First Look – OnePlus X – TheTechZone

First Look – OnePlus X

Update: The OnePlus X is now available without requiring an invite.

One Plus are a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, fairly new into the market they have created quite a buzz with stylish premium looking phones at affordable prices. The X is their third phone, new for 2016, and is the baby of the range.

 

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The packaging looks and has a luxury feel to it, shame that during delivery the box has had a few knocks so it seems it’s not as durable as other brands. What’s more important though is what’s inside the box. Apart from the phone itself you get;

  • A quick start guide
  • Sim card tray opening tool
  • Charger plug
  • USB cable for charging and data transfer
  • flexible silicon case.

 

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It’s this last item that surprised me as you don’t get many phones with an included case anymore. It will certainly protect the phone from scratches and scuffs but won’t offer any drop protection. OnePlus also offers a range of optional cases. The charger is an unusual design and colourful but it does protrude out quite far, this could lead to it being knocked out of a socket or difficult to get into sockets in tight spaces.

 

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The X is a good looking phone; it makes me think of a supersized iPhone 5 with hints of iPhone 4 & 6 such as the glass back and the curved edges to the glass front and rear. The edges are encased in coloured grooved metal, it looks good and the grooves will help increase grip levels. The OnePlus X is available in three colours, Onyx, Ceramic and Champagne (the review model here).

 

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You have volume and power buttons on the right hand side and a notification button on the top left hand edge. This button is useful as it allows you to silence notifications completely if you are busy for example.

 

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Along the bottom edge there are two speakers and a micro USB socket for charging and data, it’s a shame that OnePlus have decided to go back to micro USB from the USB Type C socket on last year’s OnePlus 2 as it’s a more efficient way of connecting up the phone, is also seems to be the way most USB type connections on mobile devices are headed. The top edge houses the 3.5mm headphone jack and what I think is a microphone for background noise cancelling. This leads me to what’s missing, a set of earphones. This isn’t a bad thing to be honest, they’ve been omitted to keep the price down. That does leave owners to buy their own ear or head phones and most probably they’ll be significantly better in quality than anything OnePlus would have bundled.

 

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Compared to my iPhone 6S is ever so slightly larger in width and height and a hairs width thinner, but it feels significantly lighter to hold in the hand. The screen is a full 1080p HD display with bright and vibrant colours. It’s a real plus point as many other phones are this price point offer lesser resolutions on their displays.

 

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I can’t comment on the user experience and performance because the phone I had to play around with was a customer order from my friends at Pioneer Information Systems, many thanks to them for arranging this quick review.

A little bit disappointing on the processing power front as it is an old chipset (Qualcomm Snapdragon 801). This means performance could lag behind rival phones with more modern chipsets, especially if you keep this phone for a couple of years.

Storage on-board is a paltry 16GB; the OnePlus is redeemed however, by adding expansion via a micro SD card up to 128GB.

Software is Android 5.1 Lollipop which is no bad thing, it’s a shame that the latest version of Android (6.0 Marshmallow) isn’t installed. OnePlus have said they plan on introducing an update later to upgrade to Marshmallow.

More technical specs can be found on the OnePlus website.

How Much?

£199/US$249 (Approx. AU$350)

How Can I Get It?

Invite Only

Update: The OnePlus X is now available without requiring an invite.

How do I get an Invite?

You have to sign up with OnePlus and then wait for an invite to buy one. Once you have an invite, you have 24 hours to claim it. It will then tell you how much time you have left to use it. Once you buy the phone, you will receive invites via email to share with friends and family. This is another way of getting an invite. The more invites you share, the more you get in return.

Conclusion

From the quick hands-on that I did have with the phone, I think it’s a very good looking phone, feels nice to hold in the hand, not too bulky with what at first glance is a good screen. Owning a OnePlus does also give you some sort of exclusivity, as you must be invited to buy this phone. Android Lollipop is a decent operating system so use ability should be pretty good.

Alternatives

Motorola G (2015) – fairly comparable but much easier to get hold of

Motorola E (2015) – Not as well specced at the OnePlus X but it’s half the price.

OnePlus 2 – The X’s bigger brother, more powerful, larger and slightly more expensive. Also available on open sale so no invite required.

 

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