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OnePlus X – The new fashion statement – Review

OnePlus has set a name for itself in the industry as being a Chinese mobile manufacturer who makes flagship killer mobiles. The OnePlus One was truly a flagship device and it set a trend in the mobile industry. Followed by the OnePlus One, the OnePlus Two too managed to create some waves. Just when assumed that OnePlus will be releasing new flagship devices every year, we were surprised by the rumors of a toned down version of the OnePlus 2. Finally OnePlus came up with a totally different mobile; the OnePlus X. OnePlus X is in a league of its own. It has its own design language and characteristic. It is a new mid range product line from the OnePlus. It seems that glass back and metal rims are the new fashion statement, but is style alone sufficient? Does the OnePlus X have the right mix of style, ergonomics, performance and features? Lets check it out!

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In the Box, the OnePlus X comes with a wall charger, USB – Micro USB cable, Sim pin, TPU back cover, Screen protector film (pre applied) and the usual product literature. It is available in Onyx Black color and the ceramic back variant would be available sometime next year. The ceramic variant will be a bit more expensive and heavier than the OnePlus X. It is a limited edition device. In this review we are going to be talking about the Onyx variant of the OnePlus X.

Design

The OnePlus X is made of high quality tempered glass on the back and front merged together with a metal rim. The metal rim has ridges running along it, but it does very little to aid grip. The glass back look stylish, but is very slippery and is a finger print magnet. I did mention about the silicon back cover and it gives a bit of protection and grip. But the entire design aesthetic is lost if the case is used. At the bottom there are two speaker grills, but it has only one speaker and the mic is concealed under the other grill. The mobile has the usual micro USB socket and not the USB C port as we saw in the OnePlus Two. The 3.5 mm is placed at the top along with a noise cancelling mic. On the right, the power and volume buttons are quite tactile. The alert slider on the left is the same we saw in OnePlus 2. It can help you toggle between differnt alert profiles, but sadly it is not customizable. I ended up never using the slider. The back has the 13 MP camera with a single LED flash. The front has a 8 MP camera above the 5 inch AMOLED display. The design definitely looks cool and stylish. It is also compact and feels very sturdy to hold.

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Display

The display is a 5 inch AMOLED screen with Full HD support. The screen is very bright and has fantastic color reproduction. It enhances the look of any image and makes it look rich. Also AMOLED displays are efficient in battery consumption. Apart from the design, display is one of the majar selling points for OnePlus X.

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Hardware

OnePlus X resembles the OnePlus One from the hardware specifications point of view. It is powered by a 32 bit quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and is equiped with 3 GB of RAM. It has Adreno 330 graphics processor unit. The processor is clocked at 2.3 GHz, compared to 2.5 GHz in the One. It has 16 GB of internal storage, but supports memory expansion with its hybrid SIM slot. The SIM slot takes in two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM card and a microSD card. It supports 4G LTE in India, but its not a quad band device and you may not be able to use 4G LTE in certain countries. It is the first OnePlus mobile to have a FM radio.

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The device scores are impressive in all the bench mark tests but scores less than the OnePlus One. OnePlus X handles heavy apps and games with ease. I noticed not frame drop or lag while playing graphically rich games. But the 3D graphic rendering was not smooth. Also the device does not have any heating issues unlike the OnePlus One or the Two. The maximum temperature I noticed was 42 degree and that was after shooting video on the mobile continously. It is a mid range mobile and performs like one. You can check the benchmark test scores under the specs section.

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Camera

OnePlus X has 13 MP camera at the back and 8 MP on the front. When it comes to quality, both the cameras are similar. The image output has good detail and sharpness at ample daylight, but the smoothening algorithm spoils the image even there there is little bit of drop in the ambient light. The white balance is warm and the colors are bright. It has great black levels, but the brightness and contrast are not the right scale. Under low light the images are not bright, but it does not show noise, thanks to the smoothening algorithm.

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Focusing is fast as the OnePlus X uses Phase detection system. Exposure control on the screen is handy as most of the time, the exposure calculated by the software is incorrect. The camera UI is simple and easy to use. But it can get boring for most users in a matter of time. It does not support RAW images or 4k video and its a budget device and we must not be asking about it. It has slow motion and time lapse video option, but the UI offers no control on the speed. Also manual mode is lacking, which is now becoming a standard in most mid level mobiles. The camera in the OnePlus X has its highs and lows, but the lows are mostly software issues and OnePlus X can fix them with updates.

Camera Samples

OnePlus X camera samples

Software

The OnePlus X runos on Android Lollipop with Oxygen OS skinned on top. The Oxygen OS has very little to offer apart from the pure android experience. But it is one of the most stable, fast, intuitive and minimalistic UI out there. Thanks to its no bloatware policy, the user experience on this mobile is as straight as an arrow. The UI is fast, snappy and responsive as OnePlus X has built the Oxygen OS ground up by integrating it well with the hardware.

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Battery

The mobile is powered by a 2525 mAh Lithium Polymer battery. On a regular usage, the device lasted little more than a day for me. The relatively small AMOLED display and the Oxygen OS helps conserve the battery a bit. But if you are a power user or heavy user of apps and regularly click photos or watch videos, you would run out of battery with 17-20 hours.

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Verdict

OnePlus X is priced at Rs 16999 and is available exclusively from Amazon in India, though the plagued invite system. Invites are available easily, but still it is a hassle. Its high time OnePlus shed the invite system. Many other mobiles may see the OnePlus X as their competition, but the biggest competition for OnePlus X is the OnePlus One. OnePlus One is available for Rs 19999 and you dont need an Invite. For a few thousands extra, the OnePlus One offers better performance and value for money. It is difficult, even for OnePlus to make a better device than the OnePlus One and OnePlus X is finding it difficult to come out of its big brother’s shadow. If the OnePlus X had been priced a few thousands lower, then it would been a different story.

On its own the OnePlus X is a fantastic mobile. It has a great design and a fabulous display. It is a mid range mobile and behaves like one. It looks stylish and that’s where it stops. If you rank design over performance, I would recommend this mobile for you, else strech your budget and go for the OnePlus One.

If you need an invite to buy the OnePlus X, you can leave a comment below and we will try and get you one, no promise though

 

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Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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[…] of the Obi SF1. If you want a pretty looking device, then you can opt for the Vibe S1 or the OnePlus X. If you want a better value for money, get the Coolpad Note 3, which is on our recommendation list. […]

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