OnePlus X Review

It’s only been three months since the ‘flagship killer’ was launched by OnePlus. Even though it was just found two years ago, OnePlus is a small company that’s having a whirlwind adventure in the smartphone market. It launched the OnePlus 2 this year for giving the top flagship smartphones a run for their money with the aid of its premium features and specifications and its really reasonable £300 price. However, now the company is looking to corner the lower end of the smartphone market and this is where the OnePlus X steps in, which is priced at just £199 or $249. The device definitely makes a good and powerful first impression.

The OnePlus X is 6.9mm thick with an anodized and brushed metal frame and a smooth glass on its rear and front. As opposed to its price, the phone looks and also feels very high-end. In some ways, it comes off as the OnePlus 2 mini, but the best part about the phone is that it outshines the Xperia M4 Aqua by Sony and Samsung’s Galaxy A3. Even better for the OnePlus X is its reasonable and convenience screen size of 5 inches, which is more practical as opposed to its predecessors boasting 5.5 inches.

The bad news is that there is still an invite-only system so you have to have an invitation to get one because OnePlus hasn’t partnered with any online retailers or mobile networks. You may have to wait a long while on the reservation list, but the company has said that weekly open sales will be held so you just might get lucky. Apart from the standard glass model, there is also a limited edition or the Ceramic version of the OnePlus X. There are only 10,000 invites for it and it’s not really that bad because both phones only have some minor differences like a different style of the bezel and slightly flatter edges in the Ceramic edition. Also, its price tags is about £70 higher.

Regardless, for the first time in its short and two-year history, OnePlus has opted to use an AMOLED panel for its 1920x1080 resolution display, which is definitely better than the somewhat disappointing image quality seen in the OnePlus 2. The display of the OnePlus X is downright gorgeous as you can see punchy and bright colors against the blacks. Contrast is also on the high side. In addition, as opposed to other AMOLED displays like the Nexus 6P, the whites of the OnePlus X are much cleaner. As a matter of fact, the color temperature and neutral colors bore some resemblance to Sony Xperia Z5.

3 GB Ram and the 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor powers the OnePlus X, which was used in every top smartphone in the previous year, including the Galaxy S5, but has now been replaced with a faster chip. Nevertheless, it was still a generous incorporation in a phone that’s priced at just £199. It delivers excellent performance and is a suitable choice for a phone priced as low as it is. Similar to the OnePlus 2 before it, this new device is also operating on the Oxygen OS, the company’s own creation that’s based on the Android 5.1.1.

At first glance, this operating system comes off exactly like Android, but it has some additional and helpful features that make it easier for people to use it. The Dark mode is one of the most popular ones, which is similar to the white and grey screen used by Android, and it helps you in saving battery and illuminates lesser pixels on the AMOLED display. The ability of altering individual app permissions is one more attract prospect of the OS.

While this feature will be introduced in all of Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices, it is still great to see, especially in a low end smartphone. It is particularly useful for those who want to keep their data private and gives you complete control over the information that can be accessed by the apps while you enjoy their service. Some gesture controls have also been added to the device. It also has two SIM card slots, which is a plus and one of them can also be used as a microSD card slot. This enables you to expand the 16GB storage offered by the OnePlus X.

There is one major omission as compared to the previous smartphones of OnePlus and that’s the lack of a USB Type-C port. The good, old-fashioned Micro USB cable is used for charging, which makes it compatible with your existing chargers, but takes away the ability of QuickCharge. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be a major issue since there is plenty of stamina in the 2,525mAh battery. The phone has a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. However, this is one area where the phone may actually be lacking as the pictures didn’t turn out so good.

The colors seemed colorful and bright, which was perfectly acceptable, and there was also good contrast. The problem was in the lack of details. The pictures came a bit hazy around the edges even in proper lighting. The flash didn’t help either as the images still appeared dingy and dull. The addition of an extra sound button on the phone’s left side could make us forget that flaw. This is the Alert Sider that allows you to switch between three different notification profiles. This is extremely useful when you want your phone to stay quiet without much effort.

As a whole, the OnePlus X has excellent build quality, a beautiful screen and a great battery life. Its performance levels are also par with other smartphones available within this price range. There isn’t a fingerprint scanner as in other OnePlus devices, but they have to cut down somewhere in order to sell at the price they are charging. If you are looking for a budget smartphone with excellent features and are willing to forgo photo detail, you will find nothing better than the OnePlus X, as long as you have the invite. 

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