8 things you need to know about the OnePlus 2

We endured the VR launch event to bring you the official details on the new OnePlus phone

Last year's OnePlus One was a surprising flagship slayer, delivering top-tier specs at price well below the big name phones.

OnePlus has tried the same trick for its surprisingly named '2' but taken it a step further: OnePlus calls its next phone the "2016 Flagship Killer," like it's ready to keep up with next year's crop of phones as well.

And while the price is bumped up a small bit, it still seems remarkably cheap for what you're getting – it's about half the price of this year's flagships, but based on specs, it certainly isn't half the device.

OnePlus opted to reveal the phone via a streaming VR presentation through Google Cardboard, and if you missed it, congratulations. Seriously, you saved yourself 30 minutes of tedium. But we stuck with it, so why not take five of those minutes and read through our list of the eight things you need to know about the OnePlus 2.

1. It's got top specs

The OnePlus 2 is built around the Snapdragon 810, the 64-bit processor which was plagued by overheating concerns in phones such as the LG G Flex 2 and HTC One M9. The issue was a bit overblown, in our experience, but undeniably a problem for some, so the fact that the OnePlus 2 runs on a revised version should be good news. The new model is supposed to minimize overheating concerns – so you get the great performance without the snags when things run too warm.

Add to that a whopping 4GB of RAM and OnePlus' claim that it's the most powerful phone on the market may well be true. Then again, Samsung is rumoured to be putting 4GB into the Galaxy Note 5 (and Galaxy S6 Plus Edge), as well, so it might be a short reign at the top.

OnePlus will surely have Samsung beat on price, though.

2. It looks better than ever

The OnePlus 2 keeps the general footprint of the original: it still has a 5.5in display running at 1080p, although a community member in the VR experience who used the phone said it runs much brighter than before. However, it looks a lot nicer, with metal buttons and frame, a curved rear, and sleeker backing options. And the 3300mAh battery should do pretty well without a 2K screen here.

And despite the familiar size, OnePlus has jammed in a few new hardware additions that all look like welcome features. For example, the three-click alert slider does more than merely mute notifications: there's a middle setting for priority notifications to still come through, which aligns perfectly with Android Lollipop.

The OnePlus 2 also embraces USB-C before its rivals and comes with the new cable, plus it's a dual-SIM device.

3. It has a fingerprint sensor

As announced prior to the full reveal, the OnePlus 2 implements a fingerprint sensor, and it's on a button below the display. Only it's not really a button: it looks like one, but it can't be depressed or clicked. Still, it recognizes fingerprints, and you can tap it to get to the home screen, as well as assign a custom shortcut for double taps.

And it's fast, too: OnePlus says it recognises your prints faster than Apple's TouchID system. It looked fast in the VR presentation, but we'd be surprised if the differences are really more than negligible in daily use. Still, every hundredth of a second counts, right?

4. It's had a camera upgrade

We were pretty happy with the OnePlus One's 13-megapixel camera in day-to-day use, even if it didn't quite hang tough with the Galaxy S5 or LG G3 back when – but the OnePlus 2 is packing some significant perks that could help make up the difference.

Optical image stabilisation is one addition; laser focusing is another. Add those together and the result should be better-focused, crisper-looking shots. The six-element lens also has large 1.3µm pixels for better low-light shots, as well, which should be a big improvement over the results from the One. Up front is still just a 5MP shooter, but we didn't really need a selfie upgrade (and neither should most of you out there).

Read More