The OnePlus One is indeed an amazing phone. There are many things it has got right, which are truly incredible. OnePlus had packed its first phone with so many features, that now the expectations from any new product would have to beat their own previous set benchmark. The launch of its successor OnePlus 2 is all set to happen on July 27, 2015. A review of OnePlus One, about an year ago, around the time of it’s launch said “it pretty much has 95% of everything that one might want, not everything, but this is as close as one can possibly get.”
Cyanogenmod – the OnePlus One OS – based on Android brought with it a lot of natural features, which were missing even from the likes of the iPhone. The inbuilt File Manager made for easy navigation, the easy drag and drop file transfer and it’s ability to customize picture aspect ratio and resolution to conserve size, soon became pretty obvious, thanks to this phone. The ease of usage coupled with a rich drive space of 64 GB, meant that you would never have to worry about running out of space on the device. All of that layered with the infinite customizability of the Cyanogenmod OS, made for an experience unlike any other till then.
Including the Snapdragon processor and a handsome RAM packaged in it’s configuration, plus the different sensors that made life easier, has made buyers greedier and now they want more. The replaceable back was another brilliant move, allowing the fashionable lot to customize the look of their device on a daily basis. It is sad, though, that all the backplate accessories never really made it to India. However being around for a year now has fuelled ambitions of its users and elevated expectations to include a lot more. Here is the list of the top 5 aspirational features OnePlus 2 might have to live up to:
1. Smaller Screen and Build Size
The OnePlus One was a feat of engineering and design. With it’s super thin tapered edges and the gentle curved back similar to the Moto X’s, the OnePlus One was a marvel to hold even with it’s rather big 5.5-inch screen size. But all the brilliance and design could still not completely alleviate the irksome hand gymnastics that most of us have to engage in on a regular basis while dealing with the phone. The original Moto X and the new iPhone 6 both concluded that 4.7 inches were the most comfortable, however, most phones today are bringing out either a 5-inch screen or a 5.2-inch one, and that seems to work fine with end users.
Apparently, it is a bit late to discuss this as the leaked pictures of OnePlus 2 suggest that it will sport either a 5.5-inch or even bigger 5.7-inch screen. Almost identical to existing OnePlus One, the OnePlus 2 is rumored to have a finger print scanner at back.
2. Faster Camera, Better Slow Motion
By itself the OnePlus One’s camera is pretty good, however when compared with any of the big 5 (Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, iPhone 6, Sony Z3+, HTC M9), the OnePlus One could quickly start looking mediocre. One year from the launch and there is even more competition in the market with Huawei, Xiaomi, Meizu and many others stepping up their camera game.
The OnePlus Two would need to create a significant impact by having a fast launching camera with super fast focusing. It would definitely do well if it went with one of the new Sony Sensors with inbuilt phase detection technology.
Also, if you have ever tried using the 120 fps slow motion feature on the OnePlus One, you’ll be familiar with the weird Red/Pink hue that is there in the regular pictures too. That hue becomes super prominent on slow frames. The iPhone 6 was the only phone to step up its game and take their camera to 240 fps this year. OnePlus can easily beat them with the super awesome ISP (Image Signaling Processor) bundled into the Helio X10 MT6795 Mediatek processor and become the first 480 fps mobile device ever!
But it’s not all sensors, ISPs and processor bundles. Meizu showed us with the MX4, as to how processing the image after the sensors have captured all the spectrum data, goes a long way towards optimizing picture quality. If OnePlus products want to continue being the ‘flagship killer’, it would need to work on their picture processing algorithms.
The Waterproof technology is evolving; Sony phones have always been waterproof with IP ratings, however, Samsung jumped onto the bandwagon only last year, with the Galaxy S5, promoted widely by their underwater selfie marketing campaign. Motorola went a step higher, by announcing water resistance as mandatory for all it’s phones from the flagship Moto X, through the mid-range Moto G all the way to the little Moto E. The cherry on the pie came in the shape of the little known Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, followed by the Sony Xperia Z3+ this year – both phones are IP rated water resistant but neither of them require the annoying flap to cover their charging ports!
With so many companies pushing for advancements in water resistance for mobile devices, it must surely be worth taking serious note for the OnePlus 2.
4. IR Blaster
It might have about 95% of the things anybody could possibly want, however among the few things the OnePlus One missed in the 5% is the lack of having an IR Blaster. Even the cheaper Xiaomi Mi4 (now for $250) with it’s 0.3 sec focusing camera has it. Then why not consider it for the OnePlus 2?
Nowadays, juggling among various device remotes, including those of different televisions, set-top boxes, ACs and their such equipment, is certainly painful. A universal remote in the one device that stays with many of us always is such a boon. Looking back at the earlier models, even the LG G2 has this feature built in and helps cut down the hassle of multiple remotes. Having the IR Blaster as a part of the OnePlus 2, makes absolute sense, thus.
5. Better Wake Features
The OnePlus One launched with a few really amazing ‘wake gestures’. One could draw on their blank screen to wake the phone directly into an app or feature. However, most users turned off the feature completely because of the repeated accidental ‘flash on’ in their trousers pockets, that occur due to the phone rubbing against the leg while walking. More irritatingly this led to the battery draining rather rapidly, without the user realizing the flash activity. The ‘customizable voice wake’ heavily advertised by OnePlus (similar to what is available on the Moto X2) was nowhere to be found at launch either, but seems to have been activated now albeit with a few bugs and inconsistencies.
The OnePlus One had a lot of features, but their bugs made them unusable and led to a lot of people abandoning them. The OnePlus Two needs to fix these problems outright and also introduce customizability in wake features, by enabling user created gestures and wake phrases. These features as seen in the OnePlus One, are not as helpful as we would expect it to be.
The OnePlus 2 is touted to be the first phone in the world to launch with a USB type C reversible port and so far looking at the pictures of the phone, rumoured to be leaked, it would have front facing speakers. However, it is left to be seen how well OnePlus Two implements the same to add to the wow.
Will the OnePlus 2 allow for unheard of superfast charging at 100w? Will it allow for a direct connection to the HD TV and to power content on it? All these and more are expectations and anxiety turning into questions in the minds of prospective buyers and keen observers waiting for the product to be unveiled.
Strategy, agreed! Keeping costs and inventory in check, agreed. However, the 24-hour expiring ‘invite only system‘, is not a well-received business tactic, especially when it means dejected consumers keenly waiting for the launch of a wonderful product. Would a pre-order or registration system, not help in lowering costs and over ordering of products by the company? Many feel that by adding pre-mentioned shipping schedules to pre-ordering, the company could easily take stock of the demand and then manufacture as many units as required. Disappointed prospects would end up buying similar products from other brands, thus spreading a rather negative emotion in the market for such initiatives.
How OnePlus would answer these expectations is as unknown as the features that OnePlus 2 will be shipped with. The one thing that could be done now is wait and watch.