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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year's OnePlus One smartphone was arguably the best Android device introduced in 2014. This year's follow-up, the OnePlus Two comes with even better hardware. But, we found that the new phone's implementation of Google's (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report  Android software needs a bit more maturation.

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The new Two takes the original design to the next level. It has the latest, top-of-the-line, 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Qualcomm Inc Report Snapdragon 810 processor, 3 or 4 GB of RAM, 16 or 64 GB of internal storage, a 5.5-inch full HD touchscreen (1080 by 1920 pixels), 13 and 5 megapixel cameras, a fingerprint scanner, the latest Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC connectivity as well as a USB Type-C port. When it comes to hardware, the Two rivals the best of today's premium handsets.

The phones' looks are quite understated. The unassuming, blacked-out screen occupies most of the front panel. There's a new metal band around the outer edges, and a user-replaceable back cover. The delivered version has a terrific fuzzy, grippy feel, with other options available. Unfortunately though, the battery isn't user replaceable.

OnePlus Two for North America operates on GSM-based networks only, which means you can use it on AT&T's (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report and T-Mobile's (TMUS) - Get T-Mobile US, Inc. Report networks. The phone accepts dual micro-SIM cards for easy switching between two different accounts or providers.

Even though it's a quite impressive piece of hardware, the software doesn't quite match at this point.

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While the software is attractive and works pretty well, it does not seem to play nicely with the phone's audio system. Aside from the single, small, speaker on the bottom, we found the OnePlus Two refuses to play Hi-Fi audio streams from Tidal. Lower-quality audio from online sources such as Spotify, Time Warner (TWC) cable, Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. Report , Sling TV and others worked perfectly. Tidal engineers, alerted to the problem, said they would investigate.

But, there were also problems with sounds from a number of other apps including basic games like Solitaire, Mahjonng and others. Instead of hearing the usual noises this phone was completely silent. I'm hoping that subsequent versions of the Oxygen OS will have fewer problems.

The OnePlus Two is only available on the Web through the company's online store. Complicating things is the fact that buyers need an invitation in order to actually buy one. Once you're set a new Two will set you back $389 for the 4GB/64 GB model. Compare that with the $329 Asus ZenFone 2 and Motorola's newMoto X Pure Edition ($399 and up). the new OnePlus offers the best hardware but its software needs some tweaking.

For the record, the original 64 GB OnePlus One is still available for $299 and it's still a bargain.

Overall Score: 8.4/10

Buy accessories for the OnePlus Two on Amazon here.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.