The OnePlus X runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, with 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB internal storage with microSD and USB OTG support. On paper, this might not seem exciting but again, this isn't exactly a flagship device.
The OnePlus X is actually quite impressive in terms of performance. Snapdragon 801 might seem long in the tooth now but being an 800 series chipset it still packs a punch and handily blows the Snapdragon 615, seen on some of the rival devices, out of the water. The phone worked smoothly and apps opened, closed, and switched quickly. The overall performance during our quick hands-on was definitely impressive and assuming it is able to maintain that over a period it shouldn't be a cause for concern to anyone.
On the software side, the OnePlus X runs on Oxygen OS 2.1 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The software is more or less identical to that on the OnePlus 2 (there is a new FM Radio app), which in theory should be a good thing but considering OnePlus 2 still has plenty of bugs to iron out, we'd hope the OnePlus X is more polished than its elder sibling.
The OnePlus X is also a dual SIM phone, although the second SIM slot is shared with the microSD, so you can either have a second SIM or a microSD but not both. You're bound to have a microSD in as there is only 16GB of internal space so we'd guess few people would use it for its Dual SIM functionality. In terms of other connectivity features there's the usual LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS but once again, there is no NFC like on the OnePlus 2.
The OnePlus X has a 13 megapixel ISOCELL camera on the back with f2.2 aperture and hyrid phase detection autofocus. It can also record 1080p video, which seems like a deliberate cutdown considering the chipset does support 4K on other devices, such as the Xiaomi Mi 4. The front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels with fixed focus and f2.4 aperture.
The image quality can vaguely be described as good. We could only test it indoors in poor lighting conditions. Considering the odds were stacked against it, we'd say the camera fared well and despite the lighting, the images are usable with good amount of detail and acceptable amount of noise. We'd like to test it more thoroughly in different lighting conditions but from our brief experience with it we are willing to bet the overall image quality is going to be pretty good.
The camera speed is also impressive. The camera launches and shoots quickly. The phase detection autofocus occasionally falters but is still quick even in low light.
The camera software is similar to the one on the OnePlus 2, which means it's really not very good. It follows the Google Camera app too closely, which honestly is far from user-friendly. There aren't many shooting options available and the app makes you feel like a novice who has just figured out how to take a picture. Those who want more control are bound to be left frustrated.
The camera app doesn't have any quick launch gesture by default but you can assign any of the capacitive buttons below the display to launch the camera by double tapping, but this only works if the phone is unlocked.
OnePlus wasn't keen on letting people spend too much time with the devices and we wish we could have tried a few more things, but then again, that's what the full review is for. From what we gather from this brief hands-on, the OnePlus X is a very solid contender for the best mid-range smartphone of the year.
At $249/€269/£199 for the Onyx Black version, OnePlus has once again set the bar with the pricing, and from what we could tell, there doesn't seem to have been any compromises made to reach that point. The OnePlus X has good design, good display, and good performance. In the end, the catch will always remain OnePlus' frustrating invite system and the lackluster after sales support. Not to mention the software issues that will invariably crop up due to the company's lack of experience in the field. Is the phone really worth dealing with all that, is something we will find out only after a full review.