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OnePlus X hands-on and first impressions!
The OnePlus X has been subject to many a rumor, but today is a special day for the popular Chinese startup. The all-new OnePlus X brings some new materials to some internals you may be familiar with, but one of the most important aspects of this shiny handset is its price point. We toyed around with the device for a bit and are ready to give you our first look at the OnePlus X. Let’s jump right in.
Design and build quality
The OnePlus X definitely sports a very different look compared to what we have seen coming from the startup in the past. For starters, it has dual glass panels, which are held together by a metal frame. This set-up makes for a very sturdy construction. And though it is smaller than many devices we have on the market today, it actually feels a bit heavier than usual.
Handling is made easy thanks to the smaller size (5-inch, 1080p screen) and the flat metal sides. There is a second version of this phone, though, which features a fire-baked ceramic back, instead of the glass. This happens to be hard to create, also meaning this specific iteration will come in limited quantities and at a higher price. It’s not only the new material that makes these two phones different, though. The ceramic version features chamfered edges all throughout the back outline, as you can see in this image below.
Going around the sides we can see the volume and power buttons on the right side, making them very easy to reach. But the most interesting part is in the opposite direction, where we can find an alert slider that returns from the OnePlus 2 and makes it a breeze to change what kind of notifications you get on the device: all, priority or none.
Also returning from the OnePlus 2 is the ability to stick in dual SIM cards, but one of these trays will also be able to house a microSD card. Yes, you will be able to expand the storage on the OnePlus X. We are certain this will be great news for many of you.
Overall, we would say the craftsmanship of this device is something we are definitely satisfied with. Even though it is a smaller handset, it is well-built and has a heavier feeling that will really make it seem stronger. The one complaint we have is that it is very prone to fingerprints, but that’s just something you have to expect from a glass construction. On the other hand, this material choice does make it a sleeker-looking gadget. But there is one downside to this new build quality – it’s not as customizable.
To make up for this, OnePlus is offering a bunch of different cases that will alter the look and feel of the handset. I personally do feel like these cases look out of place, but designs include different colors, as well as materials like wood and Kevlar. We know some of you love these interesting materials.
Now, the screen may only sport a 1080p definition, but in this case that is accompanied by a good quality AMOLED panel. This is especially handy when you consider Oxygen OS now supports Ambient Display, a feature which allows you to take a quick peek at your notifications. You can actually wave your hand over the display to trigger it. Why is that a benefit? Well, AMOLED screens don’t light up pixels when displaying black, so even while using ambient display the phone won’t use too much energy.
Packed inside we can find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which may seem a weird choice in 2015. OnePlus tells us they found it was still reliable, as well as better performing than the mid-end Snapdragon 617. It’s backed by the Adreno 330 and 3 GB of RAM. There’s also a 2525 mAh battery is also housed in there, which will likely allow the phone to go for quite some time, considering the specs. We will have to run our tests before confirming that, though.
1920 x 1080 resolution
Gorilla Glass 3
Qualcomm 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801
Up to 128GB
2.4GHz b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, LTE
Nano SIM, dual compatible (but uses microSD slot)
13MP ISOCELL 3M2 CMOS with f/2.2 rear cam, 8MP front cam
Non-removable 2,525 mAh LiPo battery
Oxygen OS (based on Lollipop)
140 x 69 x 6.9 mm, 138g for Onyx, 160g for Ceramic
When we move on to the camera we can find some changes. The camera comes with a 13 MP Isocell sensor in the rear, and an 8 MP shooter in the front. Fans of the OnePlus 2 camera app will also feel right at home, as it is nearly identical in the OnePlus X. You can swipe between modes and we have no manual controls (at least for now).
In terms of software we have Oxygen OS, which returns from the OnePlus 2 to offer a very similar experience. Most of the same features are present. The software is still very stock Android-like, which makes it a breeze to use, especially in this 5-inch display.
The Shelf feature is there, but it is off by default. The dark mode returns, which also makes the light easier on your eyes at night. And as we mentioned, you can also take advantage of the Ambient Display. But the most shocking addition is likely that of an FM radio (at least to us Americans). This may be odd, but plenty of markets use it and it will help you listen to tunes without using any data.
The OnePlus One is still one of our favorite devices, so we are glad to see a similar experience coming to a smaller and more affordable package. A couple of new features make this phone an enticing offer, including the alert slider and the expandable storage. But what really makes us excited about this handset is the price.
At $249.99, this may be one of the best ways to enter the Android smartphone market. But don’t mistake this for a cheap phone. It’s performance is still pretty good and the build quality seems amazing.
By the way, those interested in the ceramic version have a couple things to keep in mind. For starters, it will be more expensive. We know many of you wouldn’t mind that, but it also will only be available in Europe and China, making it a very limited commodity (only 10,000 will be made).
As far as the invite system goes, you will have to deal with those for a while. Only invites will be accepted the first month. Open sale periods will then start rolling out periodically, at least until OnePlus can handle a full open sale on the OnePlus X.
With all that in mind, we would like to remind you our full review is definitely coming, so keep it tuned to Android Authority for our full thoughts on the OnePlus X, as well as all your Android content.