OnePlus stormed into the smartphone industry with the OnePlus One, a smartphone that offered flagship specifications at a third of the price of a similar smartphone from any established brand. With manufacturing constraints, the startup came up with a unique invite-only system, where one had to receive an invite to buy the smartphone. Despite being so difficult to buy, the OnePlus One was on the top of the smartphone buying list for most. And thus, OnePlus built an entire segment, along with Xiaomi, for offering high-end smartphones at affordable prices.
While the OnePlus One was a success, the OnePlus 2, though relatively new, has received mostly good reviews. But all that glory, effort to carve niche in the market and building flagship killers seems to be no longer the agenda of OnePlus as it now looks to leverage its popularity and get into mass market. The new OnePlus X is perhaps an example of the company’s new approach to the Indian market. With price starting at Rs 16,999, the OnePlus X looks to appease customers with new features such as dual-SIM and built-in FM Radio — though not groundbreaking additions, but popular features nonetheless. We got a chance to get our hands on the new OnePlus X, here’s our first impressions of the smartphone:
Before we start, the OnePlus X will be available in two versions — OnePlus X Onyx priced at Rs 16,999, while the OnePlus X Ceramic is priced at Rs 22,999. We tried out the Onyx variant, which has a glass back. The Ceramic variant will be a limited edition version and OnePlus will manufacture only 10,000 units, which the company says is more time consuming to make and the yield rates are as low as 20 percent.
Also read: OnePlus X: Top 5 features
The new OnePlus X has a relatively small 5-inch display as compared to the 5.5-inch on the OnePlus One and the OnePlus 2. The smaller display, as claimed by OnePlus, is aimed at giving customers more flexibility. Well, the smartphone is compact and slim, while volume and power buttons are well within easy reach. There’s a dedicated Alert Slider on the left. While the front has the display, front facing camera on the top and regular tasks button on the bottom. The USB port is sandwiched between the speaker grilles at the bottom. The rear has camera on the top left corner while the OnePlus logo is at the center.
The OnePlus X Onyx is made out of glass on a metal frame, which is supposed to give a premium feel. Contrary to the claims, the phone didn’t feel very sturdy, but we reserve our verdict on that until we have thoroughly reviewed the device. The phone, however, is a lightweight at 138 grams. Overall the phone measures 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm. The OnePlus X has an AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1080p resolution and a pixel density of 441ppi. We didn’t get enough time to test the display, though it appeared okay in indoor low light conditions.
Also read: OnePlus X vs OnePlus One: What’s different
Heading on to the performance part, during our brief use, the phone ran smooth. The OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1 isn’t very colorful as other custom operating systems such as the MIUI. OnePlus has gone ahead with the Snapdragon 801 processor along with 3GB of RAM combination, which we believe is good enough for a mid-range smartphone. The OnePlus X comes with a smaller 2,525mAh battery.
The OnePlus X features a dual-SIM card slot and 16GB built-in storage, which can be expandable by an additional 128GB by using a microSD card. As mentioned earlier, availability of dual-SIM capability is a welcome addition. Expandable storage, a long-pending demand, has also been addressed by OnePlus. Both the features are likely to appeal to the Indian consumers. However, it is a hybrid dual-SIM, which means the second slot can either be used for a SIM card or a microSD card. You cannot have both.
The OnePlus X comes with 13-megapixel rear camera featuring f/2.2 aperture set. It can take videos at 1080p resolution and 720p Slow Motion video at 120fps. There’s also Timelapse feature. It has an 8-megapixel front facing camera. The camera interface is very similar to the Google Camera. The demo unit took decent quality photos in the given low-light at the event, but wait for our detailed review to find out about its consistency in all possible light conditions. The front facing camera, however, looked at par with other mid-range smartphones.
While OnePlus X hopes to appeal to the style conscious users, it remains to be seen whether there is a sizeable market in that segment. Just to put things into perspective, the OnePlus One did as well as it did because it offered high-end specifications at a fraction of the cost of similar smartphones from global brands. Also, majority OnePlus users can be categorized as tech savvy users who liked to tinker around with the phone. The OnePlus X, on the other hand, is an entirely new segment OnePlus is trying to target.
During the little time we spent with the OnePlus X, we didn’t get the sense that it is a device for which we would clamor to get our hands on an invitation to buy it. This certainly wasn’t the case with the OnePlus One and to a fair extent, even the OnePlus 2. While it is nice to see OnePlus focusing on design, we didn’t find it to be exciting enough, which is something we come to expect from OnePlus — the tiny startup that shook the smartphone industry.
What do you think about the OnePlus X? Let us know in the comments section below.
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