Within a span of 3 months, the relatively young but ambitious OnePlus has released their 2nd and 3rd smartphone. The OnePlus Two, successor to the highly popular OnePlus One debuted some way back in July with a tagline of “2016 Flagship Killer”. Regardless of whether it managed to live up to the billing is another story but OnePlus has recently announced their first ever mid-range smartphone: OnePlus X. Catchy name indeed but let us see what this new smartphone offers in our impression of the OnePlus X.
Spec sheet of OnePlus X
|Display||5.0 inch AMOLED with 1920×1080 resolution|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 801 @ 2.3Ghz + Adreno 330|
|Camera||Rear: 13 megapixel. Front: 8 megapixel|
|Connectivity||Dual Sim, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB|
|OS||Oxygen 2.1.0 based on Lollipop 5.1.1|
Unlike their first two phones in which powerful hardware offered at low price dominates the headlines, OnePlus decided to let the design takes centre stage this time around. Having said that, the X main selling point is definitely in its design. The frame of the X is made of anodized aluminium with 17 micro cuts running along it, intending to make it a little less slippery. The front of the phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 while the back of the phone is offered in two variants, Onyx and Ceramic.
The Onyx version is made of glass while the Ceramic variant is cast out of zirconia mold in which OnePlus claims that a 25-day manufacturing process is needed. Though the two are of different materials, it is quite hard to differentiate them as they look quite similar in pictures. Furthermore, there is still a lot of people using their smartphone with a cover, so the material used for the phone is not that much of a selling point, at least to me. The Ceramic version hardness is at 8.5H which is only 0.5H less than the usual tempered glass we apply on our smartphone. Perhaps this can justify the price increase of about a 100USD for the Ceramic version? We will let the sales performance to do the talking. The design this time around certain looks premium and reminds me of the older iPhones combined with Sony Xperia series smartphones.
With the new crop of smartphones, 5.5 inch seems to be the new default size. This makes one hand usage a little difficult and OnePlus X’s 5-inch display is definitely good news to those who prefer using their smartphone with one hand (including yours truly). With a resolution of 1920×1080, it possesses a higher PPI of about 441 as compared to both of its elder siblings. The AMOLED screen will definitely give more saturated colour and better viewing angles as compared to the IPS screen used by OnePlus previously. There are also usual Back, Home, and Recents capacitive button at the bottom of the screen but too bad they are non-backlit. As usual, the 3.5mm audio jack is at the top and similar to the OnePlus Two; Alert Slider is located at the left side; allowing user to quickly switch and handle their notification alerts. The volume rocker and power button are on the right and the dual speaker grill are at the bottom together with the microUSB port.
Zooming inwards, OnePlus X offers Snapdragon 801 at 2.3GHz together with Adreno 330. Although the 801 might be out for more than a year old by now, I believe it is still perfectly capable of being fitted in a midrange smartphone. Coupled with a 3GB RAM, I don’t think that it will perform inferiorly if compared to the original OnePlus One; which still performs very well up till today. The rear camera offers 13 megapixels with f2.2 aperture while the front camera offers 8 megapixels with f2.4 aperture. The autofocus feature powered by Phase Detection AF claims to focus in 0.2 seconds, the fastest in OnePlus series thus far. While the pixel count is certainly impressive on paper. Real life performance test is still needed to verify if the camera performance is as advertised.
The storage size is pretty small at 16GB but surprisingly OnePlus offers an external Micro SD card slot that can support up to 128GB (a feature that is hard to find these days). The slot can also be used for Dual Sim purpose. For media light user, they will be able to capitalize on this Dual Sim feature but I think a lot of people will get a Micro SD card to increase the storage size. Battery size is pretty mediocre at 2525mAh but with a near Stock Android OS (Oxygen OS) in it, I guess it should fare not bad. FM radio is a surprise inclusion as it has been missing in the OnePlus One and OnePlus Two.
(Image source: OnePlus)
For me, OnePlus X is certainly a good buy for those who are looking for a midrange smartphone with a low price without forgoing the specs. It is still pretty good hardware by today’s standard and the premium design is very pleasing to the eyes and, in fact, looks better than other much more expensive smartphones. However, one thing OnePlus did not change about their smartphone is the method to purchase it. You will have to get an invite before you can purchase it. This might frustrate eager buyers, but OnePlus thinks that this system is essential in preventing them from ending up with too much inventory. OnePlus X will start selling in the Europe and India on 5th Nov and at the United States on 19th Nov. If you are really interested at it then keep a lookout for the invite!
Will you consider it? Let us know your opinion about the OnePlus X at the comments below.