OnePlus 5 Price starts at Rs. 19,499. This phone is available in 64 GB, 128 GB storage variants.
OnePlus 5 Review: What’s In The Box
The OnePlus 5 comes bundled with Dash Charge-compatible wall charging unit and a good-quality USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, both painted in the company’s white-and-red colour combination. The review unit also came bundled with four cases, but they won’t be included with retail units. You’ll have to buy those separately from the company’s website. If you were hoping for bundled earphones with the OnePlus 5, you’re out of luck.
OnePlus 5 Review: Design
The single loudspeaker gets muffled when you watch videos in the landscape mode, though. However the USB Type-C port, headphone jack, power button, and volume rocker are placed at ideal positions. Also, I still love the three-way sound profile switch on the OnePlus 5. You can just flip the switch to put the phone into mute mode. It’s a much easier way than unlocking the device and pressing the volume button all the way down till it goes into the vibrate only mode. I think every Android phone maker should start incorporating a dedicated mute switch into their devices.
OnePlus 5 Review: Display
The OnePlus 5’s 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display (or Optic AMOLED as OnePlus calls it) is the exact same Samsung-made OLED panel that was used in the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T last year, so it is similarly bright and colourful. Don’t expect it to be better than the OnePlus 3 or 3T in any regard. Touch accuracy and sensitivity is very good, and you can see all the content on the display quite effortlessly, unless it’s a very sunny day.
Coming to extra features of the OnePlus 5’s display, there’s Night Mode and Reading Mode. The Night Mode turns the screen’s colour tone warmer, making it easier on the eyes. You can configure it to activate and deactivate based on sunrise and sunset times, or configure it your own way. Reading Mode is a special way to turn the screen greyscale, making it look like an e-book reader’s e-ink screen. If you’re reading long-form articles, you should consider using this mode.
OnePlus 5 Review: Camera
The OnePlus 5’s whole marketing has revolved around its new camera. Unlike the OnePlus 3 and 3T’s single 16MP camera sensor, the OnePlus 5 uses a combination of a 16MP sensor with a wide-angle lens and a 20MP sensor with a telephoto lens. Such a combination offers an option to zoom in when needed and a DSLR-like background defocus effect when clicking portraits. The company’s officials said that OnePlus could never match flagship phones from the likes of Apple and Samsung in the past, and it wanted to offer a camera that’s in the same league. So, how does that fare?
Well, for starters, there’s no OIS, something that was present in the OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3, and the OnePlus 3T. There sensor size remains the same as last year (IMX 298 and IMX 398 have the same size at 1/2.8-inch), but the aperture is wider and there’s a new autofocus mechanism. The dual-pixel autofocus mechanism offers lightning quick focus times and much improved autofocus reliability. Overall, the images clicked using the OnePlus 5 in good lighting conditions appear more colourful than the ones clicked with the OnePlus 3 or 3T.
When it comes to low-light images, it’s a whole different story. Images come out relatively softer, with details getting smeared due to unwanted shakes as the phone’s electronic image stabilisation algorithm can’t cope up with them. Moreover, the secondary camera sensor fares even worse in low-light. The 2x zoom is more like 1.6x zoom, with the rest of the zoom attained by cropping the image because there’s more room, thanks to the higher resolution 20MP camera. The camera can click some decent portrait images, given that there’s enough light and enough separation between the subject and the background.
The selfie camera, in spite of using a 16MP sensor, doesn’t offer very good selfies. When the phone was first launched, it did not offer EIS in 1080p or 4K videos, and considering that there’s no OIS in OnePlus 5’s camera, videos had a lot of shakes. A few months later, the company added EIS in both 1080p @ 30fps and 4K @ 30fps video recording modes. Videos are smoother when there’s not very high movement. You can notice abrupt jerks when panning the camera. It still can’t handle EIS in 1080p @ 60fps video mode. It is not capable of recording very good quality videos, but can’t match the quality of the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7.
Overall, the OnePlus 5 has a good camera, but it can’t compete with the iPhone 7 Plus or the Galaxy S8 in photos or videos. However, it is better than what the Nokia 8 or the Mi Mix 2 have to offer, both in images and videos even though it lacks OIS, something that’s present in both, the Nokia 8 and the Mi Mix 2. I would say, the OnePlus 5 handles its own when compared to the affordable flagship phones, and maybe that’s what people want when they have the OnePlus 5 in mind.
OnePlus 5 Review: Software
One of the best things about OnePlus is that it offers a clean and relatively bloat-free software on its phones. Moreover, its OxygenOS offers meaningful features and a good amount of customisability. The OnePlus 5 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and the company had rolled out three software updates over the course of the first two weeks of its launch and half a dozen more by the time we completed out long-term review, solving a lot of software bugs and improved the stability of the phone’s performance. It solved the GPS issue I faced as well. More on that in the performance section.
The automatic screen orientation on the phone is too eager. The OnePlus 5’s UI constantly switches to landscape mode even when it is lying on a perfectly flat table. This was quite an irritating experience for me, and I had to force the phone most of the times to be in the portrait orientation while reading articles or any other text content. The other thing that I didn’t like about the phone’s software is that there’s no easy way to use split-screen multitasking. You’ll have to enter the multitasking menu and then drag and drop an app’s window at the top and the other app’s window at the bottom to use them side by side. Other phones offer an easier to notice button for the same feature.
You can change app icon packs, switch to bright or dark UI modes, and use various accent colours. Two features that I used quite frequently were Gaming Do Not Disturb and Scrolling Screenshot. The former feature lets users enjoy games without accidental button presses or notifications (except alarms and calls). Mobile gaming enthusiasts will sure like this feature. Such a feature is also available in Samsung’s smartphones since two years. The Scrolling Screenshot allows users to capture longer screenshot, and it’s quite easy to use.
OnePlus 5 Review: Performance
Thanks to the class-leading Snapdragon 835 processor that’s couple with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, the OnePlus 5 is one of the fastest phones I’ve used this year. There are no stutters, frame drops, or lags. Installing apps was so fast, I couldn’t believe myself. However, I don’t think 8GB of RAM had much contribution to this smooth performance. I think that 4GB or 6GB is good enough for a phone.
Thanks to relatively lower 1080p resolution (but more than enough to offer sharper visuals), frame rates on the OnePlus 5 are better than the phones that have QHD displays. Using the phone for gaming is a joy to use. I just wish it had stereo speakers, which could make multimedia and gaming experience even more immersive. The phone doesn’t heat up to uncomfortable levels during gaming or while charging.
Cellular connectivity was reliable, but GPS was pathetic at first, at least in the review unit. It failed to track my location accurately, and this happened multiple times while using Google Maps for navigation. This bug was later improved with a software update. Loudspeaker is loud enough, but it lacks the depth and bass that I am accustomed to on my iPhone 7 Plus or on the HTC U11. The fingerprint sensor is definitely one of the fastest and most accurate I’ve ever used, much better than the one on the Nokia 8 or the Galaxy S8.
The phone features dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0 (with aptX, aptX HD, and LE). I couldn’t test its Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities, because there’s no headphone in the market right now that are based on the newest version of Bluetooth. Gigabit Wi-Fi worked flawlessly when connected to my Netgear R7000 Nighthawk. Wi-Fi signal dropped only when I intentionally covered the phone tightly from all the sides using my palms, but that’s not how most people use their phones.
OnePlus 5 Review: Battery Life
The OnePlus 5 uses a 3,300mAh, non-removable battery. This is a marginal 100mAh decrease from the battery that’s used in the OnePlus 3T. However, a relatively power-efficient Snapdragon 835 should negate that decrease. Apart from the company’s famous Dash Charge rapid charging technology (which is based on Oppo’s VOOC technology), the OnePlus 5 is also compatible with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0.
True to the company’s claim, the phone’s battery gets topped up to its 60% charge in just 30 minutes. You can expect it to fully charge from nil within 70 minutes, provided you use the Dash Charger and the USB cable that comes bundled with the phone. Dash Charge technology really changes the way you charge your phone. Never do you keep a phone on charging when you go to sleep. After getting used to the OnePlus 5, you tend to charge it only when the battery level drops below 10%.
When it comes to actual battery life numbers, the phone lasts close to 48 hours on a single charge with light usage, with the screen-on time leading to four hours. When it comes to heavy usage, the OnePlus 5 lasted well over 24 hours, with the screen-on time around five and a half hours. If you use the white theme, you should expect half an hour less screen-on time due to the AMOLED’s nature of consuming more power when displaying whites.
Overall, the battery life of the OnePlus 5 is one of the best in the high-end smartphone category, and better than last year’s OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
OnePlus 5 Review: Conclusion
Ideally, we expect newer smartphones models to one up in quality in most aspects, if not all. We expected a lot of improvement in the camera department compared to the OnePlus 3 or the OnePlus 3T. Granted, there’s an additional camera sensor and the Portrait Mode is quite helpful, but the OnePlus 5’s camera is no match for the iPhone 7 Plus or the Galaxy S8, contrary to what the company claims. In spite of being much costlier than the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T, there’s not much of upgrade.
The OnePlus 5 has the exact same display as the OnePlus 3/3T, very slightly improved ergonomics, a similar camera in most regards (in spite of there being two sensors now), a similar software and hardware performance, and slightly improved battery life. This is just a comparison to the OnePlus 5’s predecessor. When you start comparing it with phones from other brands that fall in the same price range, you start to question the phone’s value-for-money factor even more.
OnePlus 5 Review: Pros
OnePlus 5 Review: Cons
|Performance||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|Camera||Dual (16 M.Pixels + 20 M.Pixels)|
|Display Type||Optic AMOLED|
|Pixel Density||401 pixels per inch (ppi)|
|Color Reproduction||16M Colors|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|Screen to body percentage||73.0 %|
|Operating System||Android OS, v7.1.1 (Nougat)|
|Rear||Dual (16 M.Pixels + 20 M.Pixels)|
|Rear Camera Features||Rear Flash, Dual LED|
|Selfie Camera Features||No|
|Bluetooth||v5.0 with A2DP|
|Wi-Fi||Yes with Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Voice Over LTE (VoLTE)||Yes|
|SIM Configuration||Dual SIM (Nano SIM)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|CPU||2.4 GHz (Quad Core) + 1.9 GHz (Quad Core)|
|No of Cores||8 (Octa Core)|
|Other Sensors||Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor|