OnePlus X Reviewed – A beautiful handset

It’s the Snapdragon 801, outdated, yet quite powerful. But what makes the X unique is the design.

The OnePlus X is being marketed as a beauty with brains and quite rightfully so. It is after all the first time that OnePlus is e'X'perimenting with new build materials, most notably glass. Also, the OnePlus X makes a valid argument for itself, even though it may not have the most original hardware specifications. On paper, the X stands out as a pocket-sized OnePlus One killer. But that's beside the point. The OnePlus One is almost two years old now and the company has hinted its days are numbered. The OnePlus X is using the same hardware that was/is used on the OnePlus One handset. It’s the Snapdragon 801, outdated, yet quite powerful. But what makes the X unique is the design.

The OnePlus X is basically two slabs of glass held together by an anodised metal frame. But there's more to it than meets the eye. The OnePlus X is the work of some fine craftsmanship. According to the company, every glass back-plate is cut to size and polished repeatedly until it achieves a smooth, glossy, mirror-like finish while the frame has exactly 17 micro cut grooves running along the edges. The 2.5D glass on the front and the glass on the back curved towards the edges simply ease into the frame. It's a beauty, no two words about that. Combine the two and you get a beauty with purpose. The 'super' smoothness of the glass back and front is balanced, and to an extent negated, by the textured edges. The OnePlus X is super slippery. Keep it on any surface with even the smallest angle and it will start skidding. But, it won't slip out of your hand unless you really want it to.

OnePlus X

The buttons have their own story to tell. The volume rocker and power button on the right have a texture that makes them stand out. Meanwhile, the alert slider making a reprise from the OnePlus 2 has a different and a more prominent texture. All the buttons offer excellent feedback. At 6.9mm and 138 grams, the OnePlus X is easily among the slimmest and lightest phones in this price category, and beyond. Couple that with excellent screen to body ratio and there's nothing much to complain about the OnePlus X.

OnePlus X

Both the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 came with LTPS panels. With the OnePlus X, the company is stepping into Samsung's turf by offering an AMOLED panel. Also, this is the company's first 5-inch phone. It however retains their FullHD resolution, but pixel density gets a significant bump at 441ppi.
AMOLED panels have a reputation for bright and well-saturated colours with deep blacks, and the OnePlus X gives you all that. Colours are bright and punchy to an extent that they look overtly saturated in some instances. Viewing angles are excellent. The screen of the OnePlus X is dim and increasing brightness all the way up only adds a blue tinge to it, especially if you view it at an angle. Although you won't feel much of a difference indoors, the effect is more pronounced and visible outdoors, particularly when the sun is at its peak and the screen's reflective properties come into play. Legibility does take a hit in such situations.

OnePlus X

The OnePlus X runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop-based OxygenOS out-of-the-box. There are two things that we absolutely love about OxygenOS. One is its near stock Android approach and the other frequent updates. When contacted OnePlus had earlier told us that having their own user interface had allowed them greater freedom to push out frequent and quicker updates. Even though the OnePlus X and OnePlus 2 run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop-based OxygenOS, there's a marked difference between the two in that the former offers a more stable user interface. Inherently, there's no visible difference between the UI on the two phones. You get the vanilla Android Lollipop home screen-app drawer approach with the left home screen doubling as something that OnePlus calls Shelf. Basically it gives you quick access to your frequently used apps and contacts as also notifies you about the weather scenario in your area. You can disable it.

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The OnePlus X also includes features like ambient display and proximity wake, much like Motorola phones. These features work well and help conserve battery life of the phone by giving you a quick look at your notifications without actually powering it up. The OxygenOS onboard the OnePlus X also stays clear of many unwanted apps, and the ones that are there like Radio and gallery are actually useful.

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The OnePlus X is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB RAM. The Snapdragon 801 was Qualcomm's last year's flagship chip. It may be powerful (even in 2015 end) but it's still dated, which sadly leaves the OnePlus X in a tight spot. Things like lack of native support for 64-bit architecture and OpenGL ES 3.1 make it less future-proof. Maybe an SD 808 would have been better, or perhaps MediaTek's Helio X10. Performance is in line with phones like the OnePlus One and Xiaomi Mi4 (both having slightly higher clocked versions of the same processor), and way over what phones like the Moto G (Gen 3) and Moto X Play give you. Meizu's MX5 , however, trumps the OnePlus X in terms of raw performance.

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The OnePlus X comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with phase detect autofocus capable of focusing in as little as 0.2 seconds and single LED flash. There's also an 8-megapixel camera up-front. Both the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 were good camera phones. Sadly, the OnePlus X isn't even close. Heck, it doesn't come close to standards set by phones like the Moto G (Gen 3), Moto X Play, Xiaomi Mi4/Mi 4i and the ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini . What you get can be considered average at best. What's more baffling is that the rear camera is inconsistent in performance. The front cam can take some good quality selfies in good lightening, although it is advisable you don't keep your hopes very high.

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The OnePlus X cannot record 4K videos which is surprising SD 801 allows this functionality and it was found on the OnePlus One. It maxes out at FullHD 1080p and there's an option to shoot slow-motion videos at 720p. These are just average affair wherein metering issues are quite prominent. The OnePlus X captures photos at 12.4-megapixel and 4:3 aspect ratio by default. The front cam can take some good quality selfies in good lightening, although it is advisable you don't keep your hopes very high. The OnePlus X uses a non-removable 2,525mAh battery which is smaller than the one on the OnePlus One. Also, it's way smaller than what rivals like Meizu MX5, Xiaomi Mi4 and Moto X Play give you. But, battery life is good if not comparable to something like say the Moto X Play. The battery takes less than 2 hours 30 minutes to fully charge the battery and on a full charge you can expect about 3 to 4 hours of continuous moderate to heavy usage.

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Overall, the OnePlus X is a gorgeous looking phone, no doubts about that. Its display is only average (for an AMOLED panel), and it's camera is downright disappointing if you've seen the likes of the Moto G and Moto X Play. As for the OnePlus X, it's good but you don't necessarily have to settle for it. In fact, if OnePlus is one your mind, the OnePlus One is a better deal. Its cost which is ₹16,999 should make you think twice before buying it.
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Last updated on 17-11-2015. Published on 17-11-2015.
Published by Mobiles4Sale in category Reviews
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