I've been in the closed beta for some time now and even if it had been released 4 months ago, it would have been in better shape than both SOTS2 and LOP. It's only now going to open beta and the developer has promised lots of awesome things before the "hard release", including mining, a news robot, and an awesome solution to the "end game".
It's truly special because it combines a lot of what was done right in other games rather seamlessly. Not to mention it has some of the prettiest diplomacy screens I've ever seen, has excellent and fun-to-watch ship combat, some of the best ship building this genre has ever seen, fun to watch ground combat, solid economy balancing and most of all, one of the most responsive and open developers of all time.
@Campaigner - Every game can't be every one's cup of tea, but I will say that the videos for this game still don't do it justice. It's no more "boring" than every other space-based 4X game. In face, with the pausable (and fast forwarding capabilities) real time nature of this game, it doesn't stay "boring" for very long. Not to mention, you can - and it is certainly advised once you figure things out - manually control everything. It's not like DW where un-automating things can be super daunting (it also doesn't have that same level of automation to begin with).