The OnePlus 2 smartphone starts shipping the second week of August. But Chinese startup OnePlus is already planning to launch its third smartphone.

Co-founder Carl Pei tells USA Today that the company wants to launch a new phone will be available by the end of the year. Details about the upcoming phone are scarce, but in an Ask Me Anything session on reddit, other members of the team confirmed that the phone is on the way… and that it won’t be called the OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 2S.

Instead, the new phone is part of the company’s new strategy to launch more than one phone per year.

oneplus 2

Pei wouldn’t confirm whether the new phone has specs that are better or worse than those for the OnePlus 2 smartphone. So it’s possible that the upcoming model could be a lower-priced device with stripped-down features. Or it could be a smaller version of the OnePlus 2: the company’s first two phones have each featured 5.5 inch displays, but representatives of OnePlus acknowledge that the company has considered releasing a phone with a smaller display.

We also learned a few new things about the OnePlus 2 and the original OnePlus One smartphones during the reddit AMA.

OnePlus 2 details

Customers who have managed to score an invite will be able to place orders for the OnePlus 2 starting August 11th. We already know that the phone has premium specs and a mid-range price tag. But some folks have been concerned about features that are not included. Now OnePlus is giving some of the reasons for leaving those features out.

The phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot, for instance. OnePlus says there are a few reasons for that: Built-in storage tends to be faster and more difficult to corrupt than removable storage, customers that want additional storage space can spend $50 extra to buy a 64GB model of the phone instead of a 16GB model, and many people prefer cloud storage for music, videos, photos, and other files anyway.

That’s all true… but some power users prefer removable storage anyway because it provides the opportunity to swap out cards, add hundreds of gigabytes of storage, and maintain control over your own files rather than storing them in the cloud.

A growing number of high-end phones don’t have microSD card slots. But that helps phones that do have them to stand out… so it was notable when Samsung launched its Galaxy S6 smartphone without a microSD card reader earlier this year, and perhaps just as notable that the new Motorola Moto X Pure Edition does have one.

oneplus 2 sideways

Another thing that’s missing from the OnePlus 2 is an NFC chip. The phone does have a fingerprint reader for quickly and relatively securely logging into the phone and supported apps. But it won’t support any mobile payments systems that rely on NFC.

OnePlus says the decision to skip NFC was easy: because most people don’t currently use NFC for much of anything, and mobile payments haven’t really taken off yet. Fingerprint scanners, meanwhile, are useful right now: even if you don’t think you need the feature, you may find yourself using it to login to your phone or apps more quickly than you could by entering passwords.

At least that’s the theory.

The OnePlus 2, by the way, features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, a 3,300 mAh battery, and a USB Type-C reversible charging port (which uses the USB 2.0 protocol).

A model with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage sells for $329, while a model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage costs $389.

oneplus 2 styleswap

OnePlus also confirmed that the StyleSwap covers that let you swap out one rear cover of the phone for another with a different color or texture have a special feature. There are pins built into the cover that can tell the phone to automatically change the software theme when you swap covers, so a blue cover will lead to a blue theme, for example.

Right now the theme-changing feature only works with the HydrogenOS software that will be available for the OnePlus 2 in China. But if there’s enough interest, OnePlus could bring the feature to the OxygenOS version of its Android-based software, which is available for users outside of China.

There are no plans to offer StyleSwap covers with support for NFC or wireless charging.

OnePlus One updates

While the OnePlus 2 is shipping soon and another phone is on the way, OnePlus says it will continue to sell last year’s model at least through the end of 2015.

oneplus one

The OnePlus One is still a pretty decent device. It packs a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 3GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and a starting price of $249 (although only the $299/64GB model seems to be in stock at the moment).

OnePlus is also continuing to develop software for the phone, and plans to release OxygenOS 2.0 for the OnePlus One in the future. Cyanogen OS 12.1 is also coming soon for users that prefer that version of Android.

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18 replies on “Another OnePlus smartphone coming in 2015 (and more OnePlus news)”

  1. I hate it when companies try to tell me what I want. People were forced to use cloud storage by OEMs like this who wouldn’t include SD card slots. Don’t then throw that back in my face as evidence that people don’t want the feature.

  2. and many people prefer cloud storage for music, videos, photos, and other files anyway.

    This. Nobody (well, okay, almost nobody) stores music or video files on their phones anymore. Services like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and Netflix are becoming ubiquitous, and nobody in their teens or twenties these days wants to be fiddling around with mp3 collections any more.

    Likewise, services like Google Photos has essentially removed the need for most people to store big photo collections on their phone either, and on the few occasions where I have seen people with hundreds of photos on their phones, they find it next to impossible to find the ones they’re looking for.

    Even avid gamers who download lots of mobile games will likely prefer just to buy the higher capacity phone rather than mess with SD cards, and with wifi hotspots becoming ubiquitous in most businesses where people spend more than a few minutes, and where many sub-$50 / month phone plans are offering 2GB+ of data, there isn’t much need for keeping lots of consumables on your phone these days.

    The only time I do it is when I’m on a transatlantic flight – I load up my (non-expandable) Nexus 10 with some TV shows to watch. Even 12 hours fits easily unless you really need full 1080p.

    1. I definitely load podcasts onto my phone’s internal storage pretty often. I guess my use case is different though since I’ll just listen to one and delete right after. But still. The cloud isn’t always available. And to be fair. HTC and LG still have microSD. Samsung is the only one of the big 3 to fully give it up at the moment. I know the OnePlus is a big deal for the price, and the Nexus is out there, but compared to the aforementioned 3, OnePlus and Nexus phones barely make a dent.

      1. Motorola now has SD slots in their new Moto G and Moto X phones. They might become a very good deal.

        I loved Motorola but since they started omitting SD slot, I didn’t get any phone form them. Now I might get one again.

        1. Forgot about Moto as well. SD is on the up and up everyone. It ain’t dead for smartphones unless you just buy one that doesn’t have it. I don’t buy into the BS from naysayers who say to just use the cloud. If you don’t have internet – you get nothing. For those of us who would rather keep our media local, and a lot of people still do whether it be internal storage or a microSD, then at least we’ll have something. What’s also neglected is the fact that the minimum internal storage is growing in some devices to 32GB (minus formatting and pre-installed software) so are the naysayers gonna tell those people to just use the cloud for everything? The argument makes no sense. People will choose what they want. I chose a phone with 32GB internal and a microSD slot because I wanted at least the option to expand. I’ve yet to put a card in, but still. It’s nice to have it there. PEACE OF MIND AS IT’S CALLED.

    2. There are many reasons why it still makes sense to have all the data stored on an SD card in my phone.

      1) I only have 400MB per month. Getting more would be quite expensive.

      2) I travel a lot and using data outside of my country is again very expensive, so I have it completely disabled.
      3) In many places there is no 3G or LTE connection. You can not stream anything over EDGE.
      4) In a lot of pubs there is not mobile signal at all because you’re underground. Then try to show some pictures to your friends…
      5) In subway there is mobile connection only in stations. How can you listen to music there?
      6) I can create dynamic playlists, organize the music and play it very effectively only as long as it is locally stored on my phone.

      There are even more reasons why a cloud storage can not replace locally stored files.

      So there are many reasons why it is a very good idea to have an SD card slot in your phone. There is not a single good reason not to include it. Nobody forces you to use it.

    3. You are wrong. Where I live (in one of S.E. Asia’s largest cities) mobile data plans are very expensive, have horrible caps and penalties, and are often spotty or slow in many locations. WiFi is NOT everywhere all the time, and certainly not free in most cases. So when mobile, putting your content like movies, videos, podcasts, books, etc. ON THE DEVICE is absolutely necessary if you want uninterrupted and free access. This is why the “Cloud” thing for storage of on-demand content is a FAILED idea. I will not buy a device that doesn’t have removable storage. Period.

  3. The December model can’t be slower,that would be just stupid given how slow the 2 is.
    Can be cheaper though. If it’s late this year the most likely SoC would be Snapdragon 620/618 or Helio X20. SD620 would be fester at least on the CPU side,maybe not on the GPU side and Helio X20 would be much faster if they actually manage to hit the targeted clocks. Sure SD810 has 4 big cores but that’s in theory since you can’t put much load on more than 1-2 cores. Hard to say for sure when we see SD620 in devices and Helio X20 will ship very little in Q4. Going 1440p would be preferable too, last year it was ok not to in the high end, this year 1080p is not enough to qualify for high end.
    With Helio x20, 1440p LCD (NOT OLED), 4GB RAM ,21-24MP cam and no wasting money on fingerprint it would be a nice and fast device, different enough to be worth making. With SD620 the difference would be less evident and they might as well use SD618 and try to hit 250$.

    1. No way in hell it wouldn’t have a helio SOC. They do not have the man-power to support two different set of SOCs. You have no idea how time consuming it is to QA a stable rom for a new set of hardware. Chance are similar specs but different size to reach a wider consumer.

      1. They shouldn’t have made a device with SD810 to begin with. SD805 is better, one year later. It’s both faster than SD810 at 1.8GHz and can actually load all 4 cores and keep going for a while. So if they want to make the same thing, they might as well just stop.
        If they don’t have the resources to make a good phone because they don’t have the resources to make their own ROM, then they should give up on the ROM not on the hardware.

        1. Kid, get some education before talking non-sense.
          This isn’t the 2000s where clock speed meant everything in a single core intel vs AMD war.
          810 is a 64 bit ARMv8 soc produce with a 20nm process abd base on A57.
          805 is a 32 bit ARMv7 soc produce wtth a 28nm process and base on A15

          Now, go actually read up on some basic computer architecture article so that you can understand the significant of those difference.

          Also, how the hell do you expect to ship a phone a rom? You know Android isn’t like Windows where u can just install the OS on a barebone hardware and call it a day.

    2. Since when did a $300-range phone become high end? The One Plus 2 is half the price of an iPhone 6, and hundreds of dollars cheaper than the flagship LG and Samsung phones.

      Going to 1440p is an extremely marginal advantage at best, and the trade off in battery life and performance simply isn’t worth it for the vast majority of users. A good 1080p display will beat an average 1440p display in terms of user preference any day of the week.

      1. 300$ became high end a few years ago when high end phones in China started to sell at that price, not really my problem if you were not aware of that. Old phone makers that still want 600-700$ will adapt or be killed off and they are the oddities not a 300$ high end phone.It’s just a pocket PC after all,why would it cost 600$?
        OP markets it’s brand as high end “No Compromise”. What point is there to 1440p or 4k (Synaptics announced the first display driver for 4k mobile screens recently), doesn’t really matter, the fact remains that high end is 1440p today and less puts you at best in the lower high end.
        Another very relevant point is that 1080p screens are as low as 15-17$ (a few more $ for the touch layer and a few more for the cover glass), prices dropped hard in 2014 and 2015. So you see 1080p screens in 130$ devices in China – remember OnePlus is also from China. You would be tempted to say that those devices have poor quality screens but that’s not actually the case, some are rather good and well calibrated, wouldn’t beat the iphone or S6 but would beat many high end devices in color accuracy.
        If they want to charge 300$ or more,they need to give people a reason to pay that much and 1440p is one those options. What would you chose between the OPO and OP2 ,one is 250$ ,the other 300$?

        1. Sorry, but you can’t just redefine widely accepted terms and just have everyone accept your definitions. $300 phones are not high end, period, not while new flagship phones are still being released at double that price, no matter what the Chinese are doing. If you insist on trying, you just end up in pointless debates on definitions (like this one). Common definitions serve a purpose — they get us past semantics into the meat of the discussion.

          As for 1440p — its main importance (as you seem to be implying) is as a bullet point on the sales literature. In reality, in everyday use, the difference between 1080p and 1440p is vanishingly small. It’s as though MacDonald’s started adding an extra couple of french fries to a standard portion size. Almost nobody could tell the difference unless they looked for it.

        2. You can not get a high-end phone for $300. All these are at best higher middle class phones. All of them are missing some important features of high-end phones:
          – durable and high quality build
          – all common LTE frequencies
          – SD card slot
          – NFC
          – great camera with OIS
          – good SW support
          – great display
          – some water and dust protection
          – something special 🙂

          Every high-end phone must include most of these features. The $300 Chinese phones usually have only one or two of them at best.

    3. QHD to be “high end”? You mean to have bragging rights. And 21-24MP camera? WTF for? You do realize that the extra pixels won’t look any better on your screen. Even QHD has way fewer pixels than 13MP. 13MP is good enough to print up to about 20″x24″. More pixels means cramming them into a small sensor which degrades the quality of the photo in terms of dynamic range and noise.

      I don’t want larger pictures, I wanr better pictures. And I have yet to run out of pixels on my screen. I have run out of battery. Why would I add more pixels and shorten the battery? Why would I add more pixels to the camera and degrade the quality?

      To get higher numbers on the spec sheet! OnePlus has decided not to play the number game and I sincerely hope they never do.

  4. I would of bought the OnePlus 2 but it doesn’t have nfc.
    If the 3rd oneplus phone doesn’t have nfc, I won’t buy it

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