First of all, to answer the headline. No it is not. I have used mine for some time now and if it weren’t for the fact that my earlier phone, my SONY Z2 had a broken back glass and unfortunate cracks on the front – I would much rather use that one than the OnePLyus 2.
Lets break it down in some smaller area and we will go through it. Please note that this is from my perspective of using the phone so all of it may not be accurate for your needs of a mobile phone.
Added note: This is based on stock Android 5.1.1 and Oxygen 2.2.0. The 2.2.1 has not yet been pushed on to phones close by here though it is said to make some amendments.
The screen is OK, it has the 1920 resolution, so higher than ordinary resolution from previous generation – but not on par with most of today’s flagships. The screen has an auto brightness, which is seriously haywire. It jumps up and down in brightness regardless of it being still and in same light or not. Wonky software won’t be the last we mention. Colours are slightly saturated and looks not so gamma intense. But they are decent.
Listening to music, you use headphones, don’t use the loudspeaker and be an ass. Many value the loudspeaker for sound – but they are all shit – period. This is one of the worst loudspeakers, and in landscape mode you effectively covers and mutes most sound 90% of the time. Great job designers – you fucked this one real good! Internally – after updating the firmware is OK. Sounds with PowerAmp and flat EQ and no extra sound enhancements OK – on par with most other phones I have listened to.
Well, we addressed a bit of gaming with the loudspeaker, for those of you wanting to do the ‘hey I have an iPhone and want to talk so the whole world can hear me – on loudspeaker mode – you will quickly get annoyed and realize this speaker is shit. Internal communication doesn’t fare that much better – it does the job, has reasonable volume and such and the microphone seems to pick up your voice better than the Z2. One thing OnePlus2 has going for it at least.
Ergonomics – sorta…
Well, how does it feel int he hand? Well, if you handle it without any protections, the curved back and the sandstone theme makes it rest well in your hand. And it sure needs those things because it is a big and heavy phone. Holding my Z2 feels like holding a piece of paper in comparison. Almost. The buttons are a bit wonky, but not much. Power on the right middle, volume on top of that. You have digital screen buttons and the middle button is also a shitty fingerprint reader. Why shitty? Because your phone won’t even wake up when you use it most of the time. Same with the on-screen gestures while the screen is off. They don’t register. So all the nifty things – they have like lets say an 75% accuracy in actually working – so in 75% of the time it is great – but 25% of the time you try and still have to do it the old fashion way and are more than 25% more annoyed than previously.
Wow, where to begin? It is at times unresponsive, slow, hacks in frame rate, the reader and on-screen commands don’t feel at all as responsive as they would need to be. I don’t recall that my SONY needed this many hard reboots because the phone becomes a mess in a few days or that I had to hard reboot it because the entire phone just freezes. It is such a crappy experience sometimes that you wonder what flagship killer means? The only thing I want to kill sometimes is my OnePlus2 – by smashing it to the ground. The OS is lean and don’t have much bloatware however. It has a few extras like the Swype keyboard and such – but basically it is a Google-esque experience. It is ok if you like the very simplistic look, if you like something fancy and special – get another phone – or get your own ROM’s perhaps.
While I normally don’t go here, this time I have been asking some questions of some of the adapters I bought stating that they were USB3 – and later Ars technica and many others said they were not standard USB3 and could potentially destroy your USB3 equipment – like iMACS etc. So I asked the support – it took me a month to get the answer that the USB3 gadgets sold were only meant to be used with the OnePLus2. Great – back and forth for nothing. If my phone dies – I will just have to write it off as nice try – never again experience. I’m in no way impressed by the OnePlus support or software at this stage.
There are, the OnePlus2 is for the price – which is sub par that of a flagship – a decent mobile. The USB3 connector is wonky at first, but a bliss when you get used to it for charging your phone. Well, most brand spanking new flagships uses cordless charging – which would be even less hassles – just saying. And the slider on the left side directly changing the don’t bother me modes – is the one feature I like the best. The camera seems to set the new standard, a slightly larger objective, less pixels makes for decent images. Problem is – the software Google Camera app is about as bad an experience you can have. Absolute crap.
After reading this you may think that I’m a cynical and bitter bastard – and well that’s spot on, at least when it comes to judging electronics that are so marketed as a Flagship Killer and will most likely be the thing that is my virtual wallet, buss-card, contact with the wider world for two years. Almost hundred interactions a day will pass through this device to me, and if I have a constant nagging using it – it won’t be worth the money. IF OnePlus2 can kick out some of the crap in the software, the lagging, the freezing and fix the unresponsiveness – this will be instantly a much better phone. I was looking to cut costs, I saw the prizes on new flagships and the prizes are very high. Unfortunately, I think that I should have bought a more specialized phone, like the overly priced Marshall Phone, but it is the best phone for listening to music in – bar none. Would I have gone for a higher phone and spent all that cash, I would most likely have gotten the newest Google phone – it looks amazing – but getting one with the right amount of storage was barred from my country at the time that I needed a new phone.
Am I disappointed in my OnePlus2 – well yes, but it will do for now. I think that if I find a deal on the Marshall, that I may look into that – or simply hold off any phones for a while and get a HRA portable music player instead and simply live with this until it gives up. That could however be rather quickly I’m afraid…