If you want a phone that runs stock Android, your options used to be limited (mostly) to buying a Nexus phone or running a custom ROM. But OnePlus is one of several companies filling that role today with the nearly stock-running OnePlus 2. Let's see how it compares to the pure Lollipop torch-bearer, the Nexus 6.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
If you walk into a wireless retail store, the Nexus 6 will almost certainly be the biggest phone you see. This big fella is 5 percent taller, 11 percent wider and 2 percent thicker than the OnePlus 2.
The OnePlus 2 is 5 percent lighter. Considering how much bigger the Nexus 6 is, though, it has the relative weight advantage.
Both handsets have sturdy-feeling metal frames.
The OnePlus 2 ships by default with a Sandstone backing (which is likely plastic with a thin layer of sandstone), but you can also order replacement backing in a variety of materials for US$27 a pop.
The OnePlus 2's sandstone back is black, but (again) you can change its color with those optional replacement backs.
The Nexus 6 ships in midnight blue and white options, though both have black fronts.
The OnePlus 2's screen size is hardly shrimpy (it's the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus' display), but the Nexus 6's whale of a screen is still 18 percent bigger.
Like last year's OnePlus One, the 2 lets you choose between using onscreen or below-screen (capacitive) navigation keys. If you opt for the latter, you'll be able to use its entire screen real estate for all your apps.
OnePlus insists that Quad HD displays are merely gimmicks that don't add anything to the experience of using a phone. While we agree that 1080p looks sharp enough for most people, we also find that Quad HD phones like the Nexus 6, Galaxy S6 and LG G4 simply look better.
The OnePlus 2 has an IPS display, while the Nexus 6 goes with an AMOLED panel.
OnePlus added a touch-based fingerprint sensor to its 2015 flagship.
The OnePlus 2 has a slightly bigger battery, but that won't necessarily mean anything as far as battery life goes. Stay tuned for testing in our review.
Both phones' batteries are sealed shut.
The Nexus 6 has fast charging, which can quickly juice up a nearly-dead battery to a respectable state.
The Nexus 6 also has built-in wireless charging capabilities.
Rear camera resolutions are even, but don't mistake that as meaning photo quality will be equal. The Nexus 6's camera is pretty good, but even when it launched it wasn't the best you could find in a smartphone.
Camera aperture (rear)
Both handsets' rear cameras have good ƒ/2.0 aperture.
The OnePlus 2 has the newer processor, though the Nexus 6 has always provided an incredibly fluid experience, so we don't think this alone is reason enough to choose the OnePlus 2.
The Nexus 6 gives you double the storage on the entry-level tier, though they even up on level two.
Neither phone has expandable storage.
The 16 GB OnePlus One gives you 3 GB of RAM, while the 64 GB version jumps up to 4 GB.
Sound profile switch
Though you can change notification profiles on both phones, the OnePlus 2 has a hardware switch dedicated to this – letting you switch from "All," to "Priority" to "None" without waking up your phone.
The OnePlus 2's software will look like the stock Android Lollipop that its OxygenOS is built on, but the company did throw in a few extras, like those customizable navigation keys, a dark mode and gesture launch shortcuts.
We're probably two or three months away from the next Nexus phone (or phones?).
The OnePlus 2 technically launches on August 11 ...
Order without invite
... but only some people will be able to buy the new OnePlus then, as the company is sticking with its annoying invite system. You'll need to sign up and begin a waiting period (of unknown length) for an invite before you can order the phone.
Starting price (full retail)
The OnePlus 2 rings up for US$170 cheaper than the Nexus 6's current pricing. Just remember that you can buy or order the Nexus 6 right now and have it in your hands immediately or within a few days.
For more, you can revisit Gizmag's Nexus 6 review from late last year.View gallery - 26 images