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Deals on wheels: OnePlus to sell its X smartphone through taxi hailer app

The Chinese phone manufacturer is flipping the script on e-hailers, using India's Uber-esque Ola to sell its X smartphone.

Josh Miller/CNET

Uber has made hitching a ride off your smartphone a regular thing. Now, OnePlus is turning the tables, using a taxis to sell its smartphones.

Ola, an Uber-like service based in India, on Saturday announced a partnership with OnePlus that would see the Chinese manufacturer sell its X smartphone through Ola's taxis.

"Fans wishing to purchase the OnePlus X can open their Ola app and request a phone, just like they would book a cab," the taxi company explained. It also promised that the device would be delivered to customers within 15 minutes by an Ola taxi.

OnePlus' debut, the One, caught plenty of attention thanks to its solid specs, good looks, relatively low price and unique distribution method. OnePlus, a subsidiary of Oppo, required its users to have invitations to buy the phone, creating a mystique around the midrange device. Last week the company announced that invitations are no longer required to purchase the OnePlus 2, though they're still needed to get the X -- making the Ola deal even more special.

Starting at $249 in the US and £199 in the UK (Australians pay the American cost, which translates to AU$340), the 5.0-inch X was unveiled back in October, and is a more compact and affordable option compared to the 5.5-inch Two, which goes for $330 (AU$450) or £269.

The Indian Ola promotion isn't open to the entirety of the country, as it's only available to citizens in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.