OnePlus has found lot of fans around the world for its ability to offer affordable flagship smartphones that give the best of all features along with stunning design. But OnePlus has surprised everyone — maybe itself too — by going against its earlier plans and launching a new budget phone before the end of 2015. This new phone, coming just a couple of months after the OnePlus 2 is a cheaper phone called the OnePlus X. The phone is a clear indicator that the startup has realised that it can no longer afford to ignore being significant player in the volume segment also.
The OnePlus X is at first sight one of the most compact smartphones in recent times. Your first grip of the phone only cements this impression. It is sleek, handy and above all comes within your grip, a big achievement for any phone these days.
Specs: 5-inch Full HD (1920x1080p) AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 | 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU | 3GB LPDDR3 RAM | 16GB internal storage expandable up to 128GB | 13MP ISOCELL 3M2 CMOS f/2.2 camera with Flash + 8MP f/2.4 front camera | 2,525 mAh battery | Oxygen OS
What is good?
The most impressive feature has to be the design, which makes this one of the sexiest smartphones in this price band. But frankly, this is one thing you could expect from OnePlus, this one thing they have done well consistently with all three of their phones so far. The brushed metal chassis of the phone give it a premium look seldom seen in a budget phone.
The phone has a stunningly crisp Full HD screen that works really well even in bright sunlight. The edges of the display fold into the metal frame and thus gives the phones a unique front.
The overall performance of the phone is very decent, even though it is nowhere near flagship quality. In fact, the benchmarks clearly put the phone along with 2013 flagships and that means this phone is a mid-ranger in every sense. But average users will have no issue with that, especially since there is 3GB RAM on board. My only fear was that the Snapdragon 801 would overheat and it does not.
The battery life on the phone is decent and will last 12 hours with rigorous use. It will depend to a large extent of how the phone is able to manage the thermal footprint of the processor and it has been able to do a decent job over the week I used the phone.
The OnePlus X has a pretty good camera — both back and front. It is not great like the other two OnePlus phones before this, but certainly does the job quite well. I was also impressed by the low-light selfies. However, the camera app is plain vanilla Google Camera and there isn’t a lot you can tweak there.
What is not that good?
While I love the phone’s design and styling, it is one slippery devil. With a smooth front and back, the only thing that keeps the phone in your hand is the brushed metal frame. A cover is imperative when you use this phone.
The OS is a bit too plain vanilla for my liking and reminded me too much of Android One with all the Google Apps pre-loaded. OnePlus has not been able to give a unique software identity since it lost the partnership with Cyanogen. But the notification toggle on the left is a good feature carried over from the OnePlus 2.
For those on a budget, this a good option as a phone that is more stylish and compact than its competitors and just works at the end of the day. I would still urge buyers to push their budget a bit and go for the older OnePlus for the better camera and 64GB storage. Even on the performance front, that might be a better phone if you can afford to stretch. If this is your budget, then OnePlus is not bad by any standards.