OnePlus Camera

This has been an impressive year for Android cameras, and as you'd expect from the noisy little company that could the camera has been one of the things most bragged about in the OnePlus 2. We've finally got our review unit here to check out, and naturally the camera is first on our list of things to check out. It's a 13-megapixel sensor with a Qualcomm-tuned laser autofocus, so there are a lot of questions about motion and low light that needed to be answered.

So let's get to it!

What you see here are the three of the four basic camera modes for the OnePlus Two. On the left you have full auto, in the middle you have HDR, and on the right you have Clear Image. There's plenty of ambient daylight but nothing anywhere near the source save for the laptop display.

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The Clear Image mode increases sharpening in nice, subtle ways, and the HDR isn't too aggressive. The HDR photo is noticeably brighter, but otherwise there aren't any massive differences in the quality of the photos. The Beauty Mode was left out here, as it's for smoothing facial features and not for apples.

Here are some outdoor photos on full auto, with exception to the sky photo which was shot in HDR. You can see the first photo in this set didn't handle direct sunlight into the sensor particularly well, but the same can be said of pretty much any smartphone camera. Everything shot here is autofocused, and in most situations did so with ease.

The maple leaves took a second longer than the other, as it attempted to focus on the closer leaves before focusing on the center bunch. Compared to its predecessor, which almost always required tap to focus in order to get a half-decent shot, the OnePlus Two is plenty capable of quickly taking a photo in ideal lighting (as any phone should be).

Low light, or even indoor light, is another matter entirely. Autofocus isn't quite as capable, as you'll see with the grainy figurine in this set. The camera reacts way better in low light if you use the tap-to-focus (again, like many phones), and when you do so there's a nice slide wheel for brightness when you tap that really comes in handy in those environments. The OIS isn't great here, and really stands out in low light if you have shaky hands and are trying to shoot something close-up. The misfire rate in low light is likely to be higher in this environment, but the ability to capture a decent shot is apparent.

It's not without flaws, but the camera experience in the OnePlus Two is a marked improvement over its predecessor.

As you can see, getting decent photos from this camera isn't all that hard, and getting great photos from this camera takes minimal skill and the right conditions. Using the software is another matter. The camera app is quick to launch, but almost always slow to capture the actual image. Nearly every time a photo was taken, a processing splash screen would appear and nearly a full second would pass before you could take another photo. In HDR and Clear Image modes that processing splash could take as long as three seconds. The OnePlus 2 also got noticeably warm after a few minutes of using the camera, though at no point did the core UI slow down or feel jittery.

It's not without flaws, but the camera experience in the OnePlus 2 is a marked improvement over its predecessor. We'll be pitting it against the other camera heavyweights in the Android world soon to see just how capable this camera really is.