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Monday, 10 July 2017

Oneplus 5 Review

Oneplus 5 Review

While the 3T was just an iterative update from the OnePlus 3, the new OnePlus 5 represents a much bigger change for the company. The latest flagship offers an updated design, as well as modern specs that easily compete with today’s most powerful flagships. These improved features don’t come without some sacrifice, however, as the OnePlus 5 is the most expensive release from the company to date.

The 5 starts at $479 — a far cry more expensive than the company’s 2014 flagship, the $299 OnePlus One. To be fair, the pricing here is still more affordable than many high-end flagships, and OnePlus has actually be slowly increasing its pricing structure with each iteration of the OnePlus line, so we honestly can’t say we are too surprised.

The big question is whether OnePlus’ price increase is worth it, and if the OnePlus still provides a great value for the asking price. That’s exactly what we aim to answer in our full OnePlus 5 review.


Just like the OnePlus 3 and 3T before it, OnePlus’ latest flagship offers a metallic body, though it’s much thinner this time around. Not only is the handset just 7.25 mm thin, it also features an aggressive taper around the sides that makes the phone feel even thinner. The antenna lines have also been redesigned to go around the perimeter of the phone instead of cutting across the back, making them a lot less noticeable.

Thanks to the rounded corners and edges, the OnePlus 5 looks great and is comfortable to hold. Still, it is worth noting that the thin sides make the phone a bit on the slippery side.

The new design changes are going to be a bit polarizing for some of you. While I’m certainly 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’s similarly shaped and sits in the same location. I am happy to report that, unlike the iPhone, the OnePlus 5 does retain its headphone jack though.

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 familiar with the OnePlus 3T, you’ll find the button placement here hasn’t really changed; the 5’s volume and alert slider are found on the left, the power button the right, the headphone jack on the bottom right, the USB Type-C port in the bottom center, and the speaker on the bottom left. Turning towards the front, the OnePlus 5 has a home button that functions as a fingerprint scanner, flanked by capacitive back and Recent Apps keys. The back key is on the left and the Recent Apps key is on the right by default, but you can flip the orientation if you prefer, via the Settings.

Overall, this still feels like a OnePlus phone, even if the inspiration for its design improvements are pretty obvious


In a world where QHD has quickly become the standard, and even a few phones have offered 4K displays, OnePlus takes a step backwards by sticking to a “old-fashioned” 1080p 5.5-inch AMOLED panel with a 16:9 resolution. Well, at least it is a step backwards on paper. Despite only being 1080p, the screen looks absolutely gorgeous and is probably the best Full HD panel ever to grace a smartphone.

The display offers vibrant colors that are full of contrast and deep blacks. It gets very bright, too, so even direct sunlight isn’t a real issue.

If I didn’t know it was 1080p, I’d probably think it was of a higher resolution than this. In other words don’t judge the display merely by its spec sheet, because this isn’t your typical 1080p display of yesteryear.

Performance & Hardware

As mentioned, the OnePlus 5 is offered in two variants. The base model has 64 GB storage and 6 GB RAM, while the more expensive variant has a whopping 128 GB storage and 8 GB RAM. Both phones are powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540 GPU. For this review I had the opportunity to test out the 128 GB/8 GB model, and I have to say — this phone is crazy fast!

The OnePlus 5 easily performs at the same level as other more expensive flagships (if not arguably a bit better) and probably has more power than anyone would ever need in a smartphone. That’s not a bad problem to have, of course.

Battery life

While the OnePlus 3T upgraded from the its predecessor’s 3,000 mAh battery to a much larger 3,400 mAh, the OnePlus 5 takes a small step backwards to 3,300 mAh. I can’t fault OnePlus for this, as its a small compromise required by the phone’s thinner design. And in reality, the difference is pretty much only on paper, as the OnePlus 5’s battery life is exceptionally good.

The 3,300 mAh battery lasts me comfortably throughout an entire day even with heavy use. That includes using the camera, watching quite a bit of YouTube, gaming for several hours, streaming music at the gym, and all the other usual stuff like reading emails and checking social media. On a much lighter day I’ll typically end the day with around 50%. When that happens I won’t charge the phone until the next day, so it is completely possible to get a day and half out of this phone.

Even if you go at it super hard, the good news is that OnePlus’ Dash Charge is absolutely amazing. It takes only 30 minutes to get a 60% charge, and roughly an hour and 20 minutes to go from empty to full.  The quick charging here is insanely quick and power efficient, making the charging process so much easier and convenient.

Looking for more solid battery details, like full tests, screen-on time, and so forth? In order to get the review out to you in a timely manner and yet not sacrifice on the details, we’ll be bringing you a detailed OnePlus 5 battery review in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.


There are quite a few improvements found within the OnePlus 5, the biggest of which is easily the new dual camera system. Dual cameras are nearly a de facto setup for the majority of flagships nowadays, and every dual setup we’ve seen has had its own set of features that help it stand out from the crowd. Thankfully the OnePlus 5 is no exception.

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