The smartphone world is getting diluted on a level I didn’t imagine three years ago. A chipset (System on Chip) which was of flagship standard, nearly a year ago, is now powering a budget smartphone, named OnePlus X.
This is the device I’m having up for review, and here are my quick impressions about the same. First of all, this isn’t any flagship killer, or any killer at all, at least officially. But, I’m naming it budget killer, because that’s what it’s capable of doing.
OnePlus X retail unit content
- OnePlus X unit with battery sealed in
- A SIM insert tool
- TPU cover for the back
- User Guide and First Start Guide booklets
- microUSB 2.0 cable
- Power adapter (5v~2A)
OnePlus isn’t offering any headsets. There are a bunch of covers available, which are exclusively designed for the device by the company itself. In my opinion, keeping this phone in a cover is highly recommended.
OnePlus X Hands-on
The moment I pick the device after opening the box, I did notice that the device has some weight to it. I was expecting it to be very lightweight, considering the 6.9mm thickness. Still, the weight is well distributed which saves it from being awkward, and inch towards a “delight to use.”
OnePlus X Official Specifications
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC
- Quad-core 2.3GHz
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 3GB of RAM
- 16GB of Internal storage
- up to 128GB expandable (microSD)
- 5inch AMOLED display
- Full HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution with 441ppi density
- 13MP rear camera with LED flash
- PDAF, touch focus, HDR, Panorama, Face detection
- 8MP selfie camera
- Android 5.1.1 powered Oxygen 2.1.0 OS (Upgradable)
- Wi-Fi b/g/n with hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- FM Radio and GPS
- Standard microUSB 2.0 port
- Dual SIM (hybrid tray) with LTE support
- Accelerometer, proximity and gyro sensors
- 6.9mm thick and 138gram weight (Onyx version)
- 2525mAh battery (non-removable)
The device is available in India and major countries across the globe through standard and annoying Invite systems. You can pick between Onyx and Ceramic variants. Onyx is the standard variant which I’m holding while the Ceramic variant is the real attraction.
It’s made of Zirconia and takes 25 days to manufacture. The process behind is really impressive, and OnePlus is even calling it a Gemstone. You can read the full story and watch related videos on the official site itself.
Although you can hardly find a major difference by looking, but the gemstone variant is heavy than the standard one, reaching all the way to 160 gram on the weighing meter. Also, the company is going to manufacture just 10,000 of them, and it will start shipping in the last week of November (to be specific, it’s Nov 24).
Coming back to the Onyx variant, the device does look simple, yet impressive. No doubt, OnePlus took the right time to manufacture this simplistic design, which seems to be inspired from Nexus 4, and iPhone 5, two of my favorites. Looking at the glass panel on the back, you can also compare it with the Xperia Z or Z1.
Talking of the rear side further, the camera and LED units are placed on the top left the corner, as usual, followed by OnePlus logo at the upper half (centered), leaving no other marks on the beauty. But, you can look closely at the bottom side to reveal those certification markings, which are intentionally hidden to stop hurting the overall look. No one is going to complain about it, rather, will love it.
Coming at the front, an 8MP selfie camera is placed at the top center, followed by earpiece speaker and some sensors. Three capacitive buttons are placed beneath the display which offers haptic feedback but misses backlit. It doesn’t take too long to remember their existence and position, but you can always enable the on-screen navigation buttons, in the case of any trouble.
The bezel across the device is practically minimum, leaving only what’s required, and a 5inch measuring AMOLED screen is completing the rest. The front side is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the rear by a scratch resistant glass.
The edges at the front are rounded well, meeting the metal frame that runs across the device. Brushed anodized aluminum is being used at the metal frame, which has chamfered edges along with micro machine cuts running across the frame.
The right side holds the usual power button and volume rocker keys, followed by a hybrid SIM card tray on the top. You can either keep two SIM cards or one SIM card along with a microSD card. There is no way of using all three together!
The left side holds an Alert slider, or Notification switch, which has a rough metallic texture, offering a firm grip.
The top holds a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a dedicated mic, along with antenna rings on left and right sides.
Antenna rings are again present at the bottom, keeping loudspeaker grill and microUSB 2.0 port in between. The speaker grill features the loudspeaker on the left side while the right side is present to complete the design but also packs a mic inside. During my testing done so far, the speaker isn’t that loud but can pass the day-to-day stuff.
So, this completes the design story of this well-crafted OnePlus X, which ends on the better side. I’m really impressed with everything looks and feels here, and I guess, everyone will find tough to ignore or use it after holding it once, or maybe taking a closer look.
Software, Performance, and Camera
The device packs a desktop standard processor which was earlier available only in flagship devices. The SoC used here is a year old, but still manages to offer a punchy performance, when packed with the Oxygen OS in this case.
The software does look stock, with some changes here and there on the cosmetic sides, which everyone is going to appreciate. According to me, the changes OnePlus has offered here are for the better cause, and till now, I haven’t found any of them crossing the limit.
You can turn ON/OFF on-screen navigation buttons, enable/disable ambient display notifications, enable/disable proximity wake trick, change accent color, and even turn ON/OFF the dark mode. Other neat changes are also present which I’ll leave for the complete review.
Android 5.1.1 OS is booting the device and the company has already stated that it’s working to bring the Android Marshmallow upgrade to this device. I’m not sure what cosmetic changes OnePlus are planned for that upgrade, but it’s definitely going to improve the battery life (hint – Android 6.0 features Doze).
The camera on the back and rear can capture real life moments with fine details, and I was impressed by the way things were working at the optic side. The app used here is extremely simple and uses gestures to hide different options, which is tough to find and get use to. But, once I triggered the right gesture, the menu underneath was simple to interact.
Before I complete, you should be aware of one issue I faced at the setup process. First of all, the procedure is very simple. But, the device wasn’t connecting to any of my Wi-Fi connections. Once I skipped the setup and completed rest of the options, I did find that both the Wi-Fi profiles were working fine. So, I’ve to setup the Google account later.
This is a minor bug, but still noticeable and good enough to confuse a normal user. So, if your OnePlus X gets stuck at the Wi-Fi during setup, then you just have to skip it.
A software upgrade is already standing, offering performance improvements, UX bug fixes in the camera, HDR improvement, and system improvement in low battery mode.
OnePlus X Benchmarks
I tested the device for following benchmarks and found following results.
Basemark OS II
OnePlus X Photo Gallery
This is all for now guys! As you can expect, I’ll be using this device as my main phone, and will be testing it for heavy to normal usage. All the results including my final judgment will be shared in a detailed review soon.
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