End User phones

In which I take a look at my new Oneplus 2 one week in

Oneplus 2 review – is the upgrade worth going for?

I took delivery of my new Oneplus 2 last Wednesday. Initial thoughts:

Screen already chipped – wtf??
I like the fingerprint recognition – works really well
Took a while to figure out how to close down the camera app
V cool button for selecting priority callers only
Much better phone directory lookup than Oneplus 1
I’ve kept the sms and hangouts functions in separate apps this time because merging the two in the Oneplus 1 didn’t work very well
the rough back on the phone is great

I didn’t need a new phone but the Oneplus 1 was starting to give me some grief in a few areas. It would quite often take minutes to look up people/phone numbers. The phone would sometimes not find a person I knew I had in my address book. It was hit and miss. Wasn’t like that when I first got it. I also made the mistake of merging the sms function with the hangouts app. This caused so much hassle in figuring which account to use when sending a text message. It may also have been the source of the problem of directory look up. I don’t know.

Because the Oneplus 2 didn’t break the bank at £270 or so I bit the bullet. First issue was it uses a nano sim which the Oneplus 1 doesn’t. I could have cut the sim down but figured it wasn’t worth the effort and went into the EE shop in Lincoln and got a new one. New sim worked straight away fair play. In the meantime I used the Oneplus 2 without a SIM.

Before originally deciding to sign up with EE I had considered running without a mobile number and getting a data only sim. Decided that this approach was a little too ahead of its time.

Screen defect on Oneplus 2

Now before diving into the improvements that the Oneplus 2 has brought it is worth saying that the screen has already got a defect in it. It’s very small and I can’t see if it is a chip but boy is it irritating. The problem is I suspect that the RMA procedure takes ages with Oneplus and I think I’m going to have to live with it. It doesn’t get in the way of the overall experience. I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen as a result of being dropped or bashed in any way. The Oneplus 1 went a year without mishap.

For an update on the screen issue please see this post.

Fingerprint recognition on Oneplus 2

The fingerprint mechanism on the Oneplus 2 is great. Works every time. I have both index fingers and my right thumb stored. It’s real progress. I still have the PIN number as a backup. It took me a while to realise that this function was worthwhile but now I use it every time and even find myself shutting down the screen just so that I can reactivate it with my thumbprint!

Oneplus 2 Camera

One of the most important features of a phone for me is the camera. I take a lot of pictures. Other reviews tell me the camera is an evolutionary improvement over the Oneplus 1. I guess it is though I can’t really tell the difference that much. One thing worth noting is that if you use the “photo” mode for hte camera it takes a while to take the picture. You have to hold the camera still whilst it take the photo. If you choose “Manual” more it still seems to do things automatically but doesn’t have the same problem.

A few observations. It took me a while (a few days) to figure out how to exit the camera app. There is no obvious x button and the android softkeys that allow you to go to the home page, go back or show open apps disappears from the screen when you are using the camera. Turns out you just swipe up from the bottom and these buttons reappear. This might be something adjustable in the settings but now I know what to do I can live with it.

I also discovered a “feature” whilst writing this post. If you have the phone locked in portrait mode and then take a landscape oriented video the video turns out at right angles to the way it should when viewed. I found this out after having posted four videos to Facebook. What’s more Facebook didn’t appear to have any mechanism for rotating the vids and none of the cloud based video editing services seemed to want to work. At least with the four videos of mine. Fortunately YouTube was reliable and I was able to rotate all four for inclusion on this blog. Check em out here.

Priority notification setting button

Dunno if that’s the right description for the button but on the left side of the phone is a small slider that has three settings. The first lets all calls and notifications through, the second just priority ones and the third none at all. In other words it blocks all communications. It’s a good way for quickly putting the phone in silent mode. Took me a while to get used to this but I then figured out that I could label specific people as priority callers by highlighting a star in their directory profile.

In principle this could be quite useful. I’ve set all the family as priority callers. This is a risk as my dear wife Anne has a track record of ringing during important meetings to discuss “tonights tea”. We shall see.

Much better phone directory lookup than Oneplus 1

You’ve already read my whinge about the directory lookup speeds in the Oneplus 1. Well this seems to be fixed in the Oneplus 2. It could just be that the firmware load is fresh and hasn’t had a chance to get bogged down yet but all I can say is that so far it’s a huge improvement.

I’ve also kept the sms and hangout apps separate in the two. Actually this has shown me that I don’t really use hangouts all that much and it was a mistake to have merged the two in the first place. I use Facebook messaging far more.

It remains to be seen which messenger app will win out considering that the UK government seems hell bent on making it difficult for such apps to be used in the UK. I think a general uprising would ensue if this happened or people would move to “illegal” platforms.

Rough back on phone

I’ve seen a Oneplus 2 review where the reviewer didn’t like the rough back to the phone. It took me a while to get used to it but in balance I think this is a winner. It stops the phone from sliding off surfaces. For example I can have it on my tummy whilst leaning back on the settee writing (as I am doing now) and the phone won’t slip off. I’m sure it’s going to save a few smashed screens.


So having looked at the Oneplus 2  review I can say it’s definitely better than its predecessor. I’m still a bit peeved about the screen defect and I may yet RMA it but we shall see.

Feature pic taken from Oneplus website – I can’t take pics of the phone with itself 🙂

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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