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Gadget review: OnePlus X

OnePlus phones, among other, have today managed to reach the masses, making an impact on global market
OnePlus phones, among other, have today managed to reach the masses, making an impact on global market

One of the few trends to have made a mark in the tech world in 2015 is the rise of the Chinese smartphone in India. Once considered cheap and low quality, devices from makers like Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei, Lenovo and OnePlus, among others, have today managed to reach the masses, making an impact on global market and competing with the best in the world. Here, we see how the OnePlus X stacks up against competition.

What's good: To be clear, the X isn't another flagship killer. The OnePlus 2, which was released earlier this year, caters to that purpose. This third phone from the Chinese start-up is what we'd like to call a budget-phone killer. At a price of `16,999, it is relatively easy on the wallet while offering the features and looks of a premium product. The mid-range Android device is well-designed, sleek and has a nice finish. In fact, it is probably the most attractive mid-range phone we've held in a while. The 5-inch screen — crisp and colourful — is excellent, particularly for the price and on par with some high-end models. The phone runs the company's customised version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop called Oxygen OS. It essentially offers the standard Android experience, with a few modifications in terms of app permissions and gestures. No complaints here. In terms of performance, the phone does well in dealing with multiple apps and tasks simultaneously. The 13MP primary camera is good in bright lighting conditions, but the quality dips in a little in low lighting, with the images appearing a little grainy.

What's not: There's no NFC (Near Field Communication), fingerprint scanner or wireless charging. The screen is also a fingerprint magnet. And while it fares well with simple games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush, the phone struggles with graphically intensive games such as Asphalt 8. In fact, it got a little too hot, forcing us to quit playing midway. But its biggest issue is the invite-only model that the company follows. This makes it hard to get your hands on the device even if you want to buy one.

Verdict: OnePlus has gone mid-range for the first time with one of its devices. With its premium features and budget price tag, the X offers excellent value for money — if you manage to buy it.

Quick specs

What: OnePlus X

At a glace: 5-inch screen, 3GB RAM, 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera

USP: Premium features in budget smartphone

Best Buy: 16,999 for the Oynx 16GB model (by invite only)

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