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Posts tagged ‘OnePlus 2’

11
Nov

What is the perfect Android smartphone?


Technology is infiltrating every aspect of our lives. The majority of us would agree that it’s a great thing. Advances in technology and automation have made tasks easier and more cost effective. Technology brings us together by making it easier and cheaper to communicate across short and vast distances. A short time ago it was incredibly costly to talk to a family member in another country on the phone, and just a little before that, it wasn’t all too uncommon to write letters by hand. Heck, I bet some of you remember paying extra money just to talk to relatives in another state – on a landline.

We’ve moved into a time of where you don’t need to keep as much information in your head. Memorization becomes less of a necessity when you can pull a computer out of your pocket, ask it a question, and it returns the answer you’re looking for in seconds. Only a few years ago we were relying on dictionaries, maps and encyclopedias for guidance or answers to important questions.

Today, our central hub is the mobile phone. It’s always with us. It contains the information we need, and it connects us to those we care about. But, it seems that no matter how good a particular model is, we tend to find a flaw, two or worse more. It’s too big, it’s not big enough. The speakers are too tinny or it can’t hold enough of our pictures and videos. There’s too much bloat. The screen quality isn’t good enough or the brightness isn’t bright enough.

We’re here to tell OEMs that we want a phone with no compromises. We want a phone on our terms.

We put together a poll asking our readers and followers to help understand what it is that might constitute a perfect smartphone. Thanks to you, we received a lot of feedback and some great data. Below are the results of what our community feels are the most important aspects of a phone. We’ll try to match up your answers to current market phones and come up with our perfect phone at the end.

From the data we’ve collected, we’re going to figure out what the perfect phone is. Maybe our friends at Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony (among many others) will listen. And, just maybe, we will get the perfect smartphone.

Screen

galaxy-s6-vs-galaxy-note-5

The first pillar in our perfect phone is going to be the screen. It’s our main source of interaction with the device. Not only does it show information and entertainment, but it’s also the main input now that physical keyboards have gone out of style (Help us Blackberry Priv! You’re our only hope!).

In the graph below, we see that 44.6% of respondents prefer the modern day “phablet”. For the purposes of this discussion we’re going to define a phablet as anything  5.5″ or larger.

The Samsung Galaxy Note line has pioneered this space since the original Note came out in 2011. The rest of the market has finally caught up, and pretty much every manufacturer offers a phablet device now. Even Apple who famously demanded that their phones be small so you could easily touch the top of the screen now with one hand has one of the largest phones on the market. Samsung has definitely pushed the market in not only display size but also quality. Their displays are renowned for their deep blacks, saturated colors, and high brightness.

Display results

What’s clear from the results is that Samsung phones are hitting the sweet spot with their flagships.The 5.2″ display has tied the 5.7″ display in our results. So users prefer either a phablet or a device that is easier to manage in one hand with a 5.2″ display. The Samsung Galaxy S6 (5.2″) and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 just so happened to be those sizes and are widely considered the best displays on the market. Samsung probably helped define these categories as they were the pioneers in larger screen sizes. What’s interesting is that our respondents prefer a 1080p display on the 5.2″ screens instead of 1440p like on the S6.

We’re going to pick the 5.7″ 1440p display for our perfect phone screen. The highest number of people responded that they’re comfortable with phablets, and that is where the industry appears headed. We tend to agree with the data and think the Super AMOLED 5.7″ AMOLED display is absolutely fantastic and would want nothing less

Storage

Storage is a tricky one. It’s a balance of on-board and expandable avenues that give and take. If your on-board storage is lacking, it’s nice to be able to throw a microSD card into your phone and expand it to suit your needs. There are few examples when expandable storage won’t play nice with the Android Operating System, but with Marshmallow being released, you will now be able to treat your microSD card as internal storage.

storage minumum answers

 

Study after study have told us that 16GB of on-board storage should no longer be the standard for base models. Phones now shoot video in 4K, have burst mode photography, and tend to be our main media players. Apps are becoming much more useful but that means they require more space than in years past.

With the ability to download videos from YouTube for offline consumption, space is becoming ever more valuable. The real question here is how much do you really want expandable storage? Not only does your microSD card give you more space to store your pictures and video, but it also makes it incredibly easy to move them back and forth between devices. In the age of data caps and throttled data, the cloud isn’t always an option.

storage deal breaker answers

For our perfect phone, we’re going to pick a minimum of 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot. The potential price and design compromises are worth it in our eyes.

Battery and Charging

android charger

 

It’s no secret that we’re moving more toward embedded batteries. There are still champions of removable batteries like LG but major OEMs like Sony, Motorola, and even Samsung – champion of the removable battery – are sealing their batteries inside. Like everything else, there are tradeoffs to be made. Sealing your battery inside the phone normally means better build quality, and in some cases, bigger batteries.

A removable battery means that you can swap out batteries when yours goes dead or if it becomes faulty. True power users generally prefer this feature due to using their phone so much. But, with the rise in quick charging, bigger batteries, more power efficient screens and processors and smaller portable battery packs, are removable batteries still needed? The answer may surprise you.

removable battery answers

 

To be honest, I’m a little surprised it’s this one-sided. There was a LOT of chatter around the time of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s release about the lack of removable battery. The Note has always been the power user’s phone. Expandable storage and removable batteries were supposedly the biggest selling points for the Note series. But maybe Samsung was right to eschew those features for a more sturdy design.

perfect phone charging responses

In these two graphs, we’re seeing a shift in how people view charging technology. Quick charging only hit the scene in the past few years, but it is becoming mandatory to almost half of the respondents. Even those that said they didn’t need it in a phone did express some interest in it. Only about 6% of those who responded don’t care about rapid charging at all.

On the other hand, Qi wireless charging is a bit of a different story. While a lot of people either had to have it in their phone or were interested in it, almost a third of those who responded didn’t care at all about the wireless charging technology. That’s a much bigger percentage than I thought we’d see.

In our perfect device, we’re going to employ both quick charging and wireless charging. Quick charging is a must, and while wireless charging might not be to most, it could be a feature that puts a phone over the top for some. So we can get the best build quality possible, we’re also going to go with an embedded battery. Since we have both Quick and Wireless charging, staying charged up should be relatively easy.

Buttons and Fingerprint Scanner

Galaxy-Note-5- buttons

One of the biggest advances in smartphones today are fingerprint scanners. I truly feel like I’m using a futuristic device when I place my finger on a sensor and it immediately unlocks the phone. We really do live in the future. But how important is that really? Are fingerprint scanners a passing fad or here to stay?

I tend to stick in the “here to stay” camp. Android Pay is a huge advancement mobile payments since it can be used on almost any Android phone. But you need home screen security for that. Google is going to push the market forward again. Nexus imprint is a brilliant technology that all future OEMs are going to have to integrate into their phones. It’s better than every other fingerprint scanner on the market, even TouchID on Apple’s devices.

Buttons and fingerprint scanner answersThe on screen vs. physical button debate has been going on for a long time. I’m personally one of the 27% who don’t care which I have. I adapt to either based on the device I use. I do prefer the physical home button of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 but it’s very easy to knock yourself out of whatever media you’re watching by accidentally pressing a button.

Generally when you have physical buttons, they take up the space where you could have front facing speakers. While many of you said you didn’t really care about the placement of your speakers, if you can fit in front facing speakers, you probably should.

Since this is our perfect phone we’re going to go with on screen buttons, Nexus imprint on the back and front facing speakers. Almost seems like the new Nexus line nailed it.

Speakers and NFC

speaker placement answersThis is another question I was genuinely shocked to see the results. I assumed that most people would fall into the “Yes, but I don’t have to have front facing speakers” category. A larger number of people who HAD to have front facing speakers showed up, and with as much as we consume media on our devices, it shocks me that almost 21% of you don’t care about speaker placement at all.

One of the biggest debates around the OnePlus 2 was the lack of NFC. OnePlus claimed they listened to their customers and left the radio out of their device.

Many people didn’t appreciate that decision. NFC is vital to wireless payments. The popularity of the new payment method is exploding with the introduction of Android Pay and Samsung Pay. But, was OnePlus right? Do people care if they have NFC?

nfc answers

An astounding 88% of respondents want NFC. For over half, they don’t HAVE to have NFC on their phone to make the purchase, but the interest is there. According to those who answered our survey, OnePlus got it wrong. We’re definitely going to include NFC in our perfect phone.

 

Build Quality and Price

nexus imprint

 

Build quality and price are another category where trade-offs are seen much of the time. There’s a reason that the LG G4 dropped in price so rapidly while the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has stayed so expensive. Samsung has been famous in the past for making phones with cheap plastic bodies. This is a double edged sword because they could stand up to falls a little better than most, but they didn’t feel premium. There’s a large segment of the population that wants a premium device when they spend $600+ on a device or sign a 2-year contract.

I think our graph bares out what we’re seeing in the market today. The iPhone is a huge seller. The Galaxy line has switched over to more premium materials. How your phone feels in your hand and how it looks matters. We’ve gotten to the point where every phone can perform, now most people want one that looks good while doing it.

build and price results

 

And people are willing to pay for it. In the graph we definitely see a segment of the population that is going to stick to cheaper phones. That makes sense. With phones like the Motorola Moto G, Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, Asus ZenFone 2, and others, the mid-range market is exploding.

But, this is about a perfect phone, not the best value. We all have our limits, but we’re going to get the best build and materials that we can for the standard flagship price of about $650. Metal frame? Glass front and back? Or maybe you prefer an aluminum body like the Nexus 6P or HTC One? Our perfect phone is built like a tank but feels perfect in the hand.

The Perfect Phone

BoomSound_Blog

So, what does our perfect phone look like? To begin, we’re going to take the 5.7″ 1440p screen from the Galaxy Note 5. It has fantastic color saturation, beautiful blacks due to it’s AMOLED technology and gets very bright. It’s a fantastic size, and even though for some it may not be a one handed device, this size is the new normal for most. Our desires for beautifully displayed media trumps most one handed use desires.

Continuing down the media thought process, we’re going to put Boomsound speakers on the front of our perfect phone. You were split, almost evenly about placement and importance of speakers. On screen buttons and front facing speakers that can shake a few windows make for an immersive media experience that won’t be rivaled.

Some power users may tell have responded that 64GB of storage should be the minimum but to keep our costs low, we’re going to go with 32GB of storage and 4GB of RAM to push anything we can throw at it. Fear not, because we’re adding a microSD card slot so you can add as much storage as you see fit. If you’re anything like me, I use my phone to watch movies all the time so I want plenty of space to hold them and continue on with my daily activities without the phone yelling at me that it’s full.

To satisfy our power users, we are going to beef the phone up a little bit. We’re going to trade the slim and sexy bodies of say a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or Huawei Nexus 6P for a few extra millimeters to pack in more battery. Our embedded battery must clock in at at least 3,500mAh. Not only do we need a big battery, but we are going to build in support for quick charging and wireless charging.

Samsung has proved that you can have wireless charging and premium materials and we’re going to continue that trend.

 

moto x moto maker2To shake it up a little bit, our perfect phone is going to employ a Moto Maker type system so you can customize your colors. Do you want a red metal band and a white front with a black glass back? You get it. Do you want leather instead of glass on the back? Yep! Order it up. Our perfect phone isn’t just one phone for everyone. It’s a perfect phone for each person. The fingerprint scanner will take the place of the dimple on the back of most Motorola phones, much like the Nexus line does now.

We’re going to need to see USB Type-C so we’re future proofed, water resistance, Bluetooth 4.1, the latest Wifi standards and a Sony IMX240 sensor on the back of our phone for the best possible pictures. To top it off, it’s going to cost $650. Companies have proven before that they can make phones with very few compromises, but will any of them step up to make our perfect phone?

What are the real world examples of phones that come close? After carefully pouring over your responses and the choices we’ve made thereafter, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, HTC One M9, and Huawei Nexus 6P most closely resemble our perfect phone. We’ve also taken elements of the Motorola Moto X Pure and Sony Xperia Z5 to round out this perfect device.

If you’d like to see our raw data, feel free to click here to check out the answers. There are a few more question and answers that we didn’t address in this article so definitely check that out if you’re interested. Did we miss anything? Have any qualms about our choices? Make your case down in the comments.

And all of this, of course, is just the hardware side of things. Software is an entirely different subject… for another day.

The post What is the perfect Android smartphone? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

2
Nov

OnePlus announces its On-Guard extended warranty for Europe, other markets to be added in the near future


OnePlus_insurance

OnePlus took the wraps off its latest handset, the OnePlus X, last week, and now the upstart smartphone manufacturer has announced its extended warranty plan for its European customers. The cover is called On-Guard and is available for the OnePlus 2 as well as the new OnePlus X

In partnership with SimpleSurance, the on-Guard extended warranty includes the following:

  • Cover against accidental damage and liquid damage
  • Worry free claim process
  • Worldwide claims coverage
  • 12 months cover for €39.99/24 months for €64.99 (pricing could differ slightly for the oneplus X)

While the On-Guard cover will launch in Europe first, OnePlus expects to include other markets in the near future. Sadly, the cover is not available for the devices purchased prior to the announcement, whether it was a OnePlus One or OnePlus 2. The On-Guard cover is available to purchase at check-out, basically when you place the order, although it can be bought separately so long as it’s within 15 days of the purchase date. This means there may be a little loophole for current OnePlus 2 owners so long as the purchase was made (from the EU store) within the previous two weeks. It’s a long shot but worth checking out.

 

Source: OnePlus (Blog)

Come comment on this article: OnePlus announces its On-Guard extended warranty for Europe, other markets to be added in the near future

2
Nov

OnePlus introduces its On-Guard smartphone warranty policy


OnePlus On Guard insurance

OnePlus has a pretty patchy reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction and service, but the company has just announced a new optional warranty policy for its smartphones that should help to improve the customer experience.

OnePlus has teamed up with a couple of insurers around the world to offer global protection. OnePlus 2: On-Guard is provided by simplesurance for Europe, and B2X OnePlus Service2 and Protect2 for Indian customers. OnePlus says that it is partnering up with an experienced smartphone insurer to bring a similar policy to the US and Canada in the near future.

The plan covers component breakages and accidental damage, including drops, as well as water damage and vandalism. Insurance can be purchased at checkout for new devices, or customers can contact simplesurance customer support to purchase a policy within 15 days of buying a new phone. Unfortunately, this means that the warranty cannot be applied by early OnePlus 2 customers, which is sure to be a let-down for the company’s most fervent backers.

OnePlus smartphones:

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This warranty program will also roll out to the OnePlus X once it goes on sale in the respective regions.

In Europe, pricing is set at €39.99 for 12 months of On-Guard coverage, or 24 months will set you back €64.99. The B2X Service is priced at Rs. 999 in India, while B2X Protect costs Rs. 1,299 for a 1 year warranty. Prospective Indian customers can read more about the terms and conditions here.

29
Oct

OnePlus X officially announced: what you need to know


oneplus x first look aa (7 of 47)

Last year’s OnePlus One came out of nowhere and instantly shook up the market by bringing us a handset with flagship specs and Nexus-like pricing that put nearly all of its competitors to shame. Since then, the “flagship killer” has been followed up by the OnePlus 2, which has arguably failed to deliver the same momentum as the original. That’s not all OnePlus has up its sleeves for 2015 however, as the company has now unveiled the OnePlus X.

In many ways, the OnePlus X is sort of like the 2015 version of the original OPO, featuring a lot of the same specs but in a more premium package, with an even lower starting price. It remains unseen if a sleeker design and lower price tag will be enough to win over the hearts of consumers in a market where pricing has become more aggressive than ever, but the X is certainly a valiant effort. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the OnePlus X.

OnePlus in video

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OnePlus X specs and features

   
Display 5-inch display
1920 x 1080 resolution
Gorilla Glass 3
Processor Qualcomm 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801
processor
GPU Adreno 330
RAM 3GB
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Up to 128GB
Connectivity 2.4GHz b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, LTE
SIM card Nano SIM, dual compatible (but uses microSD slot)
Camera 13MP ISOCELL 3M2 CMOS with f/2.2 rear cam, 8MP front cam
Battery Non-removable 2,525 mAh LiPo battery
Software Oxygen OS (based on Lollipop)
Dimensions 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm, 138g for Onyx, 160g for Ceramic

The OnePlus X comes with a 5.0-inch Active Matrix OLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 441ppi. It’s also covered in a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which should keep the device safe (to a point) from scratches and small bumps and bruises. Seeing as how the company’s last two flagship phones shipped with 1080p panels, it’s no surprise to see this affordable device sport a Full HD screen.

One benefit to having a lower resolution display is that it will sip power compared to a Quad HD display. This will certainly help the device’s non-removable 2525mAh lithium-polymer battery last a bit longer. The new device also sports a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor backed by 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. The Snapdragon 801 is still a powerful chipset, even though it’s a couple years old at this point.

You’ll only get 16GB of on-board storage with the OnePlus X, though there is a microSD card slot that supports expandable memory up to 128GB. Oh, and if you don’t need any more memory, you can use the other slot for another Nano SIM card. For those curious, no the OnePlus X still doesn’t have NFC.

On the camera front, the OnePlus X features a 13MP rear cam with f/2.2 aperture, with .2-second autofocus with phase detection autofocus. There’s also an 8MP front-facing camera that OnePlus provides its best selfie experience yet.

oneplus x first look aa (29 of 47)

Just like the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus X runs on the company’s in-house OS, OxygenOS, which is a stock-like ROM that is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. When it comes to the software experience, anyone who has used stock Android should be pretty comfortable with the software features found on the OnePlus X.

There are a few differences between stock Android and OxygenOS that you should be aware of, though. OxygenOS comes with a handy Dark Mode for nighttime reading, as well as several gestures designed to make using the phone a bit easier. OxygenOS also has something called the Shelf, which is a special area found to the right of the homescreen that gives you access to widgets, you most used apps, favorite contacts and other important information.

For those familar with the OP2, OnePlus did manage to throw in a few additional software features in their latest build of Oxygen OS that we think many of you will be quite fond of. Thanks to the device’s OLED display, this allows for an ambient display that will wake in duo-chrome mode to alert you to new notifications. This is similar to what we’ve seen on Google’s recent Nexus devices and Motorola’s Moto X line. There’s also a proximity sensor that will allow the device to wake up when it’s pulled out of a pocket or bag. OnePlus has also decided to bring FM radio to the X. You’ll now be able to broadcast your favorite stations directly from your phone without having to connect to Wi-Fi or consume mobile data.

OnePlus X design

oneplus x first look aa (6 of 47)

The specs might not be as aggressive on the OnePlus X as we saw with the OnePlus 2, but one area where the X truly shines is in design.

The OnePlus X features an anodized metal frame sandwiched between a glass front and back, in somewhat similar fashion to handsets like the Galaxy S6 or even the Sony Xperia Z series. The end result is a stunning, premium design that should appeal to that are looking for something with a bit more flair than found with OnePlus’ previous two handsets.

oneplus x first look aa (24 of 47)

The Ceramic version on top, Onyx at the bottom

There’s actually a second version in addition to the standard “Onyx” model, but it has a much more limited availability. The OnePlus X Ceramic, as the name implies, features a clear ceramic backing that is scratch-resistant with a hardness of 8.5H and is designed to provide both a stunning look and an even more solid, durable feel.

Regardless of which version you get, you’ll also see the return of the OnePlus 2’s Alert slider for easy notification adjustments, on the left hand side of the phone. On the right you’ll find the power button and the volume rocker.

While the phone is definitely a fingerprint magnetic, the new design is certainly attractive, and the smaller screen size should also result in an easier handling experience – especially for those that favor one-handed use.

 OnePlus X pricing, availability and invite system

oneplus x first look aa (14 of 47)

Sticking with OnePlus tradition, the OnePlus X will require an invite for purchase, though OnePlus suggests it won’t be very long before they start opening up sales without invites, though likely in limited capacity, just as we saw with the OP2’s one hour sale recently. As for the cost, the OnePlus X will set US users back $249 and will be available on November 19th.


oneplus x first look aa (36 of 47)See also: OnePlus X hands-on and first impressions

European consumers will be able to pick one up a little earlier on November 5th for EUR269. European and Indian consumers will also have the opportunity to get one of the limited (10,000 only) Ceramic versions of the OnePlus X starting November 24th, priced at EUR369.

Show Press Release

Powerfully Beautiful: Presenting the OnePlus X

New Smartphone Line Fuses Sleek Design with Flagship­level Performance

LONDON – October 29, 2015 – OnePlus today announced their brand new smartphone line

with the launch of the OnePlus X. Featuring a compact 5” display and a new range of premium build materials, the OnePlus X, available in Onyx black glass and a limited Ceramic edition, showcases an elevated level of craftsmanship and power for OnePlus.

“Today’s smartphone user strives to find the perfect balance of style and performance. The OnePlus X is a design­centric device ­ chic and powerful enough to fit any lifestyle,” said OnePlus CEO Pete Lau.

Precision Artwork in Your Hand

The OnePlus X is a work of art. OnePlus has created two separate editions inspired by the exquisite handiwork behind two timeless fields of art ­ glassware and ceramic. The OnePlus X Onyx is fashioned from black glass on a metal bezel, giving the phone a premium feel in your hand. Every glass backplate is cut to size and polished repeatedly until it achieves a smooth, glossy, mirror­like finish. Slightly rounded edges give the phone a fluid and seamless feel, and at just 4.86 oz, it is the lightest and slimmest OnePlus device to date.

The Ceramic version is crafted in a process totaling 25 days. Starting with a zirconia mold just 0.5 mm thick, the ceramic is fire­baked up to ​ 2,700ºF ​ for more than 28 hours before cooling for two full days. Each individual OnePlus X backplate undergoes three meticulous methods of polishing before it is flawless enough for use. Scratch­resistant with a hardness of 8.5H on the Mohs scale and weighing 5.64 oz, the ceramic build is a feat of engineering and design. A brushed anodized metal frame etched with 17 elegant microcuts surrounds the OnePlus X.

A convenient Alert Slider for easy notification adjustments adorns the left side of the device, with the power button and volume rocker located on the right. Intuitively placed buttons combined with subtle curves and ergonomic lines make the OnePlus X easy and natural to use with one hand.

Capture Your World Faster than Ever

The OnePlus X has a 13MP rear camera combined with f/2.2 aperture, perfect for documenting your unique everyday experiences. Optimized white balance and saturation maintain the integrity of the colors of your photos, and a lightning­fast 0.2­second autofocus with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) ­­ our fastest camera yet ­­ means you won’t miss a moment. Shoot in Auto, HDR or Clear Image to perfect your image, or switch to the 8MP front­facing camera with supported Beauty Mode to capture a flawless selfie.

Beauty That’s More than Skin­deep

Combining the Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM, the OnePlus X is as powerful as it is stylish. The 5” 1080p Active Matrix OLED screen is responsive and incredibly bright in direct sunlight, and the 441 PPI resolution keeps the screen sharp without draining your battery.

Notably, the OnePlus X supports two nano SIMs for more network choices and added convenience for people on the go. Even better, one card slot provides optional expandable storage with your own microSD card, allowing a maximum capacity up to 128GB.

Personalize Your Experience

OxygenOS, a custom operating system developed by OnePlus, brings a range of unique features and elements to the OnePlus X.

The AMOLED screen, never before seen in a OnePlus device, allows for an ambient display that will wake in duochrome mode to alert you to new notifications. A proximity sensor, enabled by each individual user, also wakes the screen whenever the OnePlus X is brought out of a pocket or bag.

Along with OxygenOS features such as on­screen gestures, an enhanced file manager and custom quick settings, the OnePlus X also brings FM radio to your smartphone. Broadcast your favorite local stations directly from your phone without having to connect to Wi­Fi or consume data with the new OnePlus Radio.

Pricing and Availability

The OnePlus X Onyx will be available on oneplus.net with an invite in Europe starting November 5 at EUR269.00, with a U.S. version to follow on November 19 for USD249.00. The Ceramic edition will be available with a Ceramic­specific invite in Europe and India starting November 24 for EUR369.00. Only 10,000 OnePlus X Ceramic devices will be available.

About OnePlus

OnePlus is a global startup challenging conventional concepts of technology. Created around the “Never Settle” mantra, OnePlus creates exquisitely designed devices with premium build quality and high performance hardware. OnePlus thrives on cultivating strong bonds and growing together with its community of users and fans. For more information, please visit oneplus.net.

So, with all of that said, what are your thoughts? Are you interested in the new OnePlus X? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

28
Oct

Elephone Vowney is the latest in unlocked Androids you should pay attention to


oneplus_two_1Smartphones are more popular than ever with some 355.2 million smartphones shipped worldwide in just the third quarter of 2015. That’s an insane number of devices. Many of these shipments are going to emerging markets where stretching a dollar is extremely important. Phones like the Moto E and Moto G have shown that making phones as cheaply as possible that also deliver decent performance can sell in droves.

The Moto G is the E’s big brother. It’s marginally more expensive ($179 vs. $149), and has specs to make it one of the best price vs. performance phones on the market. With the explosion of phone sales in India and China, the Moto G is the most popular phone in the 100+ year history of Motorola, selling out everywhere it could be bought.

Another segment of phones that have an extremely bright future are $300 – $400 phones that have specs like full priced flagships. Companies like OnePlus have started to push into the US market selling their mid-range priced, flagship spec’ed OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 phones on nothing but specs and price, no advertising. OnePlus doesn’t pay for advertising and relies only on word of mouth and the tech press to get the word out about their phones. This allows them to sell them close to cost and employ the economies of scale.

In mature and subsidized markets, we now have a wide range of operators offering equipment installation plans (EIP), as well as early trade-in options. At the same time the number of unlocked/off-contract offerings has increased significantly and it’s slowly starting to resonate with consumers. Within these markets these moves will put pressure directly on Android OEMs with offerings that are greater than $500.”

Ryan Reith, IDC Program Director

We’re starting to see the biggest smartphone manufacturers take notice. Motorola recently released their Moto X Pure, their flagship for 2015, through online sales only. Not only that, but the Moto X Pure is only $400. A flagship phone from one of the biggest smartphone companies at that price would have been unheard of only a few years ago. Phones like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, Asus Zenphone 2, and OnePlus 2 are making great strides in this space and now Motorola is taking notice, and trying to take over.

New Kid on the Block

Elephone is one of the most interesting examples of this new trend. Like many others, Elephone produces phones with great specs that are sim unlocked so you can use them on any carrier you want. The newly announced Vowney is one of the best spec’ed phones on the market, period. Regardless of price. Add in that it starts at $300 and you have a recipe for potential market disruption.

For $300 you’ll get a phone with a 2K display. That, off the bat, is impressive. The display features 95% NTSC color saturation and 535PPI on the 5.5″ panel. The specs only get better with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of base storage (micro SD expandable), and a 4,000mAH battery.

Elephone_Vowney_0011

The phone is powered by an octa-core, 2.2gHz, 64-bit chip from MediaTek. MediaTek are known as more of a budget processor company, but they’re making serious gains in the power department. There’s a 21MP Sony sensor around back for the main camera, which can shoot 4K video, and auto-focuses in 0.3 seconds. The front facing camera is an 8MP shooter, that goes toe to toe with almost every flagship out there in terms of megapixel count.

If all of that isn’t enough, you get a fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone in 0.1 seconds and dual 4G sim card slots. Companies like Elephone are making it easier than ever to purchase their phones by offering them on their own online stores and shipping to all parts of the world.

vowney_001

To give you some perspective, the iPhone 6S Plus with 128GB of storage from T-Mobile is $199 up front then $31.25 a month for 24 months, for a grand total of $949, more than three times the price of the Vowney.

What does the future hold?

We can only hope phones like the Elephone Vowney continue to push major manufactures to put out cheaper and better phones. Owning an iPhone is a status symbol at this point, especially in markets like China, South Korea and Japan. That will likely never change. But, for those who are more focused on price for performance, phones like the Elephone Vowney, and offerings from Meizu, Xiaomi, and Huawei will offer a fantastic option for a fraction of the price.

Huawei’s shipments are up an amazing 60% from last year. Huawei is one of the biggest phone manufacturers in the world already, and their focus on mid-range and budget phones is only growing it into a company that has a global reach. It’s no coincidence that Google wanted to partner with them on one of 2015 Nexus devices.

The post Elephone Vowney is the latest in unlocked Androids you should pay attention to appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Oct

OnePlus now gives you 3 days to use your OnePlus 2 invite instead of just 24 hours



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One of the most annoying things about getting an invite to buy a OnePlus One or OnePlus 2 is knowing that you only have 24 hours to use it – it’s not that some people can’t make their minds up in that time; it’s just nice to have some leeway. Thankfully, OnePlus is finally rectifying this, giving you 3 days to use your OnePlus 2 invite instead of the usual 24 hours. And this isn’t one of OnePlus’ short term promotions – this appears to be a permanent change. Naturally, we’d prefer even more time than this – a week or two would be awesome – but at least they’ve changed. Now if only they’d get rid of the invite system completely…

It will be interesting to see whether this change follows on to OnePlus’ next device, the OnePlus X, which is supposedly going to be announced on October 29th. And even though the device is rumoured to be low cost at $249 USD, expect the invite system to be present again as well.


What do you think about getting 3 days to use your OnePlus 2 invite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Facebook via Android Authority

The post OnePlus now gives you 3 days to use your OnePlus 2 invite instead of just 24 hours appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

23
Oct

OnePlus 2 invites no longer expire in just 24 hours


oneplus 2 aa (5 of 13)

Like the OPO before it, OnePlus has done a lot of questionable things with the OnePlus 2, such as being slow to get the phone into the hands of consumers and putting up odd contests including one where they ask people to trade their Note 5 for a OnePlus 2. Thankfully, it’s not all bad – OnePlus’ latest move actually makes a lot of sense.

Up until now, if you signed up for an invite and got lucky enough to receive one, you had to act quickly as they expired in just 24 hours. This was problematic because not everyone checks their email that regularly, and sometimes you need a bit more time to put funds together. Thankfully, OnePlus took to Facebook today to reveal that is now extending its invite expiration period to 3 days. Personally I think a week would be even better, but beggars can’t be choosers.

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With the competition higher than ever, it’s arguable if the OnePlus 2 is even worth going through the invite hoops at this stage, but for fans of the company and those who simply want to spend as little on a flagship as possible, there’s still a lot to like here.

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As a refresher, the OnePlus 2 comes with an octa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, with either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM, depending on whether you get for the 16 GB or 64 GB version. Other specs include a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13MP rear cam, a 5MP front cam, and a 3300 mAh battery. There’s also USB Type C, though we are starting to see a few other handsets (including the new Nexus family) incorporate that tech as well.

What do you think, still excited to get your hands on a OnePlus 2? Is 3 days a good length, or do you wish invites allowed even more time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

23
Oct

OnePlus 2 invites are now valid for 3 days


oneplus_2_company_logo_closeup_partial_blur

One of the many bad things about the OnePlus 2 invite system is that once you manage to snag an invite, you only had 24 hours to claim it, and if it arrived at a bad time financially or you just plain missed the invite notification, it was just too bad.

That’s why you’ll be glad to find out that OnePlus has changed its policy, OnePlus 2 invites will now be valid for 3 days instead of the previous 24 hours. While I still feel the invite should be valid for at least 7 days, the increase is still better than nothing. Possibly the only question to be asked being – Why has it taken OnePlus so long to extend the period of validity for invites? Today’s news comes shortly after OnePlus announced the closure of its OnePlus 2 reservation list.

Finally, on a different note, it isn’t too long until the OnePlus X launches on October 29th, I wonder if it will also use the invite system.

 

Source: OnePlus (Facebook)

Come comment on this article: OnePlus 2 invites are now valid for 3 days

23
Oct

OnePlus 2 invites changed, now last three days


OnePlus-2-invitesThe invite system utilized by OnePlus is loved by some and hated by others. But after hearing some of the complaints, it looks like the team at OnePlus is taking them into consideration. In a Facebook post today, the company announced that invites for the OnePlus 2 flagship device will now last three days, tripling the previous window of 24 hours. This means that from the time you receive an invite, you have 72 hours to actually purchase a OnePlus 2. This change comes after OnePlus received complaints and criticism over the short 24-hour time limit on invites. In many cases, users did not have time to purchase a device or even to gather the funds within one day. In others, the email containing the invite was simply lost in spam folders, or the users did not realize they had an invite until it was too late. By widening the time limit, OnePlus hopes to alleviate some of these concerns. Much to the chagrin of some critics, the invite system as a whole remains in place as the business model for OnePlus devices.

Source Android Central

The post OnePlus 2 invites changed, now last three days appeared first on AndroidGuys.

20
Oct

Meizu trolls OnePlus with contest to swap the 2016 Flagship Killer for a Meizu PRO 5


Meizu_PRO_5_

It was just the other week that OnePlus offered to take that crusty old Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5 off your hands, trading you up to a OnePlus 2, the alleged 2016 flagship killer. Now it seems, fellow Chinese handset manufacturer, Meizu, has decided to troll OnePlus by holding a competition where a OnePlus 2 owner can win the chance to swap the handset in return for a Meizu PRO 5

The contest uses a couple of hashtags, with #TurnTheHeatOff, being an obvious reference to the OnePlus 2’s Snapdragon 810 and its overheating issues. The other hashtag used is #TurnNFCOn, referring to the lack of NFC on the OnePlus 2. On paper at least, the Meizu PRO 5 should be a nice little upgrade from the OnePlus 2, with its Samsung-made Exynos 7420 processor, 5.7-inch Full HD AMOLED display and 21MP camera.

Meizu hasn’t given a specific date for when the contest closes, other than saying that the winners will receive a notification email later this week. So if you’d like to swap your OnePlus 2 for the Meizu PRO 5, you should probably enter as quick as you can by clicking on the source link below.

 

Source: Meizu (Facebook)

Come comment on this article: Meizu trolls OnePlus with contest to swap the 2016 Flagship Killer for a Meizu PRO 5

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