Do we have a good one for you today – the top-of-the-line OnePlus 2 goes up against the 'newer' OnePlus X. With the OnePlus 2 barely into consumers' hands, they opted to announce a new OnePlus X, which is a low-end device (by today's standards) with a Full HD AMOLED display. Known for their great build quality, both models offer the look and feel of much more expensive smartphones. They are also known for strange marketing techniques, like having to receive an invitation in order to purchase one of their devices and for making questionable decisions when it comes to hardware and features, like including a fingerprint sensor in the OnePlus 2, but no NFC for mobile payments. First, we will see what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each individual device to go into more detail.
We have two smartphones from the same company that barely share anything. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, yet from different generations. The both have 3GB of RAM although the only OnePlus 2 model available is still the 4GB/64GB configuration. Both cameras are 13MP, but there a few additional features found on the OnePlus 2. They both have a non-removable battery, but different sizes. Both have bottom-mounted speakers and dual microphones for noise cancellation. Some of the usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the OnePlus 2 and v4.0 on the OnePlus X), GPS, microUSB port v2.0 with Type-C on the OnePlus 2.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
OnePlus is a small startup Chinese company that certainly builds a quality smartphone – their OnePlus One impressed us and build quality is even more evident in the OnePlus 2 with its solid metal frame and trim. OnePlus is all about building a quality smartphone at a low price, but no matter how you slice it, it is difficult to build a quality flagship device (they call this the "Flagship Killer") with a low price and not cut some corners. OnePlus still used the same FHD display and the same size camera they did last year and to make matters worse, they removed NFC capabilities. They did add an extra 1GB of RAM, a fingerprint sensor and increased the battery size from 3100 mAh to 3300 mAh.
The OnePlus 2 sports a 5.5-inch LTPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the 5.0-inch AMOLED display on the OnePlus X with 441 PPI. OnePlus chose the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and to keep it cool, they underclocked it to 1.56 GHz and 1.82 GHz. This goes up against the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor in the OnePlus X. The OnePlus 2 has two options when it comes to DDR4 RAM/Storage – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB. According to OnePlus, the 4GB/64GB is the only one available at the time of its launch and it still is the only option…there is no available expansion. The OnePlus X packs 3GB of DDR3 RAM with only 16GB of internal storage with room for an extra 128GB via a microSD card.
While the camera in the OnePlus 2 retains the same 13MP sensor as the OnePlus One and OnePlus X, they improved it by adding larger pixels, laser autofocus, a dual-LED flash, an f/2.0 aperture and OIS. This goes up against the 13MP, phase detection autofocus and LED flash on the OnePlus X. For the front-facing camera (FFC), the OnePlus 2 uses a 5MP sensor while the OnePlus X includes a larger 8MP camera for selfies or video chatting. The OnePlus 2 increased the non-removable battery size from 3000 mAh to 3300 mAh and it goes up against the smaller, non-removable 2525 mAh battery in the OnePlus X.
Notes on the OnePlus 2 – it does come with a great sound 'system' built-in to the device if you use headphones or earbuds. It is also using a newer USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer that uses a nice, reversible plug. By not including NFC that means the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone, but nothing else…no Android Pay, no mobile purchases. It runs OnePlus' own OS called OxygenOS over stock Android Lollipop 5.1. LTE works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks with the OnePlus 2 and will cost you $329 for the 16GB model, and $389 for the 64GB model and there are optional backings you can buy to customize your device – Kevlar, Black Apricot, Bamboo and Rosewood.
The OnePlus X is the newest device from OnePlus – I would call it an entry-level device with an FHD display, which is not found on many devices this low in price. OnePlus barely got the OnePlus 2 model launched and are now introducing the OnePlus X. In order to achieve this price break at $249 they used a 32-bit quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. If you are looking for a sub $250 device the OnePlus X may be exactly what you are looking for – you will not find a better built or more quality smartphone for the price.
The OnePlus X sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI…that falls right in line with the 5.5-inch LCD FHD display and 401 PPI on the OnePlus 2. OnePlus went back to Qualcomm and snatched up and older 32-bit Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz. This goes up against the OnePlus 2's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor that certainly out-processes the OnePlus X's 801. The OnePlus X does pack 3GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot to expand that memory an additional 128GB. The OnePlus 2 comes with 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory in its current configuration with no room for expansion. A 3GB/32GB model has been promised, but so far, only the 4GB/64GB model is currently available.
The OnePlus X uses a 13MP sensor with an LED flash and phase detection autofocus with videos in 1080p and 30fps, however, our testing showed the pictures to be only adequate. The OnePlus 2 also uses 13MP camera with improvements that out shoot the OnePlus X. The OnePlus X sports a larger 8MP FFC for selfies and video chatting while the OnePlus 2 uses a 5MP FFC. Powering the OnePlus X is a small non-removable 2525 mAh battery that should make it through a normal day. The OnePlus 2 uses a larger 3300 mAh non-removable battery that should easily make it through a day.
The OnePlus X comes with 4G LTE connectivity for AT&T and T-Mobile, but does not cover too many bands. Sound comes from a single speaker at the bottom of the device and the OnePlus X also sports an FM radio. It is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with OxygenOS on top. The device measures 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm and weighs in at 138 grams and will cost approximately $249.
…And The Winner Is…
This was both an easy and a tough decision, but in the end, I am picking the more expensive OnePlus 2 as the winner of this comparison. It was easy in that the OnePlus 2 is clearly the winner in the specification department – it has a faster processor, better GPU, more memory and 64GB of internal memory (although no expansion capabilities), improved camera and a fingerprint sensor.
The OnePlus X has a 2014 quad-core processor, an FM Radio, a smaller battery than the OnePlus 2 and a cheaper cost…but not by much – $249 versus $389 – and you are getting a gigabyte more RAM and four times the internal storage (minus the expansion slot) and the additional features listed above.
It was a tough decision because while the OnePlus 2 does offer a few more goodies at a higher price, neither one of these devices cut it for me. OnePlus needs to take parts from both devices and put them together to form one better smartphone. I know there are many OnePlus fanatics out there, but it just does not seem as though smart decisions are made at the corporate level – OnePlus actually call the OnePlus 2 the "flagship killer!" They can spin their story all they want, but if this is what they believe to be a 'flagship killer,' other than the price, then it is hard for me to get excited about their products. Well-built…absolutely – Cheaply priced…most assuredly – Flagship killer…not. However, if you want a solid device at a great price, knowing you will be giving up some features, you would be hard-pressed to find a better device for the money.