OnePlus 5 Review – Should I Buy It?

OnePlus has a reputation to disrupt the market as soon as they reveal a device. OnePlus 1 proved that high end specs are not necessarily followed by high end price. The next big thing, OnePlus 3 made buying a flagship phone redundant, as it provided identical performance for half the price. OnePlus 5 has big shoes to fill, which in my opinion, it tries its best. Though in 2017, it doesn’t come across as an obvious flagship alternative.

Detailed Review

If a pure Android experience is what you want, don’t look further than OnePlus 5. This feels familiar, as it was the USP of its predecessors, showing that OnePlus 5 brings nothing new to the table.



Unboxing and First Impression


On unboxing the OnePlus 5, you are greeted with a familiar face, as the front represents its older versions. An instant look kind of solidifies that OnePlus has played safe in the design department. On flipping the phone, the recent controversy becomes quite clear. OnePlus has opted quite a similar design to iPhone 7, even trying to imitate the infamous camera bump on the iPhone 7. Both of the phones look like siblings when they are held together. OnePlus could have released a perfect example of dual camera design by removing the bump, yet went with Apple’s bump on their phone as well.

Keeping the controversy aside, it leaves very little to be desired in build quality and ergonomics department. The phone feels premium and well built for its price. Its slim bezels make it easy to manage the 5.5 inch screen. Still I feel that OnePlus did the phone quite an injustice by going with this boring design, when the competition is making innovations ( Samsung’s and LG’s 18.5:9 aspect ratio for the win! ).

5.5 Inch 1080p AMOLED : No surprises here

oneplus 5 images, oneplus 5 specs-superamoled

OnePlus 5 – AmoLED

OnePlus 5 ( from now OP5 ) borrows its display ( nearly ) from 3T itself, with similar specifications. The screen has adequate brightness and has nothing to complain about. The screen is sharp and over-saturated, of which I am weary. Such a technical stunt to attract and impress less-knowledgeable buyers at the cost of color accuracy feels like a stake through my heart. At least OnePlus includes a color profile setting to tone down the saturation, which is nice. When the flagships have moved to Quad HD, OP5 still sticks to its 1080p display, which is appreciable, as the pros of a good 1080p panel surpass the pros of a QHD. In my opinion, QHD is an overkill for such a small display. Until and unless you hold the displays together, you won’t notice much of a difference.




Edits

Jelly scrolling has popped up, which undermines the near perfect screen. Although OnePlus is adamant that only a small demographic of the users are facing the problem, the real numbers are yet to be revealed. I just hope its a software issue, and if it is, it will be fixed by the next update.

Read More  Is Samsung Galaxy S8 The Real Deal?

Performance : Still the fastest one

You can’t expect anything less if you pack the fastest mobile processor, a 1080p display and a well optimized operating system in a single package. OP5’s performance in synthetic benchmarks translates well into real world performance. The app load times are blazing fast, and the device never heats up during normal tasks ( Don’t take it for granted, I have a Snapdragon 810 phone as a daily driver ). Even after prolonged gaming sessions, it only warms up slightly, given the metal back dissipates heat. Its all thanks to impressively cool-minded Snapdragon 835.

The 6 GB RAM is more than ample, and the 8 GB variant is just absurd. With ever increasing day-by-day optimization of Android, you’ll hardly need 6 GB RAM in the next two years. The extra 64 GB internal storage is the practical reason for going for the costlier variant, instead of the extra 2 gigs of RAM. And, last but not the least, the fingerprint sensor! And my God its fast! It’s quite accurate, and honestly I never faced a delay during the entire testing period.



Dual Camera : Sharp photos, but missing something

oneplus 5 images, oneplus 5 specs-dual-camera

OnePlus 5 – Dual Camera

OnePlus was never known for outstanding camera performance, and the OP5 follows the sad tradition. The dual camera is an appreciable addition, as the primary 16 MP shooter is good at capturing quality, whereas the secondary 20 MP telephoto camera excels at telephoto shots and quantity shots. The primary camera is a 16MP Sony IMX398 sensor, which in no terms is a beast, but OnePlus again shows its ability to set up the perfect marriage between hardware and software. Its sensor, focusing system, scene evaluation algorithms and image processing engine work in perfect harmony to produce clear and blur-free magic moments. The camera is extremely fast at capturing photos, and even with HDR, it showed no signs of slowing down. If OP5 had a beefier sensor, it could have surpassed the Pixel in competition, but at the moment Google Pixel is the reigning king of smartphone cameras.  The lack of OIS hurts a little bit though. The HQ software mode is quite capable to squeeze out some more quality from the 16 MP camera, at the cost of HDR. It also includes a Portrait mode, which uses algorithm to give a much sought ‘bokeh’ effect by blurring out the background, which is quite common in flagship phones nowadays.

The video capture performance deserves a special mention here. The Snapdragon 835’s EIS proves to be the hero here. Videos at 4K feel less jerky, thanks to Electronic Image Stabilization. The OP5 supports a duration of 10 minutes of 4K in a single go.

On a different note, I feel that OnePlus’s lack of ability to incorporate other useful features for the secondary sensor make it look like a gimmick, with the only one useful feature being 1.6x optical zoom, which can be used to capture scenic views.

Read More  Best Smartphones Under ₹30,000




Oxygen OS : Near-perfection

OnePlus sticks close to its philosophy of a pure Android experience, with little nifty features here and there to perfect the experience  It runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1, and the near-stock experience feels right at home for the OnePlus and Nexus users alike ( As Google has given up on the Nexus line, I think ). It gets a “Reading mode”, which is basically a blue light filter for AMOLED display, which is quite a nice addition to it, given the singular pixel control being an integral feature of such displays. It also gets a “Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode” ( Obvious much, OnePlus? ) and I think the title is more than enough to explain its working.

Given its near-stock Android experience feel, OP5 is only second to Pixel to what an Android phone should feel like. This kind of a market niche is soon going to face tough competition, as Nokia is aiming to hold a monopoly over this section with its grand re-return ( Nokia should apologize to the consumers for even releasing the X series, which were phones on an entirely different page ). OnePlus is going to face a tough competition, and with Nexus out of production, it is the best time for them to capitalize the situation.

Battery Life : All Good, No Surprises

The OP5 has the same 3300 mAh battery as the OP3T, and with an upgraded processor, it boasts a better battery life. The 10 nm Snapdragon SoC runs faster, yet sips much less power, resulting in an all day battery life. Assuming normal usage, the phone will last through out the day, with 15% battery left at the end. And even though you require a quick refill, the Dash charger takes care of it. It boasts of charging the OP5 enough for a day’s usage within 30 minutes, which is awesome! It is to be said that OnePlus needs to work on the portability of the Dash charger.

Pricing

The OP5 64 GB storage ( with 6 GB RAM ) is priced at ₹32,999, with the 128 GB/8 GB variant priced at ₹37,999. In my honest opinion, the pricing was the biggest let down for me. Although it is a great device, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table to justify the price hike compared to its predecessors.

Product Seller Rating Price* Buy Now
OnePlus 5 (Slate Gray, 6GB RAM + 64GB memory) Amazon ₹32,999
OnePlus 5 (Midnight Black, 8GB RAM + 128GB memory) Amazon ₹37,999




Conclusion

Starting at ₹32,999, OnePlus 5 is a no-brainer for OP loyalists. Those who own OP3 or older variants, I assure you, the premium feeling is worth its price. OP3T owners should wait for the release for OP6 to get the maximum value of their devices, which are just 6 months old. For others, I would advise you to wait for Moto Z Play and the Nokia flagship to check out the competition. On a final note, if you want a pure Android experience with great performance at a budget, look no further than the OP5. It has lost its charm, not its value. If you want a much-more modern looking device with a unique USP, look somewhere else.

Read More  Should I Invest In Bitcoin?

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Near-stock bug-free Android experience
  • The primary camera is fast
  • Decent battery life with Dash charging
  • Good build quality
  • Best value for your money

Cons

  • No USP
  • The secondary camera is average in terms of overall performance
  • Dated design




Reasons To Buy OnePlus 5

  • oneplus 5 images, specs
    #1 Less Battery, More Performance
    The battery capacity on OnePlus 5 has been decreased by 100 mAh from 3400mAh pack of 3T. But the power efficient 835 SoC puts up a great performance. The OnePlus 5 rather gives about 20-30% longer battery life than the previous phones. The Dash Charging gives a full day's battery charge in just 30 minutes.
  • oneplus-5-images-specs-dual-camera
    #2 Impressive Dual Camera
    The first camera is a 16-megapixel Sony unit with an f/1.7 aperture lens while the second camera has a 20-megapixel Sony sensor with an f/2.6 “telephoto” lens.
  • oneplus-5-images-specs-design
    #3 Value For Money
    The biggest selling point of the phone is the ₹32,999/ 37,999 price for the 64/128GB phones. Considering the top-of-the-line specifications with features of Snapdragon 835 SoC and up to 8GB of RAM, the OnePlus 5 is a real value deal




A detailed look at the OnePlus 5 specs :

Display 5.5-inch AMOLED
1920 x 1080 resolution
401 ppi
16:9 aspect ratio
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Processor 2.45 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform
GPU Adreno 540
RAM 6/8 GB
LPDDR4
Storage 64/128 GB
UFS 2.1 2-lane
MicroSD No
Cameras Rear camera
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 apertureFront: 16 MP Sony IMX 371 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.0 aperture, EIS
Battery 3,300 mAh
Non-removable
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
Water resistant No
Material Anodized aluminum
Ports USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
3.5 mm headphone jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5 GHz, 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0, supports aptX & aptX HD
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
Sensors Fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient light
Electronic compass
Sensor hub
Audio Bottom-facing speaker
3 microphones with noise cancellation
Supports AANC
Dirac HD Sound
Network LTE:
Supports 3xCA, 64QAM & 256QAM
Supports up to DL CAT 12 (600 Mbps) / UL CAT 13 (150 Mbps) depending on carrier supportBands:
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
CDMA: BC0
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
SIM Nano
Dual-SIM
Software Android 7.1.1 Nougat
OxygenOS
Dimensions and weight 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
153 g
Colors Midnight Black, Slate Gray

Incase you are planning to buy Samsung Galaxy S8 then read its complete review here.

Summary
product image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
Aggregate Rating
no rating based on votes
Brand Name
OnePlus
Product Name
OnePlus 5
Price
INR ₹ 32,999.00
Product Availability
Available in Stock

Comments

comments