8 things you need to know about the OnePlus 2

5. It has a new operating system

OnePlus moved away from CyanogenMod and replaced it with OxygenOS (shown above on the One) – a very clean take on Android Lollipop that looks pretty close to what you'd see on a Nexus phone, without quite being stock Android. That's because OnePlus added its own extra functionality, and the version seen on the OnePlus 2 brings a couple of helpful features into the fray.

For example, you can set individual app permissions – as you'll be able to in Android M, but ahead of the curve here – and you can switch to a night theme with a tap of a button. There are other little tweaks that seem to only enhance the experience, so as long as it stays steadily updated, it should be a nice near-stock Android option.

6. It'll be out very soon...

The OnePlus 2 will be released in Europe, North America, and India on 11 August, with a 64GB version available on day one for £289 (or US$389). Compared to the 64GB version of the OnePlus One, it's a remarkably slim step up in price, considering all the hardware enhancements. It's certainly much lower than many people's best pre-launch guesses.

Shortly after 11 August, OnePlus will release a cheaper 16GB version of the phone for £239 (or US$329), which hews closer to the original model's headline-making starting price. However, with no microSD port, you may want to invest in that extra storage while you have the chance.

If you want to try out the phone before the release, OnePlus will have pop-up stores in several major cities around the world – including London, New York City, Paris, and San Francisco – starting on 31 July, so that people can get their hands on the OnePlus 2 for a few moments.

7. ...but buying it will still be a pain

Sadly, despite selling more than a million handsets, OnePlus isn't quite ready to embrace open availability for the OnePlus 2. That means that the invite system will return for the second model, although the company claims that it'll be a much better experience this time round.

According to OnePlus, there will be many more devices available from the start, plus phones will ship faster. They'll also have physical invite cards to give away, and purchasers will get invites for friends much more quickly. With some 350,000+ people on the list for potential invites, well… let's hope they've really stepped up production this time around.

8. It was launched in chaotic fashion

Can we take a moment to talk about the VR launch experience? The focus on community was a nice break from typical, corporate press conferences, and we applaud OnePlus for that (and trying something new here) – but every part of the 30-minute-plus stream went on for too long and didn't even take advantage of the perks of the format.

Virtual reality should be used to create immersive experiences. Ideally, we should have had the phone in our virtual hands, able to view it from all angles and really feel like we were holding it for the first time. Instead, we basically watched a series of 360-degree video feeds of people talking in offices, and never got an especially great look at the device. In fact, we didn't really see anything we wouldn't have rather watched on YouTube on our computers.

And the lack of enthusiasm was hard to shrug off. At once point, the experience brought in Qualcomm's marketing man via a videoconferencing screen to talk about the processor. We put on a VR headset to field a fake conference call with a suit. Brutal.

It had fun moments – like seeing someone in a Spider-Man suit slyly write out an invite code on a wall with post-it notes – but by and large, the stream missed the point of VR and simply dragged the entire way through.

In short: let's not do these regularly, OK tech companies?

Still, well done on the phone itself. We'll have a review just as soon as we can.

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