back to article OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses

We've held off reviewing the third OnePlus phone, the OnePlus X, until you could actually buy it without an elusive invitation. But a fortnight ago the company abolished rationing and made it generally available. Phew. Now if you recall, OnePlus really laid on the Strategy Boutique marketing waffle when the phone was first …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    >The only oddity I found was the capacitive navigation keys were not backlit, which defeats the object of having dedicated navigation.

    My understanding is that Android navigation soft-keys remain the same, so don't really need to be visible once the user learns what they do. I may have missed something though, because I haven't kept up in the most recent versions of Android.

    1. Code For Broke

      I thought physical nav buttons were forbidden by the Android common engineering standards since about v3?

  2. Tom Womack

    "It's a far cry from the richer CyanogenMod that burnished the OnePlus One – but OnePlus has had to rebuild from scratch." confuses me: could the article author explain *why* OnePlus had to rebuild from scratch?

    1. Lysenko


    2. esque

      Because they don't use a pre-existing custom ROM as a basis but started from scratch with AOSP.

      For the Oneplus One they had a deal with Cyanogen Inc., the company behind the commercial variation of CyanogenMod, but the relationship went sour and Oneplus made the decision to create a version of Android that they control rather than rely on somebody else (well, except Google for the basis of Android).

    3. TeeCee Gold badge


      a) It was Cyanogen OS, not Cyanogen Mod.

      b) Cyanogen came over all cunty when a shitload of cash was waved at them and did an exclusive deal with some bent Indian mob intent on market pwnage. OnePlus (and anyone else using Cyanogen) would have been shut out of the Indian market if they'd stuck with it.

  3. esque

    > there's 16GB of storage, expandable to 128GB with a microSD card

    Actually, it's 16GB if storage, expandable BY (up to) 128 GB.

    You don't loose access to the build in storage if you add a microSD card.

    (In effect, I have 11.54GB + 120GB, according to Android.)

    1. goldcd

      Until Marshmallow comes along

      and you switch to their "adoptable storage", where you just get the higher capacity item as your total.

      Never quite managed to get a decent understanding of how it was supposed to work, even when turning it on my my M8.. I turned it off shortly afterwards (might have been a bad implementation from HTC).

  4. Day

    NFC on Moto G?

    Are you sure about this? I have read a few reviews of the Moto G and I don't think it does have NFC.

    1. MrDrWho13

      Re: NFC on Moto G?

      I have one. It certainly doesn't have NFC, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have fast charging either.

      1. Captain Scarlet

        Re: NFC on Moto G?

        My Motorola G3 doesn't have these features either, however the splash proof bit is correct (Because the phones whinges if it thinks the back isn't fully on).

        Edit: I have to say these features wouldn't interest me anyway, all I wanted at the time was a decent enough mobile with a version of Android which wasn't to heavily modified for under 200 quid.

  5. dapuse

    moto g 3rd gen

    doesn't have nfc

  6. werdsmith Silver badge

    Compact and pocketable is really good, unfortunately for me it's just another Android which is the deal breaker.

    I am still waiting for a decent phone OS to appear on the market, alas I think it will be an eternal wait while people keep tolerating the shit we get dished up.

    1. KeithR

      "while people keep tolerating the shit we get dished up."

      Shit - because you decree it to be so?

      Some might disagree...

    2. tin 2

      LOL love the downvotes on this. You are bang on. IMHO Apple are leaving a hole in the market by getting worse at each version that comes out and Android is still amazingly and confusingly miles and miles off.

      The fact that your post was downvoted and replied to so negatively proves your last sentence.

    3. Code For Broke

      @werdsmith: OK, so where can I read your manifesto on what is required of a mobile OS worthy of your acceptance?

    4. Seajay#

      Smartphones are little marvels which have taken over the world. How can you say they're all shit when they're so popular and useful? More specifically, how can you say they're all shit when there is a range of OSs available written by some of the biggest companies on the planet spending sums of money bigger than the budgets of small countries on the best developers around.

      Maybe it's just harder to do than you think. Have a go at forking and let us know how it goes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have one and love it

    I bought one of these in the USA. For me the capacitive keys are important. More efficient than on-screen keys which requires two gestures to complete an action. Why did Google make many tasks require more gestures in 5.x versus 4.x? I'm not playing a damn game when using the phone, I am trying to get something done as efficiently as possible!

    The one comment I would add: if you do like the capacitive keys, consider the white variant of the phone. It is much easier to see the keys on the white phone than on the black phone. I prefer black phones, but without back-lighting they are pretty darn difficult to see on the black face.

    Given the price, USD 250, I am VERY happy with the phone. I'm selling on an iPhone 6s that cost me almost 4x as much as this phone. I don't like how iOS does notifications. Virtually useless if you want to use the calendar for reminders, and have those reminders "stick" on-screen until manually acknowledged. Thus, it's back to Android. (No, I don't want two iOS apps: one for calendar events and one for the artificially categorized "reminders.")

  8. Zack Mollusc

    Tempting! I wouldn't have to disable NFC, or buy USB-C adaptors. And it has uSD ! And you can get to the battery fairly easily!

    1. Shane McCarrick

      The battery is 100% *not upgradeable*. Don't go there.......

  9. leexgx

    i am still happy with the CUBOT H1 £110 and you get 2-3 days battery life (i get 2 on mine as i use mine more than others)

  10. KenBW2

    "Dinky little"

    "Compact design"

    The title got my hopes up there, and then...

    "5 inch".

    ... smashed them to pieces.

    Why is it so hard for me to find a phone that fits in one hand?

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: "Dinky little"

      >Why is it so hard for me to find a phone that fits in one hand?

      Ah, but whose hand? Maybe you're 'holding it wrong'.

    2. AlexV

      Re: "Dinky little"

      They do exist: <> Can be tricky to obtain, though. Had to get mine from the US through eBay.

      Of course, it depends how small you want it. Plenty more choices if you'll settle for something slightly larger. Sadly they are usually coupled with low-end specs, but what can you do.

    3. The Onymous Coward

      Re: "Dinky little"

      I've just bought an iPhone 5s for this very reason. I want my phone to fit comfortably in my pocket.

    4. KeithR

      Re: "Dinky little"

      "Why is it so hard for me to find a phone that fits in one hand?"

      You do know that it's not 5 inches wide, don't you?

    5. John Latham

      Re: "Dinky little"

      Got a Sony Z5 Compact a couple of weeks ago. It's nice, coming from a Galaxy S5.

      No mention of waterproofing on the OnePlus review. I assume it isn't.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: "Dinky little"

        No mention of waterproofing

        My same thought. I recently had a forced upgrade after junior went head first into a 1m deep rock pool on holiday with his non-waterproof phone in his pocket. So I had to hand-me-down my phone to him.

        I opted for the M4 though. Looking at the pics it delivers better pic quality especially in low light), rest is pretty much the same spec-wise as this one. And waterproof to 30 mins in a beer glass.

    6. kmac499

      Re: "Dinky little"

      I went through the same pain trying to find a 'small' useful phone..

      In the end I settled on a Samsung S4 mini 4.3" screen and a full set of features; all the usuals plus

      4G, NFC, micro SD, removable battery & FM radio.

  11. pro-logic

    While OnePlus broke up with Cyanogen Inc because Cyanogen were a bunch of dicks to put it lightly I don't get why OnePlus don't just bake their own Cyanogen Mod.

    Surely it would be easier to just fork Cyanogen Mod then create your own entire fork from AOSP.

    Does anybody know why they didn't go down the Cyanogen Mod fork?

    Please note Cyanogen OS != Cyanogen Mod. My understanding is that Cyanogen OS is the 'commercial' version of Cyanogen Mod. But I was under the impression that Cyanogen Mod was FOSS thus fair game for a company to fork for their device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fork CyanogenMod?

      No need to fork CyanogenMod, CM 12.1 and 13 are already available for the OnePlus X.

      1. Doogie Howser MD

        Re: Fork CyanogenMod?

        I've had mixed results with my X trying some of these builds (which is to be expected, they are written by the community with no warranties implied etc.) such as the CM 13 build didn't get a GPS lock indoors (known issue) and the 12.x build by Master Awesome (nice name, BTW) is actually not bad and what I'm using right now. The triple slider thing doesn't always work properly, but that's no biggie.

        I chose the X because the OPO was far too big. These 5.5" and 6" screens are just getting silly now, I don't want a tablet in my pocket. It's decent value for money, but I find the OxygenOS quite buggy. The big one for me was bluetooth streaming in the car kept breaking up and the metadata doesn't show (OOS is AVRCP 1.5, whereas most cars support only 1.3, I gather).

  12. Steve Medway

    I got one to replace my day 1 white iPhone 4 (yes I hold onto usable tech for a long time).

    After installing and uninstalling a lot of apps and receiving a few OTA updates my Oneplus X battery life was totally miserable (~14 hrs normal usage). Reset to stock, did the latest OTA, let Google Play do it's thing and only install the apps I wanted = battery life is triple what it was at purchase date. I can now get a day and half's normal usage out of it.

    Awesome phone for the price, the 1080p screen is truly beautiful, nothing else near 200 quid renders virtually Stock Android so nicely. Oxygen OS is so vanilla it's refreshing, I've never turned on the 'shelf feature' I like close to stock. Much nicer than any others manufacturer skins / custom launchers.

    Buy a case with the phone though, it slips off of anything that isn't dead level, I really mean absolutely anything, think butter in a hot pan, thats how slippery it is. The free cover is ok but the kevlar one is an excellent design (especially at the corners where it grips the phone and also where you need the most protection).

    The camera quality was terrible before the latest OTA now its a lot better + battery life is miles better. Roll on the marshmallow update for even better battery life and proper SD card storage merging.

  13. dnbattley

    Seems like good option, until you consider the alternatives

    Like Wileyfox...

  14. jjcoolaus

    OK for US/EU but won't suit those in the southern hemisphere

    I'd like to support oneplus, and more independant manufacurers in general, but LTE band support is very lacking in this segment.

    In particular those of us living in the southern hemisphere need band 28 support, unless your living in a major city and your carrier has loads of 1800/2600 to throw about. For rural areas though, and for getting inside buildings in areas of low tower density, LTE 700 is critical and in most of Asia and South America that means band 28.

    Unless your china and can put up millions of cell towers anywhere, they can use high band LTE without any worries.

  15. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Having owned a Wileyfox Swift since Xmas ...

    My shopping list for a new phone is:

    1) Dual SIM

    2) No carrier/manufacturer bloat of any description

    3) No network lock

    4) removable battery

    5) MicroSD slot

    I arrived at this list, after my son lost (another) phone, and going through my box of 12 *working* phones, not a single one could be used. (The most annoying was a little 5 year old Orange phone bought for £10 that refused to work with an EE SIM - EE wanted £35 to "unlock" it).

    So, I'm rocking a Swift with 2xgiffgaff SIMs. But, if I decide to change networks, I will.

  16. Matt7244

    Wrong Information all around...

    * I currently own a OnePlus X, just having switched from a Moto G 3rd generation.

    First off the OnePlus X is $250 and not $285 and that includes free shipping.

    The Moto G 3rd Generation does not have fast charging or NFC and is $70 cheaper than the OnePlus X, and having owned one I can tell you that its display is not easier to read, and is actually much harder to. I would also not consider this a better option as it does not feel as good in the hand, is bulkier, and the OS feels very sluggish. You also have to be careful to remember that this phone is Water Resistant and not Waterproof as the author used the terms interchangeably. Water Resistant means the phone can deal with splashes but not submersion while Waterproof means it can deal with submersion and splashes. It also has a Snapdragon 410, Adreno 306 and 2GB of RAM which is a major downgrade compared to the OnePlus X's Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 and 3GB of Ram. I would rather work the few extra shifts to buy the OnePlus X.

    With the Hauwei Honor 5x its 3000 mAH does not last much longer that the OnePlus X's 2525 mAH battery due to the fact that the Snapdragon 801 is much more energy efficient than the 616. The Honor 5x's Fingerprint scanner is good but I would personally rather had a better display because you use the screen all the time. Where the Honor 5x falls flat on its face is its OS, which does not have an app tray. If you do want to install a custom launcher and gain the interface becomes insanely laggy. Its also has a major downgrade spec wise, only running a Snapdragon 616 and 2 GB of RAM. The only good thing is the upgraded GPU to the Adreno 405.

    The OnePlus X does have a plan to upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow which will most likely be early Q2 2016.

    Overall this article was poorly written with very little correct information.

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