The OnePlus X arrives without the usual rhetoric from the fast-growing Chinese manufacturer. Its purpose in life is not to depose devices that are at the very top end of the market and it’s not backed by a ludicrous social media campaign. This time round it seems as though, while the infamous invite system is again being used, there is enough stock to actually give you a decent chance of owning the device. So what is the X and why is it here?
The X sticks to the classic OnePlus formula of offering better specs than you’d expect given the price, but this time the target is more mid-range. It’s not a one-trick pony though, even more so than the price and the specifications, the X is all about design. Craftsmanship. Even, dare we say it, beauty.
On those measures, we have to say the phone delivers in spades. Strange as it may seem, as most manufacturers switch to 5.5 inches as the de facto screen size, it means that a 5-inch device like the OnePlus X feels compact in the hand. The front and back ooze quality, particularly with the 2.5D glass on the front and the aluminium, chamfered edges that have strips engraved in them right the way around – it really does look and feel top notch! The buttons and the alert slider move with a reassuring click and you certainly wouldn’t have this down as anything less than a top price device. With the OnePlus X in one hand and the HTC One A9 in the other, the X certainly feels every bit as high end as the HTC, which comes in at more than twice the price.
Of course if a phone looks great and performs terribly, then all that design effort is in vain. Thankfully that’s not the case with the OnePlus X. Like the ZUK Z1 from another up-and-coming manufacturer, the X uses a Snapdragon 801 processor together with 3GB RAM and, in this case, 16GB storage (expandable via microSD). While this processor certainly isn’t the latest and greatest, we have found that it outperforms the Snapdragon 615 and 617 that are used in most mid-range handsets. It may not be the most frugal when it comes to power consumption, but the device performance overall is impressively smooth.
Want to find out more about what we thought of the OnePlus X? Check out issue 59 of Android Magazine, available for instant download now.