OnePlus has done it again. It's managed to conquer that tricky second album challenge with a smartphone which builds on its predecessor in a number of ways without losing its core appeal.

I was nervous for OnePlus, as it had built up a lot of hype around its second coming, but aside from a few minor hiccups it's managed to pull it off.

We liked

OnePlus has upped its game for the 2. The design is much improved, and it now feels more premium in the hand as well as being sturdier.

The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is a nice touch, adding to the premium persona the OnePlus 2 is trying to exude, while the beefed-up camera has a few neat tricks.

OxygenOS is a promising interface, even though there are still a few bugs to be squashed, with its stock Android-like layout and customization options.

Then remember that it costs around half the price of the big-name 2015 flagships currently on the market and it's almost a no brainer – as long as you're prepared to make a few compromises.

We disliked

There are a number of frustrating software issues with the OnePlus 2, including a sketchy home button, slow dialer and confused messaging streams which take the shine off what is another strong contender from the Chinese firm.

On the surface, the fact that the OnePlus Two doesn't have a microSD card slot, NFC, fast charging or wireless charging doesn't seem like a big issue – but for a handset that's claiming to not only beat its flagship competition in 2015, but also be a '2016 Flagship Killer', these seem like missed opportunities.

There's no 128GB storage option – you only have 64GB of internal space – and while the camera won't let you down, it's not in the same league as those on the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Sony Xperia Z5, let alone the latest flagships.

Verdict

The OnePlus 2 packs plenty of power, an improved camera and fancy fingerprint scanner into a tweaked design, and it's finished with a price tag that puts the rest of the mid-to-high-end mobile market to shame.

Is it the best phone of 2015? No. If you're looking for pure mobile excellence the Samsung Galaxy S6, with its higher price tag, has it beat, and when looking at newer 2016 phones there are loads, including the OnePlus 3, ahead of the OnePlus 2, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge taking the top spot, but for those on more reasonable budgets the OnePlus 2 is still a barnstorming buy.

The omission of a microSD slot and NFC may be too much for a select few, the lack of wireless and/or fast changing is a little disappointing, and the software issues are niggling, although hopefully fixable.

It may not be perfect, but considering the price you'll be paying it's easy to forgive the OnePlus 2 its shortcomings. Seriously though: do spend the extra money on a real wood back. You'll thank me later.

First reviewed: August 2015