OnePlus 2 NFC

It has been exactly a week since the OnePlus 2 was announced in the first-ever virtual reality product launch. While we knew many of the specs of the upcoming OnePlus devices beforehand, there was still a lot left to find out. Since the launch, it has many consumers split whether they like the device or not. On one hand, the OnePlus 2 has a great spec sheet and a very modest price tag, it starts at $329. On the other hand, OnePlus seemed to leave out a little feature known as NFC.

NFC or Near Field Communication, involves wirelessly transmitting data from one hardware device to another physical object, provided that the devices are in short range. Now that the world knows that the OnePlus 2 will not include NFC, it has caused quite the stir, even within AndroidGuys. Our group has been mumbling over this issue for a few days, so I decided to throw everyone’s opinion together for you guys to see.

I personally don’t find it as that big of a deal. I have rarely found myself using NFC; I can probably count the times on one hand. I remember one time I attempted to use NFC and Google Wallet to purchase a pop from a vending machine, but it failed. The other, more successful attempt, was using the NFC to setup a new device, which I actually found very convenient. It transferred all my accounts and apps in a matter of minutes, something that could usually take an hour or so.

On one hand, I do see the convenience factor of it and how it could be implemented in the future. Especially since the device is being branded as the “2016 Flagship Killer”. On the other hand, many users who are expected to buy the OnePlus 2 are phone enthusiasts and will most likely be looking to purchase the OnePlus 3 next year.

I get that OnePlus has cornered themselves with their decisions and marketing ideas, but give them a break. At the end of the day, press is press. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad, they are getting the OnePlus brand name out there. Just think, if NFC was included on the OnePlus 2, we wouldn’t even be talking about the device as much right now. Maybe OnePlus did it on purpose because they knew it would create such a stir, and get them even more free press.

Here’s what the rest of AndroidGuys thought on the subject:

Scott Webster
I don’t have much of an issue with this feature as it pertains to the OnePlus 2. Specifically, it’s the sort of device that’s more niche and an educated buyer/user will know going in that it’s not included. It’s the type of smartphone that average people aren’t going to know much about or care about – yet. In short, the people who buy this are going to know all there is to know about it. If NFC is a pain point for them then they’ll likely not buy. Does it mean that NFC should not be employed in future models? No. I’ve had NFC off and on in my devices for years now and have yet to tap anything outside of a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. And, really, I could have used Bluetooth for pairing, anyhow.

Austin Hyde
I’m with Scott on this one. I have yet to see a practical application of NFC that would make me want to use it on a regular basis. Samsung’s pay system comes close, but there are too many options out there and the only vendors that I see supporting NFC are using it for Apple Pay. Google will have to come out with a unifying system for this work on Android.

Josh Noriega
While I agree that I don’t use NFC that much, you just gotta have it if you’re gonna make the claim of a “Flagship Killer”. They should have known this was gonna bite them in the ass. And they specifically put a USB Type-C port to be “future-proof”. In light of Android Pay coming, NFC is being “future-proof”. And is it really such a pain/expense to put NFC on-board?

Personally I don’t understand why there is such a big fuss about NFC. I have never used NFC one time on my phone, and for the ONE time I considered using it, pairing to a wireless speaker, my speaker didn’t even have NFC built-in. I ALWAYS turn off NFC whenever I get a new phone. I never use it.

Sure Android Pay is coming, but it has been here already for many years known as Google Wallet. And the grim reality is no one uses it. It was only this year when paying with your phone became popular and we can thank Apple for that. Google even had to rename Google Wallet to Android Pay to mimic Apply Pay. Google Wallet was a failure for payment using NFC and Apple hasn’t quite changed the landscape yet. How many of you use NFC payments 30 times a month? I bet a very small percentage of you do, and for that reason I can completely understand why OnePlus removed NFC.

So this NFC thing that everyone is complaining about is a bunch of nonsense. We won’t be using Android Pay next year, and even if I am wrong and have to eat my shoe, we will still have our wallets with us. We will still have to carry credit cards and cash even with Android Pay because there are millions of small businesses that will not accept Android Pay.
The point of OnePlus is to make an affordable flagship and I completely agree with their decision to remove NFC. It’s only the enthusiasts that are making a fuss over this…ask your mom, dad, brother, cousin, whoever if they use NFC. I can guess what their answer will be…If I was Carl Pei I would tell the whiners to shut up already.

I believe a lot of the backlash OP is receiving over this is due to their annoying advertising and invite system. People are looking to challenge OP over anything because of their negative sentiment. Get over it. The OP is a sweet phone at a very reasonable price and I guarantee if people could actually get their hands on it in an easy manner, they wouldn’t be complaining about not having NFC.

I think that everyone over-reacted to the news that the OP2 won’t have NFC. That being said, I do feel as though there is a principle here. OnePlus’ mantra is “Never Settle”, and with that they release phones that they hope you won’t have to “settle” for. Yet, if anyone was looking forward to the release of Android Pay with Android M, they will have to “settle” for the lack of NFC in the OP2. Consumers are already “settling” for the OP2 anyways, with lack of QuickCharge and the fact that any future updates will take quite a bit of time for OnePlus to build their OS around it. NFC is just one other thing on the list to “settle” for.

OnePlus wanted to create a phone that they were touting as a 2016 flagship killer, but they didn’t include NFC. Right now, that’s not a big deal. Few use it. But with Android M and Android Pay just around the corner, I see it becoming very popular in the next year. As does OnePlus’s CEO, who said that NFC would become big in about 12-18 months. That would make it 2016. So if he says they didn’t include NFC because it’s not important. But they they want their phone to be next year’s flagship killer. But then he says that NFC will become big next year. But then he says that it doesn’t matter because people will upgrade next year. That is the most flawed logic of all time! If OP wanted the 2 to be a 2015 flagship killer, okay. I still don’t think they should get rid of NFC, but I can understand it. But they want it to compete with phones coming out next year when NFC will be much more widespread. They seemed set on future proofing their device with USB-C, but no NFC? They even included a fingerprint scanner and didn’t think, “We should include NFC because people can pay more securely with their fingerprint”? And for people who are planning on keeping a phone for years, I feel like this will be a huge letdown. I believe NFC’s potential is mobile payments, and it will only become more usable as time goes on. So people who bought a OP2 will see their friends using mobile payments and wonder why their phone can’t do that. Maybe I just have too much optimism for the adoption of NFC payments, but I think that OP will regret this decision.

I don’t care. I’m getting the Moto X Pure Edition.

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  1. Considering the price point I would assume its no big deal as android pay is not prominent now. But considering the HYPE, NEVER SETTLE and 2016 FLAGSHIP KILLER mantras, this is a break.
    Over promised and under delivered. Though the device itself is good, I don’t want to be funding that company.

  2. In the article, Austin states… “and the only vendors that I see supporting NFC are using it for Apple Pay” but everyone should note that, generally, Google Wallet works wherever Apple Pay works. I’ve used my Google Wallet at several places that state Apple Pay (i.e. Whole Foods) and my Google Wallet works w/o a hitch. I do think that Google needs to actively advertise and drive some visibility to this, as many Google Wallet customers won’t know. That’s probably Google’s biggest failure with Wallet is really pushing the visibility of the feature. Hopefully Android Pay will address that.

  3. I use NFC on my phone quite frequently, mostly because of NFC tags I’ve stuck on certain places. I’ve got one in my car which automatically turns on the phone’s bluetooth, disables WiFi, and sets the phone’s sound profile accordingly. I also have one on my desk at work, which connects my phone to the office WiFi and sets it to vibrate instead of ring. I also have one in my sport armband which connects my phone to my bluetooth workout headphones and launches my workout app. And, yes, I’ve used it a handful of times at stores that accept NFC payments, usually at my local Walgreens.

    No NFC on the OP2 is definitely a bummer for me, but I wasn’t planning on upgrading from my OPO so soon after getting it, anyway. Hopefully the OP3, or whatever they call it, will bring it NFC back. It’s a hardware feature I’m using more and more.

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