When the original OnePlus One came out I commented that the invite system had frustrated me and I’d decided not to buy one. However, as soon as I received one I changed my mind – the features you got for the money was too much to pass on.

Now the OnePlus Two is out – more powerful and with more features but with that same invite system. I got sent an invite on Friday with 24 hours to claim it and…. left it to expire. Why? Let me explain…

The OnePlus One

Ownership of the OnePlus One has not been a smooth ride. I’ve had numerous issues with connectivity (and still have) and crashes. Updates have come regularly but they rarely seem to address the niggly issues that have been around for a time – I make use of the Jira site to log problems I’m having also back others that have already been reported. Many of mine haven’t even been looked at, although logged months ago. Maybe this is a result of the fallout between OnePlus and CyanogenMod but the end result is I’ve been left with annoying bugs for many, many months with no suggestion they’ll get fixed. Right now I have to reset my mobile data connection at least once a day. That’s frustrating.

Also, I thought CM would mean, although not the kind of speeds you’d get with a stock phone, that I’d get Android updates pretty quickly. Except no, Lollipop took a long time to reach us and, by the time it did, the next version had already been announced by Google.

The OnePlus Two

As before, the phone is extremely good value for money for what you get and it’s an improvement over the original phone. Not a massive change but, certainly if there’s a feature there you’d like, it’s worth having. For instance, the dual SIM option and fingerprint reader I’d love.

But, there’s an elephant in the room as they took something away too. NFC. Because “hardly anybody uses it”. Which was extremely short-sighted of them – Android Pay is due to launch this year and will need NFC to work. This would also give more benefit to the fingerprint reader too. Even as it is, I’m one of those “few” people who use it. Could I buy a phone, knowing that I’d want to keep it for at least the next year, knowing it’s already lacking a feature that I already use and will need even more? “Flagship killer” it no longer is because they all have NFC.

Could I live without NFC? Of course. Is Android Pay that necessary? Probably not. But just like buying the “second best” of anything, you’ll end up living with it but regretting your purchase. I’ll be looking enviously at those with the genuine flagship phones and wishing what was. That was never the case with the OnePlus One but would be for this. And all they had to do was include NFC. Such a shame.

What’s the Alternative?

A good question. The new Nexus 5, when it’s released, looks like it may be the best option (assuming it’s the right price). I suspect it won’t rock dual SIM (which is a shame) but will, likely address all the shortcomings of the OnePlus Two, as well as having a stock Android system.

Can I have your Invite?

Apart from the fact that it’s expired, they now tie the invites to your email so you can’t re-distribute them. Sorry!