Back when OnePlus launched the One a year ago, it felt like the logical extreme of the kinds of moves Motorola was making at the bottom of the market. Whilst Motorola pared ‘good enough’ technology with the latest brew of Android and friendly hardware for an ultra low price, OnePlus threw the kitchen sink at their phone and sold it for virtually no profit, resulting in a flagship tier device available at around £190. It came out of nowhere and demand, unsurprisingly, was extremely high.

Flashing forward to today and rather than an upstart hardware company offering what could have been pure vapourware, we’ve got an established, sought after brand launching their newest flagship, and it’s called Two.

oneplus 2 1

Given how beloved OnePlus’ first swing at the smartphone market was, you can forgive them for what appears at first blush to be an only iterative improvement to their handset. Naturally it’s got the usual bumps of a bigger, better camera, a nicer screen and faster performance, but digging through the specifications it becomes clear that this is the device which will see OnePlus go from a market curiosity to a near unavoidable option for those looking for a smartphone.

Drawing up a list of 2015-tier flagship specifications these days is relatively easy. Knock on your neighbours door and they’ll likely demand a 5″+ 1080p display, a Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, a good set of cameras and something neat to show off to their friends. The Two was clearly designed to suit those demands, and more.

Headlining the specification sheet, and as previously leaked, is a 5.5″ 1080p display coated in Gorilla Glass 4. Powering that is a Snapdragon 810 processor, either 3 or 4GB of RAM (depending on whether you opt for the 16 or 64GB model), an Adreno 430 GPU and a lightly skinned version of Android 5.1 called Oxygen OS. Alongside that is the full suite of sensors, antennae and connectivity options which means it can roam around the globe. They’ve even a dual-SIM slot and a large 3300mAh battery for those heavy commuters.

Taking a look at the front of the device reveals that OnePlus have ditched on-screen buttons in favour of physical and capacitive options along the bottom. Don’t worry though, it’s all for a good reason as the OnePlus Two features a high-speed fingerprint reader which allows you to unlock your phone easily and –in a future version of Android– ditch passwords altogether. The company are claiming it’s as fast as the iPhones, and we’ve no reason not to believe them.

Also along the front is a 5MP front facing camera, which is pared with a 13MP rear sensor that packs optical image stabilization, two-tone flash for (allegedly) more natural skin tones and laser based autofocus, like that found on LG’s latest flagship smartphones. It’s a potent pairing, and one which should find OnePlus plenty of fans.

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The frame is another story altogether. Gone is the plastic frame from the first model and in its place is an all-metal affair, which greatly improves the feel of the device in hand. OnePlus have also seen fit to include a two-setting switch which lets you easily cycle between the three default notification settings in Android Lollipop – All, Priority and None. A volume switch and screen lock button are both present.

Perhaps the final notable feature is that OnePlus have ditched Micro-USB for USB Type C, otherwise known as USB-C. This is the next-generation USB plug that’s entirely reversible and allows all sorts of extremely neat tricks to be played (like using one phone to charge another). It’s a nice feature for the future of the phone, but for now it means you’re going to have to take a dedicated cable to your pals house if you want a charge.

Just like last years model, the Two will allow you to switch out the back plate, letting you stick with the lovely soft touch plastic or go for other options like Kevlar or wood (which is my favourite).

oneplus 2 back

The real story here though remains the price. It’s up from last year, but it’s still extremely reasonable. The basic model which features 16GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM comes in at around £210 whilst the top of the range 64GB/4GB configuration costs just £250.

Like last years model, you’ll need an invite if you want to get on board with the Two. As of writing, there were 436,272 people on the waiting list, so head to this address to get yourself signed up and whilst you’re waiting, learn what you need to know if you’re buying a Chinese smartphone.

The Two will start shipping to the US, Europe and India by the middle of August.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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