OnePlus X full review
The OnePlus X is a great-value, good-looking Android phone, but there's another variation that might tempt you even more. The white OnePlus X (aka Champagne OnePlus X) was previously available only in China, but as of today is also available in the UK. Also see: OnePlus 3 rumours.
The white OnePlus X was previously officially available only in China, although you could purchase it from third-party unoffical distributors such as Geekbuying, which is where our review sample came from. (You should note that OnePlus does not support or advocate people buying its products via unofficial third party vendors, although that shouldn't necessarily stop you.)
The white or Champagne OnePlus X is now available in the UK and available to buy invite-free every Tuesday from its online shop.
As you'll see in our comparison shots below it is a gorgeous phone and, arguably, more attractive than the black 'Onyx' version. You don't need an invite to buy the white (or black) OnePlus X on a Tuesday, but if you buy from China you can get one any day of the week and it could cost you less. Also see: OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus X comparison.
Geekbuying lists the OnePlus X much more cheaply than does OnePlus itself. You can buy the black model with 2GB of RAM for £192.44, or 3GB of RAM for £198.35. The white OnePlus X costs £192.44 with 2GB of RAM, or £177.32 with 3GB of RAM (prices correct on 17 December 2015). Shipping to the UK is free, but you should note that these products are sent from China and if your parcel is picked up by customs you'll be invoiced for import duty before you receive your handset. (Read our advice on buying grey-market tech.)
There are a couple of things you should note before you buy from Geekbuying, however. First, this is the Chinese model of the handset, and it supports different frequency bands to that sold in the UK. Most importantly for UK users, it does not support the 800MHz 4G LTE band. This will affect O2 users and other mobile operators which use its network, such as Giffgaff. You'll be able to use the phone, you just won't receive 4G connectivity. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2016.
Good news for those buying the OnePlus X in the US is that they can now pay for the phone in instalments. OnePlus says that any order over $99 will be eligible, and you can settle up early if you like. This is useful for those who are unable to afford to buy a new phone upfront, but don't want to pay over the odds on a monthly fee to a carrier. The 18-month plan for the OnePlus 2 starts at $22.60 a month, and the OnePlus X starts at $16.12 per month. There's no word yet as to when the service will reach Europe. Also see: Best MiFi 2016.
Second, the software is not exactly the same out of the box. On the sample sent to us by Geekbuying there are a few additions that cannot be uninstalled. These include the KK Browser (which introduces pop-up ads), DCShare, Clean Master, DU Battery Saver and DU Speed Booster, plus UC Mini. It also adds a second Search app, and replaces the Google search widget on the home screen with its own.
A factory reset won't clear these apps; the only thing that will remove them from the phone is to flash a stock version of Oxygen OS, which is not something we'd recommend unless you know what you're doing. Also see: Best smartphones 2015/2016.
We found the most irritating app Geekbuying had added was the DU Battery Saver. It's actually not a bad app in itself, and some may find it useful, but its notification settings have been adjusted to such an agressive level that it can be quite intrusive. If left as it is it will sit in the notification bar by default and pop up various warning messages about the phone getting warmer and so forth. It's easy to tone it down, though: launch the app and enter its settings menu, where you can turn off the 'Power indicator' (notification bar icon), disable some or all of its notifications and disassociate apps with its Protection Lists. Once you've done this you'll find it much easier to get along with.
In all other respects the white OnePlus X is exactly the same as the black OnePlus X sold in the UK. We've reviewed the 'official' black OnePlus X in this separate article, so for more information on its design and build, hardware and performance, connectivity, software, camera performance and more please see our full OnePlus X review.
Related: Best OnePlus phones
OnePlus X: Specs
- Ceramic, Onyx versions
- OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801, quad-core
- Adreno 330
- 3GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 16GB, plus up to 128GB microSD
- 5in full-HD (1920x1080, 441ppi) AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3
- 13Mp rear camera, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video/120fps slo-mo at 720p
- 8Mp front camera, f/2.4 aperture
- accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light, hall sensor
- 2,525mAh non-removable lithium-polymer battery
- Micro-USB charging port
- 4G bands 3, 7 & 20 (EU & Asia model)
- dual-Nano-SIM (one SIM slot can be used for microSD card)
- 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- bottom-facing speaker
- dual-mics with noise cancellation
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- FM radio
- 138g (Onyx), 160g (Ceramic)