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OnePlus X review: Now completely invite-free

Katharine Byrne
28 Jan 2016
OnePlus X
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
199
inc VAT (SIM-free)

Superb build quality, an excellent screen and a great battery life, but the OnePlus X isn't the budget smartphone killer we were hoping for

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Specifications

Camera

The OnePlus X has an 8-megapixel camera on the front and a 13-megapixel sensor on the back. However, the rear camera was probably one of the OnePlus X's weakest areas, as photos looked very over-processed at full resolution. Areas around the edge of each frame were hit the worst, as fine details were drowned out by fuzzy patches of noise.

It's not all bad news, as colours were largely very bright and colourful and there was a good level of contrast on show. It's just a shame everything looks so grainy up close. Switching to HDR mode didn't improve matters either.

OnePlus X camera test

^ The sky is rather blown-out, but colours are largely accurate. It's just a shame that it doesn't look so good up close

OnePlus X camera test indoors

^ Indoors, the camera struggled even more, as objects looked blurred and hazy round the edges and detail was severely lacking

It was a similar story indoors, but here the camera struggled to focus even in bright lighting conditions. Again, colours were reasonably accurate and there was a decent amount of contrast, but nearly every object outline was soft and hazy, and the stems of our flowers were full of artefacts.

It also failed to capture much detail in the fur of our teddy bear, instead blurring large patches of fur together in one lump of pixels. The flash was disappointing, too, as this made images appear very dull and dingy, providing little to no extra illumination whatsoever.

Conclusion

This is a shame, especially after the excellent camera on the OnePlus 2, and it rather brings down the handset as a whole. The OnePlus X has a lovely screen, great build quality and excellent battery life, but when its performance levels are roughly on par with other smartphones in this price range, and its camera is bit of a let-down, it fails to stand out in the same way as its predecessors did. 

If you still don’t want to pay more than £200 for a great smartphone, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is still our top pick. It's £20 cheaper at present, has a better camera and is waterproof, though its battery life, while good, can't compete with the X's. So if battery life is more important than photo detail then the OnePlus X is the phone for you, otherwise we'd recommend buying the Sony.

Hardware
ProcessorQuad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
RAM3GB
Screen size5in
Screen resolution1,920x1,080
Screen typeAMOLED
Front camera8 megapixels
Rear camera13 megapixels
FlashLED
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage16GB (11.4GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NFCNo
Wireless data3G, 4G
Size140x69x6.9mm
Weight138g
Features
Operating systemOxygen OS (Android 5.1.1)
Battery size2,525mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£199
Price on contract (inc VAT)N/A
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
SIM-free supplierwww.oneplus.net/uk
Contract/prepay supplierN/A
Detailswww.oneplus.net/.uk
Part codeONE E1003

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