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No.1 X2 review: An awesome rugged phablet under $200!

by Joe 3

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No.1 is usually known for making cheap clones of famous flagship smartphones. However, this time around, the company decided to do something out of the ordinary. It first released the No.1 X1 rugged smartphone with great specs, which is something that usually is not found on a smartphone in this niche.

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However, just after a few weeks of the launch of the X1, the company decided to take things to a whole new level. Meet No.1 X2, the second generation model which puts every other rugged smartphone to shame. Not only can this super strong smartphone survive anything, but it also comes with features that is considered mid-range in smartphones. This makes the No.1 X2 very attractive and those who were worried about sacrificing their entertainment needs when buying a rugged phone can finally have everything in just one phone.

We were really surprised to see No.1 offer such a great phone, so we decided to do a No.1 X2 review. We have already added a lot of new pictures of the device in our previous articles, but here, we have many more real life images along with some more details about its features and performance.

So, lets directly move on to the No.1 X2 review.

DESIGN

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In the box of the No.1 X2 smartphone, you’ll find a the device itself, a charger, USB cable, manuals as well as headphones. We also got an additional screen protector for the device right inside the box.

No.1 X2 usb cable

One thing we noticed about the cable is that the MicroUSB pin is a bit longer than our traditional cable. This is because, the ports on the phone are covered and they are located more inward than traditional slots. So, you may have to take care of this cable as regular ones may not work well with the phone.

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Design wise, the No.1 X2 is a great smartphone. In fact, the chrome and black color combination gives it a unique look. These types of phones are large and bulky and look like a brick. While, the X2 isn’t the thinnest of the phones around, it still is extremely thin when you compare it with other rugged phones which are around 17mm thick.

 

Even with the colorful design, the bold lines at the back and the solid construction will give you an idea that this is not a regular phone. And if you don’t like the chrome color scheme, you can opt for a full black version too.

No.1 X2 is quite big for a rugged smartphone. Usually, these type of phones sport a 4.5-inch display, so as to reduce the real estate that could be damaged. However, the X2 is a true phablet with its 5.5-inch display on the front. While this increases the size of the phone, it truly can replace your smartphone as it can even fulfill your entertainment needs.

Overall, the phone does look tough and solidly built. It may not be the toughest smartphone in the market, but then, it doesn’t necessarily have to, since you get a lot of features that others rugged phones don’t offer.

Above the large display lies the receiver mesh, sensors and the front camera. Below, you’ll find three menu, back and home capacitive buttons. Coming to the back, you have the speaker grill at the bottom, IP68 Certified logo in the middle and the 13MP camera and LED flash on top. The 3.5mm headphone jack on top as well as the MicroUSB port at the bottom are covered quite well to keep away water and dust.

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The back is not entirely removable, but using the tool provided in the box, you can remove a particular part to insert SIM cards and MicroSD card into the device. Since, this is a dual SIM phone, you have two card slots, one standard SIM and the other MicroSIM. The MicroSD card slot can take cards up to 32GB in size.

 

 

 

DISPLAY

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As mentioned above, this is one of the biggest display’s we have seen on a rugged phone. Moreover, the HD Panel is quite crisp and clear. The 5.5-inch display will have a resolution of 1280 x 720p. Since No.1 X2 is a rugged phone, the phone will have Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protection at the front to prevent any scratches or accidental damage.

 

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Overall, the display looks quite good. Its just like any other HD phones that you may have used, only a lot stronger and well built!

 

HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE

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The best thing about the new No.1 X2 is the mid-range Snapdragon 410 processor inside. This makes it one of the better rugged phones out there in the market with good specs. Along with this Snapdragon chipset, there is 1GB of RAM onboard for smooth performance. To be honest, we would have loved to have 2GB RAM onboard which would have improved the performance of the device to a great extent, but even with this 1GB RAM, things are pretty smooth.

Specification:
Basic Information
  • Brand: NO.1
  • Type: Phablet
  • OS: Android 4.4
  • CPU: MSM8916
  • Cores: Quad Core, 1.3GHz
  • RAM: 1GB RAM
  • ROM: 8GB
  • External memory: TF card up to 32GB (not included)
Network
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, GSM, 3G, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n wireless internet
  • Network type: GSM+WCDMA+LTE-FDD
  • Frequency: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz FDD-LTE 800/1800/2100/2600MHz
Display
  • Screen type: Capacitive
  • Screen size: 5.5 inch
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 720 (HD 720)
Camera
  • Camera type: Dual cameras (one front one back)
  • Back camera: with flash light and AF, 13.0MP
  • Front camera: 5.0MP
Connectivity
  • SIM Card Slot: Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • Micro USB Slot: Yes
  • Audio Out Port : Yes (3.5mm audio out port)
  • Microphone: Supported
  • Speaker: Supported
Media Formats
  • Picture format: BMP, PNG, JPEG, GIF
  • Music format: AAC, MP3, WAV
  • Video format: AVI, MP4, 3GP
  • MS Office format: Word, Excel, PPT
  • E-book format: TXT, PDF
  • Games: Android APK
Languages
  • Language: Spanish, Russian, Italian, German, English, Dutch, French, Portuguese
Additional Features
  • Additional Features: MP4, Bluetooth, OTG, Video Call, 3G, Gravity Sensing, Browser, Wi-Fi, Light Sensing, MP3, FM, Proximity Sensing, E-book, GPS
Package Contents
  • Cell Phone: 1
  • Battery: Built-in Battery
  • Power Adapter: 1
Dimensions
  • Product size: 16.63 x 8.5 x 1.47 cm / 6.54 x 3.34 x 0.58 inches
  • Package size: 19.0 x 11.0 x 5.0 cm / 7.47 x 4.32 x 1.97 inches
  • Product weight: 0.129 kg
  • Package weight: 0.500 kg

 

In our testing, we hardly experienced lag, except for instances where we had a number of apps running in the background. So, if you manage to keep apps to a limited number on the device at one time, performance should be satisfactory. Inside, you have 8GB of internal storage, of which you get 5.5GB available. So, you get plenty of space to install your favorite apps from the Google Play Store. Moreover, for your media, you can anytime transfer it to an external card (up to 32GB in size), to free up your internal storage.

Since this is a rugged phone, we tested out the GPS connectivity and surprisingly it was pretty good. Outdoors, the device locked on to the satellites pretty fast and it could quickly lock on to our location. So, you will have no problems there. Unfortunately, there’s no GLONASS support.

We also had the time to test out the speakers at the back, and surprising they were quite loud. Ofcourse, don’t expect clarity like HTC’s boom sound, but according to our testing, the sound output was above average.

 

In the AnTuTu benchmark testing, the device got around 19,000 points, which is decent for a rugged device. So performance was quite smooth too.

According to our game testing, the device played some games flawlessly, but some lagged a bit. For example, we had a hard time playing NOVA 3 on the phone, but real racing 3 was very smooth. So, it really depends on the optimization of the phone for the GPU, but in general, less graphics intensive games should work just fine.

The best feature of the phone is probably its FDD 4G LTE connectivity. Rugged phones usually don’t have this high speed network support and this is exactly what sets the No.1 X2 apart from other rivals.

Since, this is a rugged phone, we had to check out the overall built and rugged nature of the device. First of all, we dipped the phone in water for a while and everything worked perfectly well.

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During the time of our use, we tried to handle it roughly and we couldn’t find any visible scratches on the device too. The overall built quality of the No.1 X2 was quite good. But if you go out and compare it with other costly rugged alternatives, then the plastic on the phone may not be as hard as some of the competitors, at least it feels that way.

But it doesn’t seem like the plastic will break or get scratches. So, for your everyday adventure, this phone should work perfectly fine.

 

BATTERY

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One of the biggest highlights of the phone is its 4500 mAh battery. To keep its rugged nature, the company had to make the battery non-removable. However, we don’t think you’ll need an extra battery on your outing because according to our testing this large battery will easily last you a day with heavy gaming and entertainment usage. And if you keep things moderate, you can get up to two day’s worth battery life or even more on the device.

From our testing we could get up to 6 hours 10minutes from the device with YouTube on continuous playback. That’s very impressive given that it sports a large 5.5-inch display.

So, you won’t have to worry about battery life on the No.1 X2.

 

CAMERA

 

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Camera performance was quite decent. Like most Chinese smartphones in the market with a 13MP camera, the No.1 X2 too captures good shots under ample light. However, things got a bit grainy in low light conditions. LED flash does help in very dull lighting but still we have seen 13MP cameras perform better than the one on the No.1 X2.

But there are a number of options that you can play around in the camera which may help you to capture slightly better pictures.

 

On the front, you get a 5MP camera, which performs quite well. Its enough to take selfies and start video calls.

Anyways, check out some of the samples below.

 

 

 

SOFTWARE

 

The phone comes with Android 4.4 KitKat version out of the box. The best thing about No.1 X2 is that it comes with all the useful Google Apps (GAPPS) pre-loaded on the device. So, you don’t have to worry about rooting or installing these apps separately. Right from the moment you get the phone, you can install any Android apps (whether free or paid) to your device. Other google apps like GMAIL also make it to the phone.

Apart from this, there are not many customizations on the device. We feel this is a very good move by the company because stock Android UI is always good, and it makes the device much more fluid. And things were quite smooth, thanks to Snapdragon 410 and 1GB RAM.

 

 

PRICING & AVAILABILITY

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No.1 X2 is available from a number of sellers at the moment. Prices start at $199 and can go up to $225, depending upon the seller.

The lowest price we found was from everbuying.net for $181 (USE COUPON: SPRING18). You can also check out banggood where the phone retails for $214.

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Meanwhile, check out our post on the best Chinese online stores to buy where we review famous sellers on the basis of their popularity, background, pricing and other features.

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • jimberkas

    interesting. certainly not great specs for the price, but certainly decent. if this worked well in the US, I would probably pick one up for the wife as she is notoriously hard on phones. she doesn’t need high end specs but needs good battery, good voice quality, 3G-4G coverage in the US, and durability. No. 1 might have just found the perfect niche market.

  • carlos

    Looking forward to drop tests…

  • Mark Atkins

    I had one of these and had to send it back for several reasons:
    1. case cracked from normal usage (day to day placement in my trouser leg pocket and school runs). The crack was from left battery screw across the yellow plastic boarder… my children did not even get hold of this, and I was not given enough time to drop it onto a hard surface as I usually do with most non-rugged slippery android phones, hence buying a rugged one!
    2. battery is not 4500mah, try 2000mah (verified via applications and customers who opened the phone found the battery labeled 2000mah.
    3. OTG support is not true (see website which states it is)
    4. I asked for a rooted phone prior to shipping which they failed to give me.
    5. I dropped it in the bath once, the earpiece speaker stopped working for calls afterwards.
    6. USB became loose from daily charging and made the phone go nuts on charge (screen input activated if charger not in a certain position, it was like i was clicking all over the screen)

    Phone Con’s:

    1GB RAM could not run Firefox or Chrome in full website view and the applications would crash, also real racing 3 also crashed due to RAM being too low.
    Call quality was not great but clear enough to talk to my wife on a regular basis.
    A non 64-bit OS (kitkat 4.4) on a 64-bit chip was a shame, may have made the performance much better if it had been a 64-bit kernal found in lollipop 5.0, we can hope for an update.
    Support is not ‘YES’ on the Google end, so Play movies and TV wont work past older installs, “error, this device not supported”.
    Battery is poor, it lasts 1.3~2 days with no usage. It lasts less than a day if i spend it checking:
    Texts
    E-mail
    Making and receiving calls (I’m a stay at home Dad, not a business man, so assume I get less calls).
    Getting phone numbers from Google search via a browser.

    Phone Pro’s:

    GPS accuracy was great.
    The screen was great and bright in full Australian sunshine in the summer.
    loud speaker was fantastic.

    Overall:

    For someone who is looking for something less easy to smash than the normal iphone or samsung, get one of these, but don’t buy this if you want an all in one outdoor adventurer’s mobile. It will browse the web and play light games, you may be able to take timer shot photo’s of inside your dishwasher on a 45 or 50 degree wash and impress your friends at the pub, but don’t try running it over, standing on, or dropping it… doing so will only end up with you placing it in the ‘broken phone draw’ in the kitchen, the screen will be the only part of this phone that survives.