The $250 OnePlus X brings high-end looks to a budget Android phone

OnePlus has broken from its 'one device per year' mould to deliver a potential 'mid-range killer'.

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The OnePlus X. Image: OnePlus

Since launching two years ago, OnePlus has made only one flagship handset a year, but the company has now released a lower cost follow-up device, the OnePlus X.

Starting at $250, the five-inch OnePlus X doesn't deserve the 'flagship killer' moniker granted to the OnePlus 2, but instead shows off the company's craftsmanship while still delivering solid specs at a relatively low price.

The black glass Onyx edition will sell for €269 in Europe, £199 in the UK, and $250 in the US, while a limited edition ceramic model will be available for roughly €100 more.

The OnePlus X's display has a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 441 pixels per inch, a 13 megapixel (MP) main camera, and eight MP selfie snapper. Though it's less powerful than the OnePlus 2, the OnePlus X still comes with a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB RAM, and 16GB of storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD). It comes with a 2,525 mAh LiPo battery.

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The OnePlus X eschews the OnePlus 2's reversible USB Type-C slot for a standard Micro USB port. It also has two SIM slots that can either support a dual-SIM configuration or one nano SIM and one MicroSD card.

The device will be running OnePlus's Oxygen OS, which is based on Android 5.1.1. OnePlus hasn't revealed a timeline for releasing a Marshmallow update.

The OnePlus X also introduces a three position "alert slider" on the side of the device that lets the user switch off all notifications, allow only notifications from key contacts, or receive all notifications.

Before getting too excited about the budget handset, OnePlus will be using its invite system to manage OnePlus X inventory. For the most part, the only way to buy the device, at least for the first month, is by having an invite. OnePlus plans to release them faster in November, selling handsets to loyal users and people who've signed up for the reservation list. After that, the company plans to have open sales every week.

"After making sure that our production can keep up with the demand, the OnePlus X will be available without invites forever," said OnePlus founder Carl Pei.

Invites for the OnePlus X Onyx will start being issued on November 5.

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