OnePlus X Blends Style With Substance - InformationWeek
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Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
10/29/2015
03:11 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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OnePlus X Blends Style With Substance

The Chinese company's new smartphone features attractive materials and a solid spec sheet to back it up.

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13 Geekiest Halloween Costumes For 2015
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OnePlus today announced the OnePlus X, an inexpensive smartphone that will be sold to US consumers next month. The device aims to appeal to style-conscious buyers who are on a budget.

The OnePlus X borrows its design from any number of smartphones. The phone has a metal frame that is sandwiched by two glass panels. OnePlus says the rear panel is "polished repeatedly" until it achieves a mirror-like finish. The panels are curved ever so slightly along the edges to make the joint between the glass and metal as seamless as possible.

The main model is called the OnePlus X Onyx, which uses black glass on the back. OnePlus will also sell a ceramic-backed version of the X. The ceramic rear plate takes OnePlus up to 25 days to craft through a series of baking, cooling, and polishing steps. OnePlus is only making 10,000 ceramic variants, and they will only be sold in select markets.

The phone has a 5-inch full HD AMOLED screen. It relies on an older Snapdragon 801 processor with four cores at 2.3 GHz each. The processor is joined by an Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It supports memory cards up to 128GB. The older Snapdragon chip helps OnePlus keep the price down, while still providing a solid degree of performance.

(Image: OnePlus)

(Image: OnePlus)

Shutterbugs may like the X's 13-megapixel camera, which has auto, HDR, and Clear Image capturing modes. The phase-detection autofocus is able to deliver crisp photos in 0.2 seconds. The camera has an aperture of f/2.2, which is competitive, but not nearly the best available from a phone. The user-facing camera, which has an 8-megapixel sensor, includes software for automatically improving those selfies.

One sticking point (depending on your point of view) could be the operating system. OnePlus relies on a forked version of Android that it calls OxygenOS. Oxygen is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, but doesn't include Google Services. The platform includes on-screen gestures, an enhanced file manager, and custom quick settings for a more personalized experience.

The OnePlus X adds an FM radio, something not available to OnePlus's older handsets. Proximity sensors will wake the display when the phone is pulled from a pocket or bag, and a duochrome ambient display mode will deliver notifications that don't sap battery life.

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As it often does, OnePlus is making the X available through a controlled invitation system. Anyone interested in the OnePlus X should sign up for an invitation right away. Only those who are granted an invitation will be able to order the phone. OnePlus uses this convoluted process to manage supply and demand.

The OnePlus X goes on sale internationally on Nov. 5, and in the US Nov. 19. It will cost $249. A word of caution: The US model includes support for some LTE bands, but not all of them. Notably missing are the 700MHz bands used by AT&T and T-Mobile for 4G. The US model will work, but won't have access to the best possible LTE signal.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2015 | 3:49:07 PM
Re: Psyched up
@SunitaT0: The highest ranking phone according to antutu is the Galaxy S6 but trust me it is a powerful hungry phone. Let's see what the S6 Edge+ brings to the table.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2015 | 3:47:36 PM
Re: Psyched up
@SunitaT0: I think OnePlus replaces your entire phone with a new one if it fails to deliver under its warranty period. That is one year. And nobody with money uses the same phone for over a year.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2015 | 3:45:50 PM
Re: $249
OLED displays are awesome. That is my primary reason to but the every flagship Samsung throws at me. Have you seen the color and contrast outputs? Off the charts. OnePlus X is a must see for me. I won't buy it though, but I would like to review it nonetheless.
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2015 | 9:27:37 AM
Re: $249 but missing important connectivity
The price is great but, as with the OnePlus Two, this phone is missing important connectivity features:

1. the 700 MHz LTE bands as mentioned in the article.

2. the 5 GHz WiFi bands. It only works in the crowded 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n space (no a/ac modes)

3. Most imporntantly, NFC
jnskm
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jnskm,
User Rank: Moderator
10/29/2015 | 5:18:11 PM
$249
What an incredible price for all the hardware you get, and it's beautiful hardware. As far as I know the OnePlus X is one of the few smartphones besides the Galaxy series by Samsung that make use of an OLED display. In my opinion OLED displays are far superior to LCDs in almost every aspect, except for power consumption (OLED beats LCD when viewing videos though). Again, what an amzing price.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
10/29/2015 | 4:57:45 PM
Re: OnePlus X Blends Style With Substance
I was pretty interested in some of the features of the OnePlus X (and holy cow, that price point!), but those few drawbacks you mention really do make me think twice. The seamlessness of Google Services is a lot of what makes a high-end Android phone appealing, and the idea of giving up some bells and whistles but having enough horsepower left over for that sounds nice... but without that, the X really feels like a little brother. I won't really know how badly that diminished LTE service will affect me until after I purchase the phone, and with SunitaT mentioning shoddy service support, that makes it a risky purchase. Signing up for an invite only took a seconds, but I wonder how the support for that will be handled given that the US is a new market for them. We'll see how adventurous I'm feeling come the 19th.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
10/29/2015 | 3:42:10 PM
Re: Psyched up
The only problem I have with this phone is the lack of service centres. Moreover I cannot insure these phones for accidental damage. Which I can for most of the bigger company phones.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
10/29/2015 | 3:40:48 PM
Psyched up
I was pretty skeptical about this brand but when I used the actual phone I was blown away. OnePlus 2 is a beast. It scores more than 50000 on AnTuTu benchmarks! So obviously I look forward to whatever they bring on the table. The camera could have been better, they could have instead gone with a 16MP sensor as the primary and 5MP as the secondary.
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