OnePlus X review: A great-value £199 smartphone

£199
Price when reviewed

The OnePlus X has gone invite-free, so you can head straight over to OnePlus’ site and buy one now. The limited-edition ceramic version is available only through the invite system, though – so you’ll still need to beg, steal or borrow a code if you’re desperate to get your hands on that super-shiny version of the OnePlus X.

OnePlus shook up the smartphone world with the OnePlus One, then the 2, and now it’s done it all over again with the OnePlus X – a 5in slab of premium-feeling glass and metal. And if you’re wondering what the X factor is in this instance, it’s pretty simple: the OnePlus X unites a clutch of last year’s high-end hardware with a scorching AMOLED screen for a mere £199. 

Yup, that’s only £40 more than the Motorola Moto G 3, and now that buying a OnePlus X is as easy as doing your weekly grocery shop I suspect they’ll sell truckloads of the things.

OnePlus X: Design

OnePlus’s press release doesn’t pull any punches with its description of the X. It is described as “a work of art”. Ahem. Unless your idea of art is a slightly squished iPhone 4s, this statement is perhaps a little wide of the mark. A revolutionary step forward for the world of smartphone design this is most certainly not.

“For £199, the OnePlus X’s glass and metal body feels unusually luxurious”

OnePlus sent us the Onyx black model for review, and, in all seriousness, it is pretty good-looking as phones go. For £199, the OnePlus X’s glass and metal body feels unusually luxurious, and it is moderately handsome, too. 

It’s not especially light – it weighs an unremarkable 138 grams – but its design is a touch more practical than most. The textured metal edges serve the dual purpose of looking good and providing enough grip to stop it sliding out of even the sweatiest of hands. If you have really, really sweaty hands, or you’re clumsy, you’ll be overjoyed that OnePlus includes a basic, rubbery, plastic case in the box – this makes the phone grippier still and a tad more drop-resistant. Another nice touch is the fact a screen protector is preinstalled to keep the layer of Gorilla Glass 3 scratch-free.

oneplus_x_6

Like an increasing number of smartphones, the OnePlus X doesn’t just have glass on its front – it also has a layer of glass on its back. If glass doesn’t do it for you, though, fear not: OnePlus is making a limited run of OnePlus X’s with a ceramic rear. The press release is keen to stress exactly how painstaking (read: boring) the process is. The abbreviated version is that the ceramic layer takes 25 days to create, involves a searingly hot oven and (wait for it) a lot of polishing is involved. It still looks like glass. OnePlus is keen to stress that it’s far stronger, though – nearly as hard as sapphire glass, in fact.OnePlus will be making 10,000 of them, and you won’t need a regular invite to buy one, you’ll need a specific invite for the ceramic model. Oh, and it’s 21 grams heavier, if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

OnePlus is making only 10,000 of them, and unlike the regular model, you’ll still need an invite to buy one. Oh, and it’s 21 grams heavier, if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

OnePlus X specifications

ProcessorQuad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
RAM3GB
Screen size5in
Screen resolution1,920x1,080
Screen typeAMOLED
Front camera8 megapixels
Rear camera13 megapixels
FlashLED
Storage16GB (11.4GB usable)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NFCNo
Wireless data3G, 4G
Size69 x 6.9 x 140mm (WDH)
Weight138g
Operating systemOxygen OS (Android 5.1.1)
Battery size2,525mAh

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