The folks at OnePlus have put on quite a show this week, ending months of hype and teasers in a celebration of reasons they think you should purchase this new smartphone. Our initial impressions of the OnePlus 2 are quite positive, but as users all over the world furiously refresh to check their status in the invite queue there's a group of folks out there wondering if the upgrade one One to 2 is something they absolutely need to do.
While we're not ready to put down a full review of this "2016 Flagship Killer" it's important to take a moment an appreciate the way OnePlus has improved their design language over the last 460 days. Here's a quick look at the OnePlus One and the shiny new OnePlus 2.
OnePlus made a lot of people very happy with the Sandstone Black default to the One, and it's not hard to see why. It's by far the grippiest backing since HTC's soft touch coating, and didn't scratch or scuff easily through daily use. While Sandstone Black has returned in the OnePlus 2, it's one of several options that will be available for users to swap around as they choose. It also doesn't wrap around the sides of the phone on the 2, which is an important distinction to make. OnePlus is using an aluminum frame around the exterior of this phone, which gives it an entirely different feel in your hand. You still get plenty of grip on the back of the phone, but the sides are a little cooler to the touch and noticeably less grippy.
The OnePlus 2 isn't just a better phone than the OnePlus One on paper, it looks and feels like a phone of noticeably superior quality.
Like the OnePlus One, the ability to remove the back of the OnePlus 2 doesn't get you access to much. The dual-sim tray under the plate is a little different, but there's still no access to the battery. Across the sides of the phone, however, there's some significant differences. The power and volume keys are a lot less flimsy on the OnePlus 2, and there's a new notification toggle called the Alert Slider that works quite well.
The front of the phone is another matter entirely. The addition of a well-made fingerprint sensor, higher quality display, and a generally improved design with more subtle edges makes this experience much more enjoyable. Like its predecessor, the buttons on the bottom of the phone can be disabled if you're not a fan. The inclusion of a home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor makes that decision a little pointless, though. You're going to want to use that feature once you've set it up, and having the other nav buttons there just makes sense even if it's not the "Nexus" way of doing things.
While the design language for the OnePlus 2 is undeniably similar to its predecessor, the refinement of that language in every step of the design is impressive. The OnePlus 2 isn't just a better phone than the OnePlus One on paper, it looks and feels like a phone of noticeably superior quality. Unless you absolutely need NFC to live, or you're looking at more than just OnePlus for an upgrade, deciding between these two phones is simple. Perhaps more important than choosing between the two, OnePlus has demonstrated a continued dedication to their design language and build quality, and their sophomore effort builds on that in big ways.
The OnePlus 2 is one of the first phones to be announced with a USB-C port, and that means OnePlus had to have a USB-C cable in the box. It didn't just take any old USB-C cable off the shelf, though — it designed its own cable from the ground up and it's pretty awesome. With so few vendors currently offering USB-C cables OnePlus thought it was a good idea to sell it directly, though, and it plans to do just that.
LG has announced its latest earnings figures, with the manufacturer posting a revenue of $3.3 billion from the mobile division, an increase of 1 percent from the same period last year. Operating profit was a meager $172,000. Shipments declined by 3 percent to 14.1 million units, although LG has mentioned that it saw a 36 percent year-on-year increase in North American shipments.
The vendor attributed the uptick in sales to better performance in the mid-range smartphone and tablet segments. Increased sales in North America was offset by a decline in growth in its home market, which is usually a major contributor to LG's coffers in the mobile segment.
As we await the arrival of the rest of Moto's 2015 lineup, we've already got our hands on the latest version of the company's most popular phone, the Moto G. The latest version of Moto's mid-range wonder is better than ever, with a bigger battery, and LTE and water resistance as standard. Some of the AC editors have the new 2015 Moto G in their hands following the recent international launch events, and we're answering questions over on the Moto G forums.
CloudPlayer, the recently-launched music app from doubleTwist that turns your favorite cloud storage service into a streaming music locker, has received its first big update. Coming along in the update are a few new big features, such as full FLAC file support and a cellular data toggle.
As Motorola's successful Moto G line enters its third generation, you might be wondering exactly what has changed on the hardware side over the year. The Moto G has always been about finely-balanced hardware and software, and as smartphone technology has progressed we're seeing ever more impressive internals in affordable phones like the G.
Late last week, Google started a small back-to-school sale on the Google Store, offering up some decent deals on Chromebooks. Now, it looks like Google has thrown in another offer, giving anyone who buys two Chromecasts a savings of $15.
As smartphones get slimmer and slimmer, so too do the components inside of them. To keep up with the rapid decrease in thickness of smartphones going forward, Samsung has announced that it has started mass production on a new, incredibly small 16-megapixel image sensor with pixels measuring 1 micrometer — an industry first.
Sometimes things are as clear as mud when a smartphone launches. And a couple of the more important points surrounding the new Moto X — aka the Moto X Style or Pure Edition, depending on where you live — was the victim of a bit of this confusion.
So let's clear things up. As it stands, this is where you'll be able able to buy the new Moto X, whatever its called.
With the introduction of the Moto X Style and the Moto X Play we're now three generations into the Moto X family, which has brought some of the most simple yet solid smartphones to the Android ecosystem. Here's a breakdown of how each of the four phones compare — from the first generation in 2013 to the most recently announced models.
Moto X 2013Moto X 2014Moto X StyleMoto X Play
4.7-inch 720p AMOLED
5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED
5.7-inch Quad HD
5.5-inch 1080p HD
Snapdragon S4 Pro
65.3 x 129.3 x 5.6-10.4mm
72.4 x 140.8 x 3.8-9.9mm
153.9 x 76.2 x 6.1-11.06mm
148.0 x 75.0 x 8.9-10.9mm
Android smartphones are judged on a huge number of variables, and depending on who you ask all of them have significance in weighting the purchase of a new phone. This is one of the struggles faced by OnePlus right now. Its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 2, has a lot of great things going for it. To call it the "2016 Flagship Killer" is probably a stretch, even if all the company is referencing is a dollar for dollar value in hardware quality and user experience.
We don't need to wait for 2016 to test this theory, however. With an LG G4 sitting right here on the desk, we can just put the two side by side and see what shakes out.
Truth be told, if you've held a G4 you've already go the basic shape and size of the OnePlus 2. LG's design is a little more curved, but the two phones are of nearly identical thickness and you have the same basic concerns with reaching the top of the screen with a single hand. Sitting side by side, you notice the OnePlus 2 is taller than the G4, but in actually using the two phones it doesn't make a noticeable difference. What does make a big difference is the more durable feel to the OnePlus 2, thanks to the aluminum frame that wraps around the phone. Despite both phones having removable backplates, the G4 with a plastic cover feels a lot more flimsy than the OnePlus 2. Leather backplates are another story, but in some cases that adds to the cost of the device.
The Alert Slider on the OnePlus 2 is by far the most elegant way to address Google's new notification system.
The Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM in the OnePlus 2 should in theory outperform the Snapdragon 808 and 3GB of RAM in the LG G4, but for day to day tasks these two phones perform remarkably similar. OnePlus clocked the 810 lower for this release, and 4GB of RAM is only going to matter when you've been using the phone for a few days and a ton of information is cached between multiple apps. It's nice to have, but not really something you're going to need anytime soon.
The implementation of all the buttons is where things get different. LG's Rear Key design puts all of your buttons in your index finger, but the impressive fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 2 make securing and unlocking your phone much easier. The Alert Slider on the OnePlus 2 is particularly unique, and by far the most elegant way to address Google's new notification system. Both setups are fairly unique in the Android ecosystem, and neither is necessarily better than the other. It's all about person preference here.
Ultimately this compare comes down to pricing and extras, unless you absolutely can't stand either LG's version of Android or OxygenOS. The $600 G4 comes with 32GB of onboard storage with a microSD slot, removable battery, Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, NFC, and an option to add wireless charging for extra cash. The $389 OnePlus 2 comes with 64GB of onboard storage, no expansion or battery replacements, no Quick Charge capabilities, and no NFC or wireless charging.
Financially speaking the OnePlus 2 is a no-brainer if you're buying these phones outright, but if you're able to get the phone subsidized that may not apply here. There's no doubting the G4 offers more in the way of features, but it's up to you to decide if those features are worth the extra $200+.
Every phone gets compared to the iPhone, and for good reason, so we're going to do that with the Moto X Style. Motorola's making the comparison, so why not? These two phones are about as different as they could be while still being smartphones, so let's get right to it.
Not everything requires an epic journey, and finding the right watch face for your smartwatch certainly shouldn't require gargantuan amounts of effort. If you've been searching for a face that blends a sharp, functional face, with a gorgeous image, then the Odyssey face might be what you've been looking for. With motes of stardust and a planet in the distance, overlaid with all the info you need, this face is worth more than just a glance. It offers the time, date, and a handful of options to make sure that things are set just the way you like them.
VSCO Cam for Android has been updated to add Collections, a new way of showing off your favorite photos and interacting with other photographers using VSCO Cam. Collections allow you to find and publish your favorite images for your followers to see.
The Moto G 2015 is now official — and available — and here is where you can buy one. Motorola's latest budget phone packs quite a mean punch for an affordable price, and is likely to be something that will interest many. Featuring a 5-inch 1280x720 display, the phone is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, with 1GB or 2GB of RAM depending on which model you purchase.
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project
and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License. AndroidCentral is an independent site
that is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.