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How to buy a OnePlus X

Welcome to the Kafka-esque nightmare that is OnePlus' sales strategy

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OnePlus builds some really good smartphones, but the company never makes it easy to actually get your hands on one. The new low-cost OnePlus X is no exception. It looks like a fantastic device, but it's being sold via a confusing system of invites, social media campaigns, and limited in-store sales. The question is: how do you actually buy one?

the best way to buy a OnePlus is sign up for an invite

First thing's first, choose which model you want. The OnePlus X Onyx is the standard version, selling for $249 or €269 (this is with 16GB of memory and microSD expansion, there are no other options for internal memory), while the limited-edition OnePlus X Ceramic will go on sale for €379 (around $414). However, only 10,000 ceramic handsets are being made, and unless you live in Europe and get an early invite (more on which below) you're unlikely to get your hands on one.

To actually buy a OnePlus X your best bet is to sign up for an invite from OnePlus' website. Ten thousand invites will be sent out today, with more "rolled out on a regular basis" throughout November. Invites can also be got by participating in social media promotions and competitions (OnePlus suggests you sign up to its newsletter or follow its social media accounts to see more of these). Anyone who has placed an order for a OnePlus X can also invite a friend to buy one, although, again, these invitations are limited.

Once you've got an invite you should be able to preorder the Onyx from November 5th and the Ceramic from November 24th. However, these are for European customers only — US dates have yet to be announced — and there's no word on when the devices will ship.

Read more: The OnePlus X is a low-cost Android phone in high-end disguise

If you don't want to get involved in the invite system, OnePlus is also hosting a number of pop-up shops around the world. The first will be in Paris department store Colette from November 2nd to November 4th with no invite necessary for purchases. Pop-up stores will then appear in other locations throughout the month, hitting Mumbai, New Delhi, London, Berlin, Rome, Hong Kong, and finally Los Angeles. Exact store locations haven't been disclosed yet, but for dates check the OnePlus website.

If you make it through the obstacle course that is November without buying a OnePlus X, then in December, the company will offer open sales. However, these will only be available for an hour each week, and OnePlus hasn't yet said exactly when the windows will be open. Again, keep an eye on social media accounts for the latest news.

Basically, if you want a OnePlus X, you should sign up for an invite straightaway. Good luck out there.

Verge Video: OnePlus X hands-on