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OnePlus X Unveiled: 5-Inch Display, 13MP Rear Camera, Starting At $249

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The rumors were true…today, the OnePlus X Android phone was announced officially at an event in London. The OnePlus 2 isn’t even shipping out to customers yet, but hey, why not announce new stuff? Gadget geeks love them. Since we called the 2 “promising” we have high hopes for the new X.

We got a look at the new device(s) at a San Francisco event earlier this week.

IMG_20151026_131258-1The Onyx version is available on OnePlus.net in the UK on November 5th for EUR269 and in the US on November 19th for $249. The invite window will be a month. The Ceramic edition will be available in Europe and India starting on November 24th for EUR369. There’s only 10,000 available, and for good reason…the process to make them takes a total of 25 days in which it’s fire-baked at 2,700 degrees fahrenheit for 28 hours.

In addition to the phones, the company also announced its own headphones, called “OnePlus Icons” which will retail for $49. Sadly, they don’t come with the new OnePlus X, so you’re going to have to pay extra if you want to keep everything uniform.

IMG_20151026_131827

They come in graphite and gold and will be available sometime “before Christmas.”

Back to the phones. I’ll shoot you straight, it’s an Android phone that wants to be an iPhone. It’s pretty…real pretty, but OxygenOS doesn’t have an advantage over Android’s latest OS, Marshmallow, that I can see. They look good and feel good, but…it might not be enough.

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Here’s the quick rundown:

  • 5-inch Gorilla Glass 3 display
  • 1080p Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) screen, 441 PPI resolution
  • Onyx black glass or a limited Ceramic edition (only 10,000 made)
  • Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB storage(Expandable up to 128GB)
  • Supports two nano SIMs
  • Onyx version weighs just 4.86 oz while feeling super sturdy in the hand
  • 13MP rear camera (no 4K video like the new Nexus line)
  • 8MP front­facing camera

We spoke with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei after his San Francisco keynote last week and he told us why the world needs his company. He says it’s partly because “Apple doesn’t have a challenger”:

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The Chinese smartphone company calls the 2 its “flagship killer,” so I’m not sure what the X is. The flagship killer killer? I asked the company how many devices they’ve sold to date, and they weren’t ready to share those details just yet.

The OS that I mentioned, OxygenOS, is the OnePlus custom flavor of Google’s Android. And it’s pretty fast, but looks mighty familiar.

Whether you think you need this phone or not, the company certainly has a way of drumming up interest for their line of devices, using an invitation system to make them available for a short period of time, and sometimes opening things up completely, thus causing a stir of “wants” and “gimmes”:

“Never Settle” is the battle cry of OnePlus, which is quite bold for an upstart…but we like that. I’ll be spending more time with the OnePlus X in the coming days and will let you know what I think. I can tell you this, it’s not “killing” the Nexus flagships, especially the 6P. It’s also highly unlikely to “kill” the iPhone, which it’s clearly trying to be.

Having said all of that, for the price, you’d be getting one heck of a phone. If I had the choice between carrying a Nexus 5X, which felt flimsy to me, or the well-built OnePlus X, I might just lean towards the OnePlus. And you get the community that comes with OnePlus, which might just build itself up to be the fanatical Android equivalent to Apple’s iPhone diehards.

Speaking of that community, OnePlus plans on taking its show on the road all over the globe, letting people get the devices in their hands:

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