Disclosure: I roll with a OnePlus One.
Only last year the hype around OnePlus was all based around the concept of a “flagship killer”. Now this wasn’t entirely an original concept as it was arguably the Xiaomis and Meizus of yesteryear that pioneered this unique-to-China phenomenon, but what OnePlus did seemingly well was to provide a certain design aesthetic and a stripped down version of Android that is still often hard to come across in many Chinese releases.
The OnePlus X is the latest offering from the Shenzhen-based Oppo offshoot and it’s more or less an update of last year’s OnePlus One, albeit without any of the glory.
Now that OnePlus has been stripped of one of its strongest selling points – CyanogenMod – and it no longer appears to be targeting the same “flagship killer” segment, we have a brand that increasingly resembles everything else. For USD 249, you get a decently specced phone with a very polished exterior and a modest hardware update, but importantly without one crucial selling point, an established ecosystem wrapped around its OS.
Xiaomi appears to have long since departed the flagship killer game with much of its sales volume deriving from its low-end Hongmi releases and its diverse array of smart devices. What you pay for in a new Xiaomi flagship is a decently specced phone and an established
ecosystem. Last month’s Mi 4c is basically an up-to-date refresh of the time-tested Mi 4 at a substantial discount.
Surprisingly, even at the lower price point of USD 200, the Mi 4c offers more battery life (3080mAh vs 2525mAh) and a stronger chipset (the Snapdragon 808 vs 801).
Between the two: Yes, the OnePlus X looks cooler and features the new barebones OxygenOS, but as far as bang for your buck and strength of ecosystem goes, I’d probably put my money on Xiaomi.
For all you nerds out there here’s our side-by-side spec comparison: