OnePlus X (Model No. One E1003) is the third smartphone (1st & 2nd being OnePlus One & OnePlus 2) launched by OnePlus, targeting mid range customers who want an almost perfect device with not so powerful specs as those of flagships, yet comparable to them in every other aspect. Did OnePlus succeed in achieving that or not? That is what we will be checking it out in this review.
Disclaimer : It’s not a review unit, but a retail unit which we bought for the review.
Brief Technical Specifications
- Display : 5.0 inch AMOLED HD IPS (441 ppi) with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- OS : OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- CPU : 2.3 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
- GPU : Adreno 330
- RAM : 3 GB
- Camera : Main rear camera of 13 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, LED flash + 8 MP, f/2.4 front camera
- Hybrid Dual Sim Slot (LTE+ LTE / Micro SD)
- 16 GB ROM + Micro SD Card support up to 128 GB
- USB OTG Support
- Battery : 2500 mAh (embedded)
Design and Build Quality
In terms of design, the OnePlus X, beats almost every other device in same price range. It looks beautiful, is well designed, compact and shiny. The frame of the device is metal, but not a flat one, instead it has a fine texture of parallel lines, all along the frame and a shiny glass back. The device looks and feels premium just like any flagship device. The weight of Oneplus X is 160 gms and it feels light while holding it.
OnePlus X Gallery
The Power button and the Volume rocker buttons are on the same side. Both buttons feel smooth while pressing. The Hybrid SIM slot is located just above the volume rockers, and can be used for inserting two nano sim cards, or one sim card and a microsd card. We at Androidpure, don’t like this idea of Hybrid SIM slot, as it denies a user to use dual sims with microsd card simultaneously.
As we mentioned before, the back cover is a shiny glass, but this makes its slippery & difficult to hold sometimes. OnePlus does offer a free back silicone cover with the retail unit, but many users prefer to use their smartphones without any cover. The back cover cannot be opened and you cannot access the battery.
The speakers are placed at bottom right side, but comes with a symmetrical design for the grill. The speaker though is only on one side of the grill. The speaker position is best in most cases, except when you are playing the games while holding it.
The menu buttons at the bottom of the screen are not back-lit (probably to save the battery), which makes it a bit uncomfortable to use it in dark surroundings. But you can enable the on-screen menu buttons from the settings, just like devices such as Nexus 4.
The OnePlus X, sports a 5.0 inch AMOLED HD IPS display with resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with a pixel density of 441 ppi and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The size of the screen, is perfect for using the phone with one hand and you will feel comfortable to use it all along. As this one has an AMOLED display, it’s a delight while using it for browsing the web or watching videos or even viewing pics. The colors look vibrant, crisp and clear. In fact, the display looks better than some of the expensive smartphones we have tested. Even in full sunlight, we could use it without any issues. The display has great viewing angles letting you view the screen even at steep angles.
Performance and Benchmarks
The OnePlus X is powered by 2.3 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 3 GB of RAM. Even though Snapdragon 801 is not the most powerful processor from Qualcomm, it is still one of the best SoCs available after the Snapdragon 810 (and also the 808 and 805), and is still powering some of the other expensive smartphones. The performance of the phone is smooth and we experienced no lags while multitasking or even while playing graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8.
The graphics details and display looked great in the games & HD videos we tested. In terms of heating issues, there was negligible heating of the device while playing intensive games, multitasking or using the device for too long or in any other scenario.
The phone comes with 16GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards. The only issue though here is the Hybrid SIM slot that we talked about earlier in this post. Apart from microSD cards, it also supports USB OTG (Need to be enabled in the settings though) and allows you to use an external USB storage to add more capacity to the device on the go.
The call quality during voice calls, was pretty good without any issues.
The Antutu benchmark score for OnePlus X comes out to be 41,300+ points which is on expected lines considering the fact that it is powered by a Snapdragon 801.
Apart from the Display, we loved the Camera of the OnePlus X. It comes with a 13 MP main rear camera with an f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus & LED flash, and an 8 MP with f/2.4 aperture front camera. We tested the camera with different lighting conditions. The camera performed excellently under normal lighting conditions and was good even in varying light conditions like some shade with a heavy sunlight around. The color reproduction was great, and it was able to shoot great pics. The camera app was quite simple though, and does have options to create slow motion videos too. We shot some slow motion videos and it turned out to be great.
The camera’s focusing speed is quite fast. Even though the camera came with a HDR mode, we didn’t see much of a difference between the HDR mode and the default auto mode. It’s not because the HDR mode was bad, but because the default mode can click good pictures too.
We felt a bit constrained with fewer options in the camera app, even though it’s good for most users. We recommend using the free “Open Camera” app if you want more options and better control on your smartphone’s camera.
The front camera also performed well and produced some good pictures. It comes with a beautify mode, just like many other smartphones, if you want to click some selfies. But we prefer clicking pictures without that mode, and the front camera is more than good enough and can click better images than just selfies.
Checkout the images below taken under different light conditions and different modes. Click on the images to enlarge them to the full size image. Click on the images for full resolution images on Flickr.
OnePlus X Camera Samples
This is where the OnePlus X didn’t impress us. The battery performance was just above average and we were able a get a screen on time of just 3-4 hours only for our day-to-day usage. The battery though did last for almost full day in most conditions, but you need to charge it in the evening for sure. Keep in mind that we always had a working 4G connection or WiFi turned on during the testing process. 4G was enabled all day when we were on the move, and WiFi during the evening & night. So if you are on a 3G or 2G connection, you will get a battery performance for sure.
Operating System and UI
The OnePlus X runs on Oxygen OS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Oxygen OS is similar to stock Android with few additional features just like custom ROMs such as Cyanogenmod. The performance of the operating system was smooth and we didn’t feel any issues such as lag or crash while using the device. The operating system can be fine tuned with many additional features from the settings. Checkout the “How-to” post for OnePlus X to see how you can enable some useful features.
Though we loved the operating system on the device, we did miss Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it should arrive pretty soon as promised by the company.
For a price of Rs. 16,999 only, the OnePlus X is definitely a good buy. It is almost a perfect device with a great design, great camera and a good OS. If the battery life on the device can be improved using a OTA update, it will be very close to perfect for most users who don’t want to spend too much on expensive flagships.