Chinese smartphone group OnePlus has finally lifted the lid on its latest rumoured handset, the OnePlus X.
The OnePlus X budget smartphone has dropped with some respectable specs for an admittedly brilliant price, so is this gadget worthy of a place in your pocket?
Look and feel
Available from November 5th, the OnePlus X, with its 5-inch, 1080p AMOLED display, will drop in a choice of two back materials – fire-baked Ceramic or Onyx black glass.
According to the smartphone’s makers, the X aims to explore ‘contrasts and harmony’. Apparently, it’s about ‘expressing individuality in modern urban life, the conflict between traditional craft and manufacturing’ or something. OK then.
Our first look at the OnePlus X led to some comparisons with Apple’s iPhone, but to say the OnePlus X is an iPhone clone would be doing OnePlus a disservice. In fact, the OnePlus X has plenty of pretty features and unique curves of its own.
The metal frame surrounding the body of the OnePlus X is composed of a brushed aluminium with chamfered edges. On top of that, the dark, beveled-edge glass gives the smartphone a premium look, which is impressive when you consider the handset’s retail price.
A handy alert slider on the side of the smartphone switches between three modes: Silent, Priority Mode, or All notifications.
The OnePlus X looks pretty sharp, composed of a brushed aluminium with chamfered edges
Whilst the Onyx black glass model will be readily available (as long as the invite system plays nice) the Ceramic edition of the OnePlus X is limited edition. According to OnePlus, this back cover material takes around 25 days to process. We’re told that for every 100 Ceramic covers OnePlus attempts to make, only 20 are viable to be sold.
Overall, the OnePlus X looks pretty sharp, if a tiny bit generic.
What’s under the hood? Living inside the OnePlus X is a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB) and a 2,525 mAh LiPo battery.
When the OnePlus One arrived last year, reviewers (including ourselves) were able to take some great snaps using the rear-facing camera. We’re hoping the results are similar this time around.
The OnePlus X features an 8-megapixel selfie shooter and a 13-megapixel f/2.2 rear camera for ‘unmatched depth and perception’. From the shots we’ve seen so far, pictures look pretty crisp. Users can also capture 1080p video, but we’ll have to drawn our own conclusions when we pick up the gadget later in the year.
A video review from YouTube tech blogger MKBHD claims that the OnePlus X’s camera looks set to take on the shooters of more premium gadgets. In his latest upload, the Android fanatic says: “The camera was promising in person. I’m already thinking it’ll be right up there with smartphones over its $250 price point”.
OxygenOS offers a similar look and feel to stock Android, but brings some features of its own to the table
Whereas OnePlus’ first smartphone ran on a modified build of Android from CyanogenMod, the OnePlus X will showcase the group’s own driver, OxygenOS (based on Android Lollipop).
For the most part, OxygenOS looks fairly uninspiring, but in a good way. The build offers a similar look and feel to stock Android, but brings some features of its own to the table. For example, users can unlock their phone screen with custom gestures, navigation buttons can be moved around and Shelf offers a ‘glance-friendly’ look at all your important information.
Elsewhere, OnePlus X owners will be able to adjust app permissions, a feature that also arrived with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Ambient display is also on board.
For the launch of the OnePlus X, OnePlus is telling customers that it’s an invite-only affair for just one month. In December, the company will hold hourly sales for the OnePlus X.
OnePlus has always been a company that aims to deliver solid specs for a good price and it looks like the same philosophy has been applied to the OnePlus X.
On November 5th, the OnePlus X Onyx will be available with an invite in the EU for €269, or £199. Each Onyx backplate is fashioned from a sheet of black glass and polished until smooth.
The limited edition Ceramic model will be available in the EU on November 24th for €369, or £269. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the phone to give a final opinion, but from what we’ve seen this is a remarkable package.
So if you’re on the look-out for a shiny new Android phone, is the OnePlus X actually worth considering?
In short, yes. It’s hard to not be impressed by the price point of this new smartphone when you consider the specs on offer, although it’s not all rosy. OnePlus’ infamous invite system is here to stay for now, there’s no fingerprint scanner, no NFC (Oh no!) and the base model offers just 16GB, which won’t get you far nowadays.
If you’re looking for a new Android smartphone, the OnePlus X is genuinely worth considering.
Even so, despite potential issues with availability, the OnePlus X looks like a genuinely impressive phone. We’re looking forward to trying out the gadget later in the year.
What do you think of the OnePlus X? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at @Phonecruncher.