture of the OnePlus covering the OnePlus 2 to illustrate how much smaller it is, but you can’t see the 2 in the picture at all.
This is our first good look at the OnePlus 2
OnePlus’ first smartphone wowed tech fans with its design and style, will it do the same again with the OnePlus 2? Aside from some suspect renders, we’ve had to wait until the very last minute before any convincing pictures of the OnePlus 2 leaked out. They come from the Chinese industry regulator TENAA, and are likely to be genuine.
The design is similar to the OnePlus, but we get a better look at the rounded home button below the screen, which houses a fingerprint sensor. Plus, on the rear, the camera lens is sandwiched between a dual-LED flash and a secondary sensor — presumably an auto-focus assist light, similar to LG’s setup on the G3 and G4.
Before these images leaked, a report from Business Insider stated the company’s next handset will be even more customizable. The first time around, OnePlus offered limited numbers of special StyleSwap backs for the One, including the very popular and extremely elusive bamboo back. Those who manage to get their hands on a OnePlus 2 will have even more color and material options. OnePlus confirmed that StyleSwap will be better than ever in an AMA Reddit.
At the end of June, a pair of images supposedly showing the OnePlus 2 were published by PhoneArena.com, which in the light of the TENAA leak, seem to be fake or of an abandoned prototype. Underneath the massive watermark, the phone itself looks more like a render than an actual blurry photo of a ‘live’ device. From the front, the phone isn’t all that different to the OnePlus One.
The OnePlus 2 may run OxygenOS
The first OnePlus smartphone runs CyanogenMod’s own custom ROM built upon Android and many expected that it would appear on the OnePlus 2 as well. However, following CEO Peter Lau’s admissions to a Chinese publication regarding a home-grown custom ROM for the next phone, the company released OxygenOS.
OxygenOS is OnePlus’ own Android-based operating system, and was released at the beginning of April. It can be installed on the OnePlus One smartphone, and will most likely come pre-installed on the OnePlus 2.
What about the OnePlus One Lite?
According to an anonymous source speaking to DroidPile, the OnePlus One Lite will be an improved version of the OnePlus One, but not quite matching the specs of the OnePlus 2. This suggests the OnePlus 2 may be more expensive than the OnePlus One, and the Lite may be the company’s budget model for 2015. Expect another invite-only system to be put in place for prospective buyers.
Is a OnePlus Watch in the works?
The company also addressed rumors that it’s working on a wearable device. “Re: wearables,” OnePlus wrote in response to a fan’s question about the new category. “Yes. Unsure if/when/how we’ll release it though.”
Images of the OneWatch leaked earlier this summer, so it’s entirely possible that OnePlus was just being coy. Either that, or the pictures aren’t real.
Updated on 07-21-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in camera samples from the OnePlus 2, and a second more positive benchmark test.
Updated on 07-20-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in leaked benchmark revealing the Snapdragon 810 might be throttled to combat overheating concerns.
Updated on 07-10-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added info from an AMA Reddit with OnePlus, which revealed the battery size, details on the invite system, a list of network bands, a hint that it’ll have a smaller screen, and more. All the info is in the AMA Reddit section, which follows right after the table of contents.
Updated on 07-06-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in pricing information from CEO Peter Lau, who says it’ll cost less than $450
Updated on 07-02-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added news of Bluetooth SIG certification for three different models.
Updated on 06-30-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that OnePlus has confirmed the OnePlus 2 will feature a fingerprint sensor
Updated on 06-29-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in some leaked pictures that may, or may not, show the OnePlus 2. Visit the Leaked Images section below to see them.
Updated on 06-25-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that OnePlus has announced a July 27 event to unveil the OnePlus 2 in virtual reality.
Updated on 06-22-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added in news that OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 2 will have a Type C USB port
Updated on 06-17-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 2 will feature the Snapdragon 810 processor v2.1, and that the new version won’t overheat.
Updated on 06-12-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news of a possible July launch and rumored pricing for the OnePlus 2. Edited previously reported information regarding a June 1 launch.
Updated on 05-26-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added in news of a possible June 1 launch date for the OnePlus 2.
Updated on 05-21-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in a benchmark test which may show the OnePlus 2 running a Snapdragon 810 processor.
Updated on 05-07-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in official comments on the OnePlus 2’s spec and potential price.
Updated on 04-20-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added in a leak suggesting a OnePlus One Lite phone will be revealed alongside the OnePlus 2.
Updated on 12-04-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added report from OnePlus reseller that hints at high-end specs for the 2.
Updated on 12-03-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news from Carl Pei, Director of OnePlus Global, confirming the launch date of the 2.
Updated on 11-24-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added new report detailing design, price, and other surprises.
Updated on 10-29-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added confirmed report that OnePlus will build its own custom Android ROM for the company’s next handset.