OnePlus 5 is a rage among gadget freaks these days. From Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to regular college students, everyone seems to be talking about this new smartphone from Chinese device maker OnePlus. Targeted at today’s style-conscious lot, this device is designed to look good as it feels, is comfortable to hold, easily fits into your pocket and is pretty lightweight. It has a very good display that makes watching video pretty enjoyable; the same can be said for browsing, shopping online, etc. That’s not all. The latest flagship from this Shenzhen-based firm has a judicious mix of hardware and software that aptly makes it a hot commodity in the marketplace, especially at a time when a plethora of smartphones are flooding the market each month.
At 7.25 mm, the OnePlus 5, available in Midnight Black and Slate Gray colours, is the thinnest OnePlus flagship ever. We got the higher-end Midnight Black version (8 GB RAM/128 GB storage) for a product evaluation. The Slate Gray variant comes with 64 GB of internal storage and 6 GB of RAM.
At first look, the OnePlus 5 has a minimalistic design. Its aluminum unibody features a continuous hard line around the edge of the phone. The Horizon Line, a key element of OnePlus design, casts one half of the phone in light and the other in shadow, offering an elegant, streamlined appearance. There’s a new crescent-shaped antenna that blends seamlessly into the top and bottom edges of the phone. Rounded corners and edges make the phone feel more comfortable in the hand.
The 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen looks great. The display might be similar to the one found in OnePlus 3T that we had reviewed earlier, but the good news is that the screen on the OnePlus 5 looks stunning and beautiful on actual usage. At 401 pixels per inch, you’re in for a visual treat when watching videos on YouTube. Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 tech is also present to ensure you get a screen that’s protected from any scratches.
Switched on, the OnePlus 5 is lightning quick. It provides an extremely smooth experience, thanks to a combination of powerful hardware and intelligent software. The phone takes advantage of the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform that provides powerful performance while drawing up to 40% less power. It has 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM that enables the phone to run a large number of apps in the background without a single second of lag. Trust me, improved multitasking is a given here. And if you are one of those who watches a lot of photos and videos, installs a lot of apps and games and stores music on the phone, there’s an astounding 128 GB storage to take care of all your data storage needs.
Moving further, you’ll hear the term OxygenOS when referring to OnePlus phones—this is the company’s own overlay that sits on top of the Android OS. The OnePlus 5 runs the latest version of OxygenOS, which is based on Android Nougat 7.1.1—the newest version of Google’s operating system. That means all the features rolled out by Google for Android 7 are here, alongside a few upgrades from OnePlus. Our device came with 41 apps pre-installed, visibly clear and simple to identify, with all of them using their own logos.
Without doubt, the camera is the crowning glory here. There’s a high resolution dual-camera system; a tailor-made 16 MP sensor is supported by a 20 MP sensor with a telephoto lens to accurately determine the distance between the sensor and objects in the environment. A large f/1.7 aperture allows for faster snaps and helps compensate for stuttering to improve image stabilisation.
Let me give you a glimpse into the innovation here. For instance, in Portrait Mode, the two sensors work together to create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds, while a custom software algorithm makes your subject clear and well-lit. This results in a professional depth-of-field (bokeh) effect that keeps faces sharp in front of a blurred backdrop. Smart Capture combines optical zoom with multi-frame technology to let you zoom in with greater clarity, while Fast AF uses the dual-camera system to more accurately calculate depth to speed up auto-focus by up to 40%.
If you are a camera fan, there’s also the Pro mode on the OnePlus 5, where you can deep dive into the camera settings. This allows you to play around with the focus, white balance, ISO and much more. I found the quality of images taken with both the front and rear cameras to be very good.
On the battery front, a quick half-hour charge gives the OnePlus 5 enough power for the day. By carrying more current and shifting the power management from the handset to the adapter to keep the phone cooler during charging, Dash Charge (a fast charging solution first introduced in the OnePlus 3) can continue to fast charge the OnePlus 5 even when using GPS or playing graphically intensive games. The 3,300 mAh battery also lasts up to 20% longer than the OnePlus 3T.
In summary, the OnePlus 5 is a powerful phone with brisk performance. Definitely one of the best Android phones in the market right now!