The OnePlus 5 may not be as cheap as the previous OnePlus devices but it's one of the best devices on the market right now. A great camera, phenomenal performance, blazing fast charging and a premium design make this handset a fantastic purchase for anyone looking for an affordable flagship.
Just like the OnePlus 3 and 3T before it, OnePlus' latest flagship offers a metallic body, though it's much thinner this time.
Not only is the handset just 7.25mm it also features an aggressive taper around the sides which makes the phone feel thinner than it already is. They call it the Horizon Design.
The Antenna lines have also been designed to go around the perimeter of the phone instead of cutting across the back much like the iPhone 7/7+.
Thanks to the rounded corners and edges, the OnePlus 5 is much easier to hold and looks great. Still, it is worth noting that the thin sides make the phone lean a bit on the slippery side.
The new design changes are going to feel a little polarizing to some of you, and while I'm personally a fan of most of these changes, it is hard to deny that the OnePlus 5 heavily resembles an iPhone 7 Plus, especially with the addition of a dual camera system that is similarly shaped and placed in the same location. Unlike the iPhone though, the OnePlus 5 still retains the headphone jack.
OnePlus offers a much more limited selection of color options compared to many other modern flagships out there. If you pick up the base model (64 GB storage, 6 GB RAM), you’ll get it in Slate Gray. The more expensive model (128 GB storage, 8 GB RAM) comes in Midnight Black.
For those of you who are familiar with OnePlus' previous devices, the button placement hasn't really changed. The 5 has the Volume Buttons and the Alert Slider on the left, Power Button on the right, Headphone Jack on the bottom right, the USB Type-C port in the bottom center, and the speaker on the bottom left. On the front, the OnePlus 5 has a Fingerprint Scanner that also doubles as the home button, this is flanked by the Back and Recents buttons on the Left and Right respectively. The Back and Recents Keys can be swapped through the Settings app.
Overall, this device still feels like a OnePlus Phone, even if the inspiration for it's design changes are obvious.
In a world where QHD displays on phones are quickly becoming the new standard while some phones have started offering 4K displays on their devices, OnePlus takes a step back and uses a 1080p 5.5-inch AMOLED panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
While 1080p sounds less on paper, on a screen that is 5.5 inches big, It is plenty and you can barely notice the difference, the 1080p Display on the OnePlus 5 which is manufactured by Samsung supports the DCI-P3 color standards and is the most vibrant 1080p display I have seen till date on a phone.
Performance & Hardware
As mentioned, the OnePlus 5 is offered in 2 variants. The base model has 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, while the more expensive variant has a massive 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. Both the variants are powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (MSM8998) and Adreno 540 GPU. I had the opportunity to test the 128GB/8GB variant and I gotta say, this phone is Lightning Fast!
The OnePlus 5 easily performs at the same level as other more expensive flagships if not better. Apps and Games launch quickly, scrolling is very smooth, and moving through the interface is nice and fluid. Touch response also feels much better compared to previous OnePlus devices and seems to track fingers a lot better when typing or swiping.
With so much RAM available to the system, this phone can hold a huge amount of apps in memory without breaking a sweat, during testing, I launched an app at the end of my recents which was last used 24+ hours ago and it opened up instantly where I left off.
I'm personally not a fan of benchmark numbers since the number doesn't really translate well into real world experience of using a phone.
In Short, the OnePlus 5 is a Beast in terms of Raw performance and Memory.
The OnePlus 5 also has two SIM Slots, An Alert Slider which lets you switch between notification profiles quickly, support for Bluetooth 5 and support for a Ton of Cellular Bands.
In the LTE/LTE-A department, The OnePlus 5 Supports up to DL CAT12/ UL CAT13(600Mbps/150Mbps) depending on carrier support.
It also supports the following bands,
FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD LTE: Band 38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8
CDMA EVDO: BC0
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
And as for WiFi it supports 2x2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G and 5G networks.
While the OnePlus 3T upgraded from the 3's 3,000 mAh battery to a much larger 3,400 mAh, the OnePlus 5 takes a small step back and ships with a 3,300 mAh battery pack. This difference however is only noticeable on paper, thanks to the reduced manufacturing node from 14nm to 10nm on the Snapdragon 835, the power usage is reduced by upto 30%.
The 3,300 mAh battery comfortably lasts throughout an entire day of heavy use. This includes using the camera a fair amount, watching youtube for multiple hours, streaming music in the car & the gym and checking social media all day. During testing our heavy use averages 8-9 hours of screen on time.
Even if you attack the battery super hard, OnePlus' Dash Charge technology is amazing! It takes just 30 mins to get a 60% charge and approximately 1 hour 15 mins to get to a full charge from 0.
There are plenty of improvements to the OnePlus 5 camera, the biggest of which is the new Dual Camera system. Dual Camera is nearly the default for most of the flagships this year and every dual camera setup we have seen so far has used a different approach that help it stand out.
Most dual cameras either have the same resolution across both sensors or the secondary sensor is of a lower resolution or grayscale. With the OnePlus 5 however, it is the exact opposite. The primary sensor is a 16MP shooter with an f/1.7 aperture and Electronic Image Stabilization. The secondary sensor is a 20MP shooter with an f/2.6 aperture. The secondary sensor does not offer stabilization of any kind similar to Apple's implementation on the iPhone 7 Plus.
The telephoto lens lets you zoom in optically upto 1.6x and the device achieves 2x zoom with the help of SmartCapture multiframe technology.
As for how this dual camera setup performs? Photos taken with the OnePlus 5 are well detailed, sharp without looking over sharpened, and color reproduction is more on the natural side and not overly saturated. The secondary telephoto lens is great for getting those closer up shots without losing as much detail as you normally would from purely digital zoom. One thing to note would be that the 2 sensors produce slightly different colors and the secondary sensor is a little inconsistent with exposure.
Low-light performance will depend on which camera you decide to use, with the second sensor being the weaker of the two due to a smaller pixel size, smaller aperture, and no stabilization. Photos from the telephoto lens are much more washed out, noisy, and full of lens flares and overblown highlights. White balance is the biggest issue of them all, though. The main sensor will give you much better results especially in terms of detail and color accuracy.
Turning to video, the camera is capable of recording 4K video, and electronic image stabilization does a decent job at smoothing out any unwanted shakes. You can switch to the secondary sensor while recording to get closer on a subject, but because the second sensor lacks any form of stabilization the footage is noticeably more shaky.
It's not just the camera hardware that received an update with the OnePlus 5, the software has also added a few improvements. First up, there's a new Depth Effect mode which simulates the nice blurry background or bokeh effect that you would normally get with a DSLR, while keeping the subject in sharp focus. Portrait Mode works as advertised. As long as you follow the camera's guidelines, you can get some very convincing Bokeh which creates a nice separation between the subject and the background.
For those that like as much control over the camera as possible, the Manual Mode from the OnePlus 3 series has been revamped as the Pro Mode with some nice new additions. You can control all the usual stuff like ISO, white balance , shutter speed, focus and exposure. But what i like the most is the built-in histogram, the toggle to enable RAW directly on the screen and a horizon leveler to help gauge when your shot is perfectly straight.
One of the best parts of OnePlus is their software. The OnePlus 5 is running the latest version of the company's OxygenOS. OxygenOS is based on stock Android with a few more customizations built in than you'd normally find with pure Google code.
Some of the features worth highlighting are the ability to customize accent colors, switch between a light or dark theme, enabling on screen navigation keys, Off screen gestures to launch apps without turning the screen on, and other useful gestures like double tap to wake.
As for what's new with the OnePlus 5? It now includes a reading mode that turns the entire screen to grayscale, which combined with a bluelight filter provides a similar experience to what you would get on an e-reader. There are also some nice extras like a Do Not Disturb mode made specifically with gaming in mind.
Pricing & Thoughts
We already talked about pricing, but to recap, the base model of the OnePlus 5 will cost $479/₹32,999, with the more powerful Midnight Black model selling for $539/₹37,999.
So is it worth it? Absolutely.
Sure, the OnePlus 5 has gone up in price from its predecessors, but there's more packed into this phone than ever before and that makes it worth the price increase. To make it even better, it is still priced lower than most other competing flagships offered on the market today.
Yes, it is definitely missing a few extras like expandable storage and water resistance. But at under 550$ you are going to have a hard time finding a flagship that offers a better experience.
At the end of the day, we feel that the OnePlus 5 is the best you can get in its price range and I without a doubt recommend purchasing it. What do you think about the OnePlus 5? Leave your thoughts down in the comments.