Product OnePlus X
Specifications 5in 1920x1080 441ppi IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 16GB storage, either dual SIM or single SIM plus microSD up to 128GB, 3GB RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, GSM/3G/4G, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, 2,525mAh battery, 140x69x6.9mm, 138g (Onyx edition) or 160g (Ceramic edition)
Price From £199 (as tested)
REVEALED AT the tail end of last month, the OnePlus X represents a bit of a change in tack for the Chinese firm. Instead of attempting to undercut high-end flagship rivals with similar specs, similar to the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus X is a more modest proposal, sporting less powerful hardware and an even lower £199 starting price.
That said, we were impressed when we went hands-on with the OnePlus X at its launch event. Now, after a more in-depth examination, our respect for this plucky 5in handset has only risen.
There are two variants of the OnePlus X: the glass-backed "Onyx" version, and the "Ceramic" model made from, yes, ceramic. Both are absolutely gorgeous, with tapered corners, a finely ridged metal trim, a rear camera that sits flush with the casing and a beautifully glossy finish - the only real differences are that the Ceramic edition weighs an extra 22g and costs £70.
We received the Onyx version to try out, and despite the brittle-sounding glass backplate, it's surprisingly sturdy, easily resisting scratches on both the front and back and gaining some structural integrity from the metal band running around the edges. It's extremely pocket-friendly, too, measuring 140x69x6.9 mm and weighing just 138g - that's thinner and lighter than the smaller-screened iPhone 6S.
One of the OnePlus X's few visible signs of its mid-range status is the inclusion of a standard microUSB port, rather than the USB Type-C port of the OnePlus 2. Still, at least this will make it easier to find spare cables. The handset can also support either dual nano SIMs or one nano SIM and one microSD card, thanks to an Honor 7-style 2-in-1 card tray.
The OnePlus staple that did make it to the OnePlus X is the notifications slider, which sits on the left edge of the device. It can block low-priority notifications from appearing or even silence notifications altogether, depending on its positioning. It's not massively essential unless you're dead set on being left alone for a while, but we do like how solid and secure the switch feels.
If we had one complaint about the OnePlus X's design, it's that both the screen and the back panel are tremendous fingerprint magnets. Still, it's much easier to clean the glass backplate than it is with the OnePlus 2's matte textured rear.
At 5in diagonally and 1920x1080 in resolution, the OnePlus X's display is neither the biggest nor the sharpest around, but it's still a great screen for £199. The crisp 441ppi ensures excellent legibility, and in fact isn't too far off the 500ppi mark of premium flagships.
This is also the first OnePlus device with an AMOLED display, and it shows. Colours are bright, bold and vivid across the spectrum, more so than on the OnePlus 2, while blacks are appreciably deep and inky. IPS tech means that these colours don't appear distorted when viewed at wide angles.
As we said, the Gorilla Glass 3 does attract fingerprints, and is also fairly reflective under hard lights. Even so, this is a display we'd be happy to stare at over a long Tube ride.
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