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The OnePlus X is a Snapdragon 801 5-incher with a Ceramic body option

OnePlus is diversifying its current portfolio of one model (spreading two generations) with the brand new OnePlus X. Announced today, the new smartphone will fight a whole different battle – where the OnePlus One and 2 were meant as flagships on a budget, the X aims to put design on top of its list of priorities.

The OnePlus X comes in a choice of either Onyx or Ceramic attire. Both versions feature an anodized metal frame with 17 grooves etched into it. The first one has a black glass panel on its back with a glossy mirror-like finish, nothing out of the ordinary.

It’s the Ceramic version where things go bonkers. The panel takes 25 days to manufacture, OnePlus says, and starts its life as a 0.5mm zirconia mold heated in a 1480-degree furnace for more than 28 hours. It’s then left to cool down for two whole days, goes through some polishing and in the end is good for an 8.5H hardness rating on the Mohs scale.

The thing is also a smartphone, and comes with a 5-inch FullHD AMOLED display. The aging, but still somewhat relevant Snapdragon 801 chipset is in charge, coupled with 3GB of RAM. There’s a modest 16GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD. Mind you, one of the card slots is of the hybrid variety – you can forget about having a couple of SIMs and a microSD inside at the same time.

OnePlus X press images

Imaging is taken care of by a 13MP primary camera, with an ISOCELL sensor courtesy of Samsung and an f/2.2 lens. It can’t shoot 4K video though, despite the fact that the chipset supports it. The front camera uses a 8MP OmniVision imager behind a slower f/2.4 lens.

The OnePlus X measures 140 x 69 x 6.9mm, which should please compact phone lovers. The Onyx version tips the scales at 138g, while the Ceramic one adds a hefty 22g on top of that – you’d constantly be reminded you’re carrying a rock of sorts in your pocket.

You’d be getting a basic, but all-round connectivity suite – multi band 2G/3G/4G, single-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS with GLONASS and BDS. The phone boots Android 5.1.1 (so no Marshmallow just yet) with OxygenOS on top. An average-sized 2,520mAh battery provides power.

The OnePlus X is priced at $249/£199 for the Onyx variant, while the Ceramic variant commands a whopping £70 premium and won’t be sold in the States. And by the way only 10,000 of those will be made. Talk about exclusivity.