OnePlus as a brand is great at creating hype. Whether it delivers on it or not, is not very important. At least it gets people talking about their own products. Products which are better than before, yet cheaper than ever. Except for the OnePlus X, which launched at almost Rs. 17,000.
Not all that cheaper than the OnePlus One (which launched last year at a price tag of Rs. 22k for the 64GB variant and a 16GB variant was later available for Rs. 18,998), which begs the question – should you really buy the OnePlus X?
Whenever you’d compare two phones before making a decision, you’d compare the specs. And thinking that the X is the newer of the two OnePlus’, you’d naturally expect it to have more upgraded (if not overall better, because pricing) specs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here, with the same Snapdragon 801 SoC used for the X, which we had seen on the One. So what’s changed, really? Two major things, which I’ve highlighted in the specs image below.
The first is the screen size. Maybe OnePlus felt that it would be better to have a more compact phone or felt 5-inches for display is universally more accepted. Whatever the reason was, they’ve got a much sleeker device in the X, which is made out of metal and glass. The glass back would make the device more attractive, but also make it prone to fingerprints.
The sleeker frame also means that the X gets a much smaller battery. Though, on the connectivity side, there is dual SIM goodness. No USB Type-C though, which was on the OnePlus 2, but there is that notification toggle switch to easily change the status from ringer to DND.
At launch, the newer OnePlus X will run the same Oxygen OS that is found on other OnePlus devices based on Android Lollipop 5.1. The phone will be upgradable to the Marshmallow variant too, but we’re pretty sure that the One will also get that, since there aren’t any hardware changes in the two phones.
The downside might just be that with so many people losing interest in OnePlus, there might not be as many custom ROMs available as they were for the hyped flagships – the One and Two.
Invite System Continues
Unfortunately, the much-hated invite system will continue. OnePlus has said that the X will also be sold via this system, but only for the first month. After which, it will be open season, but mostly via “flash sales”. Yeah.
The OnePlus One and to a certain extent, the Two, were so hyped and sought after, it was difficult to buy one even if you were ready to compromise with their shortcomings. The same might be true of the X, which is the sexier and sleeker version of the One.
At the time of writing, the One isn’t officially available in India via Amazon or their own website, but this could change. Whether you want a bigger phone or a shiny metallic one is your call, but at the way it’s shaping up, the X looks like a smaller clone of the One with a better body. It possibly is also the smarter bet, because a newer device almost always ends up getting extended support from manufacturers. The One loses out on this department.
It’s the pricing of the One that really got it so much attention, but that can all change if Xiaomi (or even LeTV) can launch competitive models at the same cost. If I were you (and had time on my hands), I’d wait a few months before taking the plunge. If not, then the X certainly gets my vote. Not only because of the support, but also because of the microSD slot and dual-SIM functionality. Join us in our forum, if you have a different point of view.