I remember when there were just a few mobile phone manufacturers and you could easily pick the one you like. Nowadays, there are many smartphone manufacturers, much of them being just a few years old like OnePlus. This year, OnePlus released their new OnePlus 5 smartphone, with much more quality to it, as well as some modern specs to be able to compete with the other high-end smartphones, and with the price starting at around $479. Does OnePlus 5 represent a great value for the price? We’ll answer that question in this OnePlus 5 review.
Design and Build Quality
OnePlus 5 is a thin smartphone, and with its thickness of 7.25mm, it’s one of the thinnest phones I’ve ever held in my hand. It’s also tapered around edges, which make it look even thinner than it is. And thanks to the nice round edges, OnePlus 5 represents a sight to be seen and held. With its metallic body and build quality, the phone doesn’t even bend or crack when pressed, so the protection isn’t that necessary here. OnePlus 5 has a classic button layout which hasn’t changed over the past few years; the volume rocker and alert slider are on the left side, while the power button is on the right. The headphone jack is on the bottom right side, along with USB port and the speaker is on the bottom left, which I personally dislike, as I am constantly covering it with my hand, which result in barely hearing any sound from it.
With its 5.5 inches in size, OnePlus 5 display offers a 1080p resolution, which maintained its high-end class, but it’s an AMOLED panel, similar to Samsung’s high-end phones. It’s not strange that the screen looks absolutely phenomenal! It’s a crystal-clear screen, with precise color reproduction, vibrant colors and amazing brightness, even in a direct sunlight. That’s why I’m always up for AMOLED displays versus IPS. It offers infinite contrast and better color accuracy, leaning more towards warm colors, as it’s the case with OnePlus 5. The display is 10/10 for me, even though it’s nothing special from other competitors.
There was a lot going on from the OnePlus past models in terms of camera, so we have a dual camera on OnePlus 5, which I’m glad is there, having in mind the price of this flagship. With the main sensor being 16 MP and the second 20 MP, OnePlus 5 offers a crystal-clear, smooth and fast camera experience. Photos taken with this phone are vivid, with great color reproduction and focus. However, I personally wasn’t that satisfied with the low-light performance, and for a high-end phone, I think that OnePlus 5 could do better. It’s not that it’s bad, but… you know. When I switched to video, I was pleasantly surprised to see a 4K option for recording, and it’s good, but not great. Videos are clear and saturated enough, but due to the lack of any form of stabilization of the second sensor, the videos are a little shaky.
Having a dual camera, OnePlus 5 now allows for a nice portrait mode, which blurs the background and puts you in focus. I’ve tried to take several photos, and I liked it. If you want to tweak your photos more, there is a new PRO mode, where you can manage stuff such as white balance, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Aside from camera hardware being upgraded, the software also works really well.
OnePlus 5 comes in two variants with one being 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM model and 128 GB storage and 8 GB RAM model. The main downside here is that there isn’t any kind of expansion slot, so no SD card for this phone, unfortunately. Performance-wise, OnePlus 5 sports a high-end Snapdragon 835 CPU and a powerful Adreno 540 GPU. I tested this phone with few other high-end smartphones, and wow! This thing is damn fast! I barely noticed any difference compared to other high-end smartphones costing much more than this one. Playing games won’t be a problem now, opening apps is buttery smooth, browsing the internet is fluid and with so much RAM in it, the phone can even do extreme multitasking without any problems.
I even opened more than 10 apps including some games, and the phone didn’t even stutter. Well done OnePlus, well done! This beastly smartphone has Android 7.1.1 installed, and it’s a little-upgraded version for this phone. It now has some features like customizing the color accents, enabling on-screen navigation keys, using various gestures to open the camera, enabling grayscale mode on a screen and much, much more. With this great performance and the new Android 7.1.1 OS, OnePlus 5 is truly a beastly smartphone that can easily declare war to Galaxy S8 and even win it!
Battery and Speaker
While the 3300 mAh battery doesn’t sound like anything special for a phone with this specs, it’s actually surprisingly good. For me, as a relatively heavy user, OnePlus 5 lasted comfortably throughout the day of watching YouTube videos, visiting Instagram, Facebook and listening to music, so it’s pretty good. Speaker, on the other side, didn’t impress me. Aside from its bad placement, it somehow fades even when I turn the phone down. It isn’t that loud, but the sound quality is decent at best. Some would say that speaker is good, but that’s just my opinion. Also, who needs a speaker when you can use your headphones?
To be honest, this is my first review of a OnePlus phone, and I’m glad that it’s a great phone I’ve reviewed. I really can’t say anything bad about the phone, as performance, camera, and display are top notch. The battery is surprisingly awesome, and design and speakers leave a lot to be desired. It has a great build quality, but the overall design is somewhat uninspiring. But don’t let that fool you, OnePlus 5 is one beast of a phone, and will crush almost every smartphone in some of the most popular benchmark apps.