The OnePlus X is a terribly interesting device. It doesn’t have the same expectations of a bigger flagship, or the pressure to be the best. Instead, it cobbles together some great components into a package that’s just $250, and the potential to be a surprise hit like last year’s OnePlus One.
In my short time with the OnePlus X, I was quite impressed with the design and build quality. It’s encased in glass and metal, which means it doesn’t feel like something that’s just $250; it really feels premium, and although it’s a fingerprint magnet, it looks gorgeous.
Underneath the hood is a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM, which OnePlus said it chose for the sake of cost and stability. The device didn’t feel like it was running an older model chipset, but time will tell if it can stand up under heavy use. The 5-inch Full HD display is a very welcome AMOLED panel, which is not something you see often on a device at this price point. Simply put, it looks great. Colors pop, blacks are rich, and the balance was not too warm, which is to my liking.
You also get 16GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB), which is great news for people who love taking their media with them.
The smaller form factor and price tag also mean a few compromises. The battery is only 2525 mAh, the fingerprint reader is gone, it’s still missing NFC, and OnePlus has reverted to micro USB for the charging port, citing issues fitting the USB-C port into the slim form factor of the device. The 13-megapixel f2.2 camera doesn’t have OIS, either.
But did I mention it costs $250? You’ll have to wait to pick one up, though, because the OnePlus X will still only be available for purchase with an invite. Luckily, OnePlus has learned from previous excursions, and have limited the invite system to the first month of the handset’s availability. You’ll be able to pick one up beginning Nov. 5 in the EU and India, and the U.S. on Nov. 19; the ceramic version, meanwhile, is only going to be available in the EU and India on Nov. 24.
It seems to me like OnePlus has managed to pack quite a lot into a small, elegant package, and I’m excited to see if it’ll take up the mantle of the inexpensive device I can very easily recommend to friends or family looking for a new device.