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.
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.
Hardware & Performance
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. — this phone is freaking fast!
Apps and games open quickly, scrolling is very smooth, and moving through the interface is nice and fluid. Touch response also feels much improved over previous OnePlus phones and seems to track my fingers a lot better when I’m typing, scrolling, or swiping. With so much RAM onboard this phone can hold a ton of apps in memory.
OnePlus 5 also keeps the ever so useful alert slider, which makes switching between different notification profiles an effortless experience. Although this isn’t new, it’s a feature that’s still very unique to OnePlus. The OnePlus 5 also has two SIM card slots – a feature not particularly common in phones, especially those offered in the states. It also comes with the latest Bluetooth 5, which is currently only supported by a couple other phones as of this writing.
When looking at the specs and features, the OnePlus 5 seems pretty close to being on par with other newer, pricier flagships… but that’s not to say that OnePlus didn’t cut a few corners in order to keep the pricing from getting too high. There’s no expandable storage or wireless charging, and the phone isn’t water and dust resistant. It’s that last point that probably matters the most, especially since wireless charging isn’t as common as it once was, and the 5 includes a large amount of internal storage.
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.
Most dual cameras either have the same resolution across both lenses or the secondary sensor is lower resolution. With the OnePlus 5 however, it’s the exact opposite. The main sensor is 16 megapixels with an f/1.7 aperture and electronic image stabilization. The secondary sensor is a 20 megapixel telephoto lens with a smaller f/2.6 aperture, though this lens doesn’t offer OIS or electronic stabilization.
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. It’s perfect for getting closer on anything you want, but I found it to be especially great for macro shots. It is important to mention that it does produce slightly different colors from the main lens and is a little more inconsistent with exposure.
The OnePlus 5 is running the latest version of the company’s OxygenOS, which is based on stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat with a few more customizations baked in than you’d find with Stock Android.
Some of the returning features worth highlighting are the ability to customize accent colors, switch between a light or dark theme, and enable on-screen navigation keys. There are also a variety of off-screen gestures to open the camera, turn on the flash, or open up any application of your choice and other useful gestures like double tap to wake.
As for what’s new? OnePlus now includes a reading mode that turns the entire screen to grayscale, which, combined with a blue light filter, provides a similar experience to what you would get on an e-reader. There are also a few other nice extras like a do not disturb mode made specifically with gaming in mind, an updated app drawer that swipes from the bottom (just like the Pixel Launcher), and at least a few other minor cosmetic improvements that further compliment what was already a great software experience.
1920 x 1080 resolution
16:9 aspect ratio
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
||2.45 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform
UFS 2.1 2-lane
Main: 16 MP Sony IMX 398 sensor, 1.12 μm, ƒ/1.7 aperture, EIS, dual LED flash
Telephoto: 20 MP Sony IMX 350 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.6 aperture
Front: 16 MP Sony IMX 371 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.0 aperture, EIS
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
||USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
3.5 mm headphone jack
||Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5 GHz, 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0, supports aptX & aptX HD
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
3 microphones with noise cancellation
Dirac HD Sound
Supports 3xCA, 64QAM & 256QAM
Supports up to DL CAT 12 (600 Mbps) / UL CAT 13 (150 Mbps) depending on carrier support
FDD LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Bands 34/39
UMTS (WCDMA): Bands 1/2/4/5/8
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
||Android 7.1.1 Nougat
|Dimensions and weight
||154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
||Midnight Black, Slate Gray